TUESDAY, my parents and I decided to meet each other partway at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. For $28 the Trans-Bridge bus line takes you directly from Port Authority to the casino, in just under two hours. The perk: a $40 gambling voucher and $5 food voucher (plus free drinks while you play)--nearly a win-win situation. (there's also free wi-fi on the bus)
|around the coil at Coil bar|
Now, I'm not a gambler at all. So after a few rounds of slots with my folks, I went off to explore the "fine dining" (and bar) options Sands has to offer. After making a full round of the casino, noticing no less than three restaurants by Emeril, I stopped at Coil for some bubbly.
I later returned to find my parents still trying their luck at the slots and after a few more rounds with them, went for another walk. I saddled myself up at the bar at Emeril's Chop House--by far, the most "formal" restaurant in the casino. (Emeril's Italian Table also opens June 4th) Bored with bubbly, and in the mood for something a sweet, I ordered a Third Street coffee: a concoction of coffee and Grand Marnier, among other things.
|"Third Street Coffee" at Emeril's Chop House|
Upon ordering, the bartender momentarily left the bar (and her patrons) to fetch a fresh coffee from the kitchen for my cocktail. I then watched her squeeze fresh cream from a pastry tube atop the drink, followed by freshly zested orange. Upon initial sip, the cocktail was much more than I'd expected--the dense cream worked wonderfully and the orange zest added the perfect balancing touch...
BEFORE my parents and I knew it, it was time for me to head back to the bus depot for my return trip home. On my way out, I did manage to stop at Carnegie Deli and use my $5 food voucher toward a slice of lemon coconut cake and also stopped at Casa Java for a perfectly made Americano.
|too few places know how to make one|
Unfortunately, the lemon coconut cake from Carnegie Deli was as regrettable as the 5th Avenue cream pie I'd had on a previous visit. (David said it's because you're supposed to order cheesecake at Carnegie Deli) I also noticed--at the Sands & Co. gift shop--cigars for sale, kept in a temperature-controlled humidor. (average cost $7) As my bus idled in the depot, Friends played on the overhead TV screens; perhaps an attempt to cheer up unlucky winners…
|"I'll be there for yooou!"|