Jun 30, 2013

Seneca Allegheny Casino in Salamanca, New York

We try to turn every trip into an adventure. Returning from Ohio we decided to take Route 86 East instead of our usual way along the NYS Thruway to Buffalo and then east. The Route 86 exit is near the New York Pennsylvania border.  The area in the SW corner of New York State is called “The Enchanted Mountains.”  It is a beautiful drive with rolling hills, farms and forests and scenic stops. Grapes have been grown in the area since 1818. This is the area that is home to Welch Concord grape growers and, of course, wineries. The route crosses Lake Chautaugua at its narrowest point. Lake Chautaugua is home to the famed Chautaugua Institute another unique NYS destination. The Institute is a Victorian-style resort village that offers a variety of programs that range from lectures to popular entertainment.

We decided to spend a couple nights at Seneca Allegheny Casino. We have stayed at their Seneca Niagara Casino so knew it would be a great stay.  It seems that the Casino is in the middle of nowhere but it was busy with buses arriving from Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Our stay started out great.  We arrived in time to see one of their shows: “Man in Black.”  The show was nearly sold out so we were lucky to get tickets – the tickets were only $15. The show was a tribute to Johnny Cash by Shawn Barker.  John and I have always enjoyed Johnny Cash’s music and Shawn Baker’s presentation seemed excellent.  Baker sang all our favorite Cash songs including duets with “June Carter Cash.” 

I wish we were closer because I would like to go to hear Alabama on July 27.  I think casinos hotels are a great getaway destination. Our room was luxurious with a view of the mountains.  We explored the hotel. They have a top-notch spa, an indoor swimming pool, and outdoor Jacuzzi on a sundeck. I loved the Native American artifacts and artwork.  In the lobby there are reproductions of the Hiawatha and George Washington Belts. I was familiar with the Hiawatha Belt that symbolizes the Iroquois Five Nations. The pine tree in the center represents the Onondagas with two squares on each side that stand for the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca Nations. Next to it is the George Washington Belt showing 13 figures holding hands representing the Original Thirteen States.  President Washington had it made to commemorate the1794 Treaty of Canandaigua that affirmed peace between the newly formed United States and the Iroquois while guaranteeing their land rights.  

We ate at Patria Italian Restaurant.  I like to look at the dessert menu before ordering an entrĂ©e.  Dinner was incredible but I must say the desserts stole the show. John had the Pizzelle Stack made of fresh berry compote and Kahlua cheesecake drizzled with Frangelico caramel and I had Strawberry Rhubarb Trifle with White Balsamic Zabaglione.

We visited the Seneca Iroquois National Museum which is just down the road.  It was much more than we expected. They have a full-size longhouse that shows how the Senecas lived at the time the settlers arrived.  Another exhibit shows life in a log house from the once-thriving community of Horse Shoe.  There are displays of bead work and basketry. The gift shop has some unique items including a collector-style corn husk dolls.