Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Start Trek: The Undiscovered Condiment

I hate to cover old ground. Case in point: google "Star Trek: The Experience - Las Vegas" and you'll find any number of blogs, reviews and fan-blubbery about how cool it is, how cool the rides are and how cool the bar/promenade is. And for once the e-gushing is not unfounded. Every time I hit the strip it's easily destination "Number One."

So of course my recent business trip to Vegas had to include a stopover at the final frontier...if for no other reason than to patronize the greatest bar of all time...fictional or otherwise. Highlights of the menu at Quarks Bar include the "Riker-Rita," the "Hamborger" and the "Grilled Chicken of Khan." I was saving myself for a full-on Vegas buffet later that day so I made due with "Hoshi Sato's Coconut Shrimp":

Look to the left of my shrimp and you'll see one of the place's biggest draws, or what's left of it. Yes, here the Romulan Ale flows like wine. It's one of the many advantages of being so far away from Starfleet Headquarters. Probably the most infamous of all Trek contraband, the blue stuff is available on tap or by the case:

Of course everyone is familiar with Romulan Ale and as I said I'd prefer to cover new ground. So in an effort to document some of the galaxy's more obscure nosh I thought I would raid the Trek Pantry. I think this calls for another drink:

A part of the "Deep Space Wine" collection, "Klingon Blood Wine" probably tastes better than it sounds. In past visits I recall seeing a "Trill Wine" but couldn't find it this time. Is it possible that the Star Trek fan base was unable to support multiple sci-fi themed wines? Or is it just that in the Star Trek High School, the Klingons are forever seated at the "cool kids table" while the lesser known Trills just can't maintain a level of popularity that justifies producing bottle after bottle of novelty hootch?

Maybe so. Blue beer and blood wine may keep the attention of today's younger, sassier Trekkie, but what this party needs is a main course flavored by old school Trek iconography:

Oh yes, Sulu's Original Spicy Asian Wing Sauce will fill the gaping void in all of our lives. On a personal note this one kind of stings. Knowing that I only traveled with a carry-on bag and that the sauce bottle would push me over the .0000005 ounce liquid regulation at the airport, this one remained just out of grasp. My usual policy is to avoid cavity searches at all cost so Sulu Sauce must wait.

Now here's one that I missed the last few visits. Hiding in plain sight is a genuine 24th century replicator:

This is located on a wall right next to a few of the promenade shops. I must have walked right past it several times thinking it was just part of the decor. I should have known better.

Just push the button of your selection and it magically appears in front of you. You can see some alien dish materializing in the picture. I like this because its purpose goes no further than 5 to 8 seconds of fun. It makes no money. I takes no money. It's just ten extra pounds of "kewl" stuffed into an already full five pound sack.

It looks like I was able to stumble onto something else on this trip:

Right outside the entrance to the "Experience" is the all new Star Trek slot machine. I'm not a big slot player. Today's machines are way too complicated than the spinning cherries and grapes of our youth. I played $2.00 worth and even though I didn't really follow what was happening, the spinning, the graphics and the sound effects were well worth the cash.

I believe this is new because right after I played, a guy asked me some survey questions about it and payed me $10.00. In my book I consider it to be an $8.00 win. And that's more than I've won on any slot machine before.

So now the score is:

Me: 1
Vegas: 1,278,987,147

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