Friday, September 30, 2005

Symbolic of all that's wrong

As an old farm boy (though many years removed), the Oklahomilist knows BS when he smells it and certainly when he sees it. This report from the Las Vegas Review Journal (online) has it all.

Soaring gasoline prices? That's small potatoes compared to the elite steaks in Las Vegas.

Along Las Vegas Boulevard and off the Strip, the $20-something steak has gone the way of the $1.99 buffet.

A survey of top eateries reveals the most expensive steaks this side of New York City, if not even higher than there.

Granted, many of the jaw-dropping prices are the result of more Kobe beef being served. Take Shintaro, the Japanese eatery at Bellagio, where the 10-ounce Washugyu Kobe tenderloin is going for $190. Shintaro's 12-ounce sirloin commands $170.

Over at Bradley Ogden, the high-end restaurant at Caesars Palace, the 8-ounce Kobe steak goes for $175.

Also cracking the $100 barrier: Craftsteak at the MGM Grand, with a 10-ounce Kobe filet mignon price at $100. On the cusp: a 14-ounce Kobe ribeye for $98.

That got your attention? Wealthy high rollers are plunking down mucho dinero for prime beef. As Sam would say, it's what's for dinner.

Yes, it's outrageous, agrees Russell Anzevino, assistant maitre d' at Michael's, "but it's got to do with the availability of prime beef. In the days of the $20 steak, prime beef was plentiful. Now one percent of beef is deemed prime now."

Prime beef, he said, "is deemed just like a vintage wine. It goes through an auction. It's very rare, almost like diamonds."

Funny how down at the local Reasors supermarket good beef cuts can be purchased, this very day, for $4.25 a pound.

A fool and his money are soon parted and those Vegas guys can spot suckers coming and going. As P.T. used to say, "There's one born every minute."


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