From Pickles to Poker

Here are the highlights from my research for January’s Las Vegas Advisor newsletter:

The bar in Crossroads at the House of Blues serves mean meatball sliders. These aren’t just meatballs. They’re made from braised beef short ribs, topped with tomato sauce and cotija cheese, and served on a potato roll. Almost as good are the house-made spicy pickles on the side. They come two-per-serving for $9.99, but if you go during happy hour from 2-6 p.m. daily—where you can also get $3 beer, $4 wine and $5 cocktails—they’re just $7.

On the subject of Mandalay Bay happy hours, Red Square runs one from 4-7 p.m. Mon-Fri and from 2-7 on weekends, with $5 appetizers (including salmon blini and Kobe beef sliders) and vodka cocktails. There’s also the CaviHour deal, where you get a half-ounce of caviar for every two Russian Standard Platinum drinks you order. This isn’t the monster play it was when it was a full ounce for two drinks, but it’s still a deal.

Dropping a few notches in the libations category, a Heineken draft in a plastic cup is $2 in Vue Bar at Fitzgeralds, and all drinks are $2 on Tuesdays at Déjà Vu Showgirls.

The Tropicana has named its poker room the Gold Room for 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jamie Gold, and it’s taking an aggressive promotional approach, with daily tournaments and events, better-than-normal player comps and frequent appearances by Gold. One example is a play-for-pay deal from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, where hold ’em players earn from $5 per hour for three hours of play to $10 per hour for six hours or more—up to $80 per day. Getting paid 10 bones an hour to do something you’d be doing for nothing is pretty strong.

Staying with gambling, the Doc Holliday’s bar at 9310 S. Eastern Ave. runs a Two for Tuesdays promo with double pay on quarter royal flushes. The bonus raises its 6/5 Bonus Poker games to a 99.15 percent return, which is right near the top for video poker in a bar.

To celebrate the serving of 2 million breakfast specials, the Sourdough Cafés at both Arizona Charlie’s are selling their good ham or steak and eggs special for $2 from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Jan. 9. These are normally $3.99 (with a players card) and they’re a bargain at either price.