Caesar’s Palace was so nice to us last night and we were very excited, not only for lunch, but to play some more in a casino that we had some good luck in. Mesa is one of our favorite spots in Vegas to return to. We used to also love the China Grill at Mandalay Bat until it closed. They had the best Philadelphia and California rolls. The best. We also can’t get enough of Diego at the MGM and sometimes plan whole trips around stopping there. You will never have a better tortilla soup and the taquitos there are phenomenal. Mesa is a Bobby Flay restaurant right in the middle of the casino, but surprisingly secluded and atmospheric on the inside. The barbeque duck and corn pancake appetizer is a starter I never deviate from and this time is not going to be any different. I haven’t looked at the menu yet, but I think I’m also going to get the chili relleno. Sara has something else on her mind. Every time we go to Vegas she wants a margarita popsicle and yet she is always somehow kept from getting it. As we approach Caesars, we find a bar under a canopy that looks promising, I ask if they have anything of the sort and they respond in the negative. The last time I saw it was at a kiosk outside TI, but when we were there on our last trip it wasn’t open yet. This trip, Caesar’s is the closest we were going to get to TI. Maybe Fat Tuesdays in The Forum will have it.
We Passed Serendipity 3, an Ice cream place featured on an episode of Tanked. We went there on our last visit looking for the fish tank they had built on the show, only to find out it was ill conceived and they had to take it out, because the desert heat was killing the fish. We were also not wowed by the ice cream. We hurried inside the hotel and found that Big Wheel that Sara loves. I almost went to play some craps, but the guy sitting next to Sara got out of his seat, because he wasn’t playing. Such courtesy, unfortunately, can not be taken for granted. I thanked him and took a seat. I put in ten dollars and placed conservative bets. The fifty seemed to be popping up on this wheel, too. after about the fourth time Sara put some money down on it and instructed me to do the same. When I get permission to bet on a longshot I take it. It was just a dollar bet from each of us, but when we watched the wheel slow down and our number approaching the needle the excitement was palpable. Sara says I don’t show my emotion, but when we won $50 each I was positively giddy. We took out our winnings and went to lunch. Of course, Sara had to call her parents to tell them about our fortune.
This was the first time at Mesa they asked us if we had a reservation. We were still seated immediately, but it was a lot busier than it had been for us in the past. I wouldn’t mind waiting, though. The restaurant has a very welcoming entrance with the bar in plain sight leading to the kitchen on the right and a cozy, nicely furnished waiting area on the left, just beyond the hostess desk. Initially, we were given a table in a high traffic area, but Sara asked if we could be moved. They sat us next to a couple who weren’t getting along for some reason. I wasn’t paying attention, because they were too close and I didn’t want them to feel like they were my entertainment. All I know is that they fought over the bill when it came. The waiter (who may have found us difficult for needing to be moved) must have thought we were strange, because we told him we had a Visa gift card for $100 and wanted to know if he could run it out and have us pay the rest in cash. Some places don’t do that, because their POS systems don’t allow it, but he acted like it was a no brainer and wasn’t sure why we were asking. The bread came. Raisin bread and cornbread with peppers is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy to kick things off. I ordered my duck pancake and Sara got a goat cheese queso. For my entrée, I did choose the Chile Relleno, which is actually a corn crusted eggplant. A new couple sat next to us and the guy was intrigued by my plate. I told him it was good, and it is, but I did regret ordering it after a while. It was a bigger one than I expected and despite the great sauces it sits in on the plate, it became a little bit monotonous and I actually didn’t finish it. In retrospect, I should have had the salmon.