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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sands Casino via Port Authority

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.

"casino champagne"

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!"
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