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How to Enjoy a Meal in Vegas

Should you quickly get back to the casino floor or take your time?

(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)
(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)

Las Vegas has no shortage of things to do, but there is one thing Bill Simmons and Joe House can’t agree on: Do you go there to gamble or eat? The two took sides on the latest episode of House of Carbs.

Listen to the full podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.

House: Invest Time in the Meal

"It is a foundational argument," House said. "I obviously want to invest in the meal. Because the casinos are open 24 hours. There’s no danger of missing out on any gambling time when you’re in Las Vegas, and Las Vegas now, over the last half-decade, has become an extraordinary eating destination."

Simmons said he can sit on a blackjack table for 15 hours, but House can’t. So the food becomes more important.

"I’m not there for the blackjack death march to sit at the table for a dozen hours or 15 hours," House said. "In fact, the last time we went together, we had a wonderful three- or four-hour meal at the Nobu, ate all the sushi they had. Cousin Sal and I went from the Nobu to the pizza place, and enjoyed a slice together for dessert. We needed to add in a little bit of fat after all that fish. And then we got to the table. We gambled for about an hour. The girl came around offering the massage, of course I said yes, the massage at the table. Which was wonderful. But, you know, I only need about three hours at the tables. I don’t need 15 hours. It’s not an endurance contest for me."

Simmons: Vegas Is for Gambling

"I’m in Vegas, I want to play blackjack," Simmons said. "And I can play blackjack for between 12 and 15 straight hours. Pretty consistently, that’s really all I want to do."

But he doesn’t always get to do that, often because he’s with House, who wants to eat.

"And over and over again, I’ve seen my friends make the mistake of, we go to this dinner, it’s three hours, we’re done at 11, everyone overeats, and then people kind of stumble to the tables, and the karma is all off," Simmons said. "And you know what? You’re the biggest offender. I’m just gonna come out and say it. You’re the number-one offender. Because when I’m in Vegas, I want it to feel like a movie. I want the table to be alive, and we’re cracking jokes with the dealer, and everybody’s winning, and the drinks are flying. What I don’t want is, like, slumped-over Joe House, who shouldn’t have had the 64-ounce rib eye, shoulda ordered the 10-ounce filet, and he’s just … in a coma. Which is what you’ve done to me five times."