Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal in exchange for my honest review.
Since my last dining gamble at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino paid off, I was looking forward to trying their latest offering. A new Asian concept steeped in authentic Chinese and Vietnamese traditions. Along with a group of lifestyle bloggers, I attended their open house at The Bol, Seminole Coconut Creek Casino’s newest eatery spot. The dining and entertainment experience went from 11:30 a.m. into the evening hours.
My schedule was so jammed that the only time I had available was earlier in the day… Yes, that was me arriving at a casino at 1:00 on a Friday afternoon. But it was for work. I swear.
I valeted my car, walked into the lobby and was immediately swept up in the rhythmic hum of slot machines, bells and a steady thrum of activity. As I surveyed the space, I spotted The Bol off to the left of the atrium.
An Asian cuisine concept, The Bol is different from the other dining options in that it’s open to the gaming floor instead of being sequestered from it. I imagine that it will do well simply because of its proximity to the action.
The host staff was welcoming and offered to seat me right away. At first they led me to a small booth table, but I asked to sit at their counter area, just opposite the kitchen — for better lighting for my photos. I know, I’m weird.
Unlike my previous visit, there wasn’t a pre-selected sampling and I was able to order right from the menu.
My server recommended the pan-fried dumplings with pork with a dipping sauce. It came with four dumplings, which would be just right for sharing with another person, but since I was alone, I resisted… saving room for my main course.
The woman to my right was eating a healthy plate of beef and broccoli with rice, which looked good, but was too much for me at lunchtime. On the menu were several types of Pho and despite the heat outside, a brothy soup sounded just right to me. I ordered the Pho with beef.
It arrived a few minutes later. An enormous bowl, filled with rice noodles, tender, thin slices of beef and onions with a side plate of garnishes including bean sprouts, culantro, sliced jalapenos and thai basil. I added a squeeze of sriracha and hoisin sauce before tearing the fresh herbs over the steaming bowl.
If you’ve never had Pho before, it’s all about the broth. Deeply seasoned with flavors you don’t normally imagine in soup, I tasted cloves and ginger with a tangy heat from the sriracha and the hoisin adding a bit of sweetness. The serving size was more than I could manage and I asked to have it wrapped up. They did so, and also included another container of broth so I didn’t run out at home (very thoughtful).
I sat at the counter, watching the heart-pumping performers at the front of the space when Ross Mamunur, Operating Partner, approached and we got into a discussion about the roots of The Bol, conceived to be an Authentic Asian dining experience with Chinese and Vietnamese specialties. It was first opened at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood four years ago and did so well, that the expansion to Coconut Creek just made sense.
Mamunur shared that they’ve found chefs experienced in preparing these dishes the way they’re meant to be — from their hand-rolled egg rolls and spring rolls to the specialty Peking Duck. Then he asked if I’d had a chance to try the spring rolls. I hadn’t, so he ordered up a “sampler” for me to try — (But I just ate) — including Chinese egg rolls, two types of spring rolls (both Chinese and Vietnamese) and a thickly lacquered BBQ pork rib.
The egg rolls were crispy and hot with a traditional seasoned cabbage and pork filling. The Chinese spring rolls had a vegetarian filling. The standouts for me were the Vietnamese spring roll, crunchy, flavorful and piping hot as well as the BBQ rib.
Not a meat-falling-off-the-bone rib, but rather, ideally cooked to create a satisfying tug between you and the bone before it yielded its prize. Very primal. The kind of thing that involves two hands, all your senses and a pile of wet-naps. Personally, I don’t think it gets better than that.
Hours For The Bol:
Sunday – Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Friday – Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 3 a.m.
5550 NW 40th Street
Coconut Creek, Florida 33073