A night of blackjack at the Alamo Travel Center
For quite a bit of time now, I have been fixing to have me a go at a game of blackjack. I’m not the best gambler around but I will admit to the fetish of having a firm hold on my game .Those who know a little about this hobby have definitely heard that Vegas has some of the best casinos, and I was really itching to find out if this ‘myth’ was right on the money or not.
Of course, a lot of people will tell you all about Vegas, but they will not refer you to any good houses or provide any good advice, just random epithets about a story they heard about friends that hit it big. My first step therefore was to look for the right source of information on this type of gaming because I did not want to be embarrassed at the tables.
My search for the best odds at blackjack took me to the internet, and pretty much of what I read was more than useless. In the end, I did stumble upon a credible site, Japan-101カジノ必勝法 and the information I found there was gold dust in every sense of the way. The strategies I read in there were real, practical, and I could just see myself walking out of the house of my choice with a massive smile. Armed with this information, I set about looking for some place to try out my new-found skills.
Finding me a casino
From a contact of mine down in Vegas, I quickly learnt that not all houses I could walk into had what I needed. They said that I would have a pretty good chance at the tables if I went to the Alamo Travel Center. This place can be found near another of its kind, the Silverton casino on the Blue Diamond Road.
I also managed to find a back up option, in this case the El Cortez.
The two casinos were similar in strategy, and I had a real dilemma deciding where to put my money that night. In both, you are always allowed to hit an extremely soft 17 and double down on any two cards pulled out first. You can also split any pair in order to enhance your chances of beating the house.
And in both of these casinos, the minimum bet is $5,which suited me just fine. Except that I had to choose a place.
I went with the Alamo Travel Center, where my strategies from Japan-101 were to go on test…
Here is what I tried:
· Learning the math
At the Alamo, I quickly realized that all I had been told about winning at blackjack was a lie . It is never about being in luck, it’s all about having the right mathematical approach. Counting cards is all about logic, and not some lucky hand or superstitious belief system. I learned that if I got things right from the word go, I could start off with my $5 and see where that took me, and I did precisely that.
· Using elementary strategies
I had a few aces up my sleeve, and I knew that things would work if I made the right calls at the right moments. I could split 9,9 against a dealer’s 5, or double down on a A7 if the house was pushing the game sideways or taking things to me. At some point, I decided to deal a 7,9 when the dealer came up with a 10 and that proved to be a masterstroke, setting me on why way to winning a goodly sum of money. There are right ways to play every hand, and only cold mathematical thrift is required. Or so I gathered.
· Coming to terms with the advantage of the house…and mine too
The folks over at Japan-101 had let me know by way of very straightforward articles and clips that the house knows that it starts on top because at the beginning of my game, I deal without knowing what their hole card is. Now, that is a bummer, but see, I was also made aware of my advantage. I raised or lowered the amount I bet on each hand as I wanted, and they couldn’t do a damn thing after they hit up to 17 even if they were losing all over the map.
My blackjack tryst at the Alamo Travel Center ended with a nice bundle on my end of the table, a sum somewhere north of $300.
Fun at 4 Seasons Drive In Restaurant: Mahtomedi,MN
If you enjoy simplicity and value, 4 Seasons Drive-In Restaurant is the place for you. I always pop in here when I’m visiting my mum in Mahtomedi, MN and I’m a confessed sucker for their chicken. After much raving my friend asked me to take her there and simply put, she was awed. We arrived there at around 12.30 pm and settled on the counter because she was on a drinking mood. Being a local I knew they indulge visitors with their own root beer and give free refills so I ordered two turkey sandwiches first. The waitress was back in a flash with our sandwiches and we stuffed our faces ready to have some fun.
Am still impressed by how friendly these people are. All the waiters stopped for a short chat and to know if we were okay. Though there is always pop music playing on the back ground, the place is otherwise very pleasant and cool. After a few mugs of the amazing root beer, I started getting weird cravings of everything I saw passing. We consulted a few servers who found this very amusing and they said they will make us a platter of everything. What came after a short 25 minutes was a huge tray of deliciously seasoned fries, half roasted chicken, two club sandwiches and a side of coleslaw.
This place has been in existence since my parents were kids and the quality of food has not changed a bit. They have done a few upgrades here and there to create a better atmosphere and bigger parking but the essence of a fast diner still remains. The history of Mahtomedi is alive in this place with many pictures on their wall and the employees have no problem explaining them to visitors.
We stayed there until a little after dark because my friend couldn’t stop hitting on a young barman so we got to enjoy some nice dance performance and the evening banana pie. It was my first time to be here in the evening and I was surprised by how packed it gets at that hour. The whole neighborhood was there and it felt like a family gathering with easy laughter and great conversations with everyone. At some point during the night it was hard to differentiate between visitors, locals and waiters. Everyone was having so much fun and the root beer was flowing.
It was tempting to stay there over night but we had to go. The waiter taking care of us tried to convince us to come for breakfast. Apparently they make the best pancakes and ham scramble of eggs, ham and cheese. After we declined his offer he handed us the bill and to our surprise we had spent way less than we expected. Their prices are extremely fair and this made me order their fantastic soup so I can sober up to drive. A jar of root beer was packed for my friend and she still talks about it to date.
For two town girls who enjoy fast food, we really enjoyed ourselves in this small diner that has passed the test of time. It is clean, convenient and the service is impeccable.
Krungthep Thai Menu
One of the advantages of living near Eat Street in Minneapolis, MN is the many amazing restaurants. I am not big on cooking since am single so I decided to try it all. It took me four days to get to Krungthep Thai Restaurant and long story short I haven’t entered the next place yet. Their menu is vast and everything I order randomly everyday just blows my mind. I have decided to try everything on their menu and two of my friends have joined this challenge. The atmosphere in this restaurant is simply great with small tables well arranged in two rooms. I should warn you though that the food is really spicy and they live up to the Thai reputation.
I noticed the first few days I went there that most people order the tofu because it’s crispy and really airy. Their red curry goes great with this and if you like noodles they have fantastic curry noddle soup. They make the best rice entrees whether its white, pineapple or curry fried. If you like soups, I recommend their coconut range or chicken soup, they are simply divine. Other dishes I have seen mostly ordered include the chicken, pad Thai, spring rolls and the prawns and they all come with great Thai salads.
In the few days I have been here for lunch I have noticed a few faces I see every day. It seems once you acquire a taste for Thai food it’s really hard to shake it. It’s really amazing that the chef cooks your meal after you order so it comes out fresh and very hot. I thought it was me only because I have a small tummy but I noticed they serve such large portions that most ladies don’t clear their plates. Maybe another reason why people come back here over and over is because they custom make your food. The waiters are keen when taking your order and they allow the customer to make suggestions on the spices and amount or type of oil used.
Unlike most joints on Eat Street, the service here is quite good and the waiters are friendly not to mention professional. Their prices are very reasonable compared to other Thai places and the food is worth more than you pay. If you value good food more than décor, this is the place for you.
I recommend you eat there instead of getting takeout so you can enjoy all the benefits but I hear their deliveries are also great. The downside to this place is that parking is limited but other than that you will get heaven on earth-and for a song too!
You want to watch a movie and enjoy it like you are on the set? How about Marcus Cinemas? There have been renovations going on and saying the place has gotten a new look would be to grossly understate the real thing. It’s amazing in there. The ambience is quite different from your usual movie theater. From the service, the snacks and the mega screens , this is the place for movie date.
Mega screens and regal seating arrangements
Now, what else makes a movie theater great if not the size of the screens and how you seat? Among the renovations was the addition of reclining leather seats. These together with the screens and digital surround sound set the mood just right for a movie. The movie theater has 10 top-of-the-range auditoriums, which all have the DreamLounger seats and DLX screens.
Food and beverage are taken care of
The movie experience at Marcus Theaters is like no other and the Rosemount cinema is no exception. If you are going for a night at movies, then you don’t need to worry about food. You can enjoy dinner or simply just buy snacks, it’s whatever you like. The options for food and beverage come from a number of fast food restaurants such as Big Screen Bistro, Reel Sizzle, Zaffiro’s and Take Five Lounge. With the variety that is available, you can have anything you like and go ahead to watch the movie
The ticket prices are quite affordable. For adults general tickets go for $7.50 and $10.50 in the evening. For 3-D seating the ticket prices are $10.50 for Matinee seats which goes up to $13.50 in the evening. For children aged 3-11 the seat prices are $7.00 for general seats and $9.00 for 3-D seating. There is a special price for military people, which you can only get with valid ID so don’t leave it at home. The prices for these seats are $7.00 and $7.50 in the evening for general Matinee seats. The rate for 3-D seating is $10.00 and $10.50 in the evening. As for the seniors (60+ years) the rates for general and 3-D seats are $7.00 and $9.00 respectively.
Marcus Cinemas are at the fore front in providing a unique movie experience. Try it out with one of the new releases and see how it goes for you.
In N Out Burger Hastings MN
You’re wondering where you can get a nice juicy burger and are tired of the disappointments that come with overrated first food joints. A good burger isn’t just about the burger meat. There’s more to it than having a good chef in the kitchen. The service has to be spot on and the place has to be inviting. When everything is just perfect you come out of the diner with a smile on your face-that you don’t even know you have on, and a feeling of sweet satisfaction. Here is a review of a place you might just get that from; In-n-Out Burgers, Hastings.
The service is exemplary
More often than not you find an overworked staff that is not as enthusiastic about seeing you as you would expect. This is far from what you will find here. The staff is warm and welcoming and the service is top notch. Your order is attended to really fast so you don’t have to wait too long if you want your food to go. Nobody likes a cashier who is too indulgent; you just want your food and a little small talk while you wait. The staff here remains professional so you’re not bogged down with anything inappropriate, just attentive staff.
Best steak you’ll have
Have you tried the steak burger? You may think that the best steak you’ve had is the one you had when you were in Argentina, this will disapprove you. It almost seems like they did some little tweaks to the recipe to get their own. The flavors just burst in your mouth; it is tender and has cooked just right. The double-double (cheese, whole grilled onions and ketchup) is another you should try. The fries are also amazing. If you like to pig out on some crispy dried fries with an appetizing golden look, then In-N-Out burgers is the place.
The space is designed with ambient lighting and couches at the back while the front has bar stools. It is quite big but then again always packed so you want to get your food before everyone comes over during lunch break. Soon they will need to find a bigger place because the clientele is only bound to grow. However, it’s a nice place to grab some lunch with your friends. The part about the set up that is absolute ingenuity is that there is enough space to keep you from bumping into customers as you sit at the counter.
A lot of fast food restaurants fall short of the praise they get, probably because your expectations are far much higher. You can rest assured that you won’t have to go through the same here. In-N-Out Burgers is a seamless combination of good people and good food. For those who live close by and have not yet tried it-even though it is highly unlikely, you should go over there and experience for yourself what the place has to offer. They also happen to have ample parking so you won’t have any problems finding a spot. You will love the smoothies and the service that comes with them.
Marcus Carmike 15 in Apple Valley, MN
A personal experience
I have been to many theaters in the recent past but none has impressed me quite as much as the Marcus Carmike 15 in Apple Valley, MN. I asked an employee where they have been hiding this place! He told me it has just been newly upgraded. Five stars for the comfortable dream loungers that cost no extra cost. The electric reclining seats are on every row whether you are VIP or not and they go all the way down. I saw people bringing blankets and cuddling there.
It was amazing to finally visit a place where you can order a nice meal and enter with it inside the theater. On top of the usual popcorn and soda which by the way is really fresh, you can get some pizza or burgers and fries too. I was surprised to learn this because of how clean the theater is.
With part of their refurbishment being the big screens, watching a movie here was quite a treat. The combination of leaning chairs, high ceiling and huge screens make the pictures somehow burst to life before your very eyes. Though the theatre is generally small, it feels quite peaceful and there is no noise. The sound surround system is clear, just loud enough and equalized throughout the entire theater. You can also choose where you want to sit when you are buying the tickets and this makes for fast settling and less confusion.
Most of the common areas were redone too including the rest rooms and the huge parking area. I was quite impressed by the fast and super friendly employees because this is not common in most movie theaters. It is better to buy tickets online if you think you will be late but they play previews and adverts for the first twenty minutes to give everyone time to get in.
Though the seats are extremely comfortable, their ticket price is still cheaper than most of the other theaters around. I found out that you can sign up online or physically for the reward system they have. With this you can redeem your points and get free tickets once in a while. They have fantastic Tuesdays for their loyalty members where every three movie tickets come with 2 hotdogs and 3 popcorn for free.
I liked how easy it is to access this theatre and according to the guy I talked to, they are still in the middle of upgrading. More IMAX screens are on the way and the sound system will be even better.