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This Week's HipBites

Atlantic City

I am a person who loves Vegas. The cheesiness, the glitz, the sleight of hand, and the mini Eiffel Towers. So when I heard that Atlantic City was becoming mini Vegas, I had to go see for myself. Trust me when I say now, go now because never again will you get to see a city change so much before your eyes ~ Happy holidays & see you in 2007! Syl

p.s. As always at the bottom are our most recent reviews. Beatrice Inn, Waverly Inn, Tamarai Bar, Tom's Kitchen, Ultra and Bondi Road are just a few that have made the cut for the site lately.

THE spot is mur.mur inside the Borgata. Time has stopped for this place where the crowd goes crazy for everything from Montell Jordanís This Is How We Do It to Kreo. Even the guys can't resist getting groovy here to Timberlake mashed up with Andain mashed up with local heroes Bon Jovi. The Manhattan bottle service bars could take a cue from this no-attitude bar where champagne is served with strawberries and the staff is genuinely nice. There is a tight, tight door list so guest list yourself. Itís worth it. We promise.
609 317 7249

Upstairs from mur.mur is Mixx. Itís actually more the mega club of the Borgata. From Paul Oakenfold to Junior Vasquez, this is where the big DJ talent goes. Thereís also been the usual acrobatics and cabaret so itís the event spot. Holding 700, surprisingly this is spot is a good choice for those who canít get their act together to call in advance as Mixx never has a cover before 11 for anyone.
609 317 1000

We also like Cuba Libre in the Tropicana. This spot is more dancey than itís original Philadelphia incarnation. Despite an intimidating looking partition at the door, this spot has a welcome-all attitude and inside the no-cover bar is equally friendly. Churning out Latin B sides and hip hop standards for the small dance floor where all ages get their groove on, itís very egalitarian here.
Cuba Libre
609 348 6700

The Ďití place to eat right now is Stephen Starrís Buddakan. Itís cosier than the Manhattan counterpart and the service is spectacular. Beware the ginormous family size portions (after eating the calamari salad, we were full! Tasty though!). Best on menu is the pork and any kind of steamed fish they recommend. We also liked the sashimi starter.
609 674 0100

Another good spot for big groups (& Vegas is best done with all your BFFs) is Bobby Flay Steak. Winners (natch) are the various cuts with rubs. Donít miss the mashed potato with truffle side. Pescatarians will like the lobster salad. People watching is primo here, complete with celebs hiding in corners (Brit-Brit anyone? To various Sopranos and their arm candy.)
Bobby Flay Steak

For late night eats, everyone goes to Fat Burger inside the Cafeteria in the Borgata (turn left out of mur.mur down the escalators). Non Manhattanites will know it (Yo Pataki, could you at least import that before you leave office?). Order the Ďmealí with everything on it. Bonus with your fries is seeing what everyone you were scoping inside the club looks like in (wahoo!) fluorescent lighting. Beware, the buzzers they insist on handing you, do NOT work, so listen for them to scream your receipt number.
Fat Burger
Borgata Cafeteria

Leave the casinos for at least one lunch to see the historic White House Sub Shop. Theyíve been serving up those heroes for decades and this is the old AC. Itís priceless to line up in between the working girls, the firemen, and the high rollers.
White House Sub Shop
2301 Arctic Ave
609 345 1564

Another brunch option is Starrís other spot, the Continental. Similar to his Philadelphia spot once again, with a Jetsons-like lounge in the back, the front has a sunken fireplace grotto, where traditional eggs and burgers will soak up all your previous nights sins.
The Continental
609 674 8300

The Borgata has the newest and poshest suites making them the game in town if room luxury is your thing. (Rumour has it that Wynn is coming too, but if the nasty note they sent us is any indication of treatment of guests, weíll be sticking with this pony.) Register for a Borgata card and be rewarded for gambling and spending with free rooms. One friend of ours has all her weekday rooms free. Owned by MGM Mirage and Boyd Gaming, itís off the strip but who cares. It has the big art sculptures, flashing lights, free drinks in the casino along with a full Spa, a branch of New York's Old Homestead Steak House, Wolfgang Puck and Seablue (same as Vegas) and all the restos and bars we mention above.

If getting tickets to sold-out shows is your goal, pick Caesarís. They have access to hard to get show tickets. Another big plus for this spot is the expansion connected it via bridge over the Boardwalk to the Forum shops, where thereís Gucci, Betsey Johnson, Dennis Basso, AG, and dozens of others with Juicy and Jasmine Sola opening soon. Upstairs from shopping, eats include Buddakan, The Continental, Sonsie, Trinity Pub. Jeffrey Chodorow is scheduled to open a Rumjungle in the Spring. Single downside is the casino itself and the rooms do feel a bit older but how much time will you really spend in the room?

Third on our list is the Tropicana. Pluses here are the Palm, Carmine's, and Chodorowís Red Square vodka bar, and Cuba Libre. But like Caesarís the rooms are older and one way you feel the casinoís age is in the ventilation system, as smoking in casinos is legal in AC. That said, we found it was easier to win here at the tables than in the Borgata. (Sorry, MGM!)

From Babs to the Rolling Stones, the acoustics and the fact that there are no bad seats make it worth taking in a show. Boardwalk Hall

If you have a chance, walk the boardwalk. The juxtaposition of poverty, the 99 cent stores and shanty houses straight out of Annie with newly found wealth is staggering and disturbing. A great flashback is the opening scene in Desperately Seeking Susan where Madonna wakes up in the way AC used to be.

Texas Hold ĎEm is our game of choice but in AC where you play against the house (and you know what they say about the house), we donít recommend it. So Craps is the way to go. We like Craps For The Clueless

Three words for you. Zero sales tax. In addition to the Forum stores, thereís the AC outlet shops.

From NYC, we went via car service in an Escalade.
Park Avenue Limo
917 418 6397
Or you can fly, click on our partner Yahoo and search flights.

All the hotels have taxi queues. Within AC city limits the max they can charge is $11. If you decide to wander around, ask carefully and get quotes. We had some interesting experiences with changing taxi fees.

Photo courtesy of Six Five Photography.com


1. ATLANTIC CITY. A little known Susan Sarandon film.

2. Bruce Springsteen GREATEST HITS. The album that includes ĎAtlantic Cityí

3. BEACHES (Special Edition). Itís where they meet, of course.

4. SEX & THE CITY Ė 5th Season. Itís the setting for Episode 69

5. VERY BEST OF THE DRIFTERS. Under the Boardwalk.

6. RAGTIME. One of my favourite movies.


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