On June 24th, Massachusetts had it’s first casino open in Plainville. The Plainridge Park Casino was added Plainridge Raceway, home to harness racing and simulcast betting for years. When it had a soft opening, N.E.Time Gambling was there. For the first trip report, click on Plainridge Park First Impressions.
It has been five months – time to check out Plainridge again. Here’s what we found:
A. The Drive – from southern CT & RI, it’s pretty much highway. Easy to get to, I-95, I-295, Route 1. You will pass route 146 towards Twin River Casino if you wish to make a casino “2-fer” only 10 minutes east off 295. Interesting to find two huge billboards reminding drivers on Route 1 that real table games are a few minutes away. Tacky or good business? – you decide.
B. Parking garage is clean and seems plentiful for the size of the casino.
C. Service – The staff at Plainridge seems to be devoted to good service. Ask a question and you get an answer with a smile. The employees seem to consider their patrons as important and show it. If this continues, it will be one thing that will bring people back from all over New England.
D. Still feels small – and it is. But if you go at off peak times, it’s actually very relaxing and enjoyable. Tuesday, at lunchtime had a light crowd – typical of most casinos – and we had a great time.
The non-smoking clean atmosphere of the casino I must admit (being a non-smoker) was extremely enjoyable. I still wish I could get a beer with my play – just one, of course.
E. Beverage Outlets – There are two self-service areas for water, soda & coffee. This a wonderful idea to get you up, get your beverage, and get it without depending on wait staff – although, the wait staff seemed to have the same dedication to good service as mentioned previously.
- Slots – plenty (1200) of slots to find your favorite. A little heavy on the Scientific Gaming / IGT slots, but still include your favorite Bally’s, Aristocrat, and a few Ainsworth slots. Watch the denominations! There seem to be a higher percentage of $1 machines mixed near penny slots and it’s easy to get denominations confused if you’re not looking carefully.
- Video Poker – Still too few video poker. Paytables vary from ok to downright nasty (6/5 Bonus?).
This is not the place for VP players – not because of the paytables, but mostly because there are too few VP machines. I did notice a bank of “Ultimate X” with suspect paytables and 3, 5, & 10 play machines. Good single line Video Poker is lacking.
- Faux Table Games – More group electronic Roulette, Craps, and BlackJack Games through out the casino.
Action is S-L-O-W on these games, especially craps, but they include low limits and up to 10X odds. Table games can be fun, feeling the camaraderie of your fellow players, but these games popping up in casinos all over just, well, are isolating and boring.
- It did seem the individual electronic table games were a bust. Many units were being taken out or “moved” as we were there. Frankly, more slots and VP would be a better investment than those things.
- Lunch options are good. The Food Court offers a wide array of healthy food, quick eats, and different choices, like “B Good” which offers Kale & Quinoa Bowls, seasonal salads and interesting shakes. “The Bean” is not your usual coffee stand, either. Open 24-hours, it offers Handcrafted Stuffed Pretzels that looked like the food of choice for my next visit!
- We decided to eat at Flutie’s 22 Pub. (Slacks, the more upscale restaurant, doesn’t open until 5:00PM.) I was pleased with the food and beverage.
The beer selection is good, although leaning toward IPA too much in the craft-beer selection. The Mayflower Porter was delicious and malty and served at the right temperature.
- Our meal consisted of two entrees – I had one of the best burgers i can remember with the “2:1” – 2 parts burger, 1 part bacon, aged Vermont cheddar cheese, shredded iceberg, shaved onions, & mayo. My wife enjoyed her Grilled Chicken Wrap as well.
- But the amazing surprise was the “Drop Kick” giant, we mean GIANT soft pretzel served with Flutie’s killer queso & whole grain mustard.
If you eat anything here, you have to try this. The first pretzel, shared by two, that had the remnants taken home in a box. OUTSTANDING APPETIZER and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
- While the food was great, our service at Flutie’s 22 Pub was disappointing. While cheerful when attending to us, our’s waitress’s focus and attention wasn’t really concerned about us – frankly, I don’t know what was her concern, since there were very few people in the restaurant! After receiving our entrees, we never saw her again until we asked for the check – 1 hour later from ordering! Service is an issue here. How long will your experience at Flutie’s be if it’s busy? My advice – better service to move patrons back onto the floor!
As the day progressed, more gamblers showed up and I started to feel that claustrophobic feeling again. Still, it was a good experience. Give the place a try – I will definitely visit again.
That’s all for now.