The buffet has automatic credit-card kiosks for easy ticket purchase. The cost is $21 a person, except on seafood nights, but was well worth it in terms of variety. Any cravings are well appeased, from pizza to Asian dishes. There are turkey and roast beef carving stations, as well as three types of fish, pasta, fried chicken and sushi. The buffet includes a salad bar, but it is the dessert bar that really gives a “wow” factor. Set up like a bakery’s pastry counter, the original confections are under glass for your view, but every variety of cheese cake and pastry is already served up on plates on the counter’s top for easy access.
In addition to pastries, the dessert table also offers German brownies and big baskets of every conceivable type of freshly-made cookie. There is even an Edy’s self-serve ice cream counter.
The buffet is decorated along the same automobile theme that runs throughout the casino. There is subdued lighting, carpeted dining areas and attention to detail, such as chef’s hats on all kitchen staff and waiter uniforms. The décor sets a tone that clashes somewhat with the louder-than-necessary Motown beats. Apparently a broadcast from the casino’s new radio bar, the music clashed with the atmosphere of the rest of the restaurant.
New poker and high-stakes areas were unveiled in June of 2007. These areas are “revved up” in terms of style and space with high ceilings and innovative design elements. While the design theme runs throughout the entire casino, the lower ceilings in the older areas help trap smoke and noise.
Sleek and stylish, the MotorCity Casino establishes a uniquely Detroit identity missing in both of its competitors’ designs. Based on the automobile, the styling elements were in part contributed by Chip Foose, a noted automobile designer. For instance, lighting is often inspired by the headlamp or, in one case, a speedway depicted on the ceiling in curved tube lighting that sweeps you along its path through the casino’s new addition. Industrial murals reminiscent of the Diego Rivera mural at the Detroit Institute of Art and automotive-inspired murals commissioned from the Shapiro Art Studio tell the story of Detroit.
Another distinctive element of the MotorCity is the music that serves as a backdrop to your gaming experience. While obviously invoking Detroit’s Motown roots and providing a party-type atmosphere, it also creates a head-pounding beat that may be too much for some people as a backdrop to the ever-present gaming noise.
The lounges scattered throughout the casino are sleek and stylish, but short on space, both in terms of seating and as a barrier from people wandering among the slot machines.
One real advantage to the MotorCity Casino over its competitors is its slot machine layout. Rather than go in for the long rows of gaming machines that characterize the MGM Grand and Greektown Casinos, the MotorCity places the slots in clusters of four-to-six machines placed back to back. This means that most slot machine seats have aisle access to one side or the other. This makes it harder for one person to take up several machines at once. The design also avoids a lot of elbows and personal-space invasion.
Slots are plentiful in every denomination, if not every variety. There are, however, multi-hand black jack machines not readily apparent at MGM or Greektown. $10 minimums were spotted on occasion on roulette tables, and sounds of winning were heard at craps tables. A definite perk is the MotorCity’s Club card that is easy to obtain and starts out with $15 of free gaming.