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SENOR FROG'S

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Treasure Island

3300 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-894-7850

website

$20-$30

Daily 11am-11pm

Mexican/American

B

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A Mexican themed party bar/restaurant that serves a lot more than just Mexican food.

Where is it?

At Treasure Island on the Center Strip.

What kind of food is served?

A lot of different things including Mexican, sandwiches, BBQ, pasta, burgers, steaks, and more.

What is the atmosphere like?

Loud and raucous with a raunchy spring break vibe.

How is the service?

Not outrageous but more expensive than you'd expect someplace like this to be.

What are the prices like?

Absolutely great - the one true high point of the visit.

What else do I need to know?

Beware the "wacky" signs.

What's the bottom line?

There are better theme restaurants in this town.

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FULL REVIEW

The world needs places like Senor Frog's. Without it where would drunk frat boys do their Jager bombs?

Yes, Senor Frog's at Treasure Island is that kind of place - a "party bar" and restaurant that tries to recreate a spring break in Cancun ethos right here on the Vegas Strip. The fact that you can do Jager bombs at pretty much any bar in town, even the classy ones, should not factor into your decision making here.

The place is a riot of color and "stuff" all jam packed into a room (and outdoor patio) that is frenetic and mildly disorienting. Signs with "amusing" sayings on them done in day-glo paint cover almost every surface. Some samples: "I don't have a girlfriend but I do know a woman who would be pissed that I said that;" "Same day, different hangover;" "Never trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn't die." If you're looking for Noel Coward, go somewhere else. There are also movable signs - arrows on stands with things like "party animal" and "sex machine" on them that the servers randomly put behind unsuspecting diners at tables. High-larious!

If I'm being overly snarky here, it's mainly because the whole thing feels rather forced. News flash: this is not really a Cancun party bar and therefore an attempt to make one here is destined to feel as manufactured and faux as the Sphinx in front of the Luxor or the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. I love a party bar as much as the next guy but the best ones spring up organically and don't need a bunch of props to make their point.

But this particular review is not about the bar aspect of Senor Frog's but rather the food, and here, at least, there is more success.

The menu is all over the place and despite the name it is not exclusively Mexican. In fact except for a few appetizers (nachos, quesadilla, etc.) and some tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, the vast majority of the offerings are standard theme restaurant fare - starters like chicken wings and sliders; a few salads and soups; pasta; wraps, burgers, and sandwiches; BBQ ribs and chicken; seafood from Baja tacos to lobster tail; chicken and beef entrees (including filet mignon); and high-calorie desserts.

Since I didn't do my research ahead of time I went into this thinking it was a Mexican restaurant and had already decided that chicken fajitas were in my future. I considered changing once I saw the giant menu but I was in a hurry and didn't think I could spend the time lost in a "what should I have?" haze.

The fajitas come sizzling on their own little miniature grill - a full chicken breast, a big pile of peppers and onions, a big side of sour cream and guacamole, rice, and tortillas. Presentation was much more thoughtful than I would've have expected and the smoky flavor was impressive. $20 impressive? Well...

Which brings us to the price discussion. This is a moderately priced restaurant but it is at the high-end of moderate so you can very easily do $30 per person all-in and even higher if you go for the more expensive entrees. Not terrible if you are thinking dinner but for a quick lunch it seems excessive.

The true bright spot was in the service. As mentioned above I was in a hurry because of some unforseen scheduling issues (another news flash: just because the plane says it will land at a certain time doesn't mean it really will) and the server I lucked into took special care to let the kitchen know and get everything moving quickly. I was in and out in less time than it usually takes to get your appetizers at most Strip restaurants.

But excellent service is not enough for me to make this a highly recommendable restaurant. There are plenty of places that serve better food at cheaper prices in less obnoxious surroundings.

Now, if you need fajitas AND a place to do your Jager bombs...

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