Friday, May 23, 2008


Damnit, this clammy, rainy weather is going to be around through the weekend. That's most of my vacation. >>SIGH<< So that put a crimp in our plans today. But Jim, Gil and I (the three of us that went to Amsterdam in March) set off for the Morongo Casino and Resort. Run by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, it includes a massive hotel, conference center, buffet, food court, bar and casino. That last part, a massive casino, is the main draw of many tourists (both local and international) halfway along Interstate 10 between Redlands/Yucaipa and Palm Springs. Even as we debate slots in Maryland, gaming on sovereign Native American reservation land has been legal in California for almost ten years now.

My friends won a few hundred dollars today. Me? I made $30, but eventually lost it and all of the $20 that grew from it. (This is why I don't gamble.) But unlike most people who visit, at least I didn't use the ATM. I could've lost a lot more. I was prepared to withdraw something, but I didn't. And I wasn't willing to pony up much, so really I shouldn't feel so bad. And besides, most of those profits go directly to the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. So I really shouldn't feel bad at all.

One more thing to salve my wounded pocket was Gil's offer to buy lunch for the three of us at Morongo's Potrero Canyon Buffet. He comes to Morongo enough that he has a "Members Club" card, on which he racks up points for using the slots. He's used them enough that he could get us all lunch for free! I would have taken photos of it, but snapping pictures in a casino? Probably not such a good idea. Think about it.

This casino has a wide variety of offerings, most of which I sampled. For a non-Indian (South Asian buffet, though I guess you could say it's an American Indian buffet) buffet, it wasn't bad. Among the offerings I tried, the pork stir fry and machaca soft taco were the best. I would order the pad thai and pesto linguine again, though neither was a highlight. Dessert-wise, I was pretty satisfied with the apple cobbler and tiny little cremes brulées. Not so great was the egg lower soup. I could hardly eat it at all. I was disappointed that there was no Native American cuisine. That would be innovative, no? At least there's the overpriced Mitsitam Café in the National Museum of the American Indian in DC

Afterwards I hit the slots. That's where I lost the twenty bucks. Then it was back on to the cold, drizzly afternoon of Southern California in... late May? It even snowed in some parts of the dessert.


Kathy aka the Minx said...

And it's been glorious here in Baltimore while you've been gone! Sucks, huh?

Hubby and I went to Jesse Wong's for dim sum yesterday morning and I was going to suggest you come along but then I remembered you were in CA....