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Belated trip report...

 
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stan_allen



Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 1128

PostPosted: Mar Wed 08, 2017 5:26 pm    Post subject: Belated trip report... Reply with quote

With all that anticipation, how could a trip or a trip report possibly live up to expectations?

Answer: it can't, so this will have to do instead.

My slovenliness in getting to this is blamed on switching jobs, which, as we all know, is a pain. The last two months have been, shall we say, overly eventful...but enough of that! Here's what I can recall:

Left from the SF bay area the day before the Super Bowl for the always-scenic drive to Reno over the Sierras...forecast called for rain and snow, so it was delightful to finally be in a vehicle with all-wheel drive and proper mud-'n-snow tires.

As it turned out, there wasn't all that much weather to be concerned with; the dreaded deluge never materialized, and there were no chain controls. We left early in the day, so it was a drive of delightful scenery, and we arrived at the El Dorado well in keeping with my anticipated arrival time.

What was different? It had been a while! Well, the "Treasures of the Sierra Madre" or whatever it was, as I think was mentioned on this board, was finally gone with the wind - there was something or other in its place, but my card didn't work at all; it seemed that it was time for a total renewal. Nothing much came of that, and anyway, it was time to venture out to Reno's most exciting and beloved institution...no, not Shooters!...Cal-Neva! And Cal-Neva's distinct character remains solidly in place: it still smells like worn-out-its-welcome air freshener, and it's full of shifty and questionable patrons - the good times just never end here!

But this was basically a Blackjack trip, and on this session, I crapped out. My fifty bucks went pretty much straight down the toilet. Well, that's the way it goes! But I sure had fun...I even got Mrs. Allen to play a few hands - after a little up-and-down, she got a Blackjack, and called it quits, with something like ten dollars' profit - well, she certainly beat me out!

At one point, a couple of amateurs were on the table - not that I have anything against that; I was one myself, after all - but when the drinks gal came around and asked, "Cocktails?", this poor lad said, "Uh...how much do they cost?" Guess he hasn't spent much time in Nevada!

So after this rather lame session, we ventured back to the El Dorado, where we decided to partake of the buffet. I won't say it's the best I've ever had, but it's certainly far from the worst, and their gelato is supposedly made on-site...I stuffed myself full of prime rib and such, while the Mrs. got mileage on seafood, which she pronounced to be pretty good - as long as nothing's actually spoiled, I'll generally give high marks! But have you ever experienced how difficult it can be to get a decent serving of mussels? There constantly seems to be at least one that's gone rank...

Anyway, a little more walking around, and then some channel-flipping in the room closed out a pleasant day.

In the morning, we checked out - yes, this was indeed a quickie! - and headed down towards the Atlantis, where I made a pleasant discovery: they actually had three-dollar tables open on Super Bowl Sunday! Now, these were eight-deck shoes, so I'm sure that wouldn't do for you purists, but I was okay with it, especially since it wasn't one of those reduced-Blackjack-payoff games - so I finally got some decent action, and here's where the truly dramatic hand took place: No re-splitting restrictions (except, I think, no double *after* split), and I split a pair of 3s against a dealer low card, and was dealt another 3 to one of the hands, which I re-split, and then got *another* three, and re-split again...don't remember what totals I was standing on, but the dealer broke! That pretty much made it all worthwhile...walked away with a little profit that offset the previous night's loss...

We enjoyed a nice brunch, or whatever you might call it at the "Purple Parrot" - not a lot of changes here, but the wife definitely preferred the civilized facilities and patronage, compared to that of the Cal-Neva - can't say I blame her; the Cal-Neva's unique downscale-hipster vibe isn't for everyone!

So we got an early start for coming back, and there was indeed some snow falling by this time, but we had a smooth journey - and the best news is that we'll be going back for a belated-birthday trip!

So until next time, keep practicing those single-deck drills....
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spdmrcht



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 440

PostPosted: Mar Wed 08, 2017 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yah, CN is Groody, but it is cool, Diffidently not for the FuFu crowd. The
Food is good and plenty of it. and the Employees are Great. i always spend
a few hrs there every night were in reno, plus always breakfast at the top
deck Restaurant! Plus the slot or BJ tourn. when ever they have them.
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JD



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 915

PostPosted: Mar Wed 08, 2017 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too funny..
Q: "Cocktails?", this poor lad said, "Uh...how much do they cost?"

A: The first one is $ 250. After that, $ 60 each. Unless you have more than 10... then they give you a quantity discount.

And I love the Cal Neva. I even got a mailer with a couple of $ 30 Food Comps and some sports book spiffs from them. (card club must have discovered that no W-2G $ 1197 royal).

And the Friday night karaoke is so....so.... well, makes you feel so sober.
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alison



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1089

PostPosted: Mar Wed 08, 2017 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you had a nice trip. I was jistvtelling my friend yesterday that we must go in the Cal Neva. It looks like it would be a interesting place to hang out for sure. I know they advertise all these cheap meal specials. Have you tried any of the food there? So do you think the buffet is better than most the other casinos Buffet's? We are going in June and not staying at the Pep. It will be a whole new Reno experience for us. Lol.... Gonna mix it up. So when is the bday trip?
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JD



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 915

PostPosted: Mar Wed 08, 2017 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is NO barffet at the Cal Neva, Alison. But you will get hit up for change, cigarettes or a light nearby. Do not hesitate....walk on.

There's a couple of snack bars with samiches & such downstairs and a steak/pasta joint... but the best deal is at the "TOP DECK".... more of a coffee shop with a counter, which is where I hang out and get special treatment since Hector the lead is a member of my club.

They have a full menu...BUT their specials are THE DEAL...if you don't count the ambiance.

Breakfast: Steak n Eggs w/ hashbrowns $ 4.99
Lunch: (I forgot) 5.99
Dinner: Prime Rib w/ fries & salad or soup $ 6.99

My trip reports detail MY cheap ass technique. (get a card) Go to Sky way bar SLOW cocktails at machines...& play the game maker bartops. (this is a locals bar of hard core drinkers.... leave a buck or two tip and YOU will be the best customers there. I order a red wine and play long enough to order two or three (in a tall water glass) which I take into the Top Deck and sit at the counter (avoiding a $ 4 charge). THIS is where I hit the $ 1197 royal (JD the cheap ass).

If Hector spots me...I get a HUGE Prime Rib and he knows to come out to get his JD club cards from me. (waiter HATES this).

Walk on the wild side, Alison. Stay for the weekend karaoke downstairs.
No matter how much you have to drink... YOU will be the most sober one.

Stay street smart when coming or going. It can be a rough crowd outside when it's late.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/top-deck-restaurant-reno-3
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spdmrcht



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 440

PostPosted: Mar Wed 08, 2017 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JD wrote:
There is NO barffet at the Cal Neva, Alison. But you will get hit up for change, cigarettes or a light nearby. Do not hesitate....walk on.

There's a couple of snack bars with samiches & such downstairs and a steak/pasta joint... but the best deal is at the "TOP DECK".... more of a coffee shop with a counter, which is where I hang out and get special treatment since Hector the lead is a member of my club.

They have a full menu...BUT their specials are THE DEAL...if you don't count the ambiance.

Breakfast: Steak n Eggs w/ hashbrowns $ 4.99
Lunch: (I forgot) 5.99
Dinner: Prime Rib w/ fries & salad or soup $ 6.99

My trip reports detail MY cheap ass technique. (get a card) Go to Sky way bar SLOW cocktails at machines...& play the game maker bartops. (this is a locals bar of hard core drinkers.... leave a buck or two tip and YOU will be the best customers there. I order a red wine and play long enough to order two or three (in a tall water glass) which I take into the Top Deck and sit at the counter (avoiding a $ 4 charge). THIS is where I hit the $ 1197 royal (JD the cheap ass).

If Hector spots me...I get a HUGE Prime Rib and he knows to come out to get his JD club cards from me. (waiter HATES this).

Walk on the wild side, Alison. Stay for the weekend karaoke downstairs.
No matter how much you have to drink... YOU will be the most sober one.

Stay street smart when coming or going. It can be a rough crowd outside when it's late.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/top-deck-restaurant-reno-3


When you leave, use the north east door, go accross the street into Harrahs and out their north west door across the street to eldo, home free.
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CaSwede



Joined: 28 Feb 2006
Posts: 866

PostPosted: Mar Thu 09, 2017 11:37 am    Post subject: quickies are good Reply with quote

Thanks for the report. That was certainly a quick trip. Shortly after a big storm, the drive is just beautiful.

Yes, the vibe is certainly different at the Cal Neva vs. Atlantis. There are a few places my wife does not like to visit and they are all downtown.

The Cal Neva has some great bargains for dining. When I was a little kid, I remember going there for the banana split special. I have no idea how much it cost, but it had to be under $1 and was good.

See- being cheap is in my genes.
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BC Dave



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 1312

PostPosted: Mar Thu 09, 2017 12:03 pm    Post subject: Drink prices may vary Reply with quote

Hey Stan, thanks for the report. Sorry to hear that the Treasures of the Eldorado has gone in to the dustbin of casino giveaways history. They were almost always good for a free pen. Janice and I stepped into the Penticton Casino yesterday and decided to try a drink. http://penticton.lakecitycasinos.com/ A bottled beer was $7 and a Bud draft was somewhere over $8 .. Sheesh! I haven't been to the Purple Parrot since early 2009, (when we got stranded there due to icy weather up in Bellingham Washington) but we had a couple of pretty enjoyable meals there. Sounds like you had a nice quick glimpse of both the dark and bright sides of the gambling scene. (Love the dark side!) Looking forward to your birthday bash trip report.
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stan_allen



Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 1128

PostPosted: Mar Thu 09, 2017 12:26 pm    Post subject: Always deal from the top deck... Reply with quote

Thanks, all - no, the birthday trip hasn't been scheduled yet, 'cuz March will be busy, due to some other obligations - but that leaves me with an "ace" up my sleeve!

It's been many a moon since I ate at Cal-Neva's top deck, but it always struck me as a perfect go-to spot for bargain grub after an evening's carousing - or in the morning! It always reminded me of its equivalent back at the Sundowner - an affordable, middle-brow coffee shop which probably lost money, but was subsidized by this casino - a labor of love, if you will...

And if your stomach can handle it, the snackbar can also accomplish the job of introducing hot-grease-based-products into your alcohol-lined stomach! It's a winner all around...

I'll write up the birthday trip just as soon as we make our triumphant return!
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spdmrcht



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 440

PostPosted: Mar Thu 09, 2017 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One late evening we went in to the Top deck for a midnight snack,
I ordered a bowel of clam chowder, and my wife had a Bannasplit
The CC came in a family size serving bowl and the split was enough
for 3 people. Bring your appetite!
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BC Dave



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 1312

PostPosted: Mar Fri 10, 2017 7:02 am    Post subject: Hof Brau! Reply with quote

Another Cal Neva eatery for weary, blood shot eyed gamblers was the great Hof Brau, a no nonsense cafeteria. Hundreds of 99 cent breakfasts served daily. I think it was at the top of the escalator in the front (Virginia St) building.
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