Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Main Street Station, Las Vegas

My friends -- let's call them Mr. and Mrs. Dangerfield -- chose Feb. 29th for their marriage day, and chose Las Vegas as the venue for such a stunt. Actually, his parents live there, and Elvis did not officiate, so I shouldn't call it a stunt. It was a nice ceremony, and, having introduced the couple to begin with, I got the honor of being the best man.

I had not been to Las Vegas as an adult, so I was looking forward to a first visit, even though it would be a short one. According to Lee, it wasn't going to be much of a beer vacation, but because I made the idiotic mistake of staying downtown instead of on the strip, I actually stumbled upon one of the few brewpubs in town, the Main Street Station next door to my digs at the Plaza. So, even though I was staying in a fleabag hotel, permeated with the twin fragrances of vomit and cigarette smoke, I could still walk down Main Street for a fresh beer. Just like home!

My first night in town, I went over there about 3:30 AM, after dropping $100 on some, ahem, poker lessons at Binion's. Lucky for me, the Main Street casino doesn't have a poker room, but midnight to 7 AM is happy hour of sorts, with $1.50 pints. The picture above is of the tanks on display in the restaurant area. As you might expect with a tourist place, the beer wasn't adventurous, but it was drinkable, so I licked my wounds with a couple of pints of their winter warmer seasonal (not very warm, around 5%). Adding a big bowl of Chinese noodle soup from the breakfast menu brought my bill to a whopping $7.85. I think in Portland we'd probably call their winter warmer a red ale, it had that reddish-malt look and taste to it.

The regular beers on the list are a pale ale, a porter, a "red lager", and a golden. My beer snobbery got in the way of trying the latter two, but I did check out the pale ale and the porter the next night as I dabbled at $5 blackjack. Like the winter warmer, these were tame but drinkable, especially the porter. The other casinos I sat down in -- on the strip and downtown -- didn't seem to offer any beer better than Heineken, so Main Street is guaranteed at least some of my gambling losses next time I'm in Vegas.

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