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DICK'S LAST RESORT

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Excalibur

3850 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-597-7991

website

$10-$25

Mon-Thu 1pm-late

Fri-Sat 11am-late

American

B

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

Loud and obnoxious but meant to be that way, with some pretty good food.

Where is it?

At Excalibur on the South Strip.

What kind of food is served?

Excellent burgers and lots of stuff served in buckets.

What is the atmosphere like?

Boisterous is probably too kind a word for it.

How is the service?

Again, we'll go with boisterous.

What are the prices like?

A bargain compared to most restaurants on The Strip.

What else do I need to know?

They offer live entertainment on select nights.

What's the bottom line?

Go into this place with the right attitude and you can have a good time and get some good food to boot.

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FULL REVIEW

The first thing you need to know about Dick's Last Resort restaurant and bar at Excalibur is that you have to go into it with the right attitude. I'm not exactly sure what that attitude is, but it'll probably help if you already had a couple of beers.

The so-called "Shame o' The Strip," Dick's gimmick is it's boisterous atmosphere and rowdy wait staff. The place is loud and so are the people who work there, yelling, hooting, hollering, throwing napkins, and outright insulting the diners. For instance, each person gets a giant paper hat that the server writes, um, comments on - most of which are not things I should probably print here.

Sufficed to say this is not the kind of joint to go to with your quiet, church-going Aunt Edna and her quilting circle.

If you're in the right mind-set at the time or in general, Dick's is the kind of frat boy party place that is sorely lacking on the Las Vegas Strip, replaced by all of the upscale, expensive restaurants and nightclubs that frown on things like paper bibs and bartenders who recreate the Bellagio fountains with the soda guns. It's obnoxious but a lot of people like obnoxious - a lot of people ARE obnoxious - and if you fit into either of those categories, you're going to love this place.

The room is fairly small, with a dining area with about 15 or 20 tables in the center facing a big stage flanked by two bar areas. Alcohol and alcohol fueled excesses seem to be the emphasis here with live bands at night and enough frozen blended drink machines to power a small city, but the restaurant portion of the program is definitely worth knowing about.

The menu is heavy on things that are either fried or drenched in some sort of sauce or both. Appetizers include things like giant fried crab cakes with chipotle dipping sauce; a bucket of chicken wings; fried cheese sticks; and thick-cut onion rings. We sampled the latter and they were perfectly golden brown, tender and flavorful with a spicy dip accompanying.

There are a couple of super-sized salads on the menu but I got the feeling you'd get made fun of for ordering them, so we moved on.

Their big specialty is things that come in buckets and for your main course you can get BBQ pork ribs, honey-glazed chicken, jumbo shrimp, catfish, and king crabs all with fries and slaw on the side.

More "traditional" entrees include things like bourbon glazed salmon, chicken fried steak, fried chicken, pasta in a creamy Alfredo style sauce that can be accompanied by chicken or shrimp and smothered in mushrooms and onions if you so choose, and the Dolly Parton - two plump chicken breasts. If that surprises you at all at this point, you haven't been paying attention.

We visited at lunch so we went to the sandwich section. The "Big Pig" is a giant pulled pork sandwich, slathered in sweet barbeque sauce and topped with coleslaw. It was a messy delight and was served with a giant side of crispy fries.

The wrap was less of a success. It certainly seemed like a winner with turkey, bacon, cheese, and dressing rolled into a tender tortilla but it was served cold (intentionally) and that robbed the selection of a lot of the flavor you get when wraps come to the table warm.

The true victory at the table though was the burger - a massive half-pound monster with bacon, cheddar, and all the fixing. It was one of the best hamburgers I've had in Vegas - smoky as if done on an outdoor barbecue, with the juices practically running off the sides - and at $10 including fries on the side it was a bargain to boot.

Speaking of prices, I wouldn't go so far as to call this a budget restaurant but it's sure a heck of a lot cheaper than most of the places on The Strip. Appetizers will set you back $8-13 but are enough to feed three people fairly easily, sandwiches and burgers are $9-11, entrees run $13-20 (the latter for a giant rib eye), and the big buckets of grub are $14-$25 but will probably satisfy the hunger of 2-3 people.

I really enjoyed the food, the prices, and the energy of the place but I worked in bars and nightclubs for too long to be truly enamored of obnoxious anymore so it began to wear on my nerves by the end of the meal. But that's my fault, not theirs, so if you can handle the attitude Dick's is the place for you.

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