By Judy Thorburn
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Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock
Entertainment Reporter/Film Critic - Las Vegas Tribune
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks

Mayor Oscar Goodman Presents Las Vegas Icon Jackie Gaughan With Key to the City

On Monday October 13, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman presented casino legend Jackie Gaughan with a key to the city of Las Vegas. Gaughan was honored for his many contributions to downtown, Las Vegas, and the casino and gaming industry.  

Throughout his career Gaughan has owned or operated several hotels and casinos including the Flamingo, Showboat Casino, Union Plaza Hotel & Casino, Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Club Hotel & Casino, Gold Spike Hotel & Casino, Western Casino and the El Cortez Hotel & Casino. He is also known as an innovative thinker, having originated promotions such as fun books and complimentary meals, while being a pillar in the downtown Las Vegas casino scene for over 40 years.

Mayor Oscar Goodman, El Cortez General Manager Mike Nolan and Jackie Gaughan

Jackie will celebrate his 88th birthday on October 24 in the historic lounge at the El Cortez Hotel and Casino with free champagne and cake from 1 – 7 p.m.

Texas de Brazil Offers a Feast for Both Carnivores and Vegetarians

My initial reaction when invited to visit Texas de Brazil, the newest free standing, upscale eatery on the south end of the strip at Town Square, was “What can I eat from their menu that can satisfy both me, a non meat eater, and my husband, the stricter vegetarian”.  After all, Texas de Brazil is a traditional “Churrascaria”, Brazilian for steakhouse, known for its sword carrying servers dressed as Brazilian cowboys, a.k.a. gauchos, that roam the dining area delivering various cuts and types of meat directly to your plate.  Thankfully, my dietary concerns were soon laid to rest.

From the moment you set foot in the door, the rustic warm atmosphere of high ceilings, bright red walls, dark woods and beautiful floral arrangements demonstrates good taste that permeates every aspect of Texas de Brazil.

Carnivores will be in seventh heaven, especially since the fixed price of $44.99 includes all you can eat cuts of tasty meat entrees such as juicy filet mignon, rack of lamb, herb marinated pork loin, Brazilian sausage, beef ribs, crispy parmesan chicken, and more plus a variety of sides dishes, a salad bar and soup of the day (the day’s offering was lobster bisque). While the soup and salad bar are for the taking, when it comes to the meat selections, guests are supplied with an attention getting color coded round disc.  Green side facing up means you are ready for the friendly and accommodating “gauchos” to bring over more choices of the meat selections that have been freshly grilled over an open flame, while red side up of course, means hold off.

My husband and I became happy campers once we noticed a fabulous array of delectable offerings to fill our faces.  The fact is Texas de Brazil features an amazing salad bar with over 50 items to delight the palate of any vegetarian and/or lover of good, healthy food…period. It is nice to know vegetarians have the option of passing on meat and instead can choose to indulge in the extensive salad bar for a fixed price of $29.99.

The selections on the salad bar are too long for me to list in its entirety.  Let me just say my hubby and I filled our plates with a mountain of goodies, including several items which you don’t see on the usual salad bar.  This is an “extra-ordinary” salad bar, to say the least.  We began with a mix of iceberg and romaine lettuce before piling on marinated Portobello mushrooms, hearts of palms, artichoke hearts, baby corn, sun dried tomatoes, steamed asparagus with strawberry sauce, California sushi rolls, tangy tabbouleh, roasted beets, cauliflower, potatoes au gratin, potato salad, sautéed eggplant slices, an assortment of cheeses, black and green olives and topped it off with chunks of smoked salmon. In addition, side dishes of garlic mashed potatoes, sweet fried bananas, and Brazilian Cheese Bread were brought to our table.  How much did I enjoy each and every morsel? My mouth salivates just from the thought of it.

The fixed price does not include the cost of drinks and dessert. And, if you have any room left after the main course, side dishes and salad bar, desserts are to die for. Although already full, I couldn’t pass up the scrumptious, oh-so-smooth, key lime pie while my husband opted for the yummy papaya crème; a mix of vanilla ice cream and papaya whipped into a milkshake like texture.  It was the perfect way to complete the awesome dining experience.

I am delighted to report Texas de Brazil, the premier Brazilian “churrascaria” in the U.S.  is a welcome addition to Las Vegas dining with its inviting environment, superb service, and best of all tantalizing culinary selections for both meat lovers and vegetarians alike.

Located at 6533 Las Vegas Boulevard South in Town Square, Texas de Brazil (the 14th unit in the restaurant chain located throughout the U.S. and Aruba) is open for dinner 7 days a week. For more information call 702-614-0080 or visit

Texas de Brazil photos credit: Stephen Thorburn

Sport Stars and VIP’s Participate in The Kurt Busch Charity Poker Tournament

Last Tuesday evening (October 14) poker players and NASCAR fans alike packed Sierra Gold ultra-tavern on S. Jones Blvd to participate in The Kurt Busch Charity Poker Tournament. Over $25,000 was raised to benefit The Victory Junction Gang Camp whose mission is to enrich the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illness.

Kurt Busch, George Maloof, Blake Sartini, Lon Kruger

Guests included Kurt Busch; Lon Kruger, UNLV Men’s Basketball Head Coach; Al Unser Jr., two-time Indianapolis 500 Champion; George Maloof, owner of The Palms Casino Resort; and Blake Sartini, CEO and owner of Golden Gaming. The Grand Prize winner of the tournament was Todd Morgan. The Grand Prize package includes attending the Las Vegas Motor Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup Race, a private meet and greet with driver Kurt Busch, NASCAR Sprint Cup garage passes, Sprint Cup race suite passes, helicopter transportation to and from the Las Vegas Speedway and a weekend stay at The Palms Casino Resort.

Additional recent and upcoming “happenings” in and around Las Vegas include:

The 2008 Dive-In Movies at Mandalay Bay Beach, previously scheduled for Friday, Oct. 24 and Friday, Oct. 31, have been canceled.

NOBHILL at MGM Grand has been renamed NOBHILL TAVERN. The menu features twists on home-style favorites plus Michael Mina’s signature trio concept served in a sophisticated yet comfortable atmosphere.  

On Saturday, Sept. 6 Huf n Puf, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin gave birth to a healthy dolphin calf that was named Bella, at SIEGFRIED & ROY’S SECRET GARDEN AND DOLPHIN HABITAT inside the Mirage  With this new addition, three generations of dolphins are represented at the resort. 

After the successful birth, The Mirage held an employee contest to name the youngster.  Out of more than 600 entries, Bella was the winning name submitted by Tony Christopher, front services attendant.

Huf n Puf, a first-time mother who was born at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat in March 2000, and Bella are in the Birthing and Research pool, which is open to public viewing during regular operational hours of the facility.  Alongside the new mother and calf are Huf n Puf’s mother, Duchess, and Duchess’ son, Sgt. Pepper, who was born June 8, 2007.  Duchess is at her daughter’s side, a natural occurrence in female dolphin pods in the wild, to assist and coach in the care of the newest addition to the family.  The calf’s father, Lightning, is located in another pool within the facility.

For admission prices and more information on The Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage  call (702) 791-7188 or visit

Pizzeria Francesco’s has opened at Treasure Island. The eatery features a unique selection of rustic Neapolitan-style pizzas complemented by Italian-American dishes such as Calamari with spicy marinara and lemon aioli, Spaghetti with walnut pesto and cauliflower sauce and Francesco’s Chicken Parmesan and Signature desserts including Tiramisu Ice Cream Sandwiches and hand-made Cannoli. 

On October 15 Ethel’s Chocolate launched its “Create Chocolate, Create Hope” limited edition collection features the original designs by four winners who were chosen following a contest held this past summer. Create Chocolate, Create Hope” marks the first time ethel’s has ever invited Nevada residents to design an original piece of artwork.  In addition to a $10,000 upfront donation from ethel’s to the Southern Nevada Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 10% of the proceeds from this limited-edition collection will also benefit the Affiliate, demonstrating ethel’s true commitment to help find a cure for breast cancer.  In conjunction with October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, ”Create Chocolate, Create Hope” will be sold in all Ethel’s stores for $35 throughout Las Vegas and Henderson and online at from Oct. 15 through Dec. 31 or until supplies last.

With a goal is to promote literacy and allow children the opportunity to read, Golden Gaming is partnering with Spread the World- Kids to Kids to distribute books to schools all across Southern Nevada. Used books can be donated throughout the rest of the month and will be distributed on Make A Difference Day on Oct. 25. Monetary donations will also be accepted at any of the 36 Sierra Gold and PT’s tavern locations. For additional information visit

On October 24, the 7th annual Witches and Wizards Masquerade Ball will be held at Wonderground, a magical club experience, inside Palace Station.  The evening’s event, hosted by magician Jeff McBride, begins at 9 p.m. This is the first year that it will be open to the public and will include performances by several top magicians and illusionists, dance and costume contests and a Houdini Séance.  Special guests include Jon Randall from the UK performing a séance to contact the legendary escape artist Houdini, Hollywood’s Magic Castle’s Close-Up Magician of the Year Eugene Burger, America’s Got Talent’s Bizarro and many others. At midnight, Jeff McBride will host a ritual theater midnight magic and mystery show. Cover is $10.

Legendary nightclub Studio 54 inside of MGM Grand presents its 11th annual Halloween celebration: Nightmare on 54th Street, Tuesday, October 28 through Saturday, November 1.

Nightmare on 54th Street begins with Influence – Studio 54’s popular Vegas industry night – being transformed into Influence 2080s for Halloween week.  Studio 54’s sexy dancers and performers will recreate memorable dance scenes from Michael Jackson’s 80s smash hit – Thriller – throughout the night.

Wednesday, October 29:  Monster’s Ball invites guests to show off their unique costumes for this monstrous affair.  Admission is $20.

Thursday, October 30:  42nd Annual Beaux Arts Ball:  Studio 54 delivers the most extravagant Halloween gala on The Strip with performers from Studio 54 and entertainers from numerous Vegas shows coming together to host an evening of fun and philanthropy to benefit Golden Rainbow. America’s Got Talent’s Bryan Cheatham and Fantasy lead singer Stephanie Sanchez will host the event. Performers include Britney Spears impersonator Derrick Barry and America’s Best Dance Crew season two winners Super Cr3w.  Guests to the Beaux Arts Ball will be rewarded with cash prizes totaling over $2,054 for their most elaborate Halloween creations.  Admission is $30 in advance or $40 at the door.

Friday, October 31:  Nightmare on 54th Street: club-goers are encouraged to put on their Halloween best and compete to be named “Sexiest” or “Most Original.”  Cash prizes totaling over $12,000 will be awarded to the first-and second-place winners of each contest category. Admission is $30 for males and $20 for females.

The weekend wraps up on Saturday, November 1 with Late Night at Studio 54 – an after-hours celebration where guests can continue the party all night – and morning – long.

From October 20 thru  December 2008 visitors to Morton’s The Steakhouse will have the chance to bid on Morton's Silent Auction Package, "Bidding for Wishes," consisting of a 27-liter bottle of wine (it holds 180 glasses of wine!) and "Morton's in Your Home" dinner for eight prepared by a Morton's chef. Proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Morton’s is located at 400 East Flamingo Road in Las Vegas. For more information call (702) 893-0703 or visit

The Las Vegas National Horse Show is taking place October 30- November 2 inside the Equestrian Center at the South Point Hotel & Casino. Scheduled events include equestrian show jumping in both the $25,000 Las Vegas Jumper Classic on Thursday, October 30th and the $50,000 Las Vegas National World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix on Saturday, November 1st. where Olympic caliber riders compete head to head for the top prize. Grand Prix riders will be vying for West Coast spots on the US team for the 2009 FEI World Cup Finals coming to Las Vegas April 15-19, 2009. The show will also feature the Nevada Jump Cup (open to Nevada residents) on Friday evening October 31st as well as a full schedule of classes for junior, amateur and professional riders. Plus EVERY spectator completing a simple entry form receives a raffle ticket towards an array of fabulous prizes. Admission and parking are free. For more information call (949) 443-1841 or visit

November 7 at 8 p.m., The Beatles’ tribute band, The Fab will perform one of the greatest pop albums of all time, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety inside The Club at the Cannery Casino & Hotel. The show will also feature performances by acclaimed all-female string trio, Bella Rumore and renowned belly dancer Dahab.  Admission is $10 at the door.

On November 11, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith headline “Holiday Celebration on Ice” at The Orleans Arena. Olympic Silver medalist and U.S. National champion Nancy Kerrigan and six-time U.S. champion Todd Eldredge highlight the skating cast. Kerrigan and Eldredge will be joined by Olympic champion Ilia Kulik, World champion Yuka Sato, six-time Canadian National championJennifer Robinson, and World ice dancing champion and nine-time Canadian National champion Shae-Lynn Bourne. Two-time World Silver medalist ice dancing champions Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, plus three-time World Silver medalist Surya Bonaly and three-time U.S. champion and World Bronze medalist (with partner Kyoko Ina) John Zimmerman, will make for an incredible holiday celebration.   Tickets are on sale now and range in price from $29 to $89, including tax and facility fees.

The Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower will host the first annual “Cocktail Server Blackjack Tournament” on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 7 p.m. The free tournament will feature 48 teams of three who will be competing for the grand prize of a trip to Hawaii along with a chance to win $100,000 in cash. There will also be a “Creative Costume Contest” and drink specials throughout the casino.   The tournament is free and is open to 48 three-person teams.

Early registration can be done by phone starting Monday, October 27 through Tuesday, November 11, 2008. Each team that registers early will receive an extra $1,000 in tournament chips during the tournament. For full details, please call 702-383-5245 or 702-380-7637 or visit

For the first in Las Vegas history, the public is invited to walk through The Gift of Lights during a special event called Light up the Heart of a Child to benefit Children’s Heart Foundation before it opens to the public. This exclusive event will be held at Sunset Park on Wednesday, November 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunset Park’s The Gift of Lights has traditionally been open to cars and never before open for pedestrian access. This holiday stroll will be full of fun festivities including carolers, holiday treats, cocoa and a gift bag valued at more than $100 that includes a pass to drive through the Gift of Lights, a ticket to “Defending the Caveman,” a Santa hat and much more. Tickets are available for presale at Children’s Heart Foundation website,, for $25.00 per person in advance and $30.00, day of event. Children 12 and younger are free. Ticket purchases are tax deductible and benefit children in Nevada who suffer from heart conditions. Strollers and pets (on leash) are welcome. For more information call (702) 967-3522.

Multi-talented song stylist Roslyn Kind (who also happens to be Barbra Streisand’s kid sister) will perform for a special two-night engagement at The Club, located inside the Cannery Casino & Hotel on Friday, November 14 and Saturday, November 15.  Both shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

On Saturday, November 15 at 8 p.m., American classical saxophonist, Eugene Rousseau will perform with the Las Vegas Philharmonic as part of the second concert in the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s 10th Anniversary Masterworks series at the UNLV’s Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. Ticket prices range from $25 to $75, excluding tax and fees. To purchase tickets or find out more information, please call the UNLV Box office at (702) 895-2787 or visit

Celebrity sightings:

On Tuesday afternoon October 14, Justin Timberlake arrived at the Nobu inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for a private meet and greet with the wives of the PGA players in town for the celebrity charity golf tournament benefiting Shriner’s Hospitals for children. Timberlake thanked all the women for coming out and supporting the charitable cause.  He then posed for a group shot with the women. Timberlake proceeded by having lunch with his sisters who were in attendance.  This is Timberlake’s second time at the property and dining at Nobu this week.

Stephen Colletti of Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County ,and a group of 10 guys met up at LAVO at The Palazzo on Thursday, October 16, for a boys trip.  The dapper looking group drank Jack Daniels and Belvedere while enjoying the house sounds of DJ Chris Garcia.

Thursday afternoon, Food Network chef and TV personality, Guy Fieri, who is currently staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, was spotted at the Hard Rock Retail store admiring the King Baby Studio merchandise.

Thursday evening Tyra Banks was in the audience of Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular at the Venetian.

On Friday, Oct. 17, singer Rihanna was spotted shopping inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.  Rihanna stopped in several Miracle Mile Shops stores including Landau, Ultra Diamonds, Urban Outfitters and made a purchase at Herve Leger.

Friday evening Food Network star and Iron Chef Bobby Flay checked out the nightclub at LAVO (The Palazzo) and enjoyed Dom Perignon and Patron while listening to the sounds of DJ Five.
Holly Madison of The Girls Next Door and recent ex of Hugh Hefner arrived at LAVO (The Palazzo) for Vice Sundays around 2 am.  The reality star was joined by one girlfriend and brought along a stuffed animal puppy to their VIP table.

Rev Run from the former rap group, Run-DMC was the featured celebrity host of  Sunday School party at Body English inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Joining him were his friends, rapper Coolio and DJ Mel DeBarge, who spun tracks on the turntables.

Rev Run DMC
Photo courtesy of the Hard Rock Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Hard Rock Hotel

I will be back next week with more of what’s “happening” in and around Las Vegas.