I wish I could remember who told me that I had to go to Lagasse's Stadium at The Palazzo when I was out in Las Vegas for the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (I think it was my late friend, Craig Evert, if I'm not mistaken), but I decided to find the place for a lunch during my time out there. I had a meeting with one of my dealers in the middle part of the day during the show and he wanted to go get something to eat for lunch. I said, "Let's go try this one place I've heard about."
Lagasse's Stadium is one of the many restaurants under the umbrella of famed chef Emeril Lagasse. It is the only sports-themed restaurant of the 14 Emeril-run restaurants. Given the amount of sports restaurants or sports books in Las Vegas, Lagasse's Stadium had to make a big splash when it opened in the fall of 2009. Its main room features stadium seating with leather couches with betting windows up front. A large screen television flanked by 16 small large screen televisions are the main visual attractions in the room.
After a winding journey through The Palazzo, going down a level and then back up some steps, we were able to find the inside entrance to Lagasse's Stadium. We were met by a hostess who inquired if we were there for lunch. She offered to have us sit in the dining area up front, but I took a quick look past the bar in the front dining area and saw the room with the stadium seating. It was in that room that my dealer, one of his salesguys and myself set up for lunch just after 1 p.m. Understandably, with no major sporting events going on at that time, the room was pretty much to ourselves. We took a seat on one of the leather couches with sort of a small coffee table in front of us and our server came over with some menus.
Most of the food on the menu is your typical sports bar fare - sandwiches, appetizers, burgers, wings, etc. They also have entrees available such as fried chicken, ribs, steaks, and grilled salmon. Pizza is also available at Emeril's. There was a guy seated not far from us who was noshing on a pizza when we sat down. It didn't look too bad.
Because eating at the low coffee tables was going to be rather awkward, I decided on getting a sandwich. They had a pastrami sandwich on the menu that looked appealing to me, as did the reuben. I thought about the French dip for a moment, as well as the andouille sausage and peppers sandwich. But I figured that they both would be pretty messy and I didn't want to get anything on my clothes as I still had a half day to go with the show.
When our server came back, I inquired about the pastrami sandwich. She said that it was cold pastrami and I sort of winced. She said, "Yeah, I seem to get that quite a bit. I like a warm pastrami sandwich better than a cold one, too." She pointed out the reuben and said that the corned beef was hot with that. I asked if I could get a pastrami reuben with the pastrami warmed up. She sort of halted for a second and said, "Hmmm... You know, I don't know. I'll have to check with the chef." I told her that if she could get the reuben with warm pastrami, then I'd go for that. If not, I'd take the regular reuben.
My dealer got the Stadium Burger - plain. And I mean plain. He didn't want pickles or mustard, or any of the veggies. He said, "I can't stand pickles or mustard." I told him he probably didn't like the vinegar taste. He said, "I don't know, man. I've never been able to handle pickles or mustard." He did get Swiss cheese on the burger, however.
His salesguy ordered up the barbecue pork sandwich - slow-roasted pork, shredded and put on a bun and topped with a Creole mustard slaw, fried pickles and a tangy barbecue sauce. Fries came with all of our sandwiches.
Not long after we ordered, our food showed up. My reuben was made with corned beef, not pastrami. It wasn't a problem with me, but I just thought it was a little weird that they didn't have a hot pastrami sandwich. Other than New York, more hot pastrami sandwiches have to be eaten in Las Vegas than any other place. But the reuben was all right, nothing special. It was a basic bar reuben that was neither extremely appealing or overly unappealing.
My dealer's burger was a big thick patty drenched in melted Swiss cheese between two toasted bun halves. He said it was pretty good. But once again, it was nothing special. His salesguy said his barbecue pork sandwich was pretty good, as well. All our sandwiches/burgers were just that - pretty good. Definitely not bad, but not something where I'd crave to go back and have. Like I said, it was bar food that was above average.
After we finished our lunch and paid the tab, we ended up walking around Lagasse's Stadium to take a look at the place. My dealer, who also does some sports promoting with mixed martial arts fighting, was completely amazed at the place. "Man, I'm glad you brought me here," he said as he snapped pictures of the place with his cellphone. "This place is amazing."
There's a little nicer dining area toward the back and on a lower level from where we were seated in the stadium part of the place. It appeared to be a little nicer than the dining area that was up front near the entrance where we came in. (There's also an entrance from Las Vegas Blvd. into Lagasse's Stadium.) This area was shut down for lunch, but they still had the big screen televisions on showing some soccer match from Europe.
There's also a couple three private rooms at Lagasse's Stadium that feature dining areas, pool tables and leather couches similar to the ones we sat on for lunch. All throughout the place was sports memorabilia that may or may not have been authentic. Interestingly, there were hybrid jerseys on display - 1/2 Peyton Manning's jersey and the other half his brother, Eli's, jersey. Things like that. I just sort of shrugged my shoulders when I saw stuff like that. I was interested in some of the old pictures that were on display, however.
In a city that never sleeps, Lagasse's Stadium only serves food up to 10 p.m. each day. I suppose once the sporting events are over, the place usually clears out. But they do open at 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays for college sports that begin at 8 a.m. Las Vegas time, and at 8:30 a.m. on Sundays for pro sports that begin at 10 a.m. in Vegas. The food is all right, but it's not necessarily the reason one goes to Lagasse's Stadium. It's definitely an upscale sports bar, one of the nicer ones that I've ever been in. But compared to other sports bars I've been to, the food is about on par with most of them. And that's all right - Lagasse's Stadium is a sports bar, for God's sake! And an interesting one, at that.