Fun at Pete's

Mar 23, 2010 7:04 AM

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE: Sunday found us sitting in the M Resort sports book watching basketball with husband Ron. We confess that at this point in the Madness (what an appropriate name) series it’s difficult for us to distinguish one game from another.

We did get distracted watching some of the characters around us that seem to frequent race and sports books, and were mildly amused by the young fellow at the next cubicle trying to convince his mother via cell phone to go to the payday loan office ("It’s just five blocks away," he offered.) to borrow money so he could bet on a sure thing. ("Mom, it’s not gambling when you know you’re going to win," he opined.) We weren’t purposely trying to eavesdrop, but the man was not using his inside voice so he was difficult to ignore. Luckily for both him and his mother, his plea was unsuccessful.

With the side show finished, and knowing Ron would be engrossed for another hour or so, we decided to walk around.

The casino was busy – both tables and slots – and the poker room had a waiting list. Although it was well past the lunch hour, there was still a line at the Studio B Buffet.

We decided to put a couple of dollars into one of the penny slots. (Why do they call them penny slots when you have to play 25 to 50 credits with each spin?) It was a WMS Industries machine. Since there are so many lines, we never try to figure out if each spin is a winner; we let the machine tell us. (Regular players who are able to make this determination on their own impress us.)

After a few spins we realized that the screen at the top of the machine had changed. Instead of the game’s logo it was showing video of the Terzetto restaurant at M. The videos continued, showing various ads for in-house restaurants and promotions. In between were ads for Bud Light, Absolut, Coors Light, Grey Goose and Jagermeister. A much smaller screen near the spin button was showing the same thing.

What a great idea. We can’t imagine a more captive audience.

FUN! FUN! FUN! That’s what Gabrielle Reisler says about Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar at Town Square. The doors open at 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; the show begins at 8 and continues until 2 a.m.

"The place was packed Saturday night," Gabrielle reported. "We had to stand until a table was available, but that didn’t keep us from having a good time. We sang along with the music and danced in our own little space.

"Sometimes the performers changed the words to a song, which made everybody laugh. The waiters and waitresses got involved, too. There’s even a disco ball for added atmosphere. Can’t remember when I’ve had more fun," she concluded.

You can bet this sing-along, clap-along, drink-along, good-time bar is going on our list of "must go" places.

THE JOINT WAS JUMPIN’! A friend stopped at Aria late Friday morning to place a wager on his favorite NCAA team. With March Madness in full swing the sports book was packed, as he expected it would be. But as the bettor made his way to the book and back, he noticed the casino was bustling, too.

"Don’t think I’ve seen a casino that busy during the day in a couple of years," he said. "It looked good."

We agree.

GREAT EATS at moderate prices can be found at the Brio Tuscan Grille at Town Square. We’re especially fond of the spicy shrimp with eggplant, which features pan-seared shrimp in a black pepper cream sauce over Romano crusted eggplant for just $11.95. (Ever notice we hang out at a lot of Italian eateries?)

See you around town.