Hard Rock Cafe at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Gets an Updated Menu
|The Cajun shrimp and poached pear salad is new to the Hard Rock Cafe menu.|
Much of what drew people to Hard Rock Cafe in those years remains in play at the restaurant inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. The walls are lined with glass cases filled with the sequined jumpsuits, butt-hugging acid-washed jeans, and leather pants that graced the sweat-slicked bodies of rock stars in their glory days. The service is enthusiastic and familiar. The menu, however, has recently been given a subtle face-lift.
|Understated is not a word used to describe the décor.|
My friends and I asked our server -- a cheerful young blond -- to give us a rundown of all of the new menu items, something we were loathe to do since she'd said earlier that it was only her second day and she was in the process of shadowing a senior server who was tied up with a large party at the next table. Kudos to Hard Rock's training and hiring processes on this point: Our server nailed it, taking us through each page of the menu, telling us at length about every new and revamped dish.
|Nonthreatening favorites like the nachos have been tweaked but not replaced.|
For my main course, I tried the new Cajun shrimp and poached pear salad ($14.95), a mixed green tossed with a very sweet Dijon pear dressing and crumbled goat cheese and topped with poached pear slices, grilled sweet Cajun shrimp, and not-as-spicy-as-I-would've-liked pecan bits. It comes with seasoned chopped bacon, but I ordered without. Our server said it's her favorite, and it seems to be one of the more-buzzed-about changes to the restaurant's menu. A smokehouse chop salad (greens with smoked chicken, spicy bacon and pecans, pico de gallo, and a smoky citrus vinaigrette) also is new. Our server described it as "definitely [having] a kick to it."
|Proof that you can go the healthy route at a major chain restaurant.|
Other changes include the option to sub in a piece of grilled chicken for beef in any of the "legendary burgers," plus the introduction of a goat cheese chicken salad sandwich (poached chicken salad on a hoagie roll, topped with dried cranberries and goat cheese), and the Shang Hi [sic] smokehouse sandwich (with Asian five-spice barbecue sauce and an Asian-style pickled cucumber slaw with sriracha mayo).
As we were wrapping our meal and I was putting down the last few sips of my Heineken (don't judge -- I was feeling nostalgic), the party at the next table also was coming to a close. A male server bellowed instructions to the dining room to join the serving crew in wishing the family a congratulations in unison. We obliged, and the guests beamed. The manager swung by our table: "Where are you folks from?" He grinned when we said we were locals. On the way out the door, we passed the gift shop. There in the front was a display of logo T-shirts, just like in the days of yore.
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