Want to stuff yourself silly in between plugging coins into the slots? Then you’ve come to the right place: Tulalip Resort Casino lives to serve a vast variety of delectable bites, prepared and plated to satisfy almost any voracious inkling. Beyond the chiming machines, active tables and eternal daytime of the gaming floor, the 360-room hotel and its eight restaurants are fully committed to building an epicurean empire within the walls of the 40-acre property.
The resort and its guest rooms marry innovative design — like no-fog mirrors at the sink, brooding red-, white- and black-tiled showers with three separate spouts and Bluetooth-enabled media hubs — with tasteful and contemporary tribal decor throughout all spaces. That homage to heritage is evident in the embellishments and seafood-centered menus of the restaurants as well.
So where to start? Here’s how to handle 30-hours of eating at Tulalip Resort Casino.
Happy Hour: Destinations Lounge
Look no farther once you check in and chuck your bags, you have arrived at the Destinations Lounge tucked on the northern side of the lobby. Mid-century design and lipstick red furniture function as a beacon for weary travelers, not to mention the “Digital Live” experience — a live music performance on four flat-screen TVs. Cocktails come via the deft hand of Kurt McKay, who busies himself with reinventing classic cocktails, like the Marjito (the lovechild of margarita and mojito) and Eve’s Old “But” Fashionable, a twist on the Old Fashioned with apple pie moonshine. Try to keep your grazing to a minimum to save space for later, but snag the zesty marinated shrimp poke as an appetizer.
Dinner: Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill and Bar
Seafood sits on the throne here, and salmon is king in this dining room reminiscent of a tribal longhouse. Watch your catch of the day roast over Alderwood coals on ironwood sticks — a traditional preparation of wild Alaskan Sockeye by the Tulalip tribes — and be sure to sample shucked-to-order oysters or a fresh and crunchy romaine hearts Caesar, garnished with a fist-sized roasted garlic crouton ring. Or go big with the Pacific NW Bounty Bowl, a greatest hits compilation of local seafood: Dungeness and Alaskan king crab legs, prawns, mussels, clams, wild salmon and lobster saffron bisque, plus grilled fingerlings and asparagus. The Northwest-focused drink list is one crafted and curated by award-winning sommelier Tommy Thompson, like the 2015 Figgins Wine Riesling from Walla Walla and Toil Oregon‘s 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
Breakfast: Cedars Cafe
After a restful evening in your room, ride the elevators back down to the lobby where you’ll find Cedars Cafe, adjacent to the front desk. Simplistic and comfortable, the restaurant and its menu oblige with regular diner fare, from gargantuan burgers to a wide selection of seasonally rotating breakfast and brunch options. A proprietary house coffee blend is served piping hot and table-side, while fresh “Good Morning!” juices are also available to quench your thirst next to a Morning Glory stack of pancakes or your choice of four different benedicts. Try the version titled Pacific Northwest, where two poached eggs are served next to Dungeness crab and baby spinach leaves, dredged in classic hollandaise sauce on a toasted English muffin.
Lunch: The Draft
Probably one of the wisest remodels to the resort casino, The Draft sports bar is the latest incarnation of a space that once held a oft-rowdy nightclub. Now, the modern pub atmosphere is amplified by a 14-foot by 9-foot wall matrix of high-definitions TVs. Focused on local beers, regional wines by the glass, craft cocktails and pub fare, you can find eight beers and ciders on tap and a killer patio featuring pod hanging chairs, gas fire pits and outdoor furniture straight out of a Crate & Barrel catalog. If your game isn’t on, grab a seat outside, weather permitting, and order the TD Jumbo Wing Board with three different sizes and six sauces to choose from, the Sherman-Style Smothered Fries (layers of fries, melted cheddar, house-made chili, bacon, green onions, pico de gallo, guacamole) or the pork schnitzel served with an apple remoulade.
Happy Hour: Journeys East
Step one: order the Hou Hou Shu sparkling sake. Step two: try the Dragon G&T, gin muddled with dragon fruit and topped with tonic. Step three: knock out a few signature apps where shrimp is the name of the game, like the Xia Wan (ground and seasoned shrimp rolled in shredded spring roll wrappers served with a honey-wasabi dipping sauce), the Goi Cuon (fresh Vietnamese shrimp spring rolls) and the Har Gow (steamed shrimp dumplings). Need a sushi roll in your life? Journeys East has 18 options to choose from, with both traditional and New World takes. A centrally located display kitchen fuses flavors from Japan, Thailand, China, Korea and Vietnam at this brightly lit and “zen-focused” restaurant and bar.
Dinner: Tulalip Bay Restaurant
Find sommelier Tommy Thompson and do to everything he recommends. A whiskey cocktail made table-side from the roving drink cart? Okay! How about a bottle of a limited release Brunello from a storied Tuscan winery or a small-batch Pinot Noir Blanc from the lauded Domaine Serene in Willamette Valley? Pull my leg. This is the restaurant for the ultimate indulgences, where you will roll yourself down the aisles of the gaming floor back to your room after. A steakhouse in concept with a tighter menu than the other joints, Northwest seafood dishes, like dense Dungeness crab cakes and fire-roasted King salmon, are thoughtfully woven in between house-made pastas and classic beef cuts from Washington’s Double R Ranch. Filet, New York and bone-in ribeye, plus a smoked pork belly steak, satisfy meat lover cravings, expertly cooked and plated to medium-rare perfection.
At this point, unless you need to scratch that gambling itch, you might just have to go to bed. Belly full, underneath the cushy down comforter of your seemingly ever-expanding mattress, you can rest accomplished. You did the Tulalip Resort Casino dining experience right.