Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill
Harrah's (last visit: November 2008).
What can I say? I had to check out this place when it first opened in 2005, and try a fried bologna sandwich. The restaurant's walls were covered with photos and Toby Keith memorabilia. There were a number of televisions, showing either sports or Toby Keith in concert. Waitresses were uniformly thin, wore tight leather mini-skirts and short white tops, called everyone "hon" and were terminally cheerful.
The food was OK. The fried bologna sandwich consisted of a thick slab of pretty good bologna, lightly fried, with caramelized onions, American cheese, lettuce, and tomato, on Texas garlic bread. If you like greasy food (like me), it's not bad. For dessert, the sweet potato pecan pie with bourbon ice cream was a disappointment. The combination of the two kinds of pie sounds like a good idea, but neither of the fillings was especially good. On the other hand, the ice cream was very rich, a big plus. Cola was served in a large mason jar. I was glad I went, but didn't plan to return.
I assumed I would never return...but that was before a momentous change in their menu. They added (drum roll please) "Toby Keith's Signature 'Southern Fried Twinkie'" and "Deep Fried Snickers on a Stick."
First, the Twinkies: two Twinkies, in light batter, very crisp but not too hot. The insides still retained some taste. Add a big dollop of whipped cream and a pool of strawberry sauce, and you have Part I of Heart Attack: The Meal. I really shouldn't be too snide, as this version was pretty good. However, it's enough to serve as a dessert for at least two people.
Part II of my meal was a deep fried Snickers bar. It consisted of a large Snickers bar with a thin layer of crispy batter, warm and soft but still recognizable. Yet another big dollop of whipped cream, plus a little chocolate sauce and caramel sauce adorned the plate. My first impression was very good. However, the more I ate, the less I liked it. It was so heavy, so rich, and so achingly sweet that one bite was enough.
Service (at the bar) was poor. There was one bartender, responsible for serving drinks, taking orders, and even walking to the kitchen to pick up food orders. She was overwhelmed at times. My food came out reasonably quickly, but I waited a very long time to get her attention to ask for the check, and much longer still until the bill was presented.
Total cost for the two desserts plus a Mason jar of Coke: $14, plus tax and tip.
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