Thursday, February 1, 2018

Robert Irvine's Public House - Royal Flusher Restaurant Review

Is the food at Robert Irvine's Public House as good as his arms are big?

For more than a year before it opened, the arrival of Robert Irvine's new restaurant was proudly advertised (featuring massive reproductions of his proudly massive forearms) on the sides of the hotel towers of the Tropicana Las Vegas as a coming attraction. In summer 2017, Robert Irvine's Public House opened.

The renovation was extensive, and came at the expense of the Trop's old sports book. Additional space was added in what turned out to be quite a serious undertaking - Public House is huge at 9,000 square feet and 275 seats. They feature

I stopped in for an impromptu dinner to try what is billed as "comfort food with a celebrity twist'.

It's a shame that I do try to protect my anonymity - staff don't know that I'm an annoyingly thorough and savvy foodietective, using my finely-honed foodie skills to test, probe, and evaluate every aspect of the restaurant.

They just know that I'm annoying. And that I take a lot of pictures of my food.

I stepped up to the podium and was assured that I could be seated in just a couple of minutes. I took the time to ask a few questions.

"Is Robert Irvine a celebrity chef?"

She smiled a little nervously and said, "Umm, yes. Yes he is."

"Why is he famous? What makes him a celebrity?"

She smiled even more nervously, the kind of smile you smile when you are being asked annoying questions by an annoying man.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Rarest Vintage Vinyl LP Records You've Never Seen

Vinyl long playing records have long been serving up something very, very, special.
Big Salami Johnson vintage blues vinyl lp record art detail
This Big Salami Johnson release, Ham in the Can, features classic neo-modern-post-classic gumshoe-novel style graphics by the renowned supermarket flyer artist Sylvester 'Sketch' McDoodle.
And the resurgence of interest in vinyl in today's always-on right now digital age testifies to this. People relate to the imperfection of them, I suppose, as an antidote to the auto-tuned sterility of modern recordings.

Whether it's the welcoming low pitched rumble when the needle hits the groove, the occasional pop of dust or click of a scratch, listening to the warm sounds of music coming from vinyl is akin to staring into the flickering random flames of the tribal fire.

With James Brown dancing around it, I suppose, if you are extremely lucky.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hiking Red Rock Canyon's Keystone Thrust Trail - Part 2

Part 2 of Royal Flusher's Keystone Thrust hike pictorial, continued from Part 1.
The Keystone Thrust. You are seeing how the colored sandstone layer has been sublimated under the gray granite in a tectonic clash of epic proportions. Like, millions of years epic.

Close up of the thrust. The trail turns east here and drops down. Bear in mind that you'll have to come up again.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Hiking Red Rock Canyon's Keystone Thrust Trail - Part 1

The Keystone Thrust trail in Nevada's Red Rock Canyon conservation area, just outside Las Vegas, is shown on maps as short hike (around 2 hours) of moderate difficulty. The elevation change is shown as 500 feet, but add some feet if you hike from the first parking lot to the second one at the trail head, about a mile up a gravel road. The elevation change is surprisingly challenging, but the trip is well worth it for the views, and for the geology lesson.

The Keystone Thrust is a fault formed by tectonic plate movement - the older gray granite plate has gotten shoved overtop the younger yellow and red sandstone rock layers. Weather has done the rest of the work to make these fascinating formations.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pinball Hall of Fame Las Vegas

There is something magical about pinball. The flashing lights. The seductive themes and gaudy alluring carnival-style artwork. The ever present challenge - can you beat the machine? You feed a quarter in and the machine springs to life with the clatter of resetting counters and ringing chimes. The first silver ball is slammed into the chute with a loud 'whock'. You pull back on the spring-loaded plunger, and it's just you, the game, and gravity, suspended in a fast-paced world of sound, motion and lights for as long as you can keep that ball out of the gutter.

This wonderful device has been around for decades, and hearing those chimes and banging those flippers instantly brings you back to younger more carefree days.

The Pinball Hall of Fame is a living museum devoted to pinball and all kinds of other coin-op arcade games. The best part? You can play all of them. But even if you don't want to partake, coin-op arcade games are a feast for the eyes.