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June 03, 1999
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Gold Coast Mike's

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Gold Coast Mike’s

I recently set out on a personal trek, and one asked for by Las Vegas Life magazine, to find the best hamburgers in town. You can read all about my quest next month, but for now, I’ll give you the heads up by starting with one of the worst—which amazingly used to be one of the best. I’ll even give you some of you a hint: what’s the last place in Vegas you’d expect a restaurant critic like me to be snooping around in???? If you said the Gold Coast Casino you obviously know me or I’m being even more snobbish in these weekly diatribes than I thought I was. Normally, you couldn’t get me in the grease—er excuse me—the Gold Coast with a shoehorn and a wad of fifties. The movie theater is the only reason anyone with a brain, or a taste bud, would get within a mile of the place, but so highly recommended came the burgers that I ignored the smoky din and the hoi polloi as I stumbled to a far corner where the smell of beef fat was unmistakable. It didn’t help matters that some sort of rockabilly convention was going on and I was constantly surrounded by punk rockers going greaseball. It was like a tattoo and pomade asylum had just been emptied, and believe me, it wasn’t a pretty sight.

If you think food writing is all champagne and caviar, just try taking notes about the world’s soggiest one-half pound burger as it completely destroys an over-matched bun while you’re being stared at by women who resemble Sandra Dee crossed with Courtney Love and men who appear to have been cloned from an Andrew Dice Clay/Dennis Rodman gene pool. While everyone else was comparing nose rings and pompadours, I was left deciphering a semi-viscous/flavorless mess they called a cheese sauce. Somewhere around my third attempt to hoist burger to mouth, both bun and sauce fused into a liquefying coagulation of stupefying messiness. None of which would’ve mattered if any of the ingredients had tasted like anything. Only the very cool photos on the walls of Vegas casinos in the forties and fifties, kept the meal from being a total disaster. So the night wasn’t a total loss, taste wise anyway, but I don’t think Frankie and Annette or Sid and Nancy ever really noticed.

This is John Curtas.

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Archives

Nov 24, 2010 | Thanksgiving 2010 - Another Beanie Reveal
John Curtas delves into family history to discover the real story behind Grandma Schroader's Sour Beans.

Nov 19, 2009 | Valentino -- You don't know the truffles I've seen
According to Food Critic John Curtas, no other Italian restaurant in Las Vegas has performed at such a high level for so long.

Oct 1, 2009 | Blow It Up
In at least one part of town, our dining critic John Curtas says the food used to be a lot better.

Sep 25, 2009 | Social Media Meltdown
For our dining critic, John Curtas, social media has started to intrude on dining out.

Sep 2, 2009 | Discovering LOS ANTOJOS
Our dining critic John Curtas finds a new affordable favorite.

Aug 20, 2009 | Chinois R.I.P.
For John Curtas the recent closing of Wolfgang Puck's first Las Vegas restaurant brings back memories.

Aug 3, 2009 | Food, Inc.
John Curtas turns movie reviewer today - but the subject is in his usual area of expertise. Hear his review of "Food, Inc."

Jul 16, 2009 | The Steak That Saved Las Vegas
Dining critic John Curtas finds some steak aged for EIGHT MONTHS and he tells us how it tastes.

Jul 2, 2009 | Bang for Your Buck
Everyone's food budget is tighter these days. But if you still want to dine out now and then, our dining critic John Curtas has a few tips on restaurants now giving you more bang for your buck.

Jun 19, 2009 | Whassup with Wazuzu
Explore Dining Critic John Curtas' love/hate relationship with Wazuzu. If you want to spice up your dinner go for at least a "4 or 5."

Jun 12, 2009 | Two Farmer's Markets
Fresh, locally produced food has become a big trend across the U.S. Our food critic, John Curtas, says there's more of this trend in Las Vegas than you might think.

Jun 4, 2009 | MandM Soul Food
John Curtas tells us about one of his favorite dining spots - a surpsingly affordable one.

May 28, 2009 | Checkpoint Charlie
While fine dining has seen a downturn in Las Vegas in recent months, our dining critic John Curtas says at least one dining legend intends to stay put. Charlie Trotter is standing pat in Las Vegas. John Curtas reviews Resturant Charlie.

May 8, 2009 | Food Festival Frenzy!
It's a time of many food festivals in Las Vegas. John Curtas has an overview.

May 5, 2009 | Peppermill Coffee Shop and Fireside Lounge
A landmark Las Vegas restaurant gets a visit from John Curtas. He takes you to the Peppermill.

Apr 23, 2009 | Thai Me Up Thai Me Down
Thai cuisine is starting to show up in more places in Las Vegas. John Curtas has some recommendations

Apr 9, 2009 | A Gourmet Corner - In Spring Valley?
Food Critic John Curtas takes a trip to the strangest gourmet corner in town.

Apr 2, 2009 | Pip's is a Pip
If you're looking for good dining near Aliante, our dining critic, John Curtas, has found a new place to go.

Mar 26, 2009 | Stripped to Its Bare Essentials
Dining on steak at Planet Hollywood! John Curtas takes you along.

Mar 19, 2009 | Hachi is absolutely amazing!
John Curtas has a find - a Japanese-fusion restaurant on the west edge of the city.

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