Laughlin Buzz

Sep 28, 2012

Light Breakfast at the Beach Cafe at Harrahs Laughlin

Restaurant visited and reviewed:   Last week of September 2012

The Beach Cafe is a popular breakfast spot in Harrahs Casino in Laughlin.   It is right inside the front casino door, next to Baja Blue, and steps from the slot machines.  We dropped in to have a light breakfast.

The staff are very friendly and welcoming, going out of their way in fact to give the impression of great service.   The Total Rewards card (free even if you don't play) gives you a discount on items on the menu.  The regular prices are listed, with the Total Rewards price next to it.  Generally it is about a dollar off each item.

They have half size breakfasts, we opted for the 1/2 Eggs Benedict and the California Style

1/2 Eggs Benedict

California Style

The Eggs Benedict is nicely done, a good Hollandaise sauce.  A full portion is very hearty, we have seen many people split one order.  The 1/2 size is the perfect size and comes with hash browns.
The California Style is a twist on the Eggs Benedict, substituting turkey for the ham, and comes on a 1/2 bagel instead of an English Muffin.  Hash Browns and Fresh Avocado included.  In our order there were substantially more hash browns with the California Style than with the Eggs Benedict (too much in fact).  The turkey is a good cut and something different, very good served like this.  The Avocado adds a creaminess to the overall taste.
Both items were just $6.95 with the Total Rewards Card.  With two fairly tasteless, generic coffees for $4.78 and our bill came to $20.19 with tax.   A decent value for a good, light breakfast.  
Plus as always they get bonus points because there was hot sauce on the table. 
No green, but two kinds of red. 

On the way in we noticed many people having Pancakes and the Breakfast Burrito (which we heard is very good).  Perhaps another time.  

You can't go wrong with breakfast at the Beach Cafe at Harrahs.

They accept the Total Reward card (comps/points) for payment and you get points added to your card for dining here.  Just show them your card when you check out.


for more on the local Laughlin, Nevada area

If you have visited the Beach Cafe or any other local restaurant and would like to share your experience we would love to hear from you.  

Sep 18, 2012

Aftermath of a Rain on Laughlin Streets - No Excuse

Laughlin, Nevada

Following heavy rains over a couple days around 9-11-12 substantial dirt and gravel ran off and covered the intersection of Needles Highway and El Mirage Way in Laughlin.  This location is a well traveled section just across from the Laughlin Town Center (up the hill from Casino Drive). 

A full week later (as of 9-18-2012) absolutely nothing has been done to clear this safety hazard from the streets.   See video at the end of this post for more pictures.

If you continue up El Mirage Way which circles through a major residential area the damage is even worse.  Run off has not only covered the road in dirt and gravel, but in addition large crevices and holes have been left open for days.  These are right along the road, partially into the road.  At night they would be virtually unobservable and could cause major damage to a car or even injury to someone who accidentally goes into one. 

*They have piled dirt off to the side on El Mirage Way (apparently for intended repairs but it has just been sitting there). 

Who is responsible in Laughlin?   Clark County?  Laughlin Officials?  

At the very least someone could of put up a warning sign and cones by the dangers to warn drivers. 

Until a sweeper can be brought in (why hasn't it already?) hire someone to use a broom and clear some of the dirt and gravel off the roads. 

After a week there is no excuse that someone has not addressed these safety hazards. Someone should be accountable.

Visit for more going on in and around Laughlin, NV.

Sep 16, 2012

Outback Steakhouse in Laughlin - Recent Visit and Review


Outback Steakhouse in Laughlin

Recent Visit and Review :  September 2012

We love to support and be patrons of the local businesses and restaurants.  Lately, we have had a series of less than satisfactory visits to local places.  Perhaps it has just been a string of bad circumstances. 

On a recent weekday evening we went to the Outback Steakhouse located inside the Aquarius Resort and Casino in Laughlin.   We have been there a few other times and for the most part enjoyed it.  

The place was moderately busy but we were seated in a booth right away.  Our server did not come by for nearly 10 minutes.  In fact, no one came through our side of the restaurant, so we could not even tell who might be our server. By the time he did and apologized for the delay we had already decided on drinks and what we wanted to order.  When one of us ordered the 6 oz. Victorias filet steak, he strongly did an upsell on the larger size (8oz) for "only $3" more.  As we learned this turned out to be a mistake*.   After we ordered another waiter stopped by and asked if anyone had even helped us yet.  He must of noticed we had been sitting there for with nothing on our table. We said thank you that we had just ordered.

Passing on the blooming onion, we ordered the Kookaburra Wings. The menu said they were wings tossed in a savory blend of secret spices  Having never had them before we were not sure what to expect.    It took about 15 minutes for them to arrive, the outside looked fine, but on the inside they seemed bit undercooked in portions.  The secret spices were an odd flavor that no one in our party enjoyed very much.   Lesson learned on where not to get wings. 

The salad called the Blue Cheese Pecan Chopped Salad got rave reviews.  Everyone said it was delicious.  This is one of the premium sides you can get when you order a steak or entree.  It is additional cost if you order the Ribs.

As usual he Fosters was great.  You can't go wrong with a Fosters draft or Oil Can at the Outback.

Our server seemed to disappear between the salads and appetizer and we sat for quite some time without him checking back if we needed more drinks, or soda refills, or anything else.  The place was moderately busy but certainly not over busy. 

Finally, a different server appeared with a tray and our meals.  She put them on the table without saying anything.  It was obvious she was covering for our server. 

One order was he Outback Special (Sirloin Steak).  Requested medium it was actually medium well. It was a good steak for the price and cut.  Accompanied by Sweet Potato fries that were drizzled with something sweet...honey perhaps or some brown sugar. 

The Ribs (full rack ordered to share) were fair.  We love our ribs tender, fall of the bone.  These were midway between that so even though they were tasty they were not our favorites.   The BBQ sauce basic, seemed like a generic not tangy, not sweet sauce.  One person in our party hated it and wouldn't try the ribs with it.   Called a full rack, it was more similar to a 1/2 rack we have seen at other places.  For 18+ dollars with only fries as a side, it was a bit on the pricey side for the portion.

*The Victoria's Crowned Filet was a disaster.  Ordered medium, it came a very high medium well.  It had a strange gray color to it and the outside edges of it looked like the fat drippings had dried on it.  It was just completely unappetizing and overcooked anyway.  

Our server had not even delivered the food and now he did not even stop back to check if everything was good.  We didn't see him for several minutes and then he appeared and went to another table where he very slowly was taking care of them.  As he was about to leave (again without even checking on us) we called him over and told him the steak was not right.   He looked surprised and like he did not know what to do and then finally said he would get another one if we wanted.  Of course, we did, why else would bring it to his attention.  Then he said that she should keep the baked potato so she could eat it while she waited for the steak.  Rather than just bring a new fresh potato with the new steak.  He asked if we could put the potato on the rib bone plate (which had a couple ribs on it already) so he could take the plate with just the steak.  We suggested that he bring a new plate instead.  He did that and reappeared with a plate, whisked away the bad steak and said it would be out soon.   Shortly thereafter a manager appeared and said he heard we were not satisfied and assured us the kitchen staff told him the new steak was on the grill and would be out in 4-5 minutes. 

He brought the new steak out and the rest of us had been served and eating at least 12-15 minutes already.   When she cut into this one it was practically rare.  He had disappeared by then and didn't stop back for 5 minutes to check if it was ok.  By this time she decided she was not going to eat it anyway and certainly not going to send it back again.  We were not sure if the larger filet  had a problem with the quality or how it was cooked or the same would of happened with the smaller cut.  Most likely they do not sell as many of the 8oz as the 6oz versions.    When she told him it was fine that we did not want to send it back again even though it was not done right he simply apologized and left.  In our opinion the very least he could of done was offer to partially or fully take it off the check or something.  Even a dessert, coffee, or drink would of been a good gesture for the bad food and service.  Instead we were presented with the full check by our original waiter and not even asked if we wanted anything else.  

Even after all this, we had to wait nearly 10 more minutes before he showed up again to take and process the check.   By this time the restaurant was even less busy.

There is no excuse for the poor service and management we experienced.  We understand mistakes happen in the preparation but continued ones with the service should not. 

With several other options for steak in the Laughlin area I think we will avoid the Outback Steakhouse.  The price is comparable to the others but this experience left a really bad taste for the quality and the service. 

Had an experience at one of the local Laughlin or Bullhead City restaurants?  We would love to hear from you.   Visit  and drop us a message!

The Outback Steakhouse is independently owned, not owned by the Aquarius Resort and Casino.  They do accept the ACE Players card for payment using points but do not offer a discount. 

Sep 7, 2012

Windows on the River Buffet at the Aquarius

Review -  Windows on the Buffet - Sunday Champagne Brunch

Visit date:  September 2012

Location:  Aquarius Resort and Casino

We had tried the buffet at the Aquarius a couple other times and it was good.  This time we went just after noon on a Sunday.   The line was unexpectedly smaller than we have seen it in the past and we used the "VIP" line anyway (based on the ACE players card).  Funny thing is they do give you priority in paying for your buffet in this line, but you still have to wait in line to be seated. If there is a VIP line then you should get VIP seating as well. 

Things continued negatively with the service when the hostess rudely told us to sit down while a table was cleared off.  Meanwhile there were dozens of open tables.  Then she went to the table and put our slip on it after it was clean.  She didn't even look back at us or indicate we should go to the table.  After a few minutes of wondering, while other people were being seated, we just got up and went to the table. 

You get two free drinks with the buffet.  These are obtained by going up to the little bar off to the side.  Our waiter, and the hostess did not tell us this, we only knew from past visits. We went up to the bar and asked for a glass of the champagne.  The bartender didn't greet us or say a word whatsover, just grumpily poured them and set them in front of us. 

Tip: If you want a Mimosa, order orange juice from your waiter and then get the champagne at the bar.  Make your own. Much better the almost all orange juice Mimosa you would get from the bar. 

The salad bar section was fresh and nice.  They also had a create your own omelette section, which was good.  If we had stuck to the omlettes and the salad bar it would of been a nice brunch (except for the service).

The rest of the buffet was not quite as good.  Rolls and breads seemed dry or old.  Two unremarkable soup selections.  The carving table only had one sad piece of ham on it, and some turkey.  No roast beef or prime rib.  Not sure if there was supposed to be or not.  Usually there is.   The Eggs Benedict had been sitting for awhile and looked all dried out.  Sausage was the brown and serve type and not all that browned.  Meanwhile in the huge bacon bin there was a mix of undercooked and overcooked bacon.   The rest of the entree selections were also just standard buffet food that seemed to have been under the heat lamps too long. 

Our waiter never came back and offered us a second beverage or coffee.  We went to the dessert section to check it out.  On past visits this was one of the best parts of the buffet.  Today there were a few random cupcakes that looked like they had been there awhile.  The selections of cakes and pies were minimal and the few we sampled were very dry (or old).   No chocolate dipped strawberries as there were other visits.  There are sugar free choices and non-fat yogurt but we didn't even venture to try them. After a few bites of some of the items (with no coffee) we decided it was time to go.   We didn't even bother to go back up to the bar for a second drink.

Overall it seemed like we were coming in at the end of a buffet right before closing.  Items were dry, old, or not being replaced.  Service was slow or non-existent or rude (bartender).   Given that it was the main part of the day on a Sunday and several more hours remained for the buffet, this should not have happened.  On the upside, the room is spacious, clean and nice.  If only the buffet was as good. 
It was disappointing and even though we had good experiences there before, it might be awhile before we try it again. 

Highlight was the cost.  Using our comps it was free.  Without them the normal price is:
$10.99 (orange, green, or red card) or $13.19 (blue card).    $14.65 without a players card, so get one even if you don't gamble, they are free.   Sunday brunch buffet is 7am to 3pm.  Prices and hours on other days may be different, check ahead.

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Sep 2, 2012

Cafe Aquarius



We recently re-visited Cafe Aquarius - for Breakfast

We had never tried Cafe Aquarius for breakfast in the past.  The place was semi-busy but we were seated right away in a booth.  Place was clean and staff was friendly.  No specials other than a couple on the menu.   We ordered two different breakfasts.  Eggs Benedict ($8.49) and the Griddle Combo ($8.99).

The Eggs Benedict were ok, though the English Muffin was way under-toasted.  Eggs, ham, hollandaise sauce were just average.  (Turns out they looked just like the ones that were being offered on the Buffet when we tried that another day).   Hash brown side were good.   Overall they were not our favorite Eggs Benedict in Laughlin.  Right now that honor goes to the Beach Cafe at Harrah's (they even offer a 1/2 order which is a perfect size at a good price). 

The Griddle Combo was just average as well.  Eggs looked uniformly cooked in a round pan but were just your basic egg.  Two strips (why just 2?) of bacon (almost as good as the microwave ones you can get at Sam's Club).  Two large pancakes were the best part. You could of chosen another meat instead of bacon and toast or french toast or waffles instead of pancakes.  For the price it seemed a bit small of a portion.

Coffee was bland, no matter how much sugar or creamer added seemed not to improve the taste. They put the pot on the table so you could have as much as you wanted.  But at $2.39 each for dull coffee we would rather have saved it and had some at the Starbucks across the casino floor.

The place is open, airy, clean.  Maybe too clean though, as we were preparing to leave one of the staff was wiping down the booth behind us and swung her dishcloth as she finished, spraying drops of (dirty) water on my arm.  Not pleasant but she didn't notice and what could be done anyway. 

Overall the value ok, the food was just ok.  With our comps and an ACE Players card the breakfast was free.  Without it plus tip it would of been just under $30 for two people.

With so many choices in Laughlin for a good value for breakfast, it might be some time before we try the Cafe Aquarius for breakfast again.  We have had good lunches and dinner experiences there in the past.   It just seems to have slipped a bit overall in service this time.

A plus+++, they did have both the Red and Green Hot Sauce on the table.  Didn't even have to ask for it! 

Next Review :  Windows on the Buffet Champagne Brunch