In Atlantic City, Bet on the Food

Tacos at Pancho’s, left, and the chicken at El Chalán. Photography by Ted Nghiem.

Jose Garces Is Back in Town

Jose Garces’s new restaurants in the Tropicana make the Revel snafu feel like ancient history. Olón has ocean views, an outdoor deck and a bright interior — all surprising for a casino eatery. The seafood here (grilled, raw, however it comes) is choice. His other spot, Okatshe, is just the opposite: You’ll duck through a secret door in a tiny Japanese candy shop and enter a dark, sprawling space styled like a buzzy Tokyo intersection. The large menu has sushi, ramen, standard izakaya fare (yakitori and fried things), and a bar list deep with sake and Japanese beers. (Both at the Tropicana, 2831 Boardwalk, 609-340-4000.) Read more »

Jose Garces is Opening Three Restaurants at the Tropicana in Atlantic City


Atlantic City is apparently collecting Iron Chefs. With Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck and Geoffrey Zakarian already there and Michael Symon opening Angeline at the Borgata sometime in the next few months, the city is well on its way to a full house (see what I did there?).

But now, with opening dates set for the three completely new operations from the Garces Group that we told you about last year, they’re flush with ’em. And Jose Garces is even going to sneak in ahead of Symon because he’s got opening dates set for all three locations (all of which are going into re-done spaces at the Tropicana) in the first week of March.

So, yeah. Really soon. Here’s what we know.

Read more »

With Just Days Until Deadline, Atlantic City Workers Preparing to Strike

Tropicana Casino, beach-side, in Atlantic City

The Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City. | Photo: Dan McQuade

Elaine Malloy has been a cocktail server at Bally’s for almost 26 years. She makes $8.99 an hour.

“It’s a disgrace to work at $8.99 an hour,” Malloy says, “and try to pay a mortgage, utility bills, clothing, college expenses. Everything in the economy goes up, but unfortunately my wage hasn’t.”

Malloy is a tipped employee, and she says she’s been able to survive on the “generosity of my customers.” But she says it’s hard to make a decent tip rate working at Bally’s because you’re always doing things that aren’t, officially, part of the job, like giving directions to attractions in the casino and the city.

“It’s a disgrace that, when over the years the casinos needed help,” Malloy says, “we the workers decided to give back over $1,500 to help them get out of the rut that they put themselves in. Now they need to help their workers.” Read more »

Third Time’s A Charm: Garces Is Headed Back To Atlantic City

Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City

Photo | Dan McQuade

So, I’m guessing no one has told the Iron Chef that Atlantic City is going through a bit of a rough patch, huh?

Or maybe Jose Garces just doesn’t care. Maybe he knows something we don’t. Maybe, at the tail-end of a $40 million renovation, the Tropicana in Atlantic City just looked like too good of a bet not to take (see what I did there?).

Read more »

Here’s How Some A.C. Casinos Are Sprucing Up for Summer


Photo | Dan McQuade

We are just a few weeks away from the official start of the summer season down the shore, and Atlantic City’s (remaining) casinos are actually sprucing up a bit.

The Tropicana is undergoing a $50 million renovation, which includes the installation of massive video boards on the boardwalk side of the casino. The Trop plans a light show for the boardwalk.

The Trop is also renovating all 434 of its rooms in the North Tower, and installing a new bar called 10 North. The North end of the casino floor will also be completely redone by midsummer. The Trop is also opening a new health club.

Much of the renovations — excepting the hotel rooms — will be funded by the Casino Redevelopment Authority. The CDRA is investing $18.8 million. Read more »

Seafood Week at the Tropicana


Picture 8

From June 22nd through June 28th, the Tropicana in Atlantic City will be hosting Seafood Week. It will be a casino-wide restaurant week, with the addition of hotel packages, drink specials and retail specials.

Things I’m excited about:

  • Seaside Cafe’s Jersey Clam Bake
  • 15% off wines at A Time for Wine
  • Cuba Libre’s Seafood Paella
  • Palm Restaurant’s $130 Surf ‘n’ Turf dinner for two

For more information, check out the full schedule here.

Seafood Week [Official]
Down the Shore [Foobooz]