20 Vegas Dinners under $20 ; Scarefest ; Happy Hour for High Roller

fatty melt

Twenty Las Vegas dinners under $20
by Kristine McKenzie
Las Vegas is one of the world’s top culinary destinations. We have restaurants you won’t find anywhere else and cuisine from top-notch chefs.

That’s all good, but sometimes eating at a world class restaurant means you’re spending $20 for a side dish alone. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat economically in Las Vegas. If you’re on a budget, don’t worry. We know places where you can get an entire dinner for under $20. And we’re not talking a greasy fast food meal. These are good dinners. Everything from steak to barbecue and Thai food.

Here are 20 dinners you can enjoy in Las Vegas for under $20:

Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq: Fried chicken is one of the specialties at Brooklyn Bowl and it’s definitely worth trying. You can get a half chicken (dark meat) for $18. It also includes all the fixings of a good Southern home cooked meal — white bread, mashed potatoes and collard greens with bacon and honey.

Citizens Kitchen at Mandalay Bay: Don’t let the name throw you off. The Fatty Melt at Citizens Kitchen is something you want to eat. Two grilled tomato and cheese sandwiches serve as the “bun” for two burger patties topped with caramelized onions and special sauce. All that gooey goodness is just $19.

Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar at The Quad: You’ve seen Guy Fieri on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and now you can taste his cooking at his restaurant at The Quad. The burgers are huge here. Try The Mayor of Flavortown burger for $19. It’s piled high with seasoned pastrami, Swiss cheese, caraway seed slaw, dill pickles, onion straws and Dijon mustard on a pretzel bun. Flavortown, indeed.

Culinary Dropout at Hard Rock Hotel: Culinary Dropout has the perfect comfort food meal for $18. Their cleverly named Ma…The Meatloaf!?! (if you haven’t seen “Wedding Crashers,” Google it ) is a meaty meal served with green beans, potatoes and gravy.

Pantry at The Mirage: Pantry is The Mirage’s new 24-hour restaurant and you can get a great homespun meal for under $20 at any time of day. Our favorite is the brisket cheese steak for $17. The tender, flavorful brisket is topped with horseradish cheddar cheese, caramelized onion and arugula and served on a ciabatta roll.

Mr. Lucky’s at Hard Rock Hotel: Mr. Lucky’s might just have the best dinner bargain in town. It’s not on the menu, so be sure to ask your server for the Gambler’s Special for $7.77. You’ll be rewarded with a strip steak, shrimp, a potato or broccoli and a side salad.

Park on Fremont: This downtown Las Vegas bar serves up some great bites along with their cocktails. For $11 you can get a fried chicken and waffle sandwich made with applewood-smoked bacon waffles and Wild Turkey maple syrup.

Sugar Factory at Paris Las Vegas: Sugar Factory has a mammoth menu and there are several choices for under $20. Our pick is the Mediterranean pasta for $16.95. It’s made with pappardelle pasta, olives, feta, artichokes and tomatoes.

Pot Liquor Contemporary American Smokehouse at Town Square: Barbecue fans will want to stop into the new Pot Liquor restaurant at Town Square. Prices are reasonable and the food is tasty. Our pick is the mopped baby back ribs for $18.95 (half rack). The ribs are smoked slowly over sweet and hard woods and slathered in spicy sauce. You’ll also get two sides like candied yams, cornbread or mac and cheese.

Tacos & Tequila at Luxor: If you’re looking for some good Mexican food, you can find it at Tacos & Tequila for a price that won’t break the bank. Try the chicken burrito for $17. It’s filled with grilled chicken, lettuce, jalapeno aioli, crema fresco Cotija cheese, tomatillo cream and pico de gallo and served with refried black beans, rice and shredded lettuce. You’ll have money left over to try one of T &T’s tequila flights.

The Buffet at Golden Nugget: Las Vegas has always been the home of the buffet and there are still a few where you can get all-you-can-eat dinner for under $20. Try the Golden Nugget’s buffet for $19.99 Monday – Thursday from 3:30 – 10 p.m. You’ll find dozens of options like salad, pizza, pasta, seafood, meats and Chinese food. The buffet also has several live cooking stations.

Yusho at Monte Carlo: Everybody likes ramen but Yusho’s is quite a bit tastier than that stuff you used to make in your college dorm. Be sure to try their Logan Poser Ramen for $16. It’s made with crispy pork, hen egg, nori and cucumber.

Pink’s at Planet Hollywood: Pink’s has been a staple in Los Angeles for more than 65 years and also serves its unique hot dogs at Planet Hollywood. There are choices (which average about $6) like a bacon burrito dog, Polish dog and a stretch chili cheese dog.

Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood: Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has several restaurants around town and the most affordable is his BurGR restaurant at Planet Hollywood. Fans of his TV show will want to try the Hell’s Kitchen Burger for $14. The spicy patty is grilled over apple and alder wood and topped with asadero cheese, roasted jalapeno peppers, avocado and oven roasted tomato.

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill at Harrah’s: Toby Keith’s has a menu full of Southern favorites — many named after his hit songs. If you’re a fan, try the Should’ve Been A Cowboy Chicken Fried Steak for $18.99. It’s a hand breaded cubed steak, fried golden brown and smothered with country gravy. It’ll stick to your ribs.

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at MGM Grand: Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck specializes in crafting amazing wood oven pizza. You can grab one of his famous creations at his Bar & Grill restaurant. Dig into the Italian sausage, roasted peppers, mushrooms, smoked ricotta, onions and parsley for $16.

Della’s Kitchen at Delano Las Vegas: Your new favorite sandwich might be Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s favorite sandwich, the toasted cheese panini, with tomato soup. It’s $14 and comes with a choice of shoestring fries, potato salad, cup of fruit or salad.

La Comida: La Comida Mexican restaurant is a hip downtown hangout with flavorful dishes like the pollo al horno for $16. It’s made with mixiote chicken, nopales, Mexican squash, onions and achiote sauce.

Le Thai: Le Thai serves delicious, reasonably priced Thai food favorites. Get the classic pad Thai with chicken, beef, pork or tofu for $13. It’s a delicious rice noodle stir fry with egg, green onion, bean sprouts and crushed peanuts and cilantro.

Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace: Serendipity 3 may be known for its Frrrozen Hot Chocolate but the restaurant also serves up some pretty good (and filling) foot-long hot dogs. You can get a Chicago dog served on a house made bun with choice of french fries or coleslaw for $17.50.



Vegas.com’s Halloween Countdown: Scarefest
by Renee LiButti
With Halloween on the horizon (it’s next Friday people), our countdown continues. Are you excited? Of course, you are!

Instead of good-spirited fun fit for family and friends, today we’re tracking down terror. That’s right – five of the scariest, creepiest and most terrifying attractions are located in and around Vegas. But be warned, these aren’t for the faint-hearted.

Some of Sin City’s haunts are so elaborate – in terms of props and special effects – that they’re practically full-fledged Hollywood productions. And the folks who are responsible for creating them all share the same basic philosophy: Let’s scare the crap out of everyone.

From a huge destination scream park to the one-of-kind “victim experience,” we guarantee only one thing – that you’ll yell until you’re hoarse. And you’ll love it. At least you will if you make it out alive.

Fright Dome

Where: Inside The Adventuredome at Circus Circus

When: Oct. 23 – 26 and 29 – 31 from 7 p.m. – midnight.

A special “Afterlife” event in honor of the Day of the Dead will be held on Nov. 1 from 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Cost: General admission tickets cost between $34.95 and $39.95 (depending on the night you attend). Add $20 if you’d like a fast pass. VIP tour tickets cost $89.95.

In the who’s who of blood-curdling horror, there’s one name you need to know – Jason Egan. For more than 10 years, he’s been the evil mastermind behind transforming Circus Circus’ five-acre indoor theme park into Fright Dome, which is ranked among the five scariest haunted attractions in the country.

So what does Egan have in store for you this year? Be prepared to test your nerves in five new haunted houses (six, if you opt for the fast pass). Just typing their names is enough to freak me out: the Isolation Haunted House, Hillbilly Hell Offspring, Zombie Quarantine 2.0, Dead End and Killer Clown 4-D with glowing, demonic clowns. Also watch out for Leatherface in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre house. (Warning: Egan is really devoted to gore.)

Plus, there are four special scare zones at Fright Dome. Be on your guard when exploring the Dead West Zone filled with rotting cowboys and the Redrum Zone, where you’ll find chainsaw-wielding maniacs. More menacing clowns lurk in the Clown Overload Zone, and your senses will go into overdrive in the high-tech Hyper Charged Zone.

And if that’s not enough, you can scare yourself silly on all of The Adventuredome’s spine-tingling rides like the Canyon Blaster and El Loco roller coasters, Chaos, Disk’O, Inverter, Slingshot and many others.
Come and see horrors that abound in The Trilogy of Terror.

The Trilogy of Terror by Freakling Bros.

Where: 4245 S. Grand Canyon Dr. (I-215 at West Flamingo Road)

When: Oct. 20 – 23 and 26 – 29 from 7 – 11 p.m.; Oct. 24 – 25 and 30 – 31 from 7 p.m. – midnight.

Cost: Circus of Horrors and Castle Vampyre cost $12 each; the Gates of Hell costs $15. You can purchase a Freak Pass to enter all three for $30 or an All Night Pass with unlimited trips through all three for $40.

There’s not one, not two…but three terrifying haunted houses here. It’s a menacing Halloween triple-header. Do you dare enter all them? For sure!

Up first, the Circus of Horrors. As the name suggests, it’s a tent housing a shocking collection of human oddities. So prepare to get up and close and personal with some sideshow freaks. Afterward, cover up your neck and head into the vampire-themed Castle Vampyre. (Tip: Try to avoid all the blood-sucking beasts.) Last but certainly not least is the Gates of Hell, which is an R-rated haunted attraction. Dubbed “The Darker Side of Freakling Bros.,” you’ll make a frightening descent into a fearsome underworld, where there’s a very good chance you’ll meet the Prince of Darkness. And if you do, go ahead and scream your lungs out.
The Victim Experience by Freakling Bros.

Where: 4245 S. Grand Canyon Dr. (I-215 at West Flamingo Road)

When: Oct. 24 – 25 and 31 from 7 p.m. – midnight and Oct. 26 from 7 – 11 p.m.

Cost: $120 on Oct. 24 – 26 and $150 on Oct. 31.

This is going to be a bit tricky to describe…and it definitely won’t sound like a treat. Perhaps Freakling Bros. has even gone a step too far in their mission of spreading terror. Last year, the company introduced something called The Victim Experience. Truly immersive and available for only four nights, it’s designed to put you through a mental wringer. There’s even a safe word (remember “purgatory”) in case you become overwhelmed – and, would you believe, last year nearly 80 percent of those who attempted The Victim Experience needed to use it.
Before entering, you’ll have to take an orientation and safety class. And then you should steel yourself for what’s described as “various forms of psychological, emotional and sensory torture” while putting up zero resistance. Not only will you undergo harassment and verbal abuse, but your clothing may also be damaged or removed. Still interested? You’re braver than we are!
The Asylum

The Asylum and Hotel Fear

Where: Meadows Mall at 4300 Meadows Lane

When: Oct. 23, 26 and 29 from 6:30 – 10 p.m.; Oct. 24 – 25, 30 – 31 and Nov. 1 from 6:30 p.m. – midnight.

Cost: General admission is $15 for one or $25 for both; VIP admission (allowing you to bypass the lines) is $20 for one or $35 for both.

This attraction was created by Rich and Jan Strelak of R&J Productions and recently designated as a “Top Haunted Attraction” on the West Coast by Forbes magazine. It features two haunts, The Asylum and Hotel Fear, with an interconnecting storyline.

When you step into The Asylum, be prepared for a hair-raising trip. (Would you expect anything less from a dilapidated building housing the insane?) This is where Dr. Vander and his genius son – who don’t practice behavioral science by the book – cared for Mortimer Foeray. They tried to cure him of his criminal tendencies.

Following his “successful” treatment at The Asylum, Mortimer returned to Hotel Foeray (aka Hotel Fear) and killed everyone there – except a girl in room 13. If he hadn’t gone berserk, checking into this hotel might not be the frightful experience it is now. But suffice to say, Mortimer, the many people he killed and the weird Vanders all refuse to rest peacefully. As you wander through various rooms and secret passages in both The Asylum and Hotel Fear, their tortured spirits are likely to come torture you!
Project X and XXX

Where: 1848 N. Las Vegas Blvd.

When: Oct. 23 – 26 and Oct. 30 – Nov. 1. Project X runs from 7 – 11 p.m. and Project XXX runs from 11 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Cost: General admission to Project X is $15 (with a $1 discount for members of the military with an ID); VIP/fast pass admission is $20. General admission to Project XXX is $25; VIP/fast pass admission to Project XXX is $30.

The idea of entering a secret government installation called the Global DNA Institute is frightening enough on its own, but then to learn that scientists have been conducting inappropriate research (aka Project X) while searching for cures to various diseases adds to the horror. Botched experiments have left many test subjects…well, not exactly dead, but not exactly alive either. When you tour the bunker’s maze-like corridors, you’re sure to encounter some of these shady scientists and their eerie patients.

And when the clock strikes 11 p.m., a transformation occurs. Project X becomes Project XXX, or rather a XXX-rated haunted attraction. So among the undead, some nearly naked zombie girls might just bump (and grind) into you.


happy hour

You can add happy hour to a spin on Vegas’ High Roller Ferris wheel

For just $5, guests can enjoy an open bar aboard Las Vegas’ High Roller, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, during the 30-minute ride.

You can toast Vegas’ 550-foot Ferris wheel ride for $5 by adding happy hour to the cost of your ticket
The world’s tallest Ferris wheel has begun offering a good deal for grown-ups: unlimited alcoholic beverages for just $5 more than the cost of the ride alone.

The High Roller now has two happy hours each day during which guests enjoy an open bar as they ogle the views from 550 feet above the Strip.

“Happy half-hours” is more accurate in this instance: It takes 30 minutes for the wheel to make one rotation. A drinks cart is wheeled aboard the pods in which customers have chosen the open bar.

Unless you’re playing in a casino, cocktails can be pricey in Las Vegas, so this offer – an open bar for $5 – is a good one.

The earlier happy hour is 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and costs $29.95 a person. The ride alone costs $24.95. As of Oct. 6, the hours will shift to 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

After dark, when Vegas comes alive with glittering lights, the later happy hour operates from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for $39.95. Again, that’s just $5 more than the cost of evening admission.

The High Roller is at the east end of the Linq, a dining, entertainment and retail mall sandwiched between the Quad and Flamingo resorts.

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