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Main Street Station Hotel & Casino: Great food gambling and antiques

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  • Main Street Station Hotel & Casino: Great food gambling and antiques

    We all have our favorite dishes which we look forward to on any journey to a place we know. In Vegas one of mine is a combination I create at the Main Street Station buffet. From the Southern food section I take a few scoops of collard greens. These are not those washed out tasteless chopped greens served in many in expensive buffets, even in the South. These are well cooked and seasoned with a bit of pork. Then I head to the far back and the Hawaiian food section and put a few scoops of Kalua pulled pork on the greens. This too is well done and as good as what I ate in Hawaii. Finally, I coat the top with those Chinese crispy noodles and add soy sauce to taste. If I only eat this, I feel I have gotten a good buffet bargain.Of course, I don’t only eat that. I like many of the offerings. And I leave room for iced cream because they have more toppings than most places, including crumbled Butterfinger pieces. Sometimes they even have an unusual flavor of soft iced cream.Breakfast is very good as well. The egg station chef there is well known as an entertaining fellow, full of good humor and perfect banter to wake us up and bring in the day. He will cook whatever you like. Remember that you don’t have to get an omelet. I order eggs over easy. And generally there are some cooked mushrooms and onions nearby. I top the eggs with that. i like runny yokes.Also, in the morning, they serve sticky buns. I cut one in half as they are huge. And very good.The ambiance of the place is my favorite in all of Vegas. Here are huge ceilings, lots of decorative turn of the century shapes and glass. It feels comfortable to be there. Sometimes I bring a notebook and write a while over tea.The Triple 7 Brewpub gets great reviews, and it is on my list for a visit; however, I think the buffet draws me away from that possibility.I don’t miss their microbrews, however. My favorite, Black Chip Porter is available as a comped drink at the Boars Head Bar while playing 9/6 JOB in quarters. That is one of the best deals in Vegas, especially since any quad or better wins a scratch card as well that generally brings $2 or $5 but might bring much more than that on rate occasions. You do have to call the bartender, or if you are on the floor, call the change person, so someone can verify your quad of better and give you the card.If you like antiques, you can get a pamphlet at the check in counter that will detail what is in this casino and define a walking tour. There is plenty of rich wood furniture, and I remember a chandelier from the Paris' Figaro Opera House. My favorite is the winged figure holding the clock. Time flies. However, most people talk and remember the urinal that is set in a real piece of the Berlin Wall. There are photographs showing the wall too. Men have easy access to this rest room right near the buffet, but women often go in to see it, if no men are there. A security guard can help you do that, but you have to be patient. If you do photograph the urinal be certain no one is in the stalls. It is understandably disconcerting to a guy sitting in a stall when he detects a flash from a camera that lights up the bathroom. On my list for next trip is an antique pool table I read about.The rooms at Main Street Station are favorites. I like them very much. But the train or traffic noise bothers my light sleep as do the slats in the windows which cannot block out all light for afternoon naps. So I avoid them.There is no pool, but you can use the very, very, very small and very, very, very cold pool at the California if you stay at Main Street Station. You have to stop at the California desk and get a key to open the pool room. Because it is so cold, I have usually found it deserted and had room to swim. It is quite high up as well and the views are not spectacular, but can be interesting. Get out of there if you see lightning.Parking is either free (most of the time) or if there is a guard you might have to pay $3 and get your receipt validated in the casino. Rarely is there a firm charge, only if there are events that fill up downtown parking.Wifi is available in the area near the Player’s Club, but at busy times, someone asks to see a room key and if you are not staying there, you have to give up your spot.Outside the casino on the way to the new Plaza are a few antique train cars that were used by Calamity Jane and by Teddy Roosevelt. You can look in the windows and see how the old cars were set up and decorated, even how the dining car looked. As well as the 9/6 JOB at the bar, there is 10/7 DB on the floor. That is my favorite game.Main Street Station is not connected to other casinos with Station in their name. It is connected to the B Connected casinos, so points earned at Gold Coast, Orleans, Sam’s Town, Suncoast among others in that group can buy a buffet. However, the best buffet deal is this little known Promotion. The first day you arrive to play, walk to the Player’s Club, tell them you just arrived and you hope the promotion of getting a free buffet after running through $1,000 or so on your first day is still available. If it is, they will tell you the exact points needed, and you can go play to that point and get a buffet with no points deducted. I think this can happen once every three months on your first visit.In my experience they have been both liberal and tight in offering room comps. I get easier comps playing the 10/7 at Four Queens, so lately I invest my real money there. However, every visit I play for a Black Chip Porter or two and most visits I get the initial free buffet. The dinner buffet takes a bit more play than the others, but it is good even on the days when the buffet price is higher because it is seafood or steak night. If you don’t want to walk outside from the Plaza to Main Street Station, you can go into Binion's, walk to the back, go across the street and enter the California. From there is a bridge that goes over the street and directly into Main Street Station. This is good for folks who worry about being on a side road off Fremont (although this walk is perfectly safe) or in really hot weather to maximize air conditioning.Main Street Station is a little out of the way, but it is a great visit.

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