Atlantic City-Birthday Report

April 20, 2011

For D’s birthday we decided to see his all time favorite singer-Chris Cornell- in Atlantic City. While I enjoy visiting new places, I always struggle to plan “blind” with no idea where to stay, eat, go… So, I spent quite a bit of time researching this trip and then at some point ten hours into reading reviews decided to ‘wing it’, which- as you know- is totally out of character and out of my comfort zone. We flew into Philly which was about an hour and a half from AC. But since we had landed in Philly we decided to find the famous Pat’s King of Steaks for a cheese steak. We arrived at the beginning of the lunch hour, beat the line (which was wrapped around the corner when we left) and had a truly one-of-a-kind sandwich. (yes, it is as good as it looks).

pats steak

We decided to stay at The Water Club which looked very nice and was, conveniently, attached to the Borgata where we were going for the show. The service and the hotel itself were world class. I called to arrange a room upgrade and balloons for D’s birthday and they were helpful and responsive. The corner vista suite had two walls of windows overlooking AC and the bay.

water club room

Water Club View

The first night we dined at the Old Homestead Steak House. Since we were ‘winging it’, we did not have reservations and were told they were totally booked. When we arrived they told us there were tables available in the bar or the kitchen. We opted for the kitchen, which gave us the opportunity to view the entire behind-the-scenes workings of the restaurant. Again, we were impressed with the service and the quality of the food. The steak and fish entrees were excellent but the onion rings stole the show.

hS orings

Watching Chris Cornell perform his song book live and acoustically was definitely the highlight of the trip. The venue was small enough to feel intimate and it felt like he was just hanging out with us. He played many of his solo hits as well as those with Soundgarden and Audioslave. However, some of the highlights were unexpected covers of Imagine (John Lennon) and Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen). Check out the setlist from the show here. Or watch a video of one of the many highlights from the show…

The second day, although the weather was terrible, we went to the boardwalk. This was a quick drive from the hotel. We spent a couple hours walking around, and quickly got tired of the freezing drizzle. So, we went back to the hotel. Kathy Griffin was in concert that night and, even though we didn’t have tickets, really wanted to see her perform. But, we continued with the ‘wing it’ theme and decided to eat dinner, gamble and then see how we felt.

Dinner at Seablue by Michael Mina was another amazing meal. Again, no reservations so we sat in the bar. You may remember my last Vegas story of my desire for the famous Michael Mina Lobster Pot Pie that I abandoned due to sticker shock from the $80 price tag. Although it seems ridiculous, I continued to pine for that damn pot pie (and maybe mention my regret in not ordering it a thousand times to D). So, there was no conversation this time I took the plunge and paid the $68 price tag. It was…WORTH IT!?! It was served in a large copper pot and assembled table side. The two pound lobster was cut in easy to access parts and reassembled on the plate on top of the puff pastry crust…then covered in the fresh veggies and decadent sauce. My oh my that was a dish for the ages.

seablue potpie

seablue lobster

So, following the amazing meal we went to play three card poker and did the whole…up…down…up thing. After a couple of hours I decided that I really wanted to see Kathy Griffin but D said “just one more hand” and…just like the movies…I hit a straight flush with a big pay off. So…we grabbed our chips and ran to the box office…where we bought the last two tickets (not kidding) for the show. We laughed for the entire show and really enjoyed it.

Finally, I have to give recognition to the Sunroom at the Water Club we had a tasty and fresh midnight snack there one night and a truly outstanding breakfast on the final day.

sunroom salmon



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