The Cabana Suites at the El Cortez are kind of interesting. There was an overflow building on Ogden street behind the ElCo named, oddly, Ogden House. Basically, Ogden House was a dorm like structure, and not very inviting. It was charming in a bare lightbulb gulag cell sort of way.
When the ElCo modernized (and I have to say, it has worked), they gutted Ogden House and completely redid it in a funky patent leather absinthe green retro-chic-moderne Miami vibe, which, for the most part, holds together.
The Cabana Suites are actually across the street from the back of the El Cortez. It's not a great area of town, and that's why they have a guard outside the door 24/7. The elevator is super-slow and clunky. And the view is non-existent.
|It's not that green. It's a lot greener, actually.|
|The patent leather headboard says tie me to the wall airconditioning unit take me to the pass line.|
|The 'view'. El Cortez entrance at lower right.|
This one is of a 20 Mule Team Borax wagon going down Fremont street, back when the Four Queens was a drug store.
First stop was the new pizza place, Pizza Lotto, that they put in the place of the cafe which they put in the place of Careful Kitty's, if you go back that far.
I'd heard rave reviews about this place and was looking forward to a great slice.
I got this:
This 'thing' was lame. It was tough as cardboard, almost devoid of sauce, and as you can see, there were very few prizes and not much cheese on it.
The guy wandered past and I lit into him. I told him it was my first visit and I was hoping for something really wonderful. I told him, "You have to make me want to come back. This doesn't do it. Look at this, there is nothing to it. It's just not very good. You need to put more on there."
His argument. "That's the style. It's New York style pizza. That's how the chef says it should be."
I declined to argue any further.
If they keep doling out crap like that they will be closed in two months. I think I've been spoiled by Chicago Brewing Company.
I kind of scraped off the toppings with my teeth and left the tough crust. This was the kind of pizza you get at a million and one food court places. So disappointing.
Maybe I hit them on a bad day. Maybe I should only judge on a fresh pie. Maybe I shouldn't judge by a slice. But they sell it, so that's no excuse for it being crap.
Anyway, on this day, Pizza Lotto was a lot o'disappointment.
I headed to the Parlour Bar, which has evolved into a pretty nice little spot to be. I played quarter video poker, got loopy, and spent $80.
|The Parlour bar maybe.|
I was still pretty hungry and needed some calories to soak up the alcohol. Time to go on walkabout.
It was a beautiful evening on Fremont street, made beautifuller by the soothing sounds of an Island steel drum musician that I've written about before. I stopped to listen for a while and between songs, threw a few bucks in his bucket and told him that his music always makes me feel good. He smiled and we shook hands.
The perfect antidote to a lousy slice of pizza is a freshly made entire pizza pie. I grabbed a seat at Magnolia's and ordered a pie from Chicago Brewing Co. next door. The server who calls me Baby insisted I eat a salad first, so I did. Then she laid the pie on me.
|Or this savvy pie?!|
Stuffed to the gills, I wandered back to the El Cortez, giving a nod to my steel drum guy as I went.
I played this and that and settled in for a long stint on one of the two remaining Downtown Deuces video poker machines in existence in Las Vegas. Hard to believe they used to be everywhere.
Sadly, this bitch sucked up my dough and didn't produce anything much of anything, let alone four ducks.
I sat, played, burped, drank, and smoked a $22 Davidoff I'd picked up at Manhandle Bay. It was a fun time, but as I said, I didn't win, and in fact, I finished off my budget for the day. I was another $360 in the hole.
I wandered around, thinking maybe I'd play a few keno games. I sat down in the smoking area and filled out a couple of tickets and went to take them to the desk. I noticed there was a sign saying no smoking in line.
Okay, fine, I can understand that.
There was also no line.
I put the cigar behind my back, walked up, leaned forward, stretched out my left hand and placed my keno picks and money on the desk and then retreated a good ten feet. I was literally two feet in front of my chair.
And that's when the keno boss decided to be petty and make a fuss.
"Is that lit?"
"Is your cigar lit?"
"You can't smoke in line."
"I'm not IN line. I'm standing ten feet away. My money's on the counter already."
"You have to put it out or I can't serve you."
"I'm not putting it out so I can spend half a second picking up a keno ticket.
I'd had enough. I walked up to the counter grabbed my money and said a few choice words that I'm not really proud of.
If there is one thing I can't stand it's petty power struggle people who pull rank just to prove a point, and in so doing, lose business, piss off customers, and for no gain.
I can totally understand them not wanting people lined up at the counter, smoking away, and having it go in their face. But this was just stupid, and I'd done everything I could not to have any smoke go near the counter, short of putting out my $22 Davidoff. And that wasn't going to happen.
I know some of you are going to think that the rule is a rule and she was just making sure I followed the rule.
But for me, it was just a sad last straw. I couldn't even sit and have a smoke and play a few 50 cent games of keno without someone shitting in my ashtray.
I took my cigar and sat outside in the driveway, where I wouldn't offend anyone.
If you want to have some class
Don't smoke in line or be an ass
Keep your cool and pay your dough
And you will get to play ken-o.