Although I’m a morning person and rarely make it past the gaudy club stint to the pinnacle of a night out (the apres-bar dining session at some rip-roaring hole-in-the-wall), I love Vegas. Done right (with top 40 and a/c blasting), the experience can be epic.
Spontaneous trips to the buffet capital of America are affordable. But who really wants to endure a back-breaking flight (potentially sitting next to a ‘talker’), inhale circulating air, and risk losing luggage (jam-packed with tiny garments)? Not I.
For an equally entertaining getaway, consider traveling just South of the border to Tulalip Resort Casino for the following ten reasons.
1. Tulalip Bay Fine Dining – Because the seafood is as fresh as Vancouver’s, but the portions are bigger!
Don’t let the nearby casino fool you. Upon entrance to Tulalip Bay, you’ll first be impressed by its grand dining room that matches this private one, pictured above. You’ll then be blown away by the creative, gourmet dishes by chef Dean Shinagawa, like this perfectly cooked Certified Angus 8oz Filet Mignon served in a Cabernet Rosemary Demi with Yukon garlic potatoes and asparagus:
And trust esteemed sommelier Tommy Thompson to suggest the perfect wine to go with your dinner. With him at the helm of the wine list, Tulalip Bay has won countless awards in the category, including the ‘Washington Award of Distinction’ from the Washington Wine Commission.
Another exceptional entree (large in size and flavor) is the Crab Crusted Alaskan Halibut with wok vegetables, wasabi mashed potatos, and Sriracha chili sauce – incredibly moist and tender. Crab should top seafood more often.
2. Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill & Bar – Because when it comes to First Nations cuisine, you won’t find much other than bannock served in Vancouver.
Here at left is not gelato, but three very large balls of butter: Cheddar Horseradish, Walla Walla Onion Blue Cheese, & Sweet flavored. I half expected a spoon to be delivered with them.
Since I’d reached my max daily intake of butter, I asked that my Maine Lobster Tail (ordinarily poached in the yellow stuff) be steamed. It was still drool-worthy, especially dipped in the wild mushroom beurre blanc served on the side.
And here’s the house specialty, ‘Salmon on a Stick’, which is a proud piece of the Tulalip Tribe’s heritage, made from the recipe of an elder’s wife. Find this in Vegas.
3. Eagles Buffet – Because the ‘hungry man’s’ restaurant is on Canada’s endangered list. Those still standing are hard to find among the plethora of sushi joints and yoga studios.
Tulalip’s award-winning buffet is our closest great all-you-can-eat restaurant. Practically everything you could possibly crave is within its walls. I’m talking rotisserie chicken, a Mongolian grill, a Southern section, and even sugar-free desserts made with Splenda to go with your diet coke and cheeseburger.
4. Gaming – Because the Tulalip area is smaller (and therefore safer) than Vegas which means a lowered risk of being mugged of your winnings. Also, it won King 5’s award (among others) for best casino in Western Washington.
And the atmosphere, created by energetic fans (many being cowboy boot-wearing females), is contagious – as was the love for Blake, who Tweeted at @Miss604 about his love for Canadians a minute after she wrote to him. This obviously won us over instantly.
6. The Technology Suite – Because if you’re more of a homebody, at least you have this monster Mac and a 70” LCD TV in your suite to play with all night long as your friends gamble.
7. Seattle Premium Outlets – A stone’s throw away from Tulalip Resort & the best I’ve ever experienced…worth at least three hours of border traffic WITHOUT snacks.
8. Robert Pattinson aka Edward Cullen – Because you can breathe the very air he did while in Forks (Tulalip’s neighboring town) filming a series of movies that you may not have heard of unless you’re a twelve-year-old girl.
9. The T Spa – Because the Tulalip Tribe has mastered the art of relaxation and they offer great snacks in between treatments.
10. Boating at the Port of Everett – Because the only ships you’ll ride in Vegas are fake.
Other activities to enjoy at the Port of Everett: kiteboarding, kayaking, biking, hiking, bird-watching, and waterfront dining (which is where you’d find me).
Needless to say, those who joined in Tulalip Resort’s eventful media trip returned to Vancouver feeling as though they’d made a discovery. The U.S. vacation spot offers world class dining, an array of activities, and five-star service along the way. It’s been added (next to Whistler, the Okanagan, and Seattle) onto each of our lists of great nearby destinations.
Ciao for now