The first few times we went to Revel, the newest resort in Atlantic City, we knew we’d have to find some alternate options, food-wise. The posh and super-stylized resort is as fancy-pants as you can get on the strip, with period-inspired sitting areas (from mid-century modern to one that’s oddly reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland, a giant, bright coral-red mushroom trip), high end restaurants and bars, and brand-spanking new, oceanview-only rooms.
That, of course, meant no concept of cheap eats anywhere within the resort. So we went off the beaten path for our chow-down options, hitting up Tony Baloney’s pizza a few blocks away, or our favorite Vietnamese joint, Pho Cali, a few miles down Atlantic Ave. We also found reliably yummy and budget-friendly Dominican and Malaysian options. The catch: we definitely had to get into the car to go to any of these places, which can be a bit of a drag when you’re in relax-mode, especially when you’re in AC during the winter.
Still, we love our food, and we’d go where we had to for delicious cheap eats. Our last few visits though we’ve noticed something. Revel finally GETS it. They don’t want people leaving the resort and all its creature comforts because they don’t want to blow their (gambling) budget on breakfast or lunch (or late night munchies). We discovered this in December, when we went for an overnight jaunt and visited their diner, Relish, which was offering not one but two really good deals — a $5 burger and a $9.99 steak and shrimp combo. How we could resist?
We plonked down in our cozy little booth — after a 20 minute wait, since the place was packed — and while Navdeep opted for the hot and creamy chicken pot pie ($12, and, he insists, not really “pot pie,” since the lid was a disc of phyllo dough laid on top, not sealing the dish), I went with the steak and shrimp special. It wasn’t the best I’d ever had, but not bad for $10, including a side of greens. It should be noted: we were tempted to get the burger, but when we learned the special didn’t include fries (they were an extra $4), it didn’t seem like such a bargain anymore.
This time around, on our mini-babymoon (with Kavya, of course!), we tried the diner’s breakfast deal, truly a steal at $3.99 for a plate of eggs, any style, with home fries, bacon and even toast, thanks to the insistence of our waiter (who’s taking up the mantle with management on behalf of his customers — “that kind of breakfast plate SHOULD include toast” – a direct quote from our waiter). Navdeep and I asked for our scrambled eggs well done – we like ours desi-style, which most people would consider overdone. I requested the same for the bacon (I like it super-crisp!) and was accommodated no problem. We also got coffee and a side of turkey sausage for the kid, and all told, breakfast topped out at $20. Not bad, when basic drip coffee and cocoa and bagels (or a chocolate croissant, as the case may be, if you’re Navdeep!) will run you that much at the resort’s Corso Coffee bar. And the service was stellar! While at Revel earlier this year, Kavya and I had to HUNT for hot cocoa — and it wasn’t easy to find. This time, our lovely waiter hand-crafted her a cup, not too hot, just right for a toddler, complete with whipped cream AND a chocolate drizzle. Needless to say, Kavya thoroughly enjoyed it.
For late night eats, we hit the resort’s Distro Cantina for their $3 taco special. Kavya and I enjoyed the carnitas and chicken — both pretty yummy! — while adventurous eater Navdeep got the lengua. And we shared a side of beans. The $13 Margaritas did up the budget there a bit, but $3 a taco is decent option.
The point is, after months of ditching Revel to go find decent, non-budget-breaking eats elsewhere, Revel finally gets it. And the deals definitely abound. There’s $7 French dips and $1.50 clams and oysters at the Mussel bar, $12 pies, and even a $9 pasta special at Lugo, Revel’s take on old-school Italian. Luckily, we plan to head back (with baby in tow) this spring to try the rest of them!