By Jacqueline Monahan
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Thanksgiving at Mr. Lucky’s 24/7 Café at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Photos credit: Stephen Thorburn 

On Thursday, November 27, a festive three-course Thanksgiving menu was served at Mr. Lucky’s 24/7 Café in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino from 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. The circular diner with its family-friendly atmosphere, retro décor, continual rock music, leopard-print seating, vintage motel signage and light wooden floors, overlooks the casino floor.  The energy-filled aura of the restaurant puts guests instantly at ease, making it a great place for group dining, people watching, celebrity sightings, and satisfying late night cravings.

The special holiday menu offered three first-course choices:  A rich, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup made with crème fraîche and chives, and topped with spiced bread croutons; a Winter Salad featuring a raspberry vinaigrette as well as real raspberries, mixed winter lettuce, several slices of translucent shaved pear, stilton blue cheese, and addictive candied walnuts; and a Shrimp Cocktail Louis that was inundated with scores of bay shrimp in a creamy Louis dressing atop a bed of crunchy shredded cabbage. Your humble correspondent fell in love with all three offerings, but really wanted to run off and elope with the creamy, sigh-inducing soup, which was so flavorful that spoons from all directions approached the bowls of those lucky enough to have ordered it. A covered bread basket held a little gem of a roll in the seeded, cranberry soft rye, savory and sweet at the same time.

These virtually evaporated upon sight. The three entrée choices consisted of an Herb Roasted Free Range Turkey (thick, skin-topped breast slices) accompanied by a tangy whole cranberry sauce, chestnut dressing sliced into rounds of multi-textured goodness, baked sweet potatoes (large slices, some underdone and sporting an unwelcome crunch), whipped potatoes, ultra-thin green beans and a bacon-enhanced braised, red cabbage.  A sliced Roast Pork Loin came with an apple & cranberry chutney and pan gravy in addition to these sides. A Champagne Ginger Salmon was adorned with asparagus and mashed potatoes in an architectural design that gave height to the already splendid offering. Once again, your humble correspondent braved the triple threat with an investigative fork, leading to the following conclusions.

luckys-hard-rock-thanksgiving 018a
Turkey Dinner

Pork Loin

luckys-hard-rock-thanksgiving 017a
Ginger Salmon

The turkey slices varied in tenderness from plate to plate, with some being acceptably moist to a others being slightly tough.  Aside from the crunchy sweet potato slices, the sides were full of flavor, with a caveat to vegetarians to query about sneaky bacon placement in holiday dishes before attempting a bite.  The Pork Loin slices in pan gravy were fork tender and flavorful.  A delicate salmon filet seemed to have a broiled outer crust that added to its excellent ‘bite.” 

Thin asparagus held its snap admirably on the palate for a pleasing contrast. Dessert also came in a trio of choices: a Homemade Pumpkin Pie, a Deep Dish Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream and a Chocolate Crème Brûlée.  Chef Chuck (Charles R. Clark) graciously added generous slices of Chocolate Fudge Cake topped by a Cherries Jubilee reduction sauce, and a platter of assorted Chocolate Truffles.  The table experienced a sugar high-five with this quintet.

luckys-hard-rock-thanksgiving 024a

luckys-hard-rock-thanksgiving 029a

The pumpkin pie had a firm texture and was topped by a homemade whipped cream.  The crème brûlée came with the standard sugar crust (fun to break into) but had the mouth appeal of a pudding more than a custard creation.  The spectacular warm apple crumble with vanilla ice cream almost caused a duel for the last piece.

An extremely moist chocolate fudge cake with cherries jubilee reduction was so rich, it almost tasted like pure fudge injected by a cherry essence that was a surprising enhancement. Deftly managing all of the organized  culinary transitions from kitchen to table, server Matt Davis was solicitous and nearly telepathic in keeping the various requests that came his way expertly filled. Mr. Lucky’s 24/7 Café also offers standard diner fare, straight up or with a twist.

luckys-hard-rock-thanksgiving 028a

luckys-hard-rock-thanksgiving 030a

luckys-hard-rock-thanksgiving 034a
Chef Chuck (Charles R. Clark)

Aside from the usual burgers, sandwiches and pizza the restaurant is known for its specialty, Baby Back Ribs basted in a watermelon sauce. There’s also a not-so secret special, the Steak and Shrimp, an 8-ounce New York sirloin steak, three jumbo shrimp, salad, garlic mashed potatoes and a roll, all for a lucky $7.77. Breakfast offerings feature Crisp Oatmeal Brûlée, the  "Rehab" Breakfast (Egg whites, spinach and mushroom omlette with sliced vine-ripened tomatoes) and Huevos Rancheros, Eggs Benedict, and T-bone Steak and Eggs for incorrigible traditionalists. 

There are Seared Yellowfin Tuna Tacos, grilled Sirloin, Veggie, Turkey or Tuna Burgers, Wood Fired, Brick Oven Pizzas, acclaimed Milk Shakes in strawberry, vanilla chocolate or coffee, a classic Banana Split, or “Junior’s” Brooklyn Cheesecake, direct from “Junior’s” on Flatbush Avenue in New York City.

Already a favorite, affordable lunch spot for regulars, Mr. Lucky’s has been recognized as the city’s “Best Late Night Snack” according to the Las Vegas Weekly Reader’s Choice Poll. As you’d guess from its name, Mr. Lucky’s 24/7 is open round the clock.  Sound familiar?  After all, this IS Las Vegas.

For further information:

Mr. Lucky’s 24/7 Café Hard Rock Hotel 4455 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV, 89169
Average cost: $15 to $25