Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 | 10:22 p.m.
Our Vegas DeLuxe columnist Robin Leach is home from his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy all rested and recharged, but there’s unpacking and a thousand chores to catch up on before resuming his Strip sleuthing. Many of our Strip and Las Vegas personalities stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. Our thanks to them all. We wind down our guest columnists with Michael Frey and Craig Gilbert, who own Drive This! Entertainment and oversee a number of Strip hospitality attractions.
As business partners, we are constantly debating, and it’s actually what makes our companies and friendship work. But we know that there are two things that always bring us together: great food and drinks.
We will go anywhere to find great food and drinks, and we have. When we opened Tacos & Tequila (T&T) at the Luxor, we went to New York City to enlist chef Richard Sandoval. With Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ and Beer at the Excalibur, we traveled from New York to Tennessee and all over Texas, where we found Kreuz Market in the small town of Lockhart.
The Texas institution has received top honors for their sausage and brisket from the Food Network and Travel Channel. Within the month of Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ and Beer’s opening, Las Vegas Weekly wrote that Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer has the “Best Barbecue on the Strip.”
American Burger Works (ABX) at the Excalibur is our third Las Vegas restaurant. Unlike our other concepts, at ABX you order at the countertop. We visited several ranches to find the right free-range beef for our burgers. Plus, we offer twice-fried Belgian fries, and our dipping sauces are made from scratch. These aren’t things you’ll find at your average burger joint.
So it always surprises us when locals tell us that they won’t drive to the Strip to eat. Our response is always the same. We traveled all over the country to bring you incredible food; you can make the drive from Summerlin, Henderson and Southern Highlands. It’s worth the drive!
We even named our company on that premise. And we don’t just want you to come to our restaurants; we encourage locals to try the many great restaurants on the Strip and outside their neighborhoods. We have a few favorites:
The venerable Spago at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace: Chef Wolfgang Puck is a talent to behold and, in collaboration with executive chef Eric Klein, Spago has never been better.
Stripsteak at Mandalay Bay: Michael Mina + steak + fries cooked in duck fat. Enough said.
Noodles at Bellagio: The Asian restaurant is as authentic as it gets. We recommend their dim sum.
Soyo Korean Restaurant at 215 and South Rainbow: We have ordered pretty much everything and recommend all of it. Try it for late night.
We invite you to come and visit any of our Strip restaurants and bars. In addition to Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ and Beer, T&T and ABX, we also own RhumBar at the Mirage and Casa Fuente at the Forum Shops. We believe in quality; our handcrafted cocktails are made from all-fresh ingredients. Plus, you can’t beat the atmosphere.
RhumBar is a tropical escape in the middle of Las Vegas. It’s easy to get sucked into the comfortable lounge chairs and drink an afternoon away. Casa Fuente is the perfect spot for men to escape for a great cocktail and cigar while the ladies shop. Now that he’s returned from Europe, don’t be surprised to see Robin enjoying his favorite cigars there.
As an added incentive, we have introduced a few specials this summer for locals to make the drive. Come into RhumBar from now until the end of summer and receive 10 percent off your bill. At Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ and Beer, we’ll take 15 percent off the bill. Just present a local ID to your server in order to receive your discount.
For more information about Drive This! Entertainment’s venues, visit the company’s website at DriveThisEntertainment.com, find each venue on Facebook and follow each venue on Twitter @RHUMBAR, @LynyrdSkynyrdLV, @CasaFuenteLV and @TacosandTequila.
Our thanks to Michael and Craig; Robin stocked up there before his Italian vacation! Be sure to check out our other guest columns today from mentalist Marc Savard and Jason Shkorupa, who oversees food and beverage at the Luxor and the Excalibur. Be sure to join us Monday for our final guest columnists, Las Vegas music group Mo5aic and executive chef Sean Griffin of Prime at the Bellagio, as Robin resumes his Strip Scribbles.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.