on March 29, 2010
Designed around a well known New York Mexican Restaurant, Gonzalez y Gonzalez in New York, New York in Las Vegas is a nice addition to the multi-cultural feel that the hotel offers. Located in the midst of the 'historic' district of New York food dining area of the hotel, you could almost miss this little restaurant as the drama around the many, many other restaurants can be somewhat more appealing. But a hint of Old Vegas survives here for me, as somewhere in the midst of the old brick buildings that make up the scenery here, the little old Irish pubs and Italian pizzerias the sense of MGM and their domination over the strip gets a little less prominent. Perhaps this is because New York, New York felt kind of commercial with a tendency towards the family tourist 7 years ago, too - and it only managed to keep this feeling as New Vegas descended. But in this at least it still felt somewhat true to itself, which is more than I can say for most of the other hotels on the strip. And here in it's midst, you find a little Mexican Restaurant called Gonzalez y Gonzalez. The restaurant in New York which is it's namesake is known for it's live music and lively atmosphere - something that may also be the case in Las Vegas in the evening. Apparently they have late night music sessions here, and when I did pass in the evening the entire place was hopping. However, I managed to stumble across it on a hungry week day afternoon, with a desire to escape the throngs of families and the busy casino floor. The restaurant was rather quiet, and myself and friends sat down to a very reasonably priced menu with some tasty food in a quiet, partially filled room with football on the TV in the corner. We ordered some beer and enjoyed basket after basket of free chips and dips while we looked through the menu. The staff were decent - perhaps not what I would have expected from a Las Vegas restaurant a few years ago, but still perfectly decent and in no way as dismissive, tired and uninterested as in many of the restaurants we visited in Excalibur and the Luxor. The menu wasn't mind blowing - but it was very decent. After years abroad, my appetite for Mexican food was at it's absolute peak - and I made a point of trying many different styles and restaurants that offered it in 3 western states. There were a few interesting things on the menu - I recommend the pazole soup, a delicious Mexican dish cooked with pork and hominy. It's not quite the caliber I had when it was home cooked as a child in New Mexico, but it was still tasty and a nice reminder of the old days. The chicken tortilla soup was also very nice. All in all we were happy with our experience here - there was seating inside away from the 'street' in New York, New York which was often reserved for only the more expensive restaurants. It's lively at night, quiet in the day and in general a nice place to stop in between trips to the poker tables.
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