Dogs, balls and a presidential plug

Summertime always brings an eclectic selection of deals. Here’s a smattering of interesting plays I came across while compiling the July Las Vegas Advisor newsletter.

The price of hot dogs has gone up again, at least at the Gold Coast, where the dogs sold from a cart in the sports book now cost $1.50, a quarter more than before. These are still excellent hot dogs, and they come loaded with onions, relish and kraut at no extra charge. But you can get the same thing from the sports book carts at two other casinos for half the price. Both South Point and Suncoast have identical dogs and toppings, and they’ve held firm at 75 cents through three price hikes at the Gold Coast.

This month’s best-new-happy-hour nod goes to “Beer, Bubbles & Balls” in Lavo at the Palazzo. From 4:30 to 7 p.m. daily, choose from a selection of five different “balls” for $7 each. The tuna tartare balls are the all-stars, with standard meatballs a good second choice. Peroni beer and Riondo Prosecco are also $7 each if you want some booze with your balls.

Free show tickets for shopping can’t be bad. Buy a gift card of $25 or more good at stores and restaurants in Town Square and get two free tickets to Recycled Percussion at the Tropicana. The cards are available from the concierge desk located at the entrance to the children’s park.

Here’s another cool play on a good show. While the Paris showroom is being renovated, Anthony Cools has moved his comic-hypnosis show to Bally’s. During the run at his temporary new home, tickets that normally start at $62 are priced as low as $15.

While on the subject of “15,” spend $15 in the Ellis Island Café or BBQ and get a $5 table-game matchplay. A matchplay pays double on a winning $5 bet and is worth about half of face value, so EI’s already bargain-priced grub is, mathematically, $2.50 cheaper.

Home Plate bar at 4785 Blue Diamond Road has introduced a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar beginning at 9 a.m Saturdays and Sundays. Bloody Marys with all the fixins are $6 each and comped for 25-cent play.

Topping things off, there was plenty of love for a few local restaurants last month. The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives came to town and featured Lola’s (241 W. Charleston Blvd.), Forte (4180 S. Rainbow Blvd.) and Naked City Pizza (in Moon Doggie’s bar at 3240 S. Arville St.). Separately, Capriotti’s got a shout-out from none other than the president when Barack Obama plugged the sandwich shop at a rally at UNLV. You have to be good to pull that endorsement.