By: Keith Bennett
Review Date: 03-28-14
STAFF REVIEW: We were in Laughlin March 27th – 29th 2014 and had an opportunity to have a leisurely lunch at The Loading Dock Bar and Grille. We had attempted to try the new restaurant the day prior. That day, Friday evening, we had arrived to have dinner, but the management informed anyone walking up to the restaurant that the Colorado Belle’s Internet or computer system was “down” and no credit cards nor points earned on the Edgewater/Colorado Players Cards could be used. Hmmm…
We had a group of 7 and we were not in the mood to pull out wallet and purse to compare notes whether or not we had sufficient cash for 7 dinners, possibly drinks and dessert, so we made a snap decision to go elsewhere thinking surely —on a busy weekend— the hotel/casino’s IT people would resolve an issue as critical as credit card processing! The always delicious Hickory Pit Steakhouse was behind us in the Edgewater (but we had no reservations) so we decided to go to the only remaining restaurant not recently closed at the Colorado Belle – a very “OK” Laughlin restaurant: Pints Brewery & Sports Bar. Sadly, the same results were echoed there. We were in line a few moments when the hostess walked up and down telling all that they could only accept cash! By now we were getting frustrated, so we took inventory, and with $200+ on hand we decided to eat there.
We ended up with some awesome second row seats to the Willy Nelson & Family concert at Edgewater’s E Center, and wanted a substantial Saturday lunch to hold us over as dinner would likely follow the concert about 9:30 PM. So, Saturday as scheduled, we all met up at The Loading Dock Bar and Grille. Since we had parted with $150 at Pint’s the night before buying 6-brews on a wooden plank Micro Brew Samplers, we were now short of folding green stuff, but were confident that with 1,500 rooms filled on a busy weekend that the Edgewater/Belle management would have solved the Internet problem. They had not. How does a major Laughlin Hotel-Casino not have a backup system?
Is this a subtle example that portends the future as William Forstchen suggests to us in “One Second After?” Or is this a personally-crafted cosmic hint JUST TO US of what will affect us personally 9 hours from now at 8:01 PM when a yet to strike 5.1 earthquake will knock our own Internet offline at our Orange County offices? I suppose we all fail to appreciate the very technology that we then feel inconvenienced by at these rare times where one must look for cash money. A walk to the little ATM machine beside the Edgewater Security Kiosk with the stiff fee and my bank’s additional stiff fee compounding the insult for using one of these non-traditional freestanding ATM “vending machines” for only the 2nd time in 20 years, we finally got in line for lunch. The nicely-themed inside seating area was sparsely occupied, as was the bar, but it was only 11:00 am.
Restaurant Seating: Inside or Outside
We chose to sit outside (see pictures below). Our server was pleasant and chipper. One of our party asked about the soup of the day. Our server was clueless, but another server setting up the adjoining table volunteered that the soup was tomato-basil. Our companion thought that was perfect and ordered it. When delivered, her soup was green split pea — something completely different. SNAP! FAIL…
I ordered the Carnitas Torta at $10.99 accompanied by French Fries. The Carnitas Torta is essentially the same sandwich as the next sandwich down on the wooden menu: BBQ Pulled Pork $10.99. The Torta is delivered sans “Sweet BBQ Sauce”– but instead constructed with sliced avocados instead of sauce. Not too shabby! I have experienced the Belle’s BBQ Pulled Pork sandwiches during the busy 4th of July and River Regatta weekends and though terrific, I wasn’t in the mood for the sweetness, messiness and need for wet wipes today. The Carnitas Torta Sandwich was well prepared, well-presented and tasty. The real SURPRISE —totally out of left field: the Loading Dock’s amazing French Fries! Americans often debate McDonald’s fries vs. Burger King or other nationally available fries. The Loading Dock Fries ROCK! Way better than any fast food chain. Four of my table mates, who had the fries, all agreed and all volunteered positive comments without need to be asked.
Pricing and Convenience
Upshot? – There is a buffet inside The Loading Dock Bar and Grille that is open in the evenings that we didn’t try, but we’ve heard does a great job. If you are a “regular” to the Colorado Belle or their companion property, Edgewater, you have likely eaten some meals up on the Colorado’s “B Deck.”
In the past year or so, virtually every restaurant above the casino has been shuttered. With less rooms than the Edgewater, the Belle’s restaurants up those long and laborious stair cases were not doing all that well. The Loading Dock Bar and Grille is physically positioned well where both properties’ visitors (and casino-only patrons) cannot miss it. There are no stairs to climb for the older demographic. The restaurant takes huge advantage of the Belle’s incredible river views and exterior river-adjoining ambiance. There is an indoor bar, an outdoor bar, nightly live entertainment with the Colorado River as the backdrop, a buffet and a good menu offering. Pricing: Most menu items average $10 – an affordable new restaurant. The management has hit a home run with this new venue.
The Loading Dock Bar and Grille – Location, Phone, Website and Menu
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