Downtown, down Sunset and presidential pizza

Things continue to change for the better downtown, with the latest improvement being the switch from Fitzgeralds to The D. With the name change will come lots of upgrades, and already in place is the cool Longbar on the first floor. Drinks are decently priced, with several choices of draft beers—including Rolling Rock, Stella, Heineken, Blue Moon, PBR, Bud and Bud Light—for $3-$4 for domestics and $4-$5 for imports. Mixed drinks start at $5.

Another good play downtown is the non-casino restaurant Triple George. It’s a cool joint to drop in for a martini, and there’s a “10 under $10” lunch menu that includes an excellent pot roast plate for $9.95.

While you’re down there, add to your tax refund by cashing your IRS check at El Cortez. The deal is 5 percent in slot free-play up to $50, so if your refund is $1,000 or more, you get the max.

Our research for April’s Las Vegas Advisor found plenty of deals outside downtown as well:

For a happy hour that’s a notch above, try Todd’s Unique Dining on East Sunset Road at Green Valley Town Center. This upscale neighborhood restaurant runs gourmet happy hours from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and 8:30 to 10 p.m., Monday-Friday, with a big selection of appetizers and drinks for half price. Tuna tartar is $5, Kung Pao scallops are $6, and an amazing short rib martini is $9. Great atmosphere. Great play.

Head farther east on Sunset and make a right on Boulder Highway to get to the Skyline casino, where they serve a monster ham & eggs for $5.95 from 6 to 11 a.m. daily. The “pound of pig” is so big it comes on its own plate.

Video-poker players can look west on Sunset for the Brewery and its two daily high-hand contests from 5 to 6 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday. The high hand during each hour wins $25 and sometimes, in the middle of the week, you aren’t facing much competition.

Have you ever wondered about that pizza President Obama ordered when he came to town? It came from Dom Demarco’s Pizzeria at 9785 W. Charleston Blvd., and now I know why it’s the pizza pick of the leader of the western world. Demarco’s uses the recipes from the famous Di Fara Pizza out of Brooklyn, and they’re amazing. But they’re also some of the biggest pies—thin or thick crust—in town for the price: $12-$15 for a small cheese, and $18-$24 for a large. If you want the pizza the prez ate, ask for the Di Fara special ($26). There’s a 3 to 6 p.m. happy hour Monday-Thursday, with discounted drinks, including $1 PBR.