Saturday, August 31, 2013


You might have noticed that I didn't mention the Silver Spur Cafe at the Saddle West Casino in my previous post about eating on the cheap in Pahrump. The reason is simple, I hadn't eaten there in a couple of years. The last time I'd gone in there, I was told the wait would be about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I was told it would be an additional 30 minutes. This was a bit disturbing and so I inquired why there would be such a long wait and also, why were people coming in after me being seated before me? Apparently, if you're a VIP card holder (because you play slots nearly 24/7) you get to go to the front of the line, and on this particular evening there were lots of VIP club members coming in to eat. So my next obvious question was, "So it's possible that, if VIP club members kept coming in, I might not get a table at all?" and the answer was "Yes".

That was a huge turn-off for me because, I'd eaten there a few times in the weeks leading up to this particular evening and the food was not all that great and certainly not worth waiting hours for while others got to go right in. In addition, the VIP club members were using POINTS to pay for their meals. Ok, so they spend real money at the slot machines and then eat for free, ahead of everyone else while I don't play slots at all but pay for my meals with real money. It was "no more Saddle West" for me. Until last week.

Some friends of mine, who happen to be VIP club members, told me that I was missing out because the food and variety had improved considerably, as did the service. They told me that I should eat there and write an update to my previous post because I would be pleasantly surprised, and they were willing to put out the dime, so-to-speak (they used points to get me a free-meal-for-two).

Apparently I wasn't the only soul in this town that was put off by the Saddle's VIP stance and at some point during the past couple of years that I had been avoiding them, they changed their policy again. Ok, so reluctantly I went for my "free" dinner-for-two, on a Friday night, and I was immediately impressed. I didn't have to wait more than 5 minutes for a table and the staff was far more courteous than I had ever experienced at that restaurant before.

The food was also great, albeit with just a few exceptions. The buffet was stocked well with a lot more variety than I remembered from long ago and was kept stocked quickly. Just a few items made the meal: the New England Clam Chowder was exceptional, the cold crab legs were pre-sliced (making it easy to enjoy) and were very tasty, and the cold shrimp was also delicious. They also had Calamari on the buffet but it was terribly over-cooked and basically tasted like leather shoe laces had been dipped in batter and deep-fried. The "Hush-Puppies" (corn-meal balls) were hard, cold and dry.

Overall, the experience was actually very good, with the majority of buffet items worthy of the praise they were striving for and the staff showing us that, even though we weren't VIP club members, we were important (they didn't know I was going to be paying with a VIP coupon).

I'll be adding them back to my list of places to eat-on-the-cheap here in Pahrump, at least until they insult me again.

I also visited my favorite sports-bar this week, Keoki's Wings N Things, and again, I have to say this place is awesome. A couple of beers and a delicious appetizer, their version of a quesadilla stuffed with chicken, cheese, olives, green onions and sliced tomatoes, and a dozen phenomenal, boneless wings all for under $35 including the tip.

I revisited the Tropical Smoothie Cafe a couple of times this week, wanting to give them the benefit of the doubt since my previous review was based on an opening day visit. First, I tried one of their breakfast wraps, the All American Wrap consisting of eggs, ham, bacon, & American cheese in a toasted Flour tortilla. This exceeded my expectations for any breakfast wrap, anywhere, for under $4. It was stuffed full with the ingredients, it was hot and it was delicious. I visited again, on an afternoon, and tried their King Caesar Wrap, with chicken, Parmesan, tomatoes, Romaine and Caesar dressing in a toasted garlic herb tortilla. This was also stuffed full of ingredients, including the chicken, and was also delicious. The staff was very courteous and served my orders quickly. The smoothie was good also, discounted when purchased with a wrap or sandwich. =:^)