It has been a few days since I have posted a blog. I usually post a few restaurant reviews while I am in my hotel in Las Vegas. Last weekend in Las Vegas was very busy for me. I had a partial shoulder separation injury while working on my job, just before flying to Las Vegas. My shoulder was very sore and the pain was really awful. Carrying my luggage through the airport was a real test of will power!
I had planned to attend a couple of shows that friends were performing in at a local club. I had to simply take it easy and rest, till my shoulder healed up. It was no use going to a club if I couldn't dance and have fun, so I relaxed in my room at the Golden Gate Casino downtown on Fremont Street in Las Vegas for a couple of days. I booked two nights downtown and two night on the Las Vegas strip at the Aria Resort and Casino. I've had minor shoulder injuries before. Rest and relaxation is the best cure.
Relaxation is what I got at the Golden Gate! The Golden Gate is the oldest casino in Las Vegas. The Golden Gate is also the very first motel to be built in Las Vegas! The historic Golden Gate was built in 1906. The name of the motel had changed its name several times during its history. At one time, The Golden Gate's name was Sal Sagev. Sal Sagev is Las Vegas spelled backwards! Interesting! I'll write more about the Golden Gate when I post the blogs that cover the food that I ate at the Golden Gate Delicatessen and at Du Par's.
Comfort food was what I needed that sore Friday night in Las Vegas. I dined in a few restaurants downtown in the Fremont area. I was in a nostalgic mood that Friday night, so I chose a few simple favorite restaurants to dine in that night.
One of my restaurant choices was the snack bar diner by the craps table pit in the historic Binion's Casino. Binion's is the marquis western style casino in Las Vegas! The decor and atmosphere is straight out of the old west. Binion's is where the World Series of Poker event originated.
Benny Binion was a very highly successful cowboy who struck it rich with a great theme for a casino. The original name for Binion's was the Horseshoe. Teddy Binion died a tragic death after being taken advantage of by some drug peddling con artists. Teddy died from a heroin overdose a few years ago.
Benny's daughter took charge of the casino and it went quickly into bankruptcy. I was in the Binion's race and sports book and I had just hit a 45 to 1 odds wager on a dog race that was simulcasted from Miami when the F.B.I. and The United States Treasury Department came in to close the Binion's Horseshoe casino down. The treasury guys were confiscating every bit of money in Binion's.
I quickly cashed my winning wager and went to the snack bar for one last quick meal at Binion's snack bar. The action at the craps tables beside the snack bar was furious and fast! There was a craps game going on that had over $27,000 dollars on the table! Nobody wanted to stop playing craps at that table! Finally the craps game was broken up by the treasury deprtment guys who were dessed in black. They told the craps players that they had five minutes to cash their chips in, or they would be stuck with some very expensive worthless souvenir Binion's chips!
I looked at the chief cook and said "I guess this means that you will be off tomorrow!" with a dreaded tone of voice. My friend the cook said that it had been many years since he stood in an unemployment line. All we could do was laugh as we watched the craps players curse and swear. I finished my meal and sadly walked out of the original Binion's Horseshoe for the last time.
A few weeks later, Harrah's corporation bought the property and they basically raped everything that they thought was of value from the Binion's casino. The Horseshoe casino trademark name was what Harrah's wanted. Harrah's wanted the sole rights to The World Series of Poker too.
Binions was quickly sold to the Four Queens casino by Harrah's. Part of the sale was the stipulation that the Horseshoe name had to be removed from Binion's and all refeences to the World Series of Poker had to be removed. Harrah's had the sole right to the Horseshoe trademark, so the signs were changed and the name of the casino is now Binion's.
The Four Queens management did a wonderful job of trying to repair the damages from the circumstances of the tragic death of Benny Binion and the damage that Harrah's left behind. Due to the economic depression that we are currently in, the Four Queens decided to close the hotel at Binion's and keep the casino open. All traveling guests who are seeking rooms are referred to the Four Queens. That was a good economic decision!
The Four Queens reopened the classic Binion's restaurants too. The Four Queens rehired the original Binion's staff who were all laid off by Harrah's. The Four Queens is a highly likable casino operation that I highly recommend to Las Vegas visitors, because of their morally correct business decisions concerning Binion's! They treated Binion's with respect! Harrah's sure did not.
When I went to the very busy snack bar last Friday night, I was greeted by people I knew! The staff all remembered me! The chief cook behind the counter at the snack bar was a person that I loved to chat with while dining. He was the cook that was there the night that the treasury department closed Binion's. It was just like old times!
I started to look at the Binion's snack bar menu when I asked my friend the cook why the Daily Beans was not on the special board. The cook said "We still serve the daily beans! Its navy beans today." I handed the cook the menu that I hadn't even started reading. I ordered The Daily Beans!
Thirty seconds later I was looking at the same old Daily Beans and Cornbread that I had ordered so many times over the years! The navy beans were overflowing from the bowl onto the plate, just like they always were in the past! The cornbread had a very nice colored crust. The huge chunks of high quality ham were sitting pretty in the bowl with the beans!
I was smiling from ear to ear! This simple plate of The Daily Beans and Cornbread brought back so many memories of good times and hard times. This was an emotional plate of food that touched a soft spot in my heart! I smiled! I said to my friend the cook "Its as good as it always was!" The cook looked at me with a smile and said "Some things never change!" He had a comical look on his face when he looked at my bowl of beans as he shook his head and chuckled!
Every time that I had The Daily Beans late in the day, the beans had been simmering for so long, that they had become very soft and the beans were turning into a thick tasty gravy. I liked eating the daily beans at the end of the day the best! The ham had so much flavor after simmering with the beans all day! The cornbread was the best that I have had cooked for me in a very long time.
I posted a recipe for The Daily Beans a few months ago in my blog. I was very homesick that day. My recipe was served with cornbread fried in chicken grease, instead of baked corn bread. My recipe hadn't quite simmered all day, so the bowl of beans had the look of Binion's The Daily Beans early in the day.
This simple, healthy meal costs just a few dollars at Binion's. Originally, the daily beans was a meal that was offered to gamblers who lost every penny that they had. This is a cowboy's meal! Benny Binion put this item on the menu because he was fond of this classic American meal.
As usual, this was the best plate of The Daily Beans that I ever had! Then again, every time I have The Daily Beans at Binion's it is the best plate of beans that I ever had. I love the old Binion's Casino and the staff there. This was the best friday night meal that I have had in Las Vegas for a very long time! It was like eating a bowl full of Las Vegas memories! So yummy! ... Shawna