Las Vegas is the fattest city in America, according to Men’s Fitness magazine, which has published a survey of the most and least healthy spots in the country over the past ten years. That’s up from #2 in 2006. Viva Las Vegas!
Fast food and indolence contribute to the huge girth of so many citizens of this rollicking city, but far more than fried food, fast cars, and the TV remote control, it’s the mentality of giving into desire and fantasy. Las Vegas doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase, “Just say no!”
I had changed planes there 20 years ago during its dwindling era of showgirls, organized crime, graft, and huge all-you-can-eat buffets. Back then, the city was captured in Martin Scorsese’s “Casino” and Hunter Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
But nowadays Las Vegas is like a colony on the planet Mars as seen in “Total Recall.” Everything is bright, noisy, fast, exciting, and delightful. Best of all, the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred more than any other place I’ve ever been. Is that a millionaire at the roulette table? Or is he an actor hired by the casino to look like a winner? Is that couple in love? Or has money changed hands to bring them together?
The food is delicious at the upscale spots with no limits placed on the chef’s imagination. As long as the chef continues to pack them in, the backers will allow him or her to use ingredients, techniques, and equipment that are simply too expensive to employ elsewhere on this planet. As the chef indulges his or her fantasy, so do the customers. No place epitomizes the bigness, lushness, and fantastic qualities of Las Vegas better than its restaurants.