Monday, July 8, 2013 | 2:36 p.m.
Editor’s Note: While Robin Leach heads to London before his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — plus, the Amalfi Coast this year — many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue with Flamingo headliner George Wallace, who has a few thoughts about the burger wars in Las Vegas.
It’s me again, “The New Mr. Las Vegas” George Wallace, here to give all of you the 411 on what’s the up and up here in Las Vegas since I penned a guest column last year. There’s always something happening here, whether it is new attractions, renovations to the classic Las Vegas hotels, new and noteworthy restaurants or events.
Let me give you some insight:
Is Las Vegas in the midst of a war? It seems that way to me. No, I’m not talking bombs here. It’s a burger war!
Las Vegas has always been a place where you can expect a great buffet or an elegant fine-dining restaurant, but burgers? Yep. You bet. You can find many great burger places throughout the Strip, including KGB at Harrah’s, Strip Burger at Fashion Show, I Love Burgers at the Palazzo and Town Square, and many more.
Not far from the madness of the Strip, you can find Smash Burger and Five Guys Burgers and Fries, both new to the area. Each has some great burgers, but today I’m giving my vote to Five Guys Burger and Fries. My only concern: Five Guys are way too many people touching my meat. Complimentary nuts, though.
Even though the burger war is in its prime, most can’t resist a Las Vegas buffet. Good news: Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace is the No. 1 place in my book. At most buffets, you’d expect to see large portions placed under a heat light for all to dig in; not here. Bacchanal Buffet has taken a new approach with chefs who prepare individual portions.
Visit the grill where the chefs prepare many types of sausages, lamb chops, steaks and more. They also have Mexican, Italian and Asian cuisine, plus seafood. There must be at least 250-plus desserts. Damn, I ate them all! It should be against the law, especially that bread pudding. I have a new payment method they should use; they weigh you on the way in and again on the way out.
Over the years, we’ve seen many resorts come and go, typically with an implosion, but that’s no longer the norm. Remodeling and rebranding is happening all across the Strip. Next door to my home at the Flamingo was once Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon. Caesars Entertainment has put $185 million toward the remodel and rebranding of Bill’s as a luxury boutique hotel and casino, the Gansevoort.
Imperial Palace has been remodeled and is now known as the Quad. Also, a massive construction operation has been undertaken in the building of the Linq, described as an open-air entertainment center with restaurants, shopping and a music venue. The highlight is the High Roller, the world’s largest observation wheel. The only thing a “High Roller” wants to see in Las Vegas is a girl going around a pole.
What the hell is a Quad? What the hell is a Gansevoort? What the hell is a Linq? Where are they coming up with these names? The heat must be getting to them.
There’s a new water park in town. Well, Wet 'n' Wild isn’t totally new. It was a Las Vegas favorite until its closing in 2004, but it’s back. Escape the heat of the desert and relax on the Colorado Cooler or get your adrenaline pumping on the Zipp, Zapp, Zoom.
After you’ve eaten, seen the sites and ridden the rides, head over to the Flamingo, where you can see me, “The New Mr. Las Vegas” George Wallace, performing The Best 10 p.m. Show. You never know who might stop by.
I love you, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it!
P.S.: All college students, active military and first responders are free at my show. Just show your I.D. at the Flamingo box office.
Check out our other guest column today from new “Defending the Caveman” solo star Chris Allen, and on Tuesday, look for our guest columns from “Rock of Ages” stars Mark Shunock and Kevin Hegman and fiery redheaded dance delight Tara Palsha.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.