the cafe at harrah’s rincon casino | valley center

Last week it was Spring Break for Jake and T. To “celebrate”,  my folks got us a free room at Harrah’s Rincon Casino and we had a staycation. The resort is far enough away to feel like you’re out of town, but still close enough to home. On our first night we decided to have dinner at The Cafe at Harrah’s Rincon – one of the sit down restaurants at the resort casino. 

Interior at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

Harrah’s is pretty kid-friendly as well, though the kids still are not allowed to walk through the main casino floor (they must stay on the edges of the casino). The Cafe at Harrah’s Rincon is nicely decorated as well. 

Interior at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

Plenty of booths and feels pretty cozy. 

Menu Page 2 at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

[menus at the cafe at harrah’s rincon]

Menu time for the Cafe at Harrah’s Rincon! Click the menu photos to get an easier-to-read version.

The Cafe at Harrah’s Rincon serves mostly American food – it’s almost diner like in the style of food they serve.

Menu Page 1 at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

Burgers, entrees and desserts.

Breakfast Menu at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

Breakfast menu. Some breakfast items are only available in the morning. 

Sides and Beverages Menu at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

Sides and beverages.

Chicken Wings at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

[naked chicken wings / $12.99]

We started off with a plate of a dozen chicken wings (you can also get a half order for $6.99). The wings can be tossed in BBQ, Honey Mustard, or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and our waitress also asked if we just wanted them plain. That sounded like the best idea to me so we got the chicken wings naked with two different dipping sauces: honey mustard and ranch. 

Jake and T pretty much fell over themselves and raved about the honey mustard sauce. T proclaimed it to be the “very best honey mustard sauce” he’s ever had. I thought it was good but not as good as he says. I think he’s overdramatic sometimes. Heh.

I really liked getting the wings plain – the wings stayed much crunchier than usual. These wings were a pretty good size and had a nice amount of meat on each wing. I was sad it was mostly drumettes with very few wingettes (I had to look up what that part was called – wingette or flat!) which are my favorite part of the wing. The wingettes are totally covered in crispy skin and always taste more tender to me. 

Both the ranch and honey mustard were tasty sauces for the crunchy wings – perhaps naked chicken wings will be my new go-to way to eat wings!

Pesto Pasta at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

[capellini con pesto / $10.99]

For dinner, Jake decided he would try the Capellini con Pesto. Capellini is like a very thin version of spaghetti. Neither of us knew that beforehand. I personally don’t like thin pasta like this (angel hair is my least favorite pasta ever) – it always tastes overcooked and almost mushy to me. The pesto flavor seemed really light on this dish and it tasted pretty bland. Jake ended up adding salt to boost it up a bit but I still felt like it was severely under seasoned. The toast that came with the pasta was good though – I stole some of that from Jake.

BLAT Sandwich at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

[blat sandwich / $8.99]

T got a BLAT sandwich, which in case you didn’t know is a Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato sandwich. He got it on sourdough bread with a side of kettle cooked chips. There was a good amount of bacon on the sandwich – a solid choice. 

Open Faced Steak Sandwich at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

[open faced “1855” new york steak sandwich / $12.99]

I wanted to get something a little different from what I usually get and I surprised Jake by ordering the Open Faced “1855” New York Steak Sandwich. He kept trying to guess what I was going to order and he didn’t manage it this time (though T said he guessed it right before I ordered it – ha!). 

Open Faced Steak Sandwich with Jalapeno Potato Salad at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

[rejected jalapeno potato salad]

With all the sandwiches you get your choice of side: fries, kettle chips, lemon vinaigrette salad, coleslaw, potato salad, or a fruit cup. I asked the waitress if there were any pickles in the potato salad and she said no, but told me there were jalapenos in it. I said that was fine, thinking it wouldn’t be a big deal. But after one bite of potato salad I abandoned it – it was much too spicy for me! They must leave all the seeds in because it was inedible to me. I also didn’t like the big chunks of potato anyway – I prefer my potato salad to be creamy and almost like a cold version of mashed potatoes. 

Steak | The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

The open faced “sandwich” is pretty much just a cooked steak on top of a piece of thick toast with roasted tomatoes and onion strings. I thought the steak would be steak slices for some reason – but nope – it was a whole steak! 

Medium rare steak | The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

The steak was cooked to medium rare – though once I got mostly through the steak I saw it was more towards rare on one side of the steak. I wasn’t bothered by this since I ate the “good” part already. The steak was nicely seasoned and juicy – I enjoyed it quite a bit. Mostly I just ate the steak on its own. The steak made the bread pretty soggy and moist and I don’t enjoy eating soggy bread.

The onion strings were heavily coated in batter. I could barely taste any onion flavor at all and they were too salty and not very crispy. 

Fruit cup | The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

I asked the waitress (actually, Jake asked for me) if I could get a fruit cup since I didn’t like the potato salad. The cup was filled with chunks of cantaloupe, honeydew, and grapes. Not quite in season yet, but still better than the potato salad.

7-Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

[7-layer chocolate fudge cake / $7.99]

Yup. We got dessert. I wanted it to go so we could just munch on it up in our room. Our waitress handed a bag to Jake and he said, “Whoa, feel how heavy this is!”

Now you can see why this sucker is so heavy. SEVEN LAYERS BABY!

Giant Slice of 7-Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake at The Cafe at Harrah's Rincon Casino | Valley Center, CA

The Cafe at Harrah’s Rincon has one-upped Claimer Jumper by offering a 7 layer cake instead of their measly 6 layers (psh)! Because why the hell not, right? 

My hands are kind of small but still – that is a big piece of cake! There are toasted pecans on the side which was my favorite part of the cake – chocolate goodness with crunchy nuts. This cake was incredibly rich and extra fudgy. Jake had one bite and that was enough for him. T and I tried to tackle it for the next couple of days but never managed to finish it. We accidentally left it in the mini fridge in our room when we left, but that’s okay. T and I got our fill of chocolate cake that week! The cake tasted much better at room temperature. It was difficult to eat if you ate it straight from the fridge since the fudgy frosting hardened up. The cake could have been a little more moist, too, but it wasn’t too bad. Definitely a dessert to share with a bunch of people!

We visited a couple of other places to eat at Harrah’s Rincon – stay tuned for those posts!

The Cafe at Harrah’s Rincon Casino
777 Harrah’s Rincon Way
Valley Center, CA 92082
(760) 751-3100

Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 11+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

9 Replies to “the cafe at harrah’s rincon casino | valley center

  1. I want your parents. I never got no staycation present for Spring Break 🙁 I want those wings Mary! I love ordering wings naked to keep them crunchy (and I also prefer the wingette part too). I can’t believe they put a whole slab of steak on the sammy. What kind of steak was it ? I totally remember Claim Jumpers tower cake. It was intense and awesome. The one here looks super dense and hard core too.

    1. Hi Faye! My mom gets free rooms anyway but she did have to check us into the room. She doesn’t mind that though since it just means another trip to the casino for her – haha! You’re the only one I know who orders wings naked on a regular basis and I think I may start doing that more often. I like dipping the wings in sauce instead of them being all saucy!

      The steak is a New York strip steak. Had a nice flavor!

    1. Hi Soo! I’ll have to believe that dinner is better for the buffet. We went for lunch and it wasn’t that amazing. I’d rather go to The Cafe! 🙂

    1. Hi CC – It was so much cake!! Definitely a cake for sharing with friends. Yes, it was really nice of my parents to get the free room for us. It was a great little staycation!

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