Solid bargains at the Stations

Different casinos work in different ways to attract business in tough times. Some tighten up. Others get loose. One group that’s firmly embraced the latter is Station Casinos, currently pulling out the stops to stimulate business with very strong food and drink values.

Two prominent value plays are the recent discounting of its buffets and the re-launching of the Grand Café coffee shops. The price of all Feast buffets has been slashed at every property to $4.99 for breakfast, $6.99 for lunch, and $8.99 for dinner and Sunday brunch. These prices apply at Palace, Boulder, Texas, Sunset, Santa Fe and Aliante Stations, as well as at Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock (with dinner and brunch priced at $11.99 at the latter two). You have to show a Boarding Pass card, but if you don’t have one, you can get it easily.

The transition back to the Grand Cafés after a short-lived switch to Coco’s is also good news, as these rebranded coffee shops are opening with some solid deals, including a $9.99 prime rib, a $6.99 half-pound Angus cheeseburger and fries, and one of the biggest shrimp cocktails in town for $2.99.

All good! But best is an amazing happy hour in T-Bones Chophouse at Red Rock. Every day from 5 to 7 p.m., “T-Time” offers 50 food and drink choices for $5 each. Most are cocktails—including wines by the glass, beer and specialty cocktails—but the 11 food choices are powerhouses for the price. Among them are shrimp tempura, chicken potpie, pulled-pork sliders, chicken and waffles, and deep-fried Oreos or crème brûlée for dessert. Two not to be missed are the big shrimp cocktail and, even better, beef on weck—a roast beef sandwich on kimmelweck bread, served with fries and a pickle. The deal breaks down to getting dinner and drinks for about $25 per person.

The $5-per tab is just expensive enough to ensure that patrons are more affluent than the typical happy-hour bargain hunter. So a classier 35- to 60-year-old crowd fills the bar, lounge and patio where T-Time is staged. Your only problem might be getting a seat.