Trader Vic’s was an addition to the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino, formerly the Aladdin (but in this post-9/11 world, middle east theming is going the way of the Dodo bird. Even the long standing Sahara will be losing it’s theme soon). For those of you who don’t know the story, I give you a quick excerpt from Wikipedia:
Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr. (December 10, 1902 – October 11, 1984) was the founder of a chain of Polynesian-themed restaurants that bore his nickname, Trader Vic, and one of two people who claimed to have invented the Mai Tai. The other was his amicable competitor for many years, Don the Beachcomber.
During the Tiki culture fad of the ’50s and ’60s, as many as 25 Trader Vic’s restaurants were in operation around the world, all featuring the popular mix of Polynesian artifacts, unique cocktails, and exotic cuisine. In the 1980’s and 1990’s the empire began to shrink as a new generation of people had little or no connection to the restaurants’ tiki theme. Poor locations or less trendy addresses also took a toll on the chain’s popularity. While many of the original locations have since closed, Trader Vic’s is experiencing an explosive resurgence as new generation discovers the strong drinks and unique tiki atmosphere. Twenty-five locations exist around the globe today equaling the previous chain record, with a few more due to open shortly.
So, knowing this bit of food history because I’m a food history dork, and knowing that Trader Vic’s was where Crab Rangoon was first concocted, it was at the top of my list of places to try on this trip to Vegas. (more…)