Vegas Cocktails at The Mirage
Last night, I set out with my faithful companion, Dax, to get something to eat and find some Vegas cocktails to blog about. We ate at Fukuburger because Dax hadn’t been yet. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t turn you on to the tastiest burgers on four wheels?
Naturally, Dax is a full-fledged fuku-fanatic now. His head almost exploded from the “Tamago” burger. We tried the signature Fukuburger french fries as well.
They are drizzled with gravy, and “crack” sauce. What more is there to say except that the home made strawberry lemonade washed them down perfectly?
The real objective for this outing, as I said, was Vegas cocktails, and “The Mirage,” once known as the place for popular Vegas cocktails, turned out to be our destination because we were very close already.
Dax hadn’t been there since 19-frikkin-90! He was all talking about walking through the atrium, and seeing the fish tank in the lobby. I was beginning to second-guess our choice for the best Vegas cocktails.
In 1989, when The Mirage went up in the same spot that the legendary “Castaways” Hotel and Casino sat for many years, that phony atrium and that tiny fish tank were actually something to marvel at, believe it or not.
It wasn’t until Steve Wynn opened The Bellagio, with Tony Abou-Ganim in charge of the bar program, that his properties became synonymous with famous Las Vegas cocktails.
In fact, the “Cable Car,” Abou-Ganim’s award-winning cocktail, which he created for The Bellagio is probably the epitome of the classic Vegas cocktail.
The Mirage opened with a lot of fan fare, and it really was the beginning of what Las Vegas is today. It changed the playing field, and everyone’s ideas of what Las Vegas is about, and what can be done here. The Mirage has a place in Vegas history, no doubt.
It’s a fuckin dump now.
The Bellagio is also a shadow of its former self. The MGM bought the Wynn properties a while back. The MGM Grand has not fallen to shit, and is kept up nicely. What gives? Why have the two former awesome places become so gnarly under the direction of MGM?
Seriously, The Mirage I saw last night must have been exactly that. This couldn’t have been real. One thing after another was a testament to the level of “don’t give a shit” running rampant through this iconic, former luxury resort.
The garbage can outside of the elevator in the parking garage was over-stuffed and there was trash on the ground around it. The elevator was filthy and one of the top panels was askew as if someone had just used it to pull a Danny Ocean.
Walking in through the main entrance, I noticed some of the limo drivers and valet attendants at the front had chosen to roll their sleeves up, and had forgotten their neckties.
Nobody at the front entrance was smiling, and not one of the employees were trying to open doors for anyone but themselves. There were valets, drivers, bell-boys, and suits all over the place.
The small scraps of litter on the ground were too great in number to keep track of as I was walking in, but I was able to get an accurate count on my way out, because they hadn’t moved. Eighteen.
Keep in mind that I’m not looking for scraps of litter in every nook and cranny, I’m just going where I’m going.
We took a seat and began to thumb through the drink menu. The drink menus at The Sports Bar are printed on high-gauge, custom-finished paper, with sleek, black, hard covers, and they look like they’ve spent a couple hours on the floor behind the bar on a busy night, or were used as door stoppers.
They were offering three themed specialty cocktails as specials. “Gold,” “Silver,” and “Bronze.” Get it?
In fact, both of these cocktails were exceptional. At least the legacy that Steve Wynn and Tony Abou-Ganim left behind is mostly in tact.
I say mostly because, although our cocktails were delicious, the service was a little off. I blame the kid behind the bar, and The Mirage itself equally.
Waiting a long time for the bartender to get to you is something we’ve all gotten used to. It’s all good because we realize that the bartender is busy selling, making, and serving drinks to a lot of folks. We know that the bartender is sharp. He knows exactly who arrived when, and will tend to us accordingly.
Except in this case.
This bartender meekly approached all three separate groups of thirsty, waiting patrons as one, with bewilderment in his eyes, and softly said,
“I don’t know who arrived first first, but….”
This gave the douche bag to my left, who arrived last, an opportunity to bark out his order before us polite people, who arrived minutes before him and his cheap date that he was making zero progress with, could wait for the bartender to finish speaking.
The douche bag who was to my left, had sat down about 7 minutes after Dax and I. The guy to the right of Dax, who arrived before Dax and I, had a look of pissed-off on his face when we rolled up. Apparently, he was steaming by the time the bartender got to him. Dax said he was kind of a jerk about it.
but I don’t blame the guy to the right of Dax for being hot. I have no idea how long he was there before Dax and I were, but it was at least 25 minutes before we had our cocktails.
On top of that, the bartender had to look in the menu to know what to put in the cocktails, (A-ha!) and he was all over the place gathering the ingredients. Fresh containers of apple juice and coconut water had to be opened because they weren’t prepped for service.
Our food truck bill was $21.50.
The Mirage opened in 1989. The average life-expectancy of a Las Vegas hotel on The Strip is about thirty years. At this rate, The Mirage will be a perfect candidate for implosion in seven years. That, or an enema.