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Magnolia’s Veranda

Even though I'm not crazy about gambling or prime rib, I have developed a bit of an obsession with downtown Las Vegas's Four Queens, the only casino where I ever win anything, which I attribute to my long-gone great grandmother, and the cheap meat meal deals advertised all along Freemont Street. If you dine at Magnolia's Veranda, both can be experienced at the same time.

Magnolia's prime rib

From 4pm to midnight, you can get a slab of meat, complete with baked potato and steamed carrots. No, the prime rib doesn't really taste like much of anything (that's what the gravy or jus, whatever, is for) and it's a little gristly. I only had two bites anyway. We were too late our first Friday in town (thanks to an asshole who got into a fight with the flight attendants just as we were about to take off from JFK and had to return to the gate and get security to boot him off and retrieve his luggage from the hull, which wasted an hour) to make the midnight cutoff, and on New Year's Day we were too early at 2pm and drove to get a Double-Double and animal-style fries to hold us over until 4:30pm when a line (!) had formed up the carpeted stairs of Magnolia's Veranda (there were plenty of seats; they were just understaffed).

Magnolia's salad

First you get a salad, though.

Magnolia's shrimp cocktail

Shrimp cocktail and a $4 mini bottle of Gallo merlot exemplifies the Four Queens ethos. Risky maybe, but the iceburg lettuce and chilled shrimp in a glass parfait was one of the only non-carby thing on the menu, and I was trying to save my appetite for dinner, three-and-a-half hours away at Lotus of Siam where my $116 in Caveman Keno winnings were well-spent. 

Magnolia's interior

I would only recommend Magnolia's Veranda for hardcore old Vegas enthusiasts.

Magnolia's entrance

To the left of the entrance and downstairs is Hugo's Cellar, a not inexpensive restaurant that has not seen a remodel since the day it opened–the video says it all (click into dining). I really wanted to go experience the tableside Caesar salad, flambéed desserts, and free red rose for the ladies, but with limited time in town ended up doing the early bird $69 prix fixe at Jean Georges Steakhouse in modern, tastefully flashy Vegas, where you still end up spending more than $200 when you add in a side and wine pairings (though not a bad deal). I wondered what the difference would be between the upstairs prime rib at Magnolia's  and Hugo's $42 version.

Magnolia's Veranda * Four Queens Casino, 202 Fremont St., Las Vegas, NV


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