Oh what a difference a day makes. I felt cheated on my gaming experience yesterday after a visit to the Racino and I had to atone for that by a fun packed day at Cleveland’s one and only Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield. The Rocksino is by far the absolute be all end all of casinos in the Cleveland area. Always being updated and never ever duplicated by the competition the Rocksino is my one and only choice for Cleveland gaming. Even the air smells different when you walk in the doors. It somehow smells like the beach. It’s weird. Well, probably not weird, probably something to do with the smell of happiness that may or may not be pumped into the ventilation system. If money and cool had a smell this would be it.
The minute you walk in the entrance, no matter the time of day or season of the year, you walk into another world. A world of never ending happiness, you can see the sun day or night (wait sorry those are Prince lyrics. I got sidetracked). That being said the rock and roll vibe is strong with this one. When you hear the music over the speakers you swear to God someone is making a mix tape especially for you. Hard enough to rock out a little soft enough to make you want to spend money on them. It’s like you have your own soundtrack as you are playing the machines. The music is upbeat and relevant. Yes, I notice the small things like this. The other places just don’t get it. Their music is piped in cliches geared toward the senior set. I heard Soundgarden, Madness, REM, The Cure, U2. All stuff hip enough to bring back good memories for those who remember those tunes.
Now let’s talk about food. You have four options; Kosar’s (which is awesome, went there a few months back really enjoyed it), a little small bistro called Constant Grind for a quick bite an cup of joe, the Hard Rock Cafe (haven’t tried it yet, looks decent enough) and the Fresh Harvest Buffet which we checked out today. Buffets here are not going to rate against a Vegas style option out in the real land of casinos. However that being said Fresh Harvest can hold its own against anything buffet style I have had in the tri-state area. I have had the absolute worst; Presque Isle. I have had the mediocre; The Spread at the Horseshoe, and now I have had the best in the area; Fresh Harvest.
They have a nice salad station which I couldn’t be bothered with due to the overwhelming options at the other stations. I passed on the Asian food, because, well you can get that sort of thing anywhere, but hey the blue hairs love that shit. There was a nice little Italian section with various pasta options; lasagna rolls were pretty amazing, the ravioli were cooked well with a nice tomato basil cream sauce. The local favorites section featured a nice Shepherds Pie, potato cheese pierogi, mac and cheese and multiple other choices. The standards were well represented with a nice fried tilapia, fried chicken and fresh cooked Italian sausage at the carving section. The grill features burgers, turkey or beef, and they had out a nice little gyro bar. They had a little something for everyone and there wasn’t one thing I had that I didn’t like. At the end of the day you want to go to a buffet and not think you are actually at a buffet and that was the case here. Sure there wasn’t a mountain of fresh shucked oysters like the Rio in Vegas, but we aren’t in Vegas Dorthy.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie Swingers has got to be their drive on the way to Vegas. The excitement at the start of the trip as it wears on to the moments when they finally see the lights beckoning them.
Mikey: “All right, listen. I took out $200 but I’m only betting with $100. I can’t afford any more than that, all right? And I figure if we buy a lot of chips, though, the pit boss will see us, he’ll comp us all sorts of free shit; that’s how it works over there. But you gotta be cool.”
Trent: “I’m cool, baby, I’m cool. They’re gonna give Daddy a room, some breakfast, maybe Bennett singing.”
The comps here aren’t Vegas style, but they do offer a decent enough Rock Star Rewards program. The only card I haven’t lost out of all the other casinos. I hold it like a badge of honor in my wallet. I haven’t been comped too much, but I get the flyers in the mail for a few bucks here and there. It’s a good enough program. I wish I played enough to get higher offers to keep me coming back but I get like $10 or $20 every couple of months. One day they will hook daddy up with a show when he hits big. It’s just a matter of time.
I was digging all the machines on the floor. They have way more options than the other casinos in the area, and the the high limit isn’t too outlandish either. One day they will open the velvet ropes for daddy in the VIP area. I made my scene at the Jackpot Party which was super tight unfortunately lost a couple bills there. I made a few bucks on the Firefly slot machine and hit the bonus rounds a few times on that one. The one I decided to risk it all on was the Yardbirds machine and I was able to play that one for a while, up and down, multiple bonus hits and just a really fun machine. Once I hit goose eggs on that one it was time to head out.
Here’s the thing about the Rocksino. It’s huge, bright, clean, fun, has tons of gaming options and has enough hook with amazing dinning options and rock and roll memorabilia to keep you entertained without gaming. You can take breaks from pounding the coins in the machines. You can walk around and look at everything on the walls. They have everything from classic Motown outfits right down to Trent Reznor’s destroyed keyboards. It is a mini-museum of rock and roll right there you don’t have to pay an entrance fee for. The staff is absolutely amazing too. Super friendly folks making sure you are having the time of your life. They obviously know to hire based on personality here because this staff is nothing short of amazing. They want to make sure you have that Disney kind of experience.
It is great to have the Rocksino in Cleveland. Not only are you getting an amazing gaming experience you are getting full on entertainment. They always seem to be getting some amazing acts to play their Hard Rock Live stage or Club Velvet. They give you a reason to come check them out. They have everything feom rock acts to the Polish Prince himself, Bobby Vinton coming to play live. The Rocksino is a little piece of Vegas 20 minutes from Cleveland. It is the best option for gaming in the area. Make sure you tell them Jason sent you so they can comp me the Rainman suite one day. And I almost forgot…they have horse racing too.