Laughlin Buzz

Dec 28, 2012

What happened to the Train at the Tropicana?

Laughlin, Nevada
Tropicana Laughlin

RR Crossing Sign by the Tropicana in Laughlin - 2012

Over the past year we have had several people ask us about the train at the Tropicana in Laughlin, Nevada.

We learned that in the spring of 2012 had been donated to the Las Vegas Railroad Society (Pictures).  


Click here for pictures of the Train as it was moved from the Tropicana in Laughlin in 2012


source:  Las Vegas Railroad Society


Read about the donation here from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.


Here are some videos from YouTube of the Tropicana Train in operation before it was moved:












Train Memorabilia - Picture source: http://www.lasvegasrailroadsociety.org/Tropicana_Donation_2014.php

2014

In 2014 the Tropicana Laughlin donated indoor and outdoor railroad memorabilia from their property to the Las Vegas Railroad Society   See more pictures of this donation here.






Pictures of the Tropicana Train in Operation

Train outside the Tropicana Laughlin


Above photos source:


Train at the Tropicana in Laughlin

Photo Source:
This image was originally posted to Flickr by Rennett Stowe at http://flickr.com/photos/10393601@N08/2545560836



 


Perhaps in the near future visitors will be able to see or ride the old Ramada/Tropicana Express Train once again thanks to the donation of the Tropicana and the efforts of the Las Vegas Railroad Society.



If you had the opportunity to see or ride the train please share in the comments below.   If you have pictures you would like to share, feel free to contact us.  We would love to see them.



For more updates on what is going on in Laughlin, NV visit our main page at




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All pictures are credit as indicated, if we are missing one please do not hesitate to contact us for proper attribution.  Information and pictures are present for information and entertainment only. 

Dec 1, 2012

Passaggio at the Tropicana Express Casino in Laughlin, NV


Passaggio Italian Gardens - Restaurant Review

Location:  Tropicana Express Casino in Laughlin Nevada
Date: A Monday at the end of November 2012

Stopped in the Tropicana to grab dinner one Monday evening.  The Steakhouse (a favorite of ours) isn't open on Monday, we didn't feel like a Buffet or Carnegie's dining car so we decided to give Passaggio another shot*.  After the last experience we hadn't been back.  For the value of just $6.99 for the Bottomless Pasta bowl plus soup, salad bar, and bread sticks we thought it was worth trying again.  

The experience didn't start off wonderfully.  The restaurant was only half full yet the hostess told us "the next seating was at 6" so it would be 15-20 minutes wait. 

Next seating?  What was this a pre-dinner fixed course chef presentation?  Seemed like there were an awful lot of seats available. 

We stepped back and were discussing going somewhere else or going play a machine or get a drink.  A few minutes later another couple approached the hostess.  She noticed we were still in the hallway so then she waved us over and said she could seat us now and took us in before them.  Then she got them a table.  

Once seated a server dropped off the menus and a basket of the bread sticks.  The sticks are fresh, hot and very delicious.  They will also fill you up fast.   He asked if we wanted anything to drink and we said we were going to order a carafe of the wine (a special).  He said he would bring us water and our server would be right with us to get that.   This is something that occurs from time to time in the restaurants in Laughlin, we assume because certain staff members can't serve the alcohol.  It is still a minor annoyance.   Twice our real waiter passed by the table and assured us he would be right with us.  The place wasn't real busy but he apparently was.  After about 10 minutes he finally came to the table apologizing to take our drink order.  We had both long before decided to go with the special, $6.99 bottomless pasta bowl.  In fact, by the time he had come we had discussed the various options with a couple at the table across from us who recommended what sauce was good.  

  


We did order a carafe of the wine (a full carafe for $9).  This is a very good deal, though if memory serves us right a year ago when we visited it was just $7.   They also have a Sangria Tower special for $15.  One of us ordered the Rigatoni with the Bolognese sauce, and the other one got the Linguine with the Creamy Basil. 

The soups were good.  The minestrone was fine, the other option the Italian Wedding Soup (as we call it) was very good, much better than the last time we had visited.  Perhaps a couple more mini-meatballs in it would be nice, we only found 1.   Soup spoons were in short supply apparently.  There are two soup stations up by the salad bar where you serve yourself.  So two baskets of soup spoons were there, yet only 1 spoon.  We patiently waited for our server to come back by or someone to refill the soup spoon baskets.  Finally after far too long he did and we got another second spoon.



The salad bar was small but fresh and good as well.  We had finished our soup and salad when our server appeared again and asked what kind of pasta we wanted with the Bolognese sauce.  Hadn't he written it down with the order, which should of already been put in?  

A new couple came and sat at the table across from us as we had finished our salads.  They were waited on promptly and ordered.   It took nearly 15 minutes after he had cleared our salad plates for him to bring out the pasta.  In fact, he came with a tray that included the other couples order as well.  So even though we had been seated way before them our orders came out at the same time.  It was only after he had left we noticed that the Creamy Basil was on Rigatoni just as the Bolognese was.  It should of been on Linguine.   Not wanting to even wait for him to come by again we just ate it as is.
The Bolognese was ok for one of us when crushed red pepper and Parmesan was added. The other one of us didn't like it at all.  It was declared to have a burnt taste.   Both of us thought the Creamy Basil was good, even though it was on the wrong pasta.   Our server never did come by to ask how we were doing.

Service at Passaggio is very slow and spotty.  In fact, from our table we saw another couple waiting at the hostess stand to be seated for a long time (no hostess).  Finally the man called out to the waiter and asked if anyone could seat them.  So the waiter grabbed menus and sat them at a table.   The table across from us with 6 people waited forever for their server to come and take their order (apologizing as well).  We were very filled up from the one bowl of pasta, the bread sticks and the soup/salad so did not even want more pasta (bottomless).  They give you a good size portion in one bowl.    For two meals, the carafe of wine, tax and tip we got out of there for under 30 dollars.     

The bottomless pasta bowl is $9.99 without the players card so go grab one for free if you don't have one.     According to their website at the end of November 2012 this special is offered for just $6.99 Sunday - Tuesday with your Trop Advantage Card.

The bottomless pasta bowl is an excellent value and we were satisfied with the food, though not the service. What is a nice little spot for a very inexpensive dinner is slightly marred by the lack of attentiveness by the staff.

We skipped dessert this time as we had filled up on the food and wine.
*We had visited Passaggio only one other time in the past, over a year ago.  It wasn't great so we hadn't gone back.   This time the food was good and most likely it won't be a year before we go back again. 

The pizza's looked delicious (several tables were ordering them) and would be good to get with a carafe and bread sticks. 

They have a wide variety of other Italian style dishes on the menu as well.  They also offer a Twin Lobster Tail dinner in Passaggio for just $19.99 with your Trop Advantage Card.  Available Monday & Tuesday only.  Again, check ahead before you go with any of the specials as they are subject to change.

According to their website Passaggio is open:
Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Closed Wednesday and Thursday
Be sure to check ahead if you plan to go as this is subject to change.

Reservations: (888) 888-8695 x 6379

Come see more at  http://www.laughlinbuzz.com

Send us your review if you have dined at Passaggio and would like to share your experience.




Nov 25, 2012

Chinese at the Red Dragon in Bullhead City, Arizona

One can't get Chinese food in Laughlin unless you go to Panda Express in the Aquarius Casino.  One night we decided to venture across the bridge through Bullhead City and into Fort Mohave and try the Red Dragon.  This is a small place just off of hwy. 95.   We had heard good things about it so decided to give it a try. 

The place was busy (with many people getting take out) but we were seated right away. Small, simple place with booths and tables in two rooms. Prices seemed very good, especially given even how much a two entree at Panda Express (fast food, "gourmet" Chinese food) costs.

Prior to taking our order the waitress put out the free bowl of crispy wonton type strips with a hot mustard sauce and red sweet/sour sauce. Very good.

We had the crab rangoons. Very good, creamy and you can taste the crab. A good portion of 8 rangoons. We also ordered the Dashew chicken and Generals chicken. We asked if we could have noodles or low mien instead of the rice (white or brown fried) that comes with them and were told no substitutions. Not even for an upcharge, which we would of been ok with. Had to order a separate order of low mien.

The Generals chicken was delicious with a hearty sauce and lots of it. A bit of a bite, which we liked. A generous portion as well.

The Cashew Chicken disappointed, less chicken and cashews and more celery and chopped up water chestnut. Sauce was not even very good.

The low mien also was slightly disappointing, noodles too mushy and not very flavorful.

The staff was excellent even though the service of the food itself was slow. Speed of the meals coming out was slow, in fact our waitress brought out the orders in stages spaced like 5 minutes apart. Guess they were busy, but still shouldn't of happened.

The value was good here, we loved the one dish. With so many items to choose you could probably find other favorites on the menu at good prices. We will most likely come back again but avoid the noodles and the cashew chicken. Or get takeout.

As a bonus one of our fortune cookies had two fortunes, how is that for good luck?!

Better than China Buffet and Panda Express (also in Bullhead City) for quality.

For more reviews and updates be sure to visit  www.laughlinbuzz.com

Send us your reviews of Red Dragon if you have tried it or give it a try.  We would love to hear them.

It is located at:
Red Dragon Chinese Cuisine
4360 S Highway 95
Fort Mohave, AZ 86426-9254

Nov 12, 2012

Lee Greenwood at the Laughlin Veterans Festival


On Sunday, 11-11-12

Lee Greenwood was performing at Harrah's and dropped by the Laughlin Veterans Festival to sing God Bless the USA. A friend  just happened to be passing by when he performed. 

*Sound quality is slightly diminished due to the wind.

Lee Greenwood on Stage
 
Video - God Bless The USA
 
 
Come over to
 

LaughlinBuzz.Com

 
for more news, updates, reviews and pictures from Laughlin, Nevada

Veterans Day in Laughlin, NV

Lee Greenwood Performed God Bless America on Sunday in Laughlin
Veterans Festival

 



Veterans Day Ceremony in Laughlin on Sunday, 11-11-12 at 11am.

 
 


 

 
Avenue of the Flags by the Riverside Casino in Laughlin, NV


Photos of the Events and Ceremonies



 




 
Food, Fun, Motorcycles and Music



 
Clips from the Entertainment at the Laughlin Veterans Festival
 
 


Nov 11, 2012

Saiman Soup and a Burger - Lunch at Cafe Aquarius in Laughlin

Restaurant and Lunch Review


Aquarius Resort and Casino


 









Cafe Aquarius  - located inside the Aquarius Resort and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada

Date of visit:   October 2012








Two of us stopped by Cafe Aquarius for a early lunch.   One of us got the standard, plain, hamburger with fries.  Cafe Aquarius has very good burgers.  They are at least 1/3 of a lb, good quality, never dry, and served on a grilled, fresh bun.  The side of fries comes, like many of their side items, come in a metal basket.  They were cooked nicely, crispy and delicious.  Use of the metal baskets gives the meal a nice diner touch and presentation.


Our second order was for the "Sign of the Zodiac" soup.  Perhaps you are like us and had never heard of it.  We noticed it on the menu and saw several other people in our section were enjoying this soup.  Our server told us it was very popular and said she personally loved it.

Sign of the Zodiac is the Cafe Aquarius version of Saiman Soup.

Saiman soup is sometimes called the national dish of Hawaii.   According to Wikipedia:
Saimin is a noodle soup dish unique to Hawaii. Inspired by Japanese udon, Chinese mein, and Filipino pancit, saimin was developed during Hawaii's plantation era. It is a soup dish of soft wheat egg noodles served in hot dashi garnished with green onions. Kamaboko, char siu, sliced Spam, linguiƧa, and nori may be added, among other additions.



This is not a side, small bowl of soup, it is designed to be a meal.  It contained Chicken, Pork, Shrimp, Scallops and Saimin noodles in a very flavorful broth.   The larger bowl was even hard to finish and was very filling.  The seafood and other ingredients in the dish were cooked perfectly and very fresh.  If you love this sort of soup or are in the mood for something different, we highly recommend you give this one a try.   At $9.99 is a good value.


As usual we enjoyed a inexpensive lunch at Cafe Aquarius.  Staff is very friendly, especially at checkout.  Service was good, though a little bit slow.  It was busy so that's somewhat to be expected.  Both meals plus soft drinks brought our tab around 25 dollars, not bad for a good quality lunch.   Cafe Aquarius does give a 10 percent discount for the AcePlay Players card and will accept points/comps as payment. 

Visit our website at  http://www.laughlinbuzz.com  for more updates, reviews, and news about Laughlin.   Or follow us on Twitter at:
http://www.twitter.com/laughlinbuzz

If you tried Cafe Aquarius and would like to share your thoughts or review your meal, drop us a line at laughlinbuzz@gmail.com    We would love to hear from you.




Nov 9, 2012

Burger Wednesday at Daniels Restaurant - Regency Casino

Jalapeno Burger

Every Wednesday they have a great special at Daniels Restaurant in the Regency Casino in Laughlin, NV.   Burger Wednesday is 2 for 1 burgers (or 1/2 off).  You do not have to buy 2 burgers to get 1/2 off.  Many locals and visitors say these are among the best burgers in the area.  Without a doubt, using this special they are one of the best values you can get.  After our own visit and another by a friend we have to agree their burgers are very good.

Daniels is located in the Regency Casino, which is the smallest one on Casino Drive.  The restaurant itself is in the corner of the Casino and has become a local favorite due to their great prices and good food.  Decor is just basic tables and booths.  There is a good view of the River and mountains at the back of the restaurant.  Staff is very friendly and prompt.  Service was fast despite the place being 3/4 full on both visits reviewed.



They have a large selection of burgers (over 15 options at last check) ranging from the Basic Burger to Jalapeno Burger to the Popeye Burger.  Just about anything you can imagine can come on your burger.


Mushroom Swiss Burger


Here is a link to the menu
http://hoppyshirts.com/daniels/images/lunchdinnerPDF.pdf
It is a large pdf so might load slowly.

Being a bit traditional one of us ordered just the Basic Burger (not even any cheese).  This is a great way to get the taste of how good the beef is.   We also tried the Jalapeno burger.  Both were delicious and come with a side of fries.  (You can upgrade from regular fries to other options for a small nominal charge).   The burgers are about a quarter pound on a nice fresh bun.  They seem a bit smaller than what you get at some of the other local places.  However, in our opinion they were just the right size.  The side of fries is a reasonable portion too, not like the huge heaping plate full you get at some places.  It's unusual but refreshing to see reasonable size portions.  Even though we loved the Jalapeno Burger if we had to choose between the two our favorite was the regular Burger.   Based on our recommendations our friends went and tried the Basic Burger and the Mushroom Swiss Burger.  They raved about both of them, but said the Mushroom Swiss was their favorite.  It had an abundance of good, fresh mushrooms and they said it was much juicier (and bigger) than the regular burger.  One of them also upgraded to the sweet potato fries which were deemed good.   Beer and drinks are also very reasonably priced and they have many specials and happy hours going on as well. 

Regular Burger was $4.50, Jalapeno Burger and Mushroom Swiss were $4.99 at the 1/2 off price. There was a 50 cent up charge from regular fries to Sweet Potato. 

A pint of Newcastle Brown even came in at just $3.50, a good price.  A bottle of Stella is $3.75, while a bottle of Michelob Ultra was $3.25.  There are other great beer prices during their happy hours and specials as well.

For a good burger with couple of beers on Burger Wednesday you can get in and out for under $20 for two people.  Even cheaper if you don't have an alcoholic beverage.  That's a great deal. 

Daniel's restaurant also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday.
Tuesday is Taco Tuesday
Wednesday is 2 for 1 Burgers all day, not just limited hours.
On Friday's there is an all you can eat fish fry from 3-10 pm.
Prime Rib is served Thursday through Sunday after 4pm.

Breakfast specials (by the sign we saw) looked good too.



Moolah
 
You can access Daniels from the Riverwalk (just about 300 steps from the Aquarius Casino) or from Casino Drive between the Edgewater and Aquarius.  It's smaller and set back from the road, lots of parking.  Be sure you pat the lucky cow going in or out if you are going to try your luck on the machines!  


Regency Sign on Casino Drive
Note:  Apparently at one time the Restaurant was called the Tropical Cow but is now Daniels.

Riverwalk Entrance to the Regency


As far as we know they do not offer a players card or other discounts.

We highly recommend you try the burgers and will share other reviews on other items soon.  The jury is still out if this is the best burger in the area but we know it ranks up there near the top.

If you try Daniels let us know what you think or what your favorite burger was!
Contact us at  http://www.laughlinbuzz.com   or send us a tweet at http://www.twitter.com/laughlinbuzz




Nov 4, 2012

Riverside Casino Sunday Brunch - Laughin, NV

The Riverside Casino has a wide variety on their Buffet, including different themes every night. 
Riverside Buffet

They also have a very good Sunday Brunch.

Themes of the Riverside Buffet
The space for the Buffet/Brunch is like much of the other areas of the Riverside.  A bit of a throwback to another era.  Older, simple tables and seating, plain and unassuming.  There is a good view of the Colorado River. 

Sunday brunch is from 7am-2:30pm.  It starts earlier than most of the other Sunday brunches in Laughlin.  Included are traditional breakfast items and main entrees.  Unlimited Champagne is also included. 

We went early one Sunday so focused mostly on the Breakfast items.  They have a nice Belgian Waffle station, which was good.  The other breakfast items were fresh and well prepared. We only sampled a few of the entrees but what we tried was good.    Unlike some of the other buffets we have tried in Laughlin, they kept the items restocked and nothing looked like it had sat out too long.   If you like Bread Pudding they had a really good one on the buffet. The only part that was lacking a bit was the desert section which consisted mostly of donuts, a few pastries and an ice cream machine.  It probably was worst dessert section we have seen at a Buffet in Laughlin. 

The brunch was moderately busy when we got there, and traffic picked up by the time we left.  There was even a brief line to get to some of the items.  Apparently they get a lot of guests because when you first go in there is a long winding velvet rope maze to go through to check in. 

At $13.99 the Champage Brunch is a good value.  Using our comps on the players card it was even better -- FREE.  Even if we had paid full price it would of been a good value.  As usual we ordered Orange Juice and made our own Mimosa with the unlimited champagne.  The champagne was served in the little plastic glasses like you can buy in the dollar store for New Years Eve, it would of been much nicer if they actually gave a wine or champagne glass.  In our opinion this would of been a good touch and just make the champagne brunch concept a bit nicer.  On a more positive note they do come to the table with the bottle and fill your glass as much as you want.  Unlike the Aquarius Champagne brunch, where you get two glasses but have to go up to the little bar to get them.  
We would of probably hung around longer at brunch but the place did get a bit busy and loud so we headed out to recoup some of our spent comps. 

As long as you aren't looking for a fancy or relaxing atmosphere (or a dessert fanatic) we recommend the brunch as a good choice.  

Share your experiences with us by visiting  http://www.laughlinbuzz.com

or Tweet us at http://www.twitter.com/laughlinbuzz




2012 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Laughlin, Nevada

Hard to believe it is already almost Thanksgiving. 

The Laughlin Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd. 5 p.m.

Location:   Mountain View Park in Laughlin

Mountain View Park is located just off of Needles Hwy in Laughlin

In addition to the traditional lighting of the tree, the festivities will include a Christmas reading by students from Bennett Elementary, and a performance by the school choir.

Of course, you can also get your picture taken with Santa.

Visit  http://www.laughlinbuzz.com   for more updates as the event gets nearer. 



Nov 1, 2012

Harlows "Deuce" Breakfast - Another Review

Based on our recommendation about the Special "4 Deuces" breakfast available at Harlows restaurant in the Golden Nugget, Laughlin, we received this review from a trusted source who tried it.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This was our first visit to Harlows.  The restaurant itself is a standard coffee shop type diner you will find in just about any casino.  We went specifically to try the 4 Deuces breakfast and arrived just after 7am, so the special was priced at $1.99.  We didn't see any sign or notice that the special was still on-going.  Our waiter, Mel, greeted us warmly and dropped off menus and took our order for coffee and water. He came back promptly with the coffee (only) and asked what we wanted to order.  No mention was made of the special.  Had we not read about it on the Laughlin Buzz blog we would not of known about it.  We asked him and he said yes, it was available.  My friend ordered a side order of Hash Browns as well (for us to split). 

The food came out within a few minutes.  Mel quickly dropped the plates off on our table and scooted away.  Minus the Hashbrowns.  We waited for him to come by again and check on us to remind him, but it was a long time before he went past us to change channels on one of the TV's overlooking the dining area.  By this time we were halfway done with breakfast and decided we would just have the item removed from the bill rather than ask him for it.  Everything was good, except the sausage patties were only bordering on cold.  They were fully cooked, just cool.  Mel didn't even come by our table to check on us when he came past our table with a pot of coffee.  He filled the cups of coffee at tables on both sides of us but didn't stop at ours.  The other two tables were not even his, as other servers had waited on them.  The restaurant was only half full and certainly not busy.  There was no sugar in the holder and no Ketchup on our table.  I had to get up and get some off another empty table.  Plus I wanted hot sauce but Mel was a no-show to request it from.  My friend was now irritated and wondered why the poor service. Was it because we asked for the $1.99 special? This seemed unlikely but possible.   He hurried past as at least twice more before stopping to clear our plates.  It was only at that time he asked if we would like more coffee.  We were done so declined and left.  With tax our tab (2 people) was under $10.  No hashbrowns. The coffee cost more than the $1.99 breakfast.   The breakfast was a great value.  The service left a bad impression.  

Then as we were waiting to pay there were two other incidents that occurred with two other guests at the cashier, that didn't help with our experience.  We had to wait and witness the scene after the manager finally came out.  Let's just say that the staff and management of Harlows, The Golden Nugget, and Landrys (owners) might possibly want to work on some customer service skills to ensure their guests have an enjoyable experience from sit down to check out.  We may or may not try it again.  For just a few more dollars elsewhere we can probably get a better breakfast and certainly a better atmosphere and service.
~~~~~~~~~~~

In another blog post soon we will share the other comments from this guest about what happened as they tried to pay their bill.

 See our other more positive review about the 4 Dueces special and Harlows here.

If you have tried Harlows or any of the other restaurants in the Golden Nugget in Laughlin, NV and would like to share them with us, contact us at http://www.laughlinbuzz.com 

We would love to hear from you.   Or send us a tweet at  http://www.twitter.com/laughlinbuzz

.




Oct 31, 2012

Halloween in Laughlin, Nevada

Safe trick or treating (ages 13 and under) going on between the Colorado Belle and Edgewater Casino in Laughlin on October 31st 5-8PM.  

They were setting up an elaborate display on October 30th and it looks like it will include the outdoor displays, booths, monsters and other Halloween decorations.

They will be handing out candy along the Riverwalk to children ages 13 and under (accompanied by Adult).   Admission is free.







 For more on the events going on visit  http://www.laughlinbuzz.com



 
Even Moolah, the cow at the Regency Casino got involved and wore a costume.
 


 
Capn Crunch Pumpkin Carving by Kristin
 

Happy Halloween!  Have Fun, Be Safe!