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GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling

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GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling

posted below............

GVR Restaurants

There is a wide variety of dining options at GVR, everything from fast food to high end restaurants and a large selection of types of foods.

As I stated in my report on the hotel we had room service our first night there and room service for breakfast each day. I’d eat on the cheap for all meals if it meant I could have breakfast delivered to my door when in a hotel, it is the one luxury I allow myself each trip.

We were only there for lunch two days of our stay, had lunch at Palio at Bellagio the day we went into the strip. Lunch those two days at GVR was at the food court that is on one side of the casino. I wish more casinos offered this sort of set up, it’s great if you aren’t fussy about what you eat and don’t want to waste time on middle of the day dining and the prices are the same as you’d pay anywhere else for the food there since the places were chain fast food places. If you don’t want fast food at GVR while in the casino there are other options.

Fatburger vs In N Out…….ok now I’ve done the comparison and In N Out wins. Fatburger was very good though and I loved the fact that I could get refills on my diet cokes!

We ate in restaurants in the casino area three nights. The first was at Hanks Steakhouse. Now, you all know that Prime at Bellagio is my favorite fine dining restaurant in Vegas and it still is when weighing in all factors (food, service, ambience). Hanks is a beautiful restaurant, elegant chandeliers above the booths and throughout the restaurant. The food was delicious and the service was good.

The food was the best part about Hanks, steaks cooked to perfection, delicious salad for me and French Onion Soup for my husband and we split a side of horseradish potatoes. The side dish portions are huge, we barely made a dent in it. The potatoes were outstanding.

The timing of the meal was good after we finally got our drinks, we did wait quite awhile for those. My husband is a beer drinker and he’d ordered a German beer on tap that was on the light side when the waiter told him the beers they had on tap and in bottles. The waiter came back to the table to say that there wasn’t any of that particular beer available….strike #1. Why offer something they don’t have? He then offered a bottle of Newcastle Ale. Anyone that knows beers would not serve a heavier beer to someone who’d ordered a light type beer…strike #2. Strike #3 for the wait staff is that they were friendly, but in a too relaxed/laid back type of manner. In most restaurants this would be fine, but not in a place that is as elegant as Hanks is décor wise. I know this next is nitpicky, but for a restaurant with décor on the formal side, their attire was more old school steakhouse than refined which I feel it should have been given the elegance of the restaurant.

I try to be totally objective on restaurant reviews and that’s what I have done there. Don’t mistake what I’ve said here. The wait staff 3 strikes were minor things, nothing to make me not want to return to Hanks. It falls right under Prime on my steak house list. In fact, we felt the steak and the side dishes at Hanks were better than those of Bellagio. One beer, one glass of wine, a salad, soup, 2 steaks, one side dish, coffee and sorbet for dessert shared between the two of us, total cost $193.

I will definitely eat at Hank’s again, the place really is great and the flaws were minor, could have just been the waiter we had that didn’t gel for me.

The next night we weren’t hungry at all so went to the Grand Café and had soup and salads. The soup of the day was a cheese jalapeno pepper, the waitress said it had a slight kick to it……that soup almost kicked me across the room and I like spicy/hot foods! It was very good as was the side salad I had. One nice touch was the fact that when you get seated, the first thing you are given after being given the menu is a small loaf of hot bread and butter to enjoy while perusing the menu. One thing about the Grand Café, the food was good and the prices were also good! As I was perusing the menu, I noticed that you could get a complete dinner for between $9.95 and $15.95, unheard of in a 24 hr café on the strip. I saw some of those dinners being served, they looked wonderful to me!

Our final night at GVR we ate at Terra Verde, a lovely, contemporary restaurant. The food was delicious. One thing did mar the experience there, it was our server. We got seated and waited and waited and no one came to our table for quite a while. When our server did arrive, the first words out of her mouth were, ‘Have you two decided what you are going to have this evening?’ and she had her pen out ready to write. Only thing, she hadn’t and no one else had even asked if we might like to have a drink while looking through the menu! When she made her remark, I said, ‘We were hoping someone would ask if we might like to have a cocktail first.’ She didn’t ‘get it, merely asked what we would like to order to drink. Several times during our meal she disappeared and no one came by and asked if everything was ok with our meal or could they get anything for us. Food was put down and off she went. It’s sad that a server can ruin what could have been a very nice dining experience. I don’t remember the exact cost of the meal, think it was somewhere around $90. I had a Bruchetta as my starter, my husband had minestrone soup and he had lasagne (hugest portion I’ve ever seen!) and I had a shrimp in white wine sauce with linguine dish. Food was excellent.

London, United...
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1. Re: GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling

GVR, the casino and gambling

I’d only been to the casino at GVR one time before last week. It is a ‘locals’ casino for the most part, the host told me that it was 95% locals. They must love the place because all but the first night the place was hopping. That first night I almost wondered what I’d gotten us into the place was so dead. The afternoon had been so-so but I chalked that off to the fact it wasn’t evening. So, when we went to bed that night I wondered how in the heck we could win anything if the machines weren’t being played. The reason it was so dead that day/evening was because it was the day after Memorial Day. The casino was quite busy the rest of the time we were there and by Thurs night and Friday it was extremely busy.

I’m basically a machine player, used to play a lot of VP but rarely do that anymore and didn’t do it at all this time around. The last couple of trips the machines just wouldn’t give me a lot of play, this time they did, thank goodness. Glittergal got me started on the $5 machines at Bellagio in March. I’d played them some but not a lot prior to that. She also introduced me to scatter pay machines. I didn’t really ‘get it’ then, now I do! As I said, I am blaming it all on her!

GVR has a small High Limit room, just a few $5 machines and scatter pay machines I can afford, just as well, otherwise I’d have been broke very quickly.

The first day and night I lost…..and lost! Then I hit the Top Dollar bonus in the High Limit room and got a $675 and from that time on, the machines started to play. In all I hit the bonus about 5 times on that one machine during our 4 day stay. I’d never put more than $100 in and if it didn’t hit, I’d get up and walk away, but it hit the top dollar bonus most times I played it. There weren’t anymore $675 bonus hits though, the others ranged from $200-$250.

I played a lot of the Double Diamond machines, it’d go up and done where hitting was concerned, but due to the wins, we became like people possessed, gambled for 6-10 hrs a day on those things and held our own for the most part. I also liked a machine that I called the ‘cigar machine’ since the symbols were cigars and the music when you’d get a hit was jazz like you’d hear in a cigar bar. I ays wondered why people play those penny machines. However, if you play the max bet, 200-300 cents, in the end it is like playing a dollar machine. I became totally addicted to both Hoot Loot and Pharoh’s Fortune and had luck on both.

It was Pharoh and the ‘walking like an Egyptian’ that got me totally addicted! I walked like an Egyptian so much that I should have been all the way to Egypt by the time we left Vegas! I hit those scatter pays 4-5 different times for a win of $200-$300 each time. The last night I hit one for a 32,000 bonus hit, too bad it was late and I had to get off the machine after that hit and get to bed, but with a long flight back to the UK the following day we had to get some sleep.

Thursday, our third day at GVR we did ask to go to the strip for the afternoon and voila, a GVR limo appeared to take us there at the appointed time. We had the driver take us to Bellagio. I wanted to play a couple of machines that I like there. I never could find my favorite Top Dollar machine, darn. That particular one was very good about the bonus spins! I did play my $5 Pinball machine and got the bonus round just before my $100 was gone, walked away $300 richer. Then I played Hoot Loot for $1 a line, think I played 9 lines, won there too. My husband wasn’t having any luck so we left and walked to the Mirage where we both like to play. That place was packed with people. It also appeared that all renovations in the casino area itself were complete other than where they are building the new restaurant where the white tigers used to be in the one corridor just inside the one side entrance to the casino near the Carnegie Deli. There was one bank of machines where we’d played a lot last fall and did so with luck, they’d taken them out!!! There were different machines in their place, how could they do that to us! So, we went to the other side of the casino where we both played on Haywire machines for a time. I also played my favorite Top Dollar machine there and had a little luck. We decided to take our winnings from the strip and run so we called and GVR sent a car to pick us back up. That night we both used our winnings for gambling, we ended up breaking even on the day and by this time I’d also won back most of what I lost the first day and night there.

We both now have our favorite machines we love to play at GVR and had a great time playing them. My husband played one Double Diamond machine almost exclusively the last 2 ½ days there. I half expect to find a plaque on the machine when we return with his name on it!

I wasn’t at all sure in the beginning, after having only spent a few short hours there last Sept how much I’d like playing at GVR. They didn’t have some of my favorite type of machines and it is a local casino so I didn’t know if we’d feel out of place or not. We didn’t and we also found new favorite machines. We ended up loving the casino. Also, the drink service was excellent there, much better than on the strip.

The final instalment and pictures will be posted up tomorrow!

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2. Re: GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling

Great report so far Gabby.

I was thinking about GVR for my next trip and this has gone a big way to confirm it.

Glad the gambling was good and not too painful!!

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3. Re: GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling

I was wondering when you were going to get to the good part :) I'm glad to hear that Rock (the chef at Terra Verde and winner of the Hell's Kitchen TV show) passed the gabbygambler test :)

I probably will never end up at GVR but I like hearing about it anyway!

so cal
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4. Re: GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling

Great trip report.

I know what you mean about the penny slots. We were at NYNY with my cousins from Scotland in December. One of my cousins was playing the Pharohs fortune and six of us were standing behind her cheering her on, she sat there for about an hour. It was a lot of fun.

I'd like to get over to GVR as we used to watch a reality program that was filmed there and it looked like a nice place.

We live in souther calif. so we usually only go for three nights and I like to stay on the strip. Hopefully, one of these time we can get over there to play a little and check out the shops at the district.

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5. Re: GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling

All that talk of food has made me hungry, loving it Gabby, cant wait to see the pictures

Eugene, Oregon
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6. Re: GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling

"So, when we went to bed that night I wondered how in the heck we could win anything if the machines weren’t being played."

I don't know too much about machines and how or why they hit, but are you saying if a casino is dead no machines will hit - not sure I understand that.

Minnesota City...
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7. Re: GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling

Glad to read GVR was so good to you, Gabby. You know I like the buzz of the Strip, but visiting GVR through your eyes was great fun. Did you visit the spa?

"That soup almost kicked me across the room" . . . lol

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8. Re: GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling


I am flattered...I have corrupted, I mean converted yet another friend dedicated to the reel slots to the fun of scatter pays. I knew you did not get it when we met at the Bellagio in March. Even when I hit a nice jackpot on one. It is quite confusing (drives my husband bonkers) until you find your fun machine and understand the payouts. What is even more amazing is that my all time favorite scatter pay is Pharoh. I did not play that one at all when we were together in March. Not sure I have ever even looked for one at Bellagio. I gave one heck in Louisiana last week end with good results. Fun, fun machine with great music and bonus rounds. Now you have me anxious to experience GVR for a nice change from the strip. If you enjoyed it I know that I would since our tastes are so similar. Great trip report. Looking forward to the photos.

London, United...
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9. Re: GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling

gg, as far as I know there are no Pharoh's Fortune scatter pays where we were gambling at Bellagio and since my husband was very impatient to get to Mirage I didn't get a chance to search for one before we left. I think I did better when he wasn't in town with me!! ha ha

Sarnia, Ontario
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10. Re: GVR part 2, the restaurants and the gambling

Great trip report Gabby. I love to hear the gambling stories.