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Hollywood Casino Tunica
Fairbanks Steakhouse Dining Review
by Jen Cuthbertson
Tonight it’s Fairbanks Steakhouse at Hollywood Casino Resort in Tunica Resorts, Mississippi. If you haven’t been to Fairbanks Steakhouse, let me tell you about it, take the escalator or elevator on the center back wall upstairs. Fairbanks is nestled in the corner overlooking the casino floor. Follow the alluring aromas from the kitchen to your left.
We chose Tuesday night thinking it would be calm and not so crowded.
Boy, were we wrong. There’s a certain air that separates a non casino dining experience and a casino dining experience. There’s more excitement in the air in a casino dining venue and it is so true tonight at Fairbanks. We are seated at the bar to await our friends who are joining us and to wait on a clear table. Bartender, Jen, takes care of us with her friendly smile and welcomes.
Glancing across the crowd you see a few scattered couples quietly celebrating possibly an anniversary or a night out without the kids over candlelight, tables of four, relaxing and discussing the day or tomorrow’s plans. Then you hear the laughter coming from a table of six guys with freshly sun kissed faces from the golf course, laughing it up excited, reliving sports plays and scores. No matter what level of excitement or relaxation a table may have, everyone has come to Fairbanks to enjoy themselves. The friendly Fairbanks staff is ready to make your visit the best of what you want out of your experience.
Meet the Staff - Front - Room Chef - Ben Wilson Back Row - Scott Jackson Fairbanks Manager / Sommelier - Baa - Back Waiter/Server - Sheila White our Server for the evening.
Our friends arrive and a table is ready. Baa, the back waiter, serves our water and places a linen napkin in the ladies’ laps. Our server, Sheila White, welcomes us and announces the Chef’s specials for the evening. As a rule, I like to order from the Chef’s specials. That is the one time a Chef can “do his thing” and be extra creative. Plus usually it is a dish with “in season” items. Menu offerings are approved by management and are main stays you can order anytime. A Chef Special is a chance for the Room Chef to strut his stuff.
Take note because here is a secret. Executive Chef Gary Riley told me earlier in the day if I get a chance, order the Demetrius Crab Legs. I didn’t see them on the menu so I asked. I had my heart set on something else for an entrée so Sheila suggested we order the Crab Legs and split them up for an appetizer. Good thinking!
If you are a crableg lover and haven’t had Fairbanks’ Demetrius crab legs, honey you haven’t lived. You are served the upper portion (some call it the middle knuckle), anyway it is the thickest part of the crab leg. These are the size of a large Polish sausage. The diameter is larger than a quarter and about 8 inches long. Jumbo, colossal, huge, eye popping big crab. The shell is sliced so there is virtually no work involved in getting the meat out. Squeeze a little lemon juice, dip it in melted butter and enjoy. Ahhhhhh.
Bonnie ordered the Rock Shrimp – A very generous serving of Sweet Carolina Rock Shrimp lightly battered and fried golden, served with two dipping sauces.
Other appetizers on the menu include Oysters Rockefeller, Oysters Fairbanks, Shrimp Cocktail, Crispy Asian Crab Rolls, Calamari, Crab Martini, Stuffed Mushroom Caps, Fried Mozzarella, Escargot Bourguignon.
Salads Time – The Fairbanks Salad is made with fresh organic field greens, spicy pecans, garlic croutons, topped with shaved parmesan cheese and Fairbanks signature Caesar dressing was my choice. I must say the presentation was colorful and the taste of pecans with the greens was very pleasing. Other salad options were Hollywood Salad made of a crisp wedge of iceberg lettuce topped with bacon, green onions, tomatoes and a crumbled blue cheese dressing or the traditional Caesars Salad.
Entrée – The spotlight of the evening.
Bonnie orders the Coconut Shrimp – 5 of Fairbank’s succulent jumbo shrimp dredged in shredded coconut then flash fried in a wok to a golden crisp brown.
Mike orders the Steak Diane – Filet Mignon sautéed in butter, flambéed in cognac, then topped with a mushroom demi glaze. I glanced over at Mike and he had his head back, his eyes closed, chewing slowly and was making a low humming sound. I ask Mike, “That good, huh?” Mike, still verbalizing a low hum, says “Mind Blowing. Most unbelievable tender piece of Steak I have ever had, full of flavor.” Then the baby boomer comes out in him and he continues his meal saying “Groovy” every now and then.
Tom orders the Veal Porterhouse – menu says broiled tender veal porterhouse with demi glaze. The menu needs to be more descript because this entrée is the king of veal! Tom was surprised at the size. He described it as so big, the shadow weighs as least 10lbs. (of course Tom has been known to embellish) Really the Veal Chop is huge. But it doesn’t stop there. The old Quantity vs Quality rule is out the window. This chop rates a 10 on size and flavor. The tenderness and flavor passed Tom’s test and was quickly placed on his favorite list.
I order my all time favorite the Mixed Seafood in Bird’s Nest – Menu says – Culinary delight of stir fried shrimp, scallops, and lobster served in a velvet Cantonese sauce, stirs the echoes of the rich and varied culture of the East. I can’t quit ordering this entrée seems every time we go to Fairbanks I just have to have it. I enjoy good seafood and this dish is different than the usual seafood offerings in most steak houses. The sauces and seasonings make this dish so outstanding. The fried bird’s nest made of Ramen like noodles is nestled on a bed of fresh shredded cabbage covered in a special sauce. The bird’s nest is packed to the rim with shrimp, sweet scallops, lobster, broccoli, carrots, and bamboo shoots perfectly seasoned. I give this dish a definite 10. The seafood is cooked perfectly and has become my favorite way to eat lobster. Fairbanks is very generous with the portions served, in other words if you are hungry, you won’t be when you finish this entrée for sure. Also served with this dish is broccoli and fried rice. I high recommend trying the Mixed Seafood Bird’s Nest.
Before I get to the desserts, I just have to tell you about one of my favorites ...if you a french fry freak or just a self proclaimed potato lover you need to order Fairbanks Shoestring Potatoes they are packed with flavor. I don't know what they do but these are the best tasting potato strings ever. Honest. Click the pic and examine up close, you can almost taste them.
Dessert time! Pictures are worth a thousand words. I will let the pictures speak. Do click on each photo and see what's in store for you at Hollywood's Fairbanks.
Cheesecake Pecan Pie Key Lime Pie
Next time you are in Tunica, stop in Fairbanks and let Hollywood Treat you like a Star. Relax, enjoy, make memories.