MGM Gold Strike Casino: The Perfect Girlfriends Getaway Part 6

This post is sponsored by MGM Gold Strike Resort and Casino

MGM Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, Mississippi

MGM Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, Mississippi

At the end of our tour of behind the scenes at MGM Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, Missippi, Elaine and I and the rest of the guests who were a part of our group were treated to fabulous surprise!

The Lobby at MGM Gold Strike Casino

The Lobby at MGM Gold Strike Casino

We were instructed to meet the group in the lobby at the appointed hour. When everyone had arrived, we were escorted by the lovely Keisha, who is the Marketing Director at Gold Strike, to the Millennium Theatre where we had a private meet and greet with Jack Hanna! In case you don’t know, he is the creator of the television shows Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures and Jack Hanna’s Into The Wild. He has also been the director of the Columbus, Ohio zoo since 1978.

That's me on the left, Jack Hanna in the center, and Elaine on the right.

That’s me on the left, Jack Hanna in the center, and Elaine on the right.

It was exciting to meet Mr. Hanna, but that was not all! There were also several animals onstage that we could touch and pet. All of the animals in the show were rescue animals. One was a cougar that was rescued from a fire in Montana!

This cougar was rescued from a  wildfire in Montana.

This cougar was rescued from a wildfire in Montana.

I petted the African Penquin. I had no idea that it would be so soft! Penguins have always looked leathery and tough to me, but they actually do  have feathers and are soft as down.

An African Penquin. It is so soft!

An African Penquin. It is so soft!

One of the slowest moving animals on earth is the sloth. The sloth that was onstage was from South America. I did not want to touch it because, well, look at those claws!

Look at the claws on this guy! Scary!

Look at the claws on this guy! Scary!

After about forty five minutes of mingling with the animals and trainers, we went out to the lobby of the theater to wait for the Into The Wild show to begin. When the doors opened, we found our seats, and saw many more animals, with Jack Hanna narrating and telling us about the origin of each one, and how they came to be rescued and in the care of the Columbus Zoo.

Americana Buffet is a Seafood Buffet on Saturday night.

Americana Buffet is a Seafood Buffet on Friday & Saturday nights.

When the Into The Wild Show was over, Elaine and I made our way to the Americana Buffet for the Saturday night Seafood Buffet. And yes, we did eat some of those snow crab legs, along with tasting many of the other foods.

Another gift from MGM Gold Strike

Another gift from MGM Gold Strike

We decided to play the slots again after dinner. By the time we got back to our room, it was almost midnight. When we got to the room we discovered that there was another gift left in our room by management. This time, it was a pink spa and beach towel, along with a ball cap and a travel mug. It was sad to think about having to leave this place where we were treated like princesses for the entire weekend. We had so much fun! I thank MGM so much for one of the best trips I have ever been a part of.

Tomorrow, I promise, I will post the Sous Chef’s recipe for the crab cakes that were served in the Chicago Steak House.

MGM Gold Strike Casino: The Perfect Girlfriends Getaway Part 5

This post is sponsored by MGM Gold Strike Resort and Casino

GoldStrike_Exterior_low

On Saturday afternoon of our stay, Elaine and I were treated to a behind the scenes tour of the Gold Strike Casino and Hotel. We learned a lot from the tour and from various employees of the facility. We were introduced to the Director of Hotel Operations Craytonia Collins,  and Front Office Manager Kyle Buggs, by the Communication Manager Keisha Oliver.

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Craytonia Collins, Keisha Oliver, and Kyle Buggs

They all welcomed us to MGM Gold Strike Resort and Casino. Then we started on our tour. The first place we went was to the Presidential Suite. This is where the high rollers stay when they come to town to play at Gold Strike.

presidential suite mgm gold strike tunica

The Presidential Suite

This suite goes for about $800 per night if you were to pay to stay in it, but Mr. Collins told us that the usual guests are high rollers who are comped for the room. Can you imagine staying in such a huge suite? He also said that some of their guests who stay in this suite are flown in by private jet for the weekend. I guess that is how the other half lives!

The bedroom of the Presidential Suite has a huge king bed.

The bedroom of the Presidential Suite has a huge king bed.

Look how big that bed is! The whole bedroom is separate from the rest of the suite. I wanted to stay in that room for just one night.

More of the Presidential Suite

More of the Presidential Suite

The Presidential Suite also had a dining area with a dining table with six chairs, and a kitchen with a refrigerator and stove. I think the whole suite was larger than my house! One more photo of the Presidential Suite and we’ll move on: The bathroom!

The bathroom in the Presidential Suite. NICE!

The bathroom in the Presidential Suite. NICE!

From the Presidential Suite, we went to Housekeeping, where we met Carolyn Wright, Director of Housekeeping. It was so interesting to me to find out that housekeeping handles about 30,000 pounds of linens a day with 60% occupancy of the hotel. That is a lot of towels and sheets! They send all their linens out to a laundry service to be washed and folded. Even with that, they have 91 Guest Room Attendants, 10  Housemen, 13 supervisors, 5 managers and office staff, for a total of about 130 employees in the housekeeping department.

We left Housekeeping and went to Food Service. That was amazing to see. First, let me say, the kitchens here were very very clean. I was impressed. (Fabgrandpa and I delivered foods for a Hot Shot delivery company in the late 1990’s in a pick up truck, and we saw some really ugly kitchens.) The Executive Sous Chef, Anthony Cieplinski, took over as our tour guide for the kitchens.

The Executive Sous Chef, Anthony Cieplinski

The Executive Sous Chef, Anthony Cieplinski

Anthony showed us where the kitchen employees were making desserts and hors d’oeuvres for a private meeting that was to take place later in the day. They all looked awesome. There were little individual fruit tarts and crab cakes in progress when we were there. We also learned that everything they serve at the restaurants at MGM Gold Strike is made fresh on the premises.

Little Fruit Tarts being made up for  later in the day.

Little Fruit Tarts being made up for later in the day.

Look at all those delicious Crab Cakes! Someone was going to be very lucky later that night!

Look at all those delicious Crab Cakes! Someone was going to be very lucky later that night!

Executive Pastry Chef Mohamed Rojan

Executive Pastry Chef Mohamed Rojan

All of the employees we met along the way on this tour were so nice to us, and every single one of them was smiling. They all looked so happy to be working at MGM, and that says a lot to me about a business. When the employees are happy, they must be doing something right. By the way, did you know that MGM Gold Strike Resort and Casino employs a total of 1,357 people?

The employee dining room.

The employee dining room.

This is just a small part of the employee dining room. All employees of MGM Gold Strike can eat here for free. The food was the same food that is served in the restaurants on site, and all of it on the employee buffet the day we were there looked really good. There were several options, with healthy choices available. This is so unlike any employee dining room of any place I ever worked.

Boxes and boxes of snow crab legs!

Boxes and boxes of snow crab legs!

Next, we went to the kitchen where they were preparing the foods for the Saturday Night Seafood Buffet. There was a huge stack of boxes of snow crab legs, taller than me. Anthony said that all of those crab legs would be served that night, and they would probably bring more up from the freezer before the night was over. They serve between 3500 and 4000 pounds of crab legs in a weekend.

Making dressing for the chicken and dressing on the buffet.

Making dressing for the chicken and dressing on the buffet.

They will serve this huge vat of dressing on the buffet in one night.

Steamed crab claws

Steamed crab claws

In addition to the snow crab legs, there are also steamed crab claws, raw oysters, steamed shrimp, and so much more on the buffet. Even Sushi!

Sushi, made on site for the buffet.

Sushi, made on site for the buffet.

Finally, the last part of the behind the scenes tour, was the liquor vault! This is where they keep all the alcoholic beverages at MGM Gold Strike.

Assistant Beverage Manager Alex Thornton unlocking the gate to the liquor vault.

Assistant Beverage Manager Alex Thornton unlocking the gate to the liquor vault.

The Assistant Beverage Manager Alex Thornton took us into the area of the liquor vault. We didn’t actually get to go inside to take a look at the inside of the vault, because anyone who goes in there has to have a member of security with them to go in. We did get to see the liquor setup, and I was so amazed!

Familia Camarena Premium Tequila

Familia Camarena Premium Tequila

The open liquor bottles are all set upside down in the troughs. See the pipes on the left side of this photo? When a bartender in one of the bars in the casino or one of the restaurants pours a drink or mixes a drink, the liquor is pumped through those pipes to the bartender’s spigot. The spigot has different buttons on it to program in the correct drink, and mixes it automatically from the wells in the basement. COOL! There were rows and rows of these troughs and pipes, leading all sorts of liquor and mixers to the different bars throughout the property.

More liquor.

More liquor.

Alex explained that by using this system, all the drinks of the same kind have the same amount of liquor in them. From the beginning of the night, to the end of the night, from one bartender to the next, all the drinks are uniform, and liquor is not wasted. What do you think of this setup?

Here are some interesting things to know about the casino:

Table games in the casino

Table games in the casino

There are 1,325 slot machines. Table games available to play are Black Jack, 21 + 3 Black Jack, Lucky Ladies, Craps, Crapless Craps, Baccarat, Roulette, Mississippi Stud, Mississippi Stud Progressive, Three Card Poker, Three Card Poker Progressive, Four Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, and Let It Ride. Thereis something for everyone here.

Tomorrow, I will continue with the rest of the tour, where we met Jack Hanna of Into the Wild!

MGM Gold Strike Casino: The Perfect Girlfriends Getaway Part 4

This post is brought to you by MGM Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica.

By the time we got back to our room on Friday night, we were both pooped. A long drive combined with a very filling dinner made us ready for bed. I know my bed was very comfortable. I slept so good! Although we both set an alarm because we had an early spa appointment for Saturday morning, we both were awake before the alarms went off. We decided to order room service for breakfast so we didn’t have to leave the room.

Room service breakfast!

Room service breakfast!

I called to order our breakfast, and it seemed like only about ten or fifteen minutes later we could smell it coming down the hall. The server brought it in on a rolling table, and set it up in between the beds. So, we sat on the edge of our beds to eat.And yes, again, it was sooooo good. I had grits, fried eggs, bacon, and biscuits. Elaine ordered the same thing. We shared a pot of coffee, banana bread and a fresh fruit platter. You would think that we wouldn ‘t be able to eat it all after the dinner at Chicago Steakhouse last night, but yeah, we got it done! NO, none of it was gluten free, but I was hungry so I ate.

Golden Reflections Spa

Golden Reflections Spa

Not long after breakfast, it was time for my spa appointment. I have never had a massage, or visited a spa before, so I didn’t know what to expect. The masseuse knew what she was doing, though, so it was a very good experience. I got undressed and got on the massage table, and she helped me get turned over on my stomach. I have not laid on my stomach in almost three years, and I was so afraid to do it, but once I got turned over, it did not hurt at all.

You didn't think I was going to show ME without the clothes did you?? LOL

I’m all ready for my massage. You didn’t think I was going to show ME without the clothes did you?? LOL

My spa experience included a 25 minute massage and a sugar body scrub. The massage was another little bit of heaven, and helped to release some of the tension in my muscles. That was something I really needed. Then the sugar scrub? OH! Honey, if you have never done this before, you really need to go and experience it. The masseuse rubbed the hot sugar and oil into my whole body, from neck to feet. It was a great exfoliating combination.

When the massage and scrub were over, I wrapped up in a sheet and walked down to the shower. It stayed in that shower for about thirty minutes to get all the oil off of me, LOL! The whole experience was so relaxing, I felt like I had to go take a nap afterwards. I only got to rest for about an hour, though, before it was time for our afternoon tour.

You can find the spa services offered at MGM Gold Strike Casino Golden Reflections Spa here. To schedule an appointment call 662-357-1111 before you go.

MGM Gold Strike Casino: The Perfect Girlfriends Getaway Part 3

This post is brought to you by MGM Gold Strike Casino Resort

The Chicago Steakhouse

The Chicago Steakhouse

On the first night of our stay at MGM Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Missippi, my friend, Elaine, and I were treated to a wonderful dinner at the Chicago Steakhouse. The Chicago Steakhouse is the premier restaurant at the resort. If you ever get a chance to go to MGM Gold Strike Casino, you have got to eat here.

The Chicago Steakhouse

The Chicago Steakhouse

Elaine and I arrived just a bit early for our dinner party. There were ten guests in all. I was the only blogger there, the other writers were journalists with newspapers and magazines. We had a private dining room in the restaurant.

A small bite. I can't remember the name  but will never forget the flavor!

A small bite. I can’t remember the name but will never forget the flavor!

Dinner started out with a glass of wine. I asked for Riesling, which is my favorite. I am fond of sweet wines, and this one was perfect! Next, there was a small bite brought out, which was made with crab and asparagus. Delicious!

Crab Cakes with a delicious sauce.

Seared Jumbo Lump Crab, Leek & Shitake Salad, and Sweet Corn Jus

Appetizers were delivered to the table after the small bite. I ordered, what else?, the crab cakes. OH MY WORD! Fabulous! Elaine also had the crab cakes, and the guy sitting next to me did too. These crab cakes had large bits of crab and were seasoned just right. The sauce was so good, too. The chef gave me the recipe, which I will share in another post (with permission, of course).

Tomato Mozzarella Basil Pesto Salad

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

My salad was another one of my favorite things. Beef Steak & yellow tomatoes layered with fresh mozzarella & red onions, aged balsamic, EVO & a basil pesto. The tomatoes in this salad tasted so good! Vine ripened, full of summer flavor, and juicy.  Everyone at the table remarked at how pretty this salad was. Other salad selections included Chopped Salad, Grilled or Traditional Caesar Salad, The Wedge, or Spinach Salad. All of the sounded so good in the menu description, but you know me, it’s going to be a mozzarella salad if one is on the menu.

Bone-in Ribeye Steak with King Crab Legs

Bone-in Ribeye Steak with King Crab Legs

Up until the entree was served, I thought I was in restaurant heaven. All my favorite things were served to me, and it all tasted so very good. I could have gone back to my room, full and satisfied even if there was nothing else to eat at that dinner. But then? A Bone-In Ribeye Steak with King Crab Legs was set before me, and I was just amazed! I have never, and I mean NEVER, had a steak that I did not need a knife to cut. This steak was fork tender, cooked to perfection just the way I like it and was so full of flavor.

The Chicago Steakhouse

The Chicago Steakhouse

At this point, I have to tell you, that even if you are not a gambler, have no desire to ever drop a quarter into a slot machine, or bet a dollar on roulette, if you are ever in the area of Tunica, you must go to the MGM Gold Strike Casino to have dinner at the Chicago Steakhouse. And, I am not even to dessert  yet. I could not eat all of the steak. I felt so sad leaving what I didn’t eat there in the restaurant. I was always a member of the Clean Plate Club growing up, but this time, I just couldn’t do it.

Lamb Chops Fig Crème Brulee, Mint Gremolata, Bleu Cheese

Lamb Chops
Fig Crème Brulee, Mint Gremolata, Bleu Cheese

Elaine’s entree was Lamb Chops with Fig Crème Brulee, Mint Gremolata, and Bleu Cheese. It looked so beautiful on the plate, and she said it was so tender and delicious, too. That looks like mashed potatoes it was served with.

Creme Brulee Cheesecake

Creme Brulee Cheesecake

Finally, we were served our dessert. Mine was Creme Brulee Cheesecake. Just like everything else served at this meal, it was perfect, and tasted so good! The guy to my left ordered the Chocolate Cake:

Chicago Steakhouse Chocolate Cake

Chicago Steakhouse Chocolate Cake

Five layers of devil’s food chocolate cake, and chocolate frosting. Any questions? I thought not. Along with a great cup of coffee, a perfect ending to a perfect meal. Thank you, MGM!

You can see the menu for The Chicago Steakhouse here. Reservations are recommended. Call 662-357-1225 for table reservations or reserve your table online.

P.S. if you think I am gushing about this meal, then you really do have to go try it for yourself. So So good!

MGM Gold Strike Casino: The Perfect Girlfriends Getaway Part 2

MGM Gol Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi

MGM Gol Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi

Elaine and I arrived at the MGM Gold Strike Casino Resort around 2:30 in the afternoon. As we drove up to the entrance, I told Elaine to use the Valet Parking and I would pay for it because I didn’t feel like walking far from the parking lot. We were both pleasantly surprised to find that the Valet Parking was complimentary!

MGM Gold Strike Casino Lobby

MGM Gold Strike Casino Lobby

From the moment we arrived at the MGM Gold Strike Casino, we felt like we were treated like royalty, or at least like we were two famous ladies. The only disappointment of the entire weekend was that our room was not ready when we arrived. To be fair, though, my reservation confirmation said we could check in after 4:00 p.m. The front desk clerk told us that we could check our bags at the bell stand, and they would store them in a closet until our room was ready. With that problem solved almost before we asked, we were free to explore a bit.

We decided to sit in the Food Court for a while to rest a bit from our journey. The salads and sandwiches look very appealing, so we were soon eating a quick bite.

At 4:00 p.m. we checked in, and gave our baggage claim check to the bell attendant. We went up to our room, and in a few minutes, the bell attendant was at the door with our bags. We were greeted with a welcome package of snacks, tied up in pretty red bow!

What a nice touch! I felt like a VIP!

What a nice touch! I felt like a VIP!

Just look at this room! Both of us got our things settled right away, and crawled into our beds to nap. We woke up about fifteen minutes before we were supposed to be at the Chicago Steak House for dinner. Before I tell you about that, let me show you pictures of the room:

mgm gold strike casino handicap accessible room

Our beds were soooo comfortable!

Those beds were so comfortable. I slept so good on mine. We were on the 25th floor, so our view out the window was of the Mississippi River at flood stage.

mgm gold strike casino room

We had a desk, a large chest of drawers, a big screen TV and two ver comfortable chairs.

This hotel has one of those little coffee pots that makes one cup at a time. There was no fridge or microwave, but there were bottles of water in the room. The bell attendant asked us if we wanted him to fill our ice bucket, too! So, we had ice available for our water.

A card addressed to me! I felt so special.

A card addressed to me! I felt so special.

I just had to show that because I have never had anything like this waiting for me in a hotel. I started looking for my princess crown, hahaha.

I asked for a handicap accessible room, and they delivered.

I asked for a handicap accessible room, and they delivered.

After my awful experiences trying to get a handicap accessible room in Flagstaff, Arizona, I was so impressed that MGM Gold Strike promised AND delivered one for my stay. I just can not tell you how much those bars and bath seat mean to me.

The handicap accessible bathroom has enough space to accommodate a wheelchair.

The handicap accessible bathroom has enough space to accommodate a wheelchair.

Now that I have told you all about our room, tomorrow I’ll tell you about our meal at Chicago Steak House at MGM Gold Strike. Believe me when I say it was delicious!

MGM Gold Strike Casino: The Perfect Girlfriends Getaway

MGM Gol Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi

MGM Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi

A couple of months ago, I received an invitation in my snail mail to come to visit MGM Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Mississippi as part of a press tour. I thought at first that it was a joke or a scam, because I have never in nine years of blogging, received a paper invitation to an event. Everything I have ever received in the past was through email. I decided to give the telephone number on the invitation a call, though, and I’m sure glad I did. It was one of the most enjoyable trips my friend Elaine and I have ever taken.

Elaine and I met way too many years ago, when I was eighteen and she was seventeen, and we both went to work at Southern Bell, which is now a part of AT&T. We became friends quickly, and had so much fun together cruising around in her little Corvair. Even after we both left Southern Bell, we kept in touch, and visited often. I got married, had three children, went back to work at Southern Bell.

Sometime in the mid 1980’s we lost touch. Elaine was married, had two children and was going to college while she worked during the day. Fast forward to 2003, when I received an email from her. She had found me on Classmates.com. We have emailed back and forth, chatted on the phone, and visited as often as possible since then.

So, when I got the invitation for this trip, I asked her to go with me, so we could renew our friendship. We picked back up right where we left off, caught up on life and family, and came away with new memories shared.

Elaine said she would drive so when the day finally arrived to hit the road headed for Tunica, Fabgrandpa helped me get my suitcase, my backpack, and my tote bag packed with lots of gluten free snacks and bottles of water into our car to go meet her at I-20. It was going to be So. Much. Fun!

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you part one all about our stay at MGM Gold Strike Resort!