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Tabberone's Travel Guide
Dining in Central City, CO
and Black Hawk, CO

Last Updated Jume 1, 2015

We only talk about the places where we have actually eaten. While The Deal has a food "critic", keep in mind The Deal is primarily advertising and their critic does not want to offend and in somes cases appears to "write" reviews without actually having eaten there.

Remember, the specials and comp meals tend to change over time so what we describe for specials and comps may no longer be offered.

Central City, Colorado

Reserve Casino & Hotel
The Chef's Kitchen was setup like a buffet but it was not self-serve. Someone behind the counter served you, buffet-style. Not only was it slow but also labor intensive when it should not be. The table at which we sat was sticky from previous night. And why do they charge for soda and coffee when the same coffee and soda is free just a short walk away in the casino? We were not impressed. We have been told the serving style has been changed but we still do not intend to go back. [Last ate there January 2012]

Black Hawk, Colorado

Ameristar Casino & Hotel
Centennial Buffet - Often has discount offers for slot play. Large with well-prepared food selection. Opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Variety of food choices include Mexican, Chinese, Italian, American, a carving station and a very large salad bar. Has crab legs only on weekends.
Fireside Kitchen - Opens at 7am for breakfast. Large portions and good service. SSunday -Thursday 7AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 7AM-11PM. We eat breakfast there very often.
Timberline Grill - Closed Monday and Tuesday. Reservations. Pricey. It appears that the management has decided to destroy what was an excellent steak house. The menu has been reorganized into illogical groups and into small type that makes it difficult to read in the less light. And what steak house removes a baked potato from their menu? Timberline Grill did. The pork chops were covered in so much "liquid smoke" to almost make them inedible. The sirloin steak was served on a metal plate that was so hot one could burn their fingers trying to eat it. The fancy steak knives are dull and too large. And so on. We usually ate there at least once a month but we are now going across the street to the White Buffalo at the Lodge Casino.
Waypost Deli - Open from 11am to 7am. Open all night which makes it available for those late night players. Good-sized menu.
Star Club Lounge - A perk awarded to higher-level card-holders. Sometimes they have free passes available for us mere mortals. Food and drinks are free. Free. Free food and drinks. Did we mention, "free"? Food was excellent, but like the Timberline Grill, with whom it shares a kitchen, the food quality is beginning to suffer. Cozy atmosphere with lounge seating, bar, small buffet and four flat screen TVs. If you get the chance, do go.

Lodge Casino & Hotel
Seasons Buffet - Sometimes has discount offers for slot play. Food is good. A smaller seating capacity than the buffets at the Ameristar and at the Isle. Offers a good breakfast with a large selection and lots of fresh fruit. Their crab legs were easy to pick and eat unlike some places. Dinner buffet was very good. [Last ate there March 2015]
White Buffalo - Reservations suggested. Prices are reasonable and portions are large. The White Buffalo, like the TARDIS, is larger on the inside than it appears from outside. Good service and good menu selections. [Last ate there May 2015]

Golden Mardi Gras Casino
Bourbon Street Cafe & Buffet - 3rd Floor. We ate there Wednesday, August 21, 2013, around 5:30pm, shortly after it officially opened. It was not worth the short walk in the rain. Terrible. Instant mashed potatoes, the baked chicken was dry, the Spanish rice was dry and hard, the crab legs were dry and difficult to pick, clarified butter for the crab legs, no tomatoes at the salad bar, the fresh fruit looked iffy. In many places there was food on the floor dropped by diners during lunch that had not been cleaned up. The BBQ pork and the pasta were fine. Surprise. The plastic food covers in several places were too extended making serving oneself tricky. And the music. Except for the staff, the patrons were overwhelmingly older but the background music was some strange rock group playing unidentifiable songs.

Further, an advertisement we saw the next day in The Deal stated that they were having a a special, "Buy One Buffet, Receive One FREE", so we were over charged as well. The advertisement stated no restrictions on the offer yet we were not offered the discount nor was there any mention of it when we went into the buffet. We will not be returning.

Lady Luck Casino & Hotel
Otis & Henry's Restaurant - 2nd Floor. Discount offered for age over 50 for breakfast (check with them on other offers). Opens 7am. On Wednesdays and Fridays five points of play that day on players card gets $10 off food for age over 50. Good food. We had the "Full House" which is scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, toast and hash potatoes. Inexpensive. The Full House was $4.99 and you could substitute a very tasty fruit cup for the hash brown potatoes. [last visit August 2014]

Monarch Casino
Monarch Buffet - 2nd Floor. Sometimes discount offered for slot play. Breakfast buffet is very nice with lots of fresh fruit, salad and cold cuts for those seeking something less traditional. This buffet has improved nicely under the new management. The dinner buffet offers a Maine lobster and very good crab legs. The staff is friendly and attentive. Good selection of food well prepared. [last visit March 2015]

Isle Casino & Hotel
Calypso's Buffet - Crab leg buffet every night. Previous promotions included specials for diners over 40 years old for $5 of slot play, and others, but we do not know if those still are offered. [last visit was in 2012]
Farraddays - Near the buffet. Opens 5pm. Has early diner special until 7pm. Excellent food and service. Reservations are recommended. Comp coupons awarded for slot play. [last visit was in 2012]

Canyon Casino
Canyon Grille - 3rd Floor. Excellent food. Good prices. Opens for breakfast at 8:30am but from our experience they are not ready for customers until 9am or later. We have eaten breakfast there twice and both times the service was slow and there were a few tables with dirty dishes from the night before.

Gilpin Casino
Affiliated with the Lodge Casino.
Lucille Malone's Restaurant - 2nd Floor. Excellent food. Reasonable prices. We arrived at 5pm for dinner. Staff very attentive and our server knew the menu well. Their salad bar had tomatoes, unlike a few we can name. And sliced radishes plus three different bell peppers. But, their Club 50 promotion is lacking in information. It has the typical "See Winners Club for details" blurb when they really mean go to customer service and get a coupon. But they do not say it! Why not? Except, all one needs is to be over 50 and a players card. In this day of computers, and Lucille Malone's Restaurant is computerized, a players card and a drivers license should be sufficient. Why make the older patrons jump through bureaucratic hoops for a promotion? Why please? Lucille Malone's Restaurant and the Gilpin Casino are not the only ones doing it. [last visit August 27, 2013]

The Saratoga Casino
Garden Buffet - 3rd Floor via newly installed escalators. Food is lacking. The corned beef was tasteless as was the cabbage. The "crusted fish" should have given the name of the fish. The sliced ham was adequate but lacked imagination. The salad bar had no tomatoes. No tomatoes! How is that over looked? Most of the food was too cold except for the two soups which were very hot. The vegetables were tolerable. We did not eat the same selection and shortly after leaving Karen was complaining of stomach problems. It might have been one of the sauces or dressing she had. [visited July 23, 2013]

Another complaint is the "Senior Discount" offer on Mondays and Tuesdays. No where on their web site, FaceBook page, or advertising (The Deal and The Colorado Gambler), is there any mention of the "Senior" being required to go to customer service and get a voucher in order to get the discount. We were offended by the snide attitude of the Garden Buffet's front desk staff, "We won't make you go downstairs and get one, this time." All that is required is a players card for the Saratoga Casino and being over 50 years old. That is easily confirmed by presenting the players card and a photo ID at the buffet desk. Most casino information is computerized so why do seniors have to jump through the "voucher hoop"? The food at the Garden Buffet is not worth the standing in line for the voucher. We will not be returning.

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