This past Friday, Mrs. ACDiary and I took our fortunes to the Hard Rock Atlantic City. While I had previous gone in early July, this was my first time as an overnight guest and gambler. So now, I feel like I’ve gotten the full Hard Rock Atlantic City experience, and am ready to share it with you, my loyal reader(s?).
Dinner at Council Oak Fish
While I’m usually freeloading my way through AC off the efforts of OB the Gambling Don, tonight I wanted to make is special between me and the missus. So, I put on my blazer, and dashed her away to Council Oak Fish at the Hard Rock. I’m not a foodie, so I won’t waste your time here – it’s a bit high end, but I liked it. What I can comment on is the ambiance.
If you can, I highly recommend getting a window seat – the restaurant is right on the boardwalk, and you have the perfect viewing of all of AC’s crazies. However, I will say Council Oak felt a bit empty, almost like the restaurant was two sizes too big. We passed Il Mulino and Robert’s Steakhouse on the way, and those places were packed to the gills. That’s the true conundrum I’ve found frequently in Atlantic City – you’ll go to some place, and you’ll swear that Atlantic City is having a renaissance, you go to another place, and you’d swear it’s the next Detroit. And, as you can see, it can happen within the same casino.
Don’t Let The Makeover Fool You – This Used To Be The Trump Taj
Despite all the memorabilia and cool music (I heard The Strokes, Pulp, and LCD Soundsystem – which would usually be mistaken for medical conditions by the AC clientele), there’s definitely some signs that this was a dilapidated casino suffering a union strike not that long ago. I was on several shaky elevators, and, somehow, I also suffered my second clogged toilet of the summer! It was immediately after we went to our room after dinner, and sure enough, the maintenance crew found that someone flushed a bar of soap down the toilet. If this happens a third time, I’m writing to the mayor of Atlantic City and demanding a golden plunger.
With Mrs. ACD, I try not to gamble too much. I stick to the old tried and true “sit at a slot machine and order free drinks” method. However, luck was not on our side at the slots, with the first two drinks setting us back $40. So, I moved to this odd “community gambling” section, where players had a choice to play digital craps, roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. For $3 a hand, I was playing blackjack with some other random strangers. I love the “community” aspect of blackjack, such as the dealer busting and everyone winning, but this ratcheted it up – we were all playing the same cards. It is hard to describe without playing it yourself, but in the end my next two drinks earned me back $20, so I’m a fan.
Hard Rock Mischief
After a fancy night of dinner, clogged toilets, and $3 blackjack, my wife and I needed end the night with some shenanigans. Last time I was in the Hard Rock, we found out that each floor has it’s own artist associated with it (OB was staying on the Bon Jovi floor). This trip, we were staying on the Bo Diddley floor. So, out of drunken curiousity, we rode the elevator to the 40th (Beyonce), and stopped on every floor on the way down, singing a song by the designated artist. Good times. Very drunk times, but still, good times.
So, that’s what I’ve got for my end-of-the-summer Atlantic City blowout. If anything, this summer rekindled my love for AC. The last few years, the trips have been few and far between, and usually only for special occasions. These last three months have revived the lost art of the pointless trip, as they’ve been various levels of successful. Winter is coming, though, meaning empty casinos, meaning comped rooms. I’m sure there will be more impromptu and unnecessary trips coming.