Our Dinner On Bobby Flay

I’ll let Helaine describe him, because she’s a Food Network habitue: “A little taller, younger looking and better looking than I expected.”

If you’ve ever been to a casino and signed up for their player’s program you’ve gotten offers. The idea is to get you back in the door where your wallet can be shared.

Hey–that’s their business. This is not a state secret I’m revealing.

Last Wednesday Helaine got an email offer from Mohegan Sun. It was for an event Saturday. Usually these come out far ahead.

Wednesday for Saturday means they were scrambling. Maybe they were forced to lower their criteria. Whatever the reason we were invited to Bar Americain for food, some giveaways and a chance to see Bobby Flay who is feverishly promoting his new book.

“Are you going to tell him you think he’s pompous?” Helaine asked as we mulled attending. I’m a little sensitive in this regard. I promised to be nice.

Helaine registered around 6:00 PM and got two wrist bands. We returned at 8:00 PM to find a short line and a sign on the door. “Closed for private event.” That was us.

Mohegan Sun is a beautiful facility and this is an equally beautiful restaurant. The bar was open and the waitstaff was roaming the room with trays of appetizers. There was a pretty icy display of seafood salads and immense shrimp. At two carving stations chefs sliced the most tender fillet I’ve ever tasted! They also dished out a fried chicken that was moist, tender and showed no internal signs of having ever been near oil.

I watched Bobby move back-and-forth from the brightly lit kitchen into the restaurant. He smiled and stopped to take photos. If he was the guy I perceived from TV it wasn’t in evidence last night.

I’ll let Helaine describe him, because she’s a Food Network habitue: “A little taller, younger looking and better looking than I expected.”

We left stuffed. The food was VERY tasty.

After the fact I got a look at the regular menu. As you might imagine it’s not cheap, but for an occasion I’d go back in a heartbeat.

This is my third Bobby Flay meal. Maybe it’s time I began to value him for his food and not his persona.

A Day At The Sun

Mohegan Sun is one of two casinos ‘in’ Connecticut. ‘In’ is in quotes because these are sovereign nations–a term I don’t totally understand.

“I can’t believe it’s just over a day since we left.” That was Helaine referring to our whirlwind trip to Mohegan Sun. It was for an occasion, but I’m sworn to secrecy. Let’s leave it at that!

Mohegan Sun is one of two casinos ‘in’ Connecticut. ‘In’ is in quotes because these are sovereign nations–a term I don’t totally understand. It is a spectacular complex with two immense casinos, shopping, upscale restaurants, a large arena and giant hotel.

Before casinos Eastern Connecticut was the quiet part of the state. It was the section of Connecticut most like the rest of New England. Now the two casinos are the economic engine which powers the area.

By the time we’d driven the 65 miles to Uncasville we were hungry! First stop Bobby’s Burger Palace. In this case Bobby is Bobby Flay, celebrity chef. I’m not a fan of his persona, but I love his cooking.

I had a Chicago Burger with fries and a vanilla bean malted. Oh–it was ‘crunchified’ meaning potato chips were embedded in the burger. The taste was excellent especially the malted. I can’t remember the last malted I had.

This was going to be a one-meal-per-day trip!

I wandered over to the poker room. For years Mohegan Sun had gone without poker, but it’s back and the room is big. Later this month the Sun will host a large televised tournament. It’s a lot too rich for my blood with a $5,000 buy-in for the main event (though most qualify by winning smaller satellite tournaments).

I played three separate sessions Saturday and Sunday at $1/$2 no limit Hold ‘Em tables. I am not a big money player. I lost in one session and won the other two times. My profit was a little under a hundred dollars.

Helaine had gone online for tickets to a comedy show. We headed to the Cabaret Theater where the Treehouse Comedy Club is now booking comedians.

The format for shows like this is always the same with three comics: a headliner, featured act and the emcee. In this case that meant Richie Byrne, Tina Giorgi and Bob Dibuono.

Three for three! We laughed a lot. Helaine and I agree Tina Giorgi (a former schoolteacher) was our favorite of the night, though Richie Byrne (who does the audience warm-up for the Dr. Oz Show) finished very strong.

Our single meal today was brunch at Caesar and Pompeii. We’ve eaten there before, both brunch and for dinner. The brunch buffet was very good with lots of seafood, lamb chops and a dessert table that would make you fat just looking at it! Unfortunately, there’s no longer dinner at Caesar and Pompeii and even the Sunday brunch disappears Mother’s Day.

The best part of the trip was going with Helaine! We had a great time together. Even after twenty six years she’s a helluva date.


Still Having Fun

I played in the noon Hold’em tournament at Caesar’s Palace. It’s a great tournament because of the blind structure. You start with a lot of chips and can wait a while before committing to a pot.

I didn’t do all that well… in other words, I didn’t cash. I’m still ahead, though not by much.

While waiting for the tournament, I was hungry. I went to a place that looked casual… coffee shoppish, if you will – Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill.

I sat at the counter and had the 16 Season Chicken Salad. It was really tasty and I especially liked the goat cheese.

I have taken way too many photos. It’s come to the point, when I see tourists taking a photo, but one of the is not in the picture, because he’s taking it, I offer to take it for them! I’ve done that at least a half dozen times so far – maybe more.

Tonight we see Roseanne Barr, across the street at New York New York.