CHESTER - A recent renovation at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort welcomes hungry gamers and guests to dine on a variety of culinary offerings. The Chester resort recently improved its buffet to satisfy both demand and its diverse clientele.
In a sit-down lunch, Mike Mellon, Mountaineer's corporate director of food and beverage, shared his enthusiasm for the newest addition to the resort's "menu" of events and activities.
According to Mellon, the resort's food and beverage business has increased 50 percent over the last 12 months, and taking the "MarketPlace" food court concept to a traditional buffet was necessary to compete in the expanded gaming market in the surrounding communities.
Operations Chef Rob Osborn stands in front of the Bread Bar, a unique concept to the Riverfront Buffet. Freshly baked assorted dinner rolls and breads in differing grains and flavors are available along with bread boards, knives and spreads. Osborn works with the buffet’s sous chefs to create the presentation. -- Lynnellen Winkler
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort showcases the newly renovated Riverfront Buffet. The buffet’s stations include a carving station, a grill, an Italian specialties station, and Asian and noodle bar, and 18-foot salad bar, a bread bar and dessert station. Open seven days a week, the buffet offers “A Taste for Everyone.” -- Lynnellen Winkler
"MarketPlace" closed for five weeks for the implementation of the new concept and facelift. The complete renovation was accomplished in-house for $300,000.
"The improvements would have cost so much more if we would have contracted the work," said Mellon.
Besides significant atheistic changes, the Riverfront Buffet added several new food offerings.
"We are offering a bright, fresh, clean and well-maintained dining environment with extensive choices, a VIP seating area with upgraded service and authentic cuisine."
"Riverfront Buffet serves between 600 to 1,200 meals a day," said Mellon. "Today is a promotional day, thus drawing more customers. We'll serve somewhere near 1,350 meals."
"The area that we are sitting in now used to be a sports bar," said Mellon. "We converted this space into a VIP seating area for our VIP Players Club Gold and Platinum Members eating at the Riverfront Buffet. This room can also be reserved by these same players to host private parties and special events."
The Riverfront Buffet's food stations include a carving station, a grill, an Italian specialties station, and Asian and noodle bar, and 18-foot salad bar, a bread bar and dessert station. On weekday afternoons a soup and sandwich bar is added.
In order to accommodate the diverse clientele attracted to Mountaineer, including Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean, an Asian noodle bar was established. Chef Giang Tran, from Cleveland, satisfies customer demand with several main dish selections that change daily, as well as an Asian soup-of-the-day and broth for the noodle bar. Assorted condiments and rice, wheat and buckwheat noodles can be combined in bowls.
"Since opening, the Asian noodle bar is our number one station," said Mellon.
Tran supervises several Asian-specialty chefs, all from Cleveland.
Another of the non-standard buffet stations is the new bread bar. An assortment of homemade dinner rolls and loaves of bread with slicing boards and knives are available for customers not afraid to indulge in carbohydrates. Placed throughout the buffet are bowls of homemade, deep-fried bread covered in cheese and an herb mix that can be used to top salads as croutons or soups as a substitute for traditional crackers.
Mellon believes that no one else in the area offers the bread bar.
"Lunch is affordable at $10.95 and dinner for $14.95 for over 40 items. The buffet will host special dining events as well including our surf and turf special featuring shrimp, crab claws, steamed clams and oysters for $18.99," said Mellon.
The Riverfront Buffet hours of operation for lunch are from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday through Saturday, and for dinner from 4:30 to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 4:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
(Winkler can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)