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Thanks to a suggestion by Jeremiah Owyang, I asked our Twitter followers if anyone would be interested in writing a guest post for this blog.  A few fabulous twitterers responded. This one, by David Raatz (@raatz) is the first in the series.

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Yes, Vegas-style hedonism is even available for Vegans! Las Vegas offers an amazing array of decadent pleasures for everyone – including vegetarians (people who don’t eat meat) and vegans (people who don’t eat any animal products, including dairy).

I’ve been a vegetarian for ten years and a vegan for five years, and I always look forward to my culinary adventures in Las Vegas. The below, brief manual is a tool for my fellow vegetarians or vegans and for others who are interested in enhancing their Vegas food experiences.

The rundown isn’t intended to be comprehensive. I freely admit that it reflects my biases and favors casual, inexpensive dining. But I hope you find it helpful and interesting.

I’ll start with the South Strip because that’s where I always spend a large percentage of my time. Video poker and blackjack are my favorite activities, and Luxor and its next-door neighbor, Mandalay Bay are my favorite casinos for those always entertaining games.

South Strip

Border Grill:

Mexican restaurants often provide excellent vegan meals, and Border Grill at Mandalay Bay is a perfect example. Border Grill ranks among my favorite restaurants in the world. I love the shaded, patio-style seating near the Lazy River. The fresh air is always refreshing. The patio is an especially fun location in the summer. It seems to be one of the coolest places in town – both in temperature and in hipness. As a bonus, from May through September, you can listen to the Mandalay Bay Beach Concerts!

The Portabello Mushroom Mulitas is one of the most consistently satisfying vegan entrees I’ve had anywhere. The Mexican chopped salad (without chicken) is nearly as good, featuring grilled corn, roasted peppers, avocado, tomato, apple, pinto beans, red onion, tortilla chips and romaine lettuce tossed in coriander vinaigrette. Border Grill’s chips, salsa (red and green) and guacamole are also marvelous.

The only negative is that it’s a long walk from the main casino area. But, you’ll have a guaranteed payoff for your investment of time and energy.

Raffles Cafe:

A 24/7 source for comfort food in a beautiful setting right off the Mandalay Bay casino floor is Raffles Café. It sounds a bit silly, but enjoying the simple goodness of oatmeal at Raffles is an outstanding way to start or end a day, especially with fresh fruit on the side. I’ve partaken many times. The bottomless strong coffee can help you regain some clear thinking if it was lost in the casino madness.

T&T (Tacos & Tequila):

Luxor has a new Mexican-themed place with a lot of appeal (although I haven’t been able to try it yet) – T&T. Chef Richard Sandoval has created several interesting options. The creative-sounding Mediterraneo burrito includes falafel, tahini, tomato, green bell pepper, mint and tamarind pico de gallo. Mouth watering!

See you soon at one of my old favorites like Border Grill –  or perhaps a new hangout like T&T!

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Check back later for the Vegan’s Dining Guide to the Center Strip!

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Because Luxor is so diverse, from its staff to its venues, hearing only one “voice” on this blog would be an inaccurate portral of Luxor. So, I plan to work with employees and various departments to get as many different voices and Guest Posts as possible. Below is one from Kussette who works at Liquidity, the center bar at Luxor.
 
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Luxor was known for its Egyptian theme, hieroglyphics on the wall, mummies, pharaoh, sphinx, obelisk, RA, Nile and Nefertiti’s. Now, those were things of the past. The Luxor is reborn. There is a whole new different experience from what was ancient. We’re now more living in the present with a more lively and provocative atmosphere in the center bar, Liquidity and restaurant and nightclubs like LAX and CatHouse. We got the perfect hang out to talk and meet new people in Aurora– lobby bar. Why not try some refreshing cocktails on your first landing to Vegas. I recommend the Liquid Lemonade as one of the most refreshing cocktails invented. How about something different like a Strawberry Caprioskasfor the sweet tooth drinker or the popular signature drink Aurora which is fresh blueberries martini. It would be best to have it on Thurs-Mon from 8pm-6am. Don’t ask why, just take my word on it 😉

Not to mention, Flight, the best hang out while waiting for flights departure in LAS airport or to go to LAX nightclub on Wed, Thurs, Fri or Sat. One should definitely try the flights such as the First Class Whiskey or First Class Tequila. You’ll be paying much less to try ultra premium spirits in this bar than any other bar ever. Such as Patron Platinum and Crown XR plus it comes with the most creative garnishes ever like beef jerky for whiskeys and butterscotch candies for apple martinis. You name it they have the most eclectic menu out there.

In Liquidity, which is the center bar of it all, you can taste the slow dripping Absinthe.

Lastly, Criss Angel or Carrot Top might be the next person you see hanging out in one of the lounge or nightclubs mentioned. There is more to come at Luxor, like escalators, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition and BODIES… The Exhibition and a whole bunch more for the ecstatic, energetic and full spirit crowd.

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Below is a guest post written by Cirque du Soleil with quotes from CRISS ANGEL Believe Co-Writer and Director Serge Denoncourt.

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“I find the links between attraction and rejection, good and evil, and sexual urges extremely interesting. This is the world I investigate in my creations.”
—Serge Denoncourt

Co-Writer and Director of CRISS ANGEL Believe, Serge Denoncourt

Co-Writer and Director of CRISS ANGEL Believe, Serge Denoncourt

Serge Denoncourt is known as a true man of the theatre with more than 80 productions to his credit, but he was planning to study medicine when he decided at the age of 18 to audition for the theatre program at a Montreal college called CEGEP Lionel-Groulx. He was accepted, and when he graduated in 1983 he started his career as an actor. In 1987 he demonstrated his inventiveness as a director for the first time, with the play Grand et Petit, by Botho Strauss.

Serge Denoncourt is steeped in theatre tradition and known for the visual beauty of his shows, which are typically marked by heightened imagery, vivid use of color and a deep examination of subtext. A versatile artist, Serge also stages operas and even delves into the world of variety shows.

With CRISS ANGEL Believe Serge has sought to return a sense of nobility to magic.

“I don’t like magic shows in general,” he says. “They lack emotion and any sense of a storyline. I took on CRISS ANGEL Believe from the position of one who doesn’t like those kinds of shows because they treat magic as an end in itself. My aim here is to take magic – and Cirque du Soleil – in a completely different direction.”

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