Several of the Horseshoe's restaurants have local roots. In the Baltimore Marketplace area of the casino you'll find Heavy Seas Burgers, Tark’s at the ‘Shoe, Lenny’s Deli, The Mallow Bar, and Piezzetta (a Mama Ilardo's concept). Upstairs, Ruby 8 Noodles and Sushi features flavors from China, Vietnam, and Korea. There are also three larger restaurants, Johnny Sanchez, Guy's Baltimore Kitchen & Bar, and Jack Binion's Steak. I was able to sample items from these three during a media tasting last month.
We started at Johnny Sanchez, a joint effort by chefs and old friends John Besh and Aaron Sanchez. Besh is a James Beard Award winner and owner of several New Orleans restaurants including August and Luke. Sanchez, son of famed Mexican food authority Zarela Martinez, is probably best-known for his appearances on various Food Network shows, like Chopped and Chefs vs City (he battled Gypsy Queen food truck owners Annmarie Langton and Tom Looney in one episode); he's also a restaurateur. Together, they've combined names--but not cooking styles--in a restaurant concept that borrows heavily from Sanchez' Mexican heritage.
Because we were going to eat at two more restaurants, we started light at Johnny Sanchez. Or, that was the idea. Platters of tacos and tostadas, along with helpings of freshly fried tortilla chips, salsas, and two huge bowls of guacamole, were offered for our delectation. Drinks, too, as we were encouraged to sample items from the restaurants neat list of margaritas, tequilas, beers, and wines. I chose the roasted jalapeno margarita and enjoyed the smooth combination of tequila and lime juice, accented with a hint of jalapeno heat.
More images of our meal at Johnny Sanchez can be found in the slide show.
Our next stop was at Guy's Baltimore Kitchen & Bar. To be honest, I am no fan of Mr Fieri and his personal brand of excess. I am still not, but I must admit that I did enjoy a couple of things at his casino restaurant.
We also sampled some food, including the won ton tacos, onion rings, a selection of wings, and the "B-More fries," an obscene pile of waffle-cut potatoes topped with crab dip and sprinkles of Old Bay and scallions. My favorites were the wings, which had cleverly been converted into lollipops, so fingers stay (mostly) tidy. The tuna filling in the "won-tacos" was generous, as was the amount and size of the onion rings. (Their sweetness comes from Frosted Flakes in the breading.) You definitely get a lot of food at Guy's; you might want to bring a friend or two to help you eat all of it.
More images of our meal at Guy's Baltimore Kitchen & Bar can be found in the slide show.
Our final stop on the tour was Jack Binion's Steak. The casino's signature restaurant, Binion's is named after the son of casino magnate and original Las Vegas Horseshoe owner, Benny Binion. More elegant and low-key than either of the other two restaurants we visited, Binion's offers traditional steakhouse fare to high-rollers and newly-minted paupers alike.
They also serve Charm City Cakes by the slice. We tried two, the bananas foster and the red velvet. At this point in the evening, I was so full, I couldn't fully appreciate the jumbo servings of cake. They did, however, taste like cake.
More images of our meal at Jack Binion's can be found in the slide show.
I'm definitely not a gambler. I put $10 of my own money into the slot machines, and as soon as I came out $20 ahead, I cashed out. Just not a risk-taker, I suppose. But, I would definitely go back to the casino for more pumpkin tostadas, tacos, and a couple three rounds of drinks. Yes, even drinks at Guy's. Speaking of alcoholic beverages, it seems that the casino's Happier Hours (Monday–Friday from 4–7 p.m.) is the perfect time to make a return visit, what with 2-for-1 drinks and half-priced appetizers at all of the casino's bars and restaurants. (There's also $10 blackjack until 10 p.m. and free self-parking in their garage all day.) Jack Binion's is also offering a swell-sounding Jazz Brunch for the holidays that just might tempt me back downtown early on a Sunday (but I'm more likely to hit that Happier Hour).
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