Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and La Pinata Restaurante, Indio, California

We have heard so much about the casinos in the Coachella Valley that today we decided to check out the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, only a few miles from our RV park. This is a nice hotel & casino which offers it's guests a well-equipped weight and fitness room, beautiful outdoor pool and hot tub, a 24 lane bowling alley, many restaurants and of course, the casino. Although we didn't eat in the restaurants, we did review each menu and toured the locally famous buffet. All provide a large and nice variety of items from which to choose. The casino is nice, but it's a typical smoky casino. The casino is predominately filled with slot machines, but has an assortment of table game including one craps table. The minimum bet on each table was $5 or more. We asked if the table minimums are ever less than $5, and were told no; given that we like to play craps, that's a lot of money on the table, so we passed. However, we did see penny slots, and decided to grab the pennies we've accumulated in the ashtray of the truck and see if we could win a buck or two. First we signed-up for a free Players Club Card, which allowed us to partake in the casino's various promotions. Upon registering we each got a free t-shirt (XL, so Brad got two free t-shirts and Suzanne got none), our names were entered for a drawing for a new car and we each received $3 free on our Players Club Card to start our gambling. Well, we parlayed our total of $6 in free money into $12.50 at the nickel-slot machines! Now if only the stock market would yield that kind of return......

All that winning and casino excitement made us hungry, so we headed to La Pinata Restaurante, a Mexican restaurant recommended to us by a woman at the RV park . When we got there it was still Happy Hour so we decided to eat the half priced appetizers in the bar. The appetizer menu has about eight items to choose from and the portion size is quite large. If we had known the large sizes, we probably would have only order one item to share. The drinks were at a discounted price as well. The food, staff and atmosphere were all very good. Their regular dinner menu consisted of a wide range of authentic Mexican food. We'll definitely go back if we are in the area again. This restaurant can be found on the left side of Hwy 111 just past Monroe Street going west. Bring your appetite, you'll need it.

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