Friday, July 14, 2006
Eating Las Vegas: Part 3
My chip pile has dwindled to near nothingness when JT calls and informs me that he's arrived at the hotel. I scrape up the meager remains of my pile (once more than double what I started with, now a shadow of its former self) and we make our way to the nearest bar. Which, unfortunately, is a chip's throw from the scene of my latest losing streak.
Deciding to put it behind me we suck back overpriced Vegas casino beers (the stack of receipts I pulled from my pocket the next morning was nothing short of terrifying) as we catch up on recent events. The beers are going down easy and other than the timestamp on the receipts I have zero idea what time it is.
At some point we start feeding money into the video poker machines embedded into the surface of the bar but this is not a good idea. Neither of us have bothered to figure out how the machines work, I'm pretty sure the lights on mine are busted, and we start emulating the woman seated nearby who is drinking and pressing buttons in increasingly rapid fashion.
After JT retires and I make a futile, foolhardy effort to get back in the black by playing some Blackjack after I've been awake for close to 24 hours I retire to my room. Breakfast the next morning is a better-than-expected helping of Eggs Benedict in the casino's restaurant. But, we have bigger fish to fry... my pre-trip research has mandated that we make a stop at Freakin Frogs, a nondescript bar over near the UNLV campus.
Reviews at Beer Advocate lean toward raves and its reputation has earned the place a spot on the list of 50 Best Places in America to Have a Beer. As our cab pulls up in front of the bar -- located in a strip mall -- it's hard to believe it carries such a heady reputation.
The windows and doors are painted over and there's all manner of signs, phrases and more signifying how to get in and how many beers you'll find inside. As the temperature climbs into the 90s, the rush of cool air that smacks us as we open the door is most welcome. As is Ashley, the bartender who tells us to sit wherever we like. At this early lunch hour that's pretty much anywhere and we settle into a large, comfortable booth at the back of the place.
Concrete floors, high ceilings and the complete absence of natural light keep Frogs a good 20 to 30 degrees cooler than it is outside. Typical neon, beer posters and a jukebox dot the walls while a big screen TV over the bar plays a movie nobody seems all that interested in.
As we got out of the cab our driver handed us his card and mentioned that his shift was done at 3 PM and we should give him a call if we need a ride before then. Ashley comes over and hands us the bar's beer list -- page after page bound in a three-ring binder (see photo) -- and we realize that we might not be going anywhere for some time.
TO BE CONTINUED...