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March 11, 1999


Coyote Café

Location, location, location, that’s what all real estate people harp on. You can’t be a success without it they say, and I guess it’s a good mantra for restaurants to chant. Unfortunately, it’s not always a formula for customers, and even when it is, you can often find one restaurant’s address for success to be an aesthetic nightmare.

Case in point: Andre’s, our subject last week, couldn’t have a worse location. But, despite numerous handicaps that would put a dozen lesser places out of business, Andre’s has thrived by pairing good food with a comfortable and cozy atmosphere and by going out of its way to cultivate a loyal local clientele. Andre’s customers have bravely endured the slings and arrows and crime and ugliness of downtown Vegas to eat good food in a beautiful setting for over twenty years.

On the other hand, and I mean waay on the other hand, you have one of my favorite places in the world, that is in a location so ugly and inaccessible that I almost never go there, but if I had to pick one restaurant to eat in every night of the week, no doubt about it, the Coyote Café would be it. What Mark Miller and Executive Chef Tommy Birdwell turn out every night there, combining the ethereal textures and flavors of the American southwest is nothing short of magical—which is a good thing because that magic quickly disappears when you contemplate the hike you must take through the MGM to get to all their fabulous food, and don’t even get me started on the valet parking at the MGM. But I gladly endure the world’s most dreadful casino (occasionally anyway) for the exotic chilis and spices woven by the Coyote Café into some of the most interesting food to be found anywhere. So, I guess location counts for a lot in restaurants, except of course when it doesn’t.

Coyote Café is located inside the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 736-1485.

This is John Curtas.

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