Casino Gambling

Hard Rock Casino’s new buffet has a full bar, different menu and windows to the water

When the buffet restaurant at Hard Rock Casino Biloxi needed a refresh, it got much more than new decor.

The restaurant has a name adjustment — Satisfaction Buffet & Bar — to reflect that a full-service bar is now part of the experience. It also has a communal table, something not seen often in a casino buffet, where groups of friends can meet for a drink or people who are dining alone can get some company.

What were solid walls are now windows looking out to Deer Island and the fishing boats in the harbor. The beach view, framed by the windows, looks like photos until a shrimp boat passes by. The new decor is described as “industrial Coastal,” with clean finishes and the colors of the sea.

“There’s something about sitting by the water,” said Todd Raziano, general manager of Hard Rock Biloxi. “We want to be more of an experience.”

Chef Kevin Truong got the go-ahead to create a new menu throughout the buffet, adding barbecue shrimp, veal osso bucco and other dishes as diverse as his Filipino, Irish, German and African family roots.

Also part of the food service changes are:

  • More cooking stations that turn out specialties like made-to-order paninis
  • Expanded dessert Island with a station for flambes and flaming cherries jubilee
  • Specialty breads
  • Weekend jazz brunches with crab legs are from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday for $21.99, including two free mimosas or deluxe Bloody Marys. Buy a pound to take home for an additional $6.

The new bar has the lowest prices in the casino:

  • 2-for-1 happy hour midweek
  • $1 draft beer Sunday and Monday
  • $3 frozen daiquirison Tuesday
  • Free draft beer for the seafood buffet on Friday-Saturday

This $2.3 million transformation to the buffet is the latest in a series of new and upgraded restaurants and amenities at Hard Rock.

“Over the last two years more than $10 million was invested in improvements,” Razianno said. Among the improvements are the Robobar, a new Dunkin’ Donuts, the iLov305 bar that Pitbull came to Biloxi to christen last year, the new sportsbook that went live in August and the Sugar Factory restaurant bar that opened a few months ago.

They’ve also added new slot machines and laid the casino floor out to provide a better link between the restaurants that rim the casino and the games, he said.

June is 12 years since Hard Rock Biloxi opened and Raziano said any business that isn’t evolving, growing and improving the customer experience, will get stale.

“We recognize it’s a very competitive market,” he said. South Mississippi has some sophisticated customers who want new and upscale, he said, and this new buffet gives them Satisfaction.

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Mary Perez is the business and casino reporter for the Sun Herald and also writes about Biloxi, jobs and the new restaurants and development coming to the Coast. She is a fourth-generation journalist.