Monday, July 23, 2012 | 3:02 p.m.
While Robin Leach takes his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, many of our Strip and Las Vegas personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. Our thanks to them all. We continue today with the very funny Flamingo headliner comedian and observer of life’s strangeness, George Wallace.
Hello, Las Vegas! Greetings from “The New Mr. Vegas” George Wallace. Why do we love our city so much? If you can’t laugh in this city, you’re crazy!
Just driving down the Strip and reading the marquee at the world’s largest gift shop, Bonanza, at Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara reads: “If it’s in stock, we have it!” I drove by three times. I couldn’t believe what I read! I guess the next marquee will say, “If you pay for it, it’s free!”
Just to show you how crazy we are in Las Vegas, we just opened five Ethiopian restaurants. Personally, I don’t really know how to say this. … I didn’t even know they had food in Ethiopia. They must be doing pretty well, though. Every time I go there, they are out of everything.
With what little food they have in Ethiopia, they are bringing it over here? Take that food back to the people who need it! Just jokes, my friend, just jokes.
We have three new steakhouses in town. Old Homestead at Caesars Palace, Gordon Ramsay at the Paris and Fogo de Chao on Flamingo Road. Old Homestead has come all the way from one of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhoods, and it fits right in here. Any place that serves bacon as an appetizer is No. 1 in my book.
That bacon was half an inch thick, and it was all I needed. Someone bring me some eggs! After I worked up the courage for the 32 oz. “Lollipop” rib eye, I found out how it got its name. After you pay $95 for a steak, you feel like a sucker, but I’ll do it again!
Then on to Gordon Ramsay. All that yelling must be doing something right; my beef short ribs were fantastic! My waiter sang opera to me, but I think he was just trying to cover up the noise from Gordon shouting in the kitchen. Try the bread pudding for dessert. I loved it!
Fogo de Chao is a Brazilian steakhouse with a salad bar to die for! Don’t eat too much salad, though; otherwise, you won’t have room for your meat.
Want some thrills in Las Vegas? There was recently a contest to see which ride in the area was the best: the rollercoaster at New York-New York, the Big Shot at the Stratosphere and the Canyon Blaster at the Circus Circus Adventure Dome. The winner turned out to be some girl named Shirley in Pahrump.
Get ready for some new rides. SkyView located across from Mandalay Bay and the High Roller near the Flamingo, which are both Ferris wheels. Why ride a Ferris wheel to look at the tops of the hotels? For my money, eat at the Top of the World at the Stratosphere and kill two birds with one stone.
Before or after you do the above, stop by the Flamingo and see my show. I’m George Wallace, and I love you -- and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it!
Our thanks to George for his gifts of laughter to us from the Flamingo. Be sure to check out our other guest columns today from “Chopped” winner Christina Olivarez, executive chef of Diego at MGM Grand, and hospitality hero Jonathan Fine. Join us again Tuesday for singer Jeff Timmons at his new show “Wired”; celebrated chef and DJ Hubert Keller; and two ladies from Cirque du Soleil’s “Ka” who keep the MGM Grand spectacular running in tip-top shape.
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.