Sip Trips #131: Strip Show (Part 2)

Part two of our travels to Las Vegas began with the holiest of drinking days: St. Patrick’s Day! I’ve actually celebrated the holiday in Dublin, Ireland, but being in Las Vegas was sure to be unique in its own way. We began the day with cracking open a few Guinness Nitro IPAs from the six-pack I bought at Walmart as we were out the day before. The beers were an interesting blend of a smooth and non-carbonated, yet hoppy ale.

Our first stop of the day was Ketchup Premium Burger Bar, to use the Groupon we had purchased prior to our trip. Our $10 got us $20 worth of food and drinks. With beverages already in hand (and more chilling in Baby Sip’s stroller!), we elected to go with a few food items, such as their Bacon Cheese Fries, Pretzel Bites and Crunch Dog. I was particularly fond of the fries, while Mrs. Sip enjoyed the hotdog.

As we travelled around the Miracle Mile Shops, we passed Sin City Brewing, which was serving up green beers to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Since this was something Mrs. Sip and I wanted to check off our list for the day, I grabbed us a pair of 24oz German Weisse Beers, which was a great way to enjoy the odd tradition.

Green Beer

After some more exploring, we had a late dinner Dick’s Last Resort in the Excalibur. This restaurant boasts servers that will treat you with contempt, as well as an eclectic food menu. Using a dining credit we had for staying at the resort, we ordered their Wicked Gator alligator bites, BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos and Crabby Balls with fries. To drink, I selected the Four Peaks Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale. The alligator bites were particularly awesome and it’s no wonder the chain is known for this menu item.

The next day, we snagged last-minute tickets (through StubHub) to the Vegas Golden Knights game versus the Calgary Flames. We had always hoped to attend this contest, but when we first saw tickets for only $45 each, we hadn’t taken Baby Sip to a hockey game yet and weren’t sure how she’d handle the experience. Once we knew she’d be okay, prices to Golden Knights games had drastically risen, thanks to the team’s success. So we bided our time and when seats popped up for only $40 an hour before puck drop, we jumped. The 4-0 Vegas win, hat trick by William Karlsson and shutout for Marc-Andre Fleury made for one hell of a contest. All NHL teams should study the Golden Knights in-game experience, which is something I will never forget.

While we didn’t indulge in any drinks at the game, as we were returning to our hotel, we passed by the Pour 24 bar in New York New York, with Mrs. Sip spotting an ad for their own Golden Knights Game-Day Beer. This ended up being a delicious 16oz serving from Hop Nuts Brewing, which I believe was their The Golden Knight Belgian Golden Strong Ale, but I could be mistaken.

Golden Knights Bandwagon

As we ventured out into the night again, we had to pick up some more formula for Baby Sip. After all, she’s allowed to enjoy some beverages just like mommy and daddy. As we shopped, I picked up another walking beer, this time a pint of Oskar Blues Brewing Dale’s Pale Ale. At the checkout, Mrs. Sip spotted a bottle of Kona Longboard Lager for only 99 cents, so we added that to our basket, as well.

We enjoyed these beverages en route to PBR Rock Bar. No Vegas vacation is complete for me and Mrs. Sip without a stop here. Sadly, the Doritos Crusted Mac N Cheese that I have raved about in past Sip Trips is no longer on the menu, replaced by Bacon Mac & Cheese Balls, which are equally delicious. Our other favourite menu item, the Bucking Bull Fries have also been adapted, now including a fried egg. This may be the best serving I have had of these fries, thus far. To drink, I cashed in a 2-for-1 offer Mrs. Sip had picked up earlier to receive a couple servings of Hop Valley Citrus Mistress IPA. The large serving was very tasty and lasted for a while.

After having such a good meal last time we were in town, we next made our way to The Cheesecake Factory for some dessert. Mrs. Sip ordered the Fresh Basil, Tomato and Cheese Flatbread for a small bite, while we agreed we had to try the Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake. This delicious and decadent treat features caramel, peanut butter, Butterfinger bits and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Cheesecake Love

For a nightcap on the evening, we popped into the Chandelier Bar at The Cosmopolitan, home to a drink I just had to try after hearing about it. The Verbena Cocktail is a hidden menu item that just has to be tried by anyone who fancies interesting drinks. It is by far the most interesting beverage experience I’ve ever had, as my entire mouth was first number by chewing on the Sichuan flower. The drink then changes in taste and flavours as your taste buds are incredibly sensitive and feel like they’re actually growing back. I will be back to try it again, despite the high price when converted into Canadian dollars.

Sadly, the time to return home had finally come, but we had time for one more great experience at Lilia’s Mexican Cuisine & Cantina in Bellingham, Washington. My order of Tacos Al Pastor was wonderful. Just as fantastic was my beer selection of Iron Horse Quilter’s Irish Death Dark Smooth Ale, which was on special for just $4.

In closing, my main goal with this vacation was to disprove an article we read prior to our trip where a mother proclaimed that people should not travel to Las Vegas with babies. Sure, the trip could have been different, perhaps even easier, but I wouldn’t trade in the time we shared together for anything.

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Sip Trips #99: Easter Eggs (Part 1)

The Easter long weekend found Mrs. Sip and me back in Las Vegas for another wonderful stay on the strip. With Mrs. Sip being pregnant, things are a little different than other vacations, but we still managed to have a ton of fun, despite her not being able to imbibe like the Sip Advisor.

This journey started with our Lyft driver offering to take us to the Total Wine store to pick up supplies. Not wanting to make her regret her very generous offer, I raced around the store grabbing some provisions, such as a bottle of Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum and a six-pack of Sierra Nevada Tropical Torpedo Tropical IPA. Mrs. Sip bought a couple non-alcoholic items, but I don’t think either the beers or wine were much of a hit with her.

Non-Alcoholic-Vodka

After dropping off our luggage and buying some walking drinks (Coconut Water for the well-behaved Mrs. Sip), we decided to go for lunch at what has become our traditional first meal landing spot: the PBR Rock Bar. We promptly ordered our favourite dishes in the Doritos Crusted Mac N Cheese for Mrs. Sip and Bucking Bull Fries for moi. Mrs. Sip added a plate of their Cornbread Muffins, just to spice things up.

Given we had stayed up all night, driving from Vancouver to Seattle to fly out early Friday morning, both of us were in the need of a little nap. Staying at The Linq, this was easier said than done, given our room looked out onto the hotel pool and made sleeping difficult throughout the stay, thanks to the 9am-6pm thumping music. I’d stay at the resort again, but request a room as far away from the pool as possible.

Once we did get some rest in, we returned to the strip at night, capitalizing on the free burger coupons we were given in February for the Shake Shack. We both went with the Shack Burger option and split a serving of their Bacon BBQ Cheddar Fries. To drink, I tried the Shackmeister Pale Ale, while Mrs. Sip satisfied her frozen dessert craving with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Shake.

cats-with-milkshake

We wrapped up the night sitting outside the Bar at Times Square, enjoying the dueling pianos with a drink (at least for the Sip Advisor), before Mrs. Sip needed to catch up on some more sleep.

The next morning, it was time to see what all the fuss and thumping was about at the hotel pool. In between tanning, cooling off and people watching, I did hit the bar. I elected to try the Cucumber Kick cocktail (Sauza Cucumber Chili Tequila, Watermelon-Cucumber Juice, Lime, Cucumbers), which was pretty tasty. I did get upsold to the $24 souvenir glass version, which did come in handy for later walks with my previously-purchased supplies.

For dinner, we made our way to the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops and put our names in at The Cheesecake Factory. With only a short wait to endure, we were quickly sat down. I really enjoyed my Southern Fried Chicken Sliders, paired with a Great Basin Icky IPA, while Mrs. Sip went with the Avocado Toast. The meals provided a decent amount of leftovers, which we were actually able to take away for a change, as The Linq has very rare fridges in their rooms.

Back in the room for the night and halfway through our vacation, this seems like a good point to wrap up part one of our trip summary. Join us tomorrow for part two, highlighted by shows and sips!

Sip Trips #90: City of Sin (Part 1)

While Mrs. Sip has made countless girls trips to Las Vegas in recent years, this was a rare occasion (so rare in fact, that this is my first chance to do a Sip Trips article about Las Vegas, despite the posts being a site feature since 2015) where I was allowed to partake in the fun… and there was a lot of it to go around. Here’s what we got up to over our stay in Sin City:

Upon arriving and checking in at The Wynn, we hit the street in search of hookers and cocaine… er, beer and potato chips… yeah, that sounds more like us! Our first stop was at the nearby Walgreens (which would become a base of sorts over our vacation) to grab a couple road beverages.

Moving on, the PBR Rock Bar and Grill has long been a favourite eatery for Mrs. Sip and I, as we adore their Doritos Crusted Mac N Cheese and Bucking Bull Fries. While chowing on those menu items, I ordered the 8 Seconds cocktail, comprised of Bulleit Bourbon, ginger beer, bitters, orange juice, and basil.

doritos-crusted-mac-n-cheese

Following lunch, we made our way to Sin City Brewing, which is part of the Planet Hollywood resort’s Miracle Mile Shops. Here, I ordered a large serving of their seasonal Double IPA, which was enough to get me feeling pretty buzzed.

With a couple of friends also staying in the city, we met up at the Public House in the Venetian. My brew of choice at this stop was the Victory Hop Devil Nitro, which was paired with the bar’s Duck Confit Poutine.

Next up, we were off to XS Nightclub, where we had a spot on the guest list. This was my opportunity to experience some of the nightlife Mrs. Sip gets to revel in while away with the ladies, although we were only allowed to go so far before us guys were asked to cough up cash for further entry. Still, we managed to score a few free drink tickets, so that was a bonus. We largely used them on vodka sodas and procured one of the empty cabana areas to take in the scene.

XS Nightclub.png

The next morning, we were off to Downtown Las Vegas for a bar and craft beer crawl. Our first stop was Hop Nuts Brewing, where I started slowly with pints of their Belgian Wit and Snickerdoodle Brown. As we drank, we grabbed a two-for-one drinks Groupon for the nearby Velveteen Rabbit, a bar with very cool cocktails. I used my selections on the Love Potion No. 9 (lime peel-infused mezcal, house fig and pepper liqueur, grapefruit and mole bitters) and the Velvet Waltz (chai-infused dark rum, sherry, averna, vanilla and burnt sugar).

From there, we popped into Tenaya Creek Brewing, where they had a unique “spin the wheel, drink the beer” option. My spin resulted in a pint of their Pilsner GABF Gold, which I followed with an Imperial Stout. We then ventured to the Fremont Street Experience, beginning with Banger Brewing. While scarfing down some Korean Pork Fries, I tried pints of their Perfect 10 Pale Ale and Jalapeno Heffe with Pineapple.

Fremont Experience.jpg

Chicago Brewing at the 4 Queens was up next on the crawl, where they had a 8 beers for $8 flight deal. Our last stop of the tour was Triple 7 Brewery, inside the Main Street Station hotel and casino. Their late night happy hour included $2 beers and food deals. Although, by this point, I didn’t need any more to quench my thirst, I ordered their Brewmaster’s IPA and Bad Guys Wear Black Imperial Stout.

We’ll temporarily wrap things up there at the halfway point of our vacation. Come back tomorrow for the rest of our journey, including a few rare non-beverage-related experiences!

March 29 – Poker Face

A Day in the Life

I wouldn’t call myself a Sin City expert, but I know a number of good places that are must-hits when visiting. If you follow my layout for a day out and about along the Las Vegas strip, it will be very difficult for you to keep your poker face (P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face). I dare you to try and keep up with the ol’ Sip Advisor.

Pool Time

I have very little need for breakfast… unless it is of the liquid variety. After sleeping in, Mrs. Sip and I usually meander our way to the hotel pool, where the first order of business is to order a bucket of beers, before relaxing in the sun for a couple hours. No need to rush around yet, we have tons of time left on the clock.

I guess my invite got lost in the mail...

I guess my invite got lost in the mail…

PBR Rock Bar – Planet Hollywood/Miracle Mile

It’s time to show off that tan you’ve been working on all morning, as you hit the street in search of strippers and blow… or in our case, pulled pork and Dorito-crusted mac n’ cheese! The servings here are massive, so it might be beneficial to split a meal or a couple appies. That way you can pig out throughout the day and not gorge yourself on one entrée. The best part of this location is you can sit on the patio and you can even sit on their patio area where you can people watch the zoo known as Las Vegas Boulevard!

Hyde Lounge – The Bellagio

With your tummy nice and full we venture across the street for some libations. The beauty of this joint (aside from the servers’ skimpy outfits) is that you can watch the wondrous Bellagio fountains against the back-drop of the Paris, while sucking back your bevvy! Like much of the strip, drinks can be a little pricey here, but it’s worth the splurging for the total experience.

Mon Ami Gabi – The Paris

While there are practically hundreds of dinner possibilities on and off the strip, it’s okay every once in a while to treat yourself to something on the fancy end of the spectrum. Get dressed up, enjoy some wine and lobster, and appreciate good company at this fine establishment. It also has killer sea scallops gratinées dish I fully recommend trying. If you’re lucky (or wait long enough) this restaurant also has a great patio for another round of people watching with the Bellagion fountains in the background.

Entertainment of Your Choice – Anywhere

It’s showtime! There are way too many options to choose from in Las Vegas. Whether you’re looking for comedy, magic, singing and dancing, or awe inspiring circus acts, the city has all the bases covered. Regardless of your budget, you can find a show that fits. There’s even a ton of stuff you can see all around the place that is free to all visitors, such as the Mirage Volcano, Fall of Atlantis (Caesar’s Palace), Show in the Sky (Rio), The Sirens (Treasure Island), Fremont Street Experience, and the previously mentioned Bellagio Fountains.

mirage-volcano

The Pub – Monte Carlo

Dueling pianos, plus $2 beers and shots of Jameson… you had me at hello. You never greeted me? Don’t really care, I’ll have two beers and two shots and for the missus, a stirring round of ‘Summer of 69’ by Bryan Adams (I like to enlist sexually suggestive songs to help me in wooing Mrs. Sip!). This place is always jamming and finding seating is not very difficult.

Sugar Factory – The Paris

It’s 2am and you have liquor to blame for your chocolate craving. So, you head over to the Sugar Factory, where the art of dessert has never been so exquisite. Share a gourmet fondue or sweet pizza with your loved one. They have regular food, too, in case you’re looking to satisfy your “fourth-meal” requirement. And if you want to keep your buzz up, why not try one of their signature goblets, martinis or cocktails… that will do the trick.

Well, it might be time for bed now… if not, you’re welcome to hit any one of the 24-hour buffets, food courts or a late night lounge. But guess what! Providing that you’re not going home that day, you get to do the whole nine yards (literally, if you buy nine yard-long drinks) again tomorrow!

Drink #88: Poker Face

Poker Face Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • Top with half Pineapple Juice and half Cranberry Juice
  • 0.5 oz Grand Marnier floated on top
  • Garnish with a Pineapple Wedge

This is basically – with a tweak or two – the outline of my and Mrs. Sip’s 10-year dating anniversary in 2012. What adventure will we get up to this time around? Surely it will be the subject of a future blog post, so look out for that!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink turned an interesting colour when all the ingredients came together. I’m so dedicated to garnishing drinks nicely that I took an expired can of Pineapple Wedges, just to use one for the photo. The taste was good, especially with the Grand Marnier floated at the surface.