A state board voted Tuesday to approve a casino overlooking the Kansas City Speedway in Wyandotte County. With that done, here's Fat City advice to the Hollywood Casino developers on dining options that they might want to consider as part of the 28,000 square feet of planned restaurant and entertainment space.
Restaurants in casinos -- particularly Las Vegas -- tend to be wonderfully over the top, with enormous dining rooms, menus and portions. The Hollywood Casino could stand out in the Midwest by taking a lesson from the restaurant offerings a few hundred miles west.
At a casino you basically want three levels of dining, for whether you're winning, losing or just trying to inhale food while on a 10-minute break during a poker tournament.
For the fancy option, you're not required to wear a jacket but it's not a bad idea. A good nominee is Craftsteak Las Vegas (MGM Grand). The chain started by Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio is the kind of steakhouse that makes you want to go to a casino even if you don't gamble. Although you'll find white tablecloths, this is very approachable fine dining.
For the lunch option, you should be able to escape for less than $20 and still feel like you had a quality meal.
Thomas Hubert Keller's Burger Bar (Mandalay Bay) is the way to go. It would make the casino would be meat heavy, but this is Kansas City, we'll deal. Here, you can get as basic or high-end a burger as you'd like (Cranberry to Black Perigord Truffle Sauce) and still enjoy a "dessert" burger -- a donut covered in fruit or chocolate.
The dirty option is where you end up when you find your wallet is lighter and it's suddenly 3 a.m. At Slots-A-Fun (next to Circus Circus), the 1/2 pound hot dog is the meatiest choice you can get. It's 99 cents and all beef.
These types of restaurants are what happens when a developer thinks big. Let us hope we don't end up with a churrascaria, a sports bar and a barbecue franchise.
[Image via Flickr: mackyboy81]