So here I was in the new Horseshoe Casino at 1550 Russell Street in downtown Baltimore playing slots and table games for going on six hours (not really but it makes for a better beginning to this feature). Suddenly, I realized I hadn’t had anything to eat during that entire time. So I gathered up my chips and was shocked to discover I had won more than $5,000 (not really but it makes for a better beginning to this feature).
When entering the casino from the parking lot (the free parking lot) the first thing you should notice is how well lit the facility is and that includes the massive lot. Not many casinos can boost of that. I think that fact makes the casino more welcoming. Then you’ll notice how big it is. Though size is not indicative of content since most casinos are big. This one is on two levels so it might take you a little while to find where everything is. But that can be fun as you wonder about gazing at all the lights and excitement.
OK, let’s begin our culinary tour. First a quick look at some of the lounges. For the Diamond Lounge you’ll need a card. I had a library card, but that didn’t seem to impress anyone. It is exclusive to the high rollers. Then there’s the 1440, so named because it’s open every minute of every day. You do the math. In the Tag Bar you’ll find electronic table games.
There are other locations for libations but it’s time for real food. For a quick meal browse around the 20,000-square foot Baltimore Marketplace featuring Charm City food outlets, like Lenny’s Deli.
If you’re in the mood for some authentic Mexican food then by all means walk into Johnny Sanchez, also featuring farm to table items. I had a sampling from the menu and I never enjoyed Mexican food so much. In all honesty, Mexican isn’t my favorite, but that might be because I never had it so authentic as it got here. The only other place as good would be to go to Mexico.
Then there’s the name we all know, Guy Fieri. He has put together, and it indeed is his creation, Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen and Bar. The menu offers an extensive variety of burgers, wings and small bites. In the warmer months there’s outside dining overlooking the entertainment plaza. It’s a well appointed area with very friendly staff.
If you’re really hungry, then wander on over to Jack Binion’s Steakhouse. I dined on those sizzling oysters and a delicious porterhouse. All meats are prepared and aged in the kitchen. The wine list comes on an I Pad. This is white table cloth service. Congrats to chef Eric Littlejohn for offering such tender meat. Sunday stop in for the Jazz Brunch.
Oh yes, more more thing. I have had crab cakes all over town and many of them are very good. But I have never had a crab cake served on a crab shell as you’ll get here. Quite an interesting presentation. It was almost too skillfully prepared to eat. Almost.
I will be the first to tell you I am not what is today called a foodie. To me that means someone who besides eating good food, knows how to make it. So my describing restaurants comes from someone who enjoys the dining out experience and with just enough knowledge to be dangerous. Most likely like many of you reading this.
So when summarizing the food available to you at Horseshoe I can simply say there are items for every taste and yes pocketbook. You can indeed find a meal that wont cost you a fortune. You don’t have to eat at Binion’s, but it is a treat.
Back in the casino itself, you can sit down at the World Series of Poker Room, stage an event in their ballroom, indulge in a beer in B’More Beer, over 22 local beers, arrive during Happy Hour where there’s half price appetizers and drinks at all locations or you can play in the High Limit Gaming Room. I showed them my $5 and they showed me the way out.
Eddie Applefeld is a Baltimore native and a graduate of Towson University. He has been in the broadcasting profession for over 30 years. Currently he is the Promotions Director of WCBM radio. Before that, he was part of the Rouse & Company show on WQSR, host of a cable TV show called Dining Out and adjunct instructor at Towson.
His past accomplishments include being named a finalist in Baltimore Tourism’s Employee of the Year Program and winner of Toastmaster’s Speaker of the Year contest. He was also twice a heartthrob for the American Heart Association’s gala fund raiser.