Tahlequah Daily Press

Checking It Out

February 19, 2008

Cherokee Casino: Great fun, food, folks



When we first checked in, we noticed a seemingly endless line of people, wrapped around the now-famous chopper (by Orange County Choppers, I must add) in the lobby and back down through the gaming area. When we asked about the line, we were told it was for the Wild Potato, CCC's signature buffet. We found it hard to believe people would wait an hour or more for an evening buffet, even if the price was more than reasonable.

The next morning, the same sort of line was in place, and we found out why. Not only is the Wild Potato serving at rock-bottom prices like the Vegas buffets used to do, it's offering a wide array of delicious food. I have no trouble saying it's one of the best breakfast buffets I've ever sampled -- and I've sampled quite a few. And this buffet was only $3.95 (at the time, half off again if you were a hotel guest!).

We were stunned to find Eggs Benedict on this buffet, and as we greedily scooped up our servings, an attendant was checking the temperatures of the food to make sure it was perfect (it was). Ham, bacon, sausage, all types of fruit, pancakes, waffles, French toast, omelets, different potatoes -- you name it, they've got it. Yes, there was a line, but it was worth the wait, and the cashiers were good-natured and patient. Though it was a buffet, we had servers for our drinks and other amenities, and ours -- Brenda -- was friendly and attentive, a model of efficiency as she made her rounds.

Despite everything else, Saturday night's meal was probably the highlight of our adventure: dinner at McGill's. Though there are two other Tulsa-area locations for this acclaimed restaurant, we had never eaten at one -- and now I'm wondering why. The menu and wine selections are splendid, all with an "appropriate starch" and crisply steamed vegetables (as Cherokee Chief Chad Smith insists upon as part of his tribal health initiatives). We found the atmosphere to be warm and intimate, and the service (provided to us by Cassie, who as it turns out is from Tahlequah) exceptional. We had the sumptuous spinach and artichoke dip to start, then for entrees, the melt-in-your-mouth steak and lobster tail. We were so stuffed we could only share dessert: a sinful, chocolatey concoction with a gooey center.

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