Laughlin Buzz

Aug 18, 2015

Colorado Belle's Loading Dock Bar & Grille

Laughlin, Nevada

Colorado Belle Casino

Loading Dock Bar & Grille

The Loading Dock Bar and Grille was built in a great location right on Laughlin's Riverwalk.   The much anticipated new restaurant opened in February of 2014.    

Since that time there have already been two brief closings for remodeling.  One in December of 2014 and one for the month of June this year (2015).   On the last remodel they added booths, expanded the buffet area, changed the tables, and added a brand new menu.  

Prior to the remodels we had only visited the Loading Dock one time for breakfast.  At that time we called it the Best Breakfast Buffet on the River.  

When the new menu was announced it looked good.   One evening we were going to give Pint's (also in the Belle) another chance but the line was too long.  We decided to go to the Loading Dock instead. There was no line and perhaps 5 or 6 tables occupied.  That seemed strange.  The question crossed our mind why one place was packed and the other was virtually empty by comparison.    

We were greeted immediately by a friendly hostess and got a table near the windows overlooking the Riverwalk.   Our server took our drink orders right away.   They have a full bar menu (see the link at the end of this article).   Plus they offer a couple of the micro brews from Pint's as well.  

The inside after the remodel is slightly different and better, especially with the blue booths added.   Yet the decor is still a mixed look of industrial-cafeteria-loading-dock.  We still get the impression the Loading Dock doesn't know what it wants to be.   This shows not only in the look but also in the menu.   There is a little bit of everything instead of focusing on being a "Bar and Grille".   Plus they have expanded the Buffet and now also offer a soup and salad buffet special.   In our opinion, the buffet belongs in a Buffet not a Bar and Grille.  They should of kept the original Captain's Buffet open. Apparently, however, the buffet is popular as most of the diners seemed to be going to it.  In our opinion, that seems to undercut the idea of the full, fairly expansive menu they have.   

We decided to pass on the buffet and order off the menu.  Our server seemed surprised (or maybe disappointed) we weren't going to the Buffet.    We chose the Steamers as an appetizer.  Petite little neck clams in a white wine and butter sauce.  This was a huge order for $11.99.  More than enough for several people.  The clams were good but the sauce was lacking in flavor. An assistant server dropped the clams off but didn't provide a bowl or plates.  It took too long to get anyone's attention to get some.  

For entrees we ordered the 1/2 Rack of Baby Back Ribs ($18.99) and the Shrimp Scampi ($17.99). Both came with Soup or Salad Bar.  When we selected a salad, we were told to go out to the Buffet and make one.   This is somewhat understandable but we think diners who order off the menu could be given a choice to do that or just have one of their choice brought to the table.    At least the salad bar had a good but limited choice and was fresh and clean.  

After ordering the ribs I remembered the Loading Dock sometimes offers a chicken and ribs (all you can eat or buffet) special.  Had I remembered this I probably wouldn't have ordered them.  Mostly because we never cared for the ribs at the old buffet or at Mark Twains restaurant (which also closed when the Loading Dock opened).   On the Loading Dock menu they were listed under specialties so I was hopeful they would be good.

It turned out they were OK, but not something I would order again, especially for 19 dollars.  The sauce seemed to be added as an afterthought and was not very tasty.  Maybe we are spoiled from the BBQ and sauces served at Yogi's in the mall?  The coleslaw and beans that came with it were just average tasting and the corn bread was dry.    It sort of all looked and tasted like something you would get at an outdoor cookout/picnic.  

The Shrimp Scampi is described as Jumbo Prawns, Linguine, Garlic and Butter Sauce.  The ingredient they forgot to list was SALT.  The sauce was so salty that after several bites it became overwhelming.    The shrimp weren't jumbo and were slightly overcooked, as was the Linguine.   

Service was pretty good at the start but went downhill afterward. The food all came out to fast, especially since we had to go build our own salads.  Our server never checked on us after everything was dropped off, never asked if we wanted another drink.  We got the impression from the way some of the staff was acting and standing around talking that they were going through the motions and putting in their time just waiting to get out of there.  Service had a cold, industrial feel just like the decor. 

Buffet selections are outlined on a chalk board outside of the Loading Dock.   Prices seem a bit high. Even the breakfast buffet (which we liked before) has gone up in price.   Sadly, after seeing the rest of the menu and our sub par experience, breakfast is most likely the best bet at the Loading Dock.  If you are willing to be brave there are other options like Fish and Chips, Steaks, Tacos, Lobster.  

They do have a Happy Hour that might be worth visiting for the drinks and appetizers.  But it is only limited to Monday through Thursday, 4-6PM. 

To see the Loading Dock menu and their hours, visit the Colorado Belle page here.

Right outside the Loading Dock on the Riverwalk is the Chill Bar.  This features various drinks and frozen drinks.   Unfortunately, their hours aren't posted but it is a good place to grab a drink when you can find them open.   They are busy when bands are playing on the Loading Dock Stage directly across from the restaurant. 

Overall we were not impressed with the Loading Dock.  We had high hopes but it was a disappointment. Given so many other options to eat out in Laughlin, it probably will be awhile before we visit again.   It is a shame they had to spend so much to build a brand new restaurant, only to the serve the same kinds of food they used to offer at 5 other restaurants they closed*.  At a higher price and lesser quality too.       

*Prior to or when the Loading Dock Restaurant opened the Colorado Belle closed the Captain's Buffet, Mangia (Italian), Tortilla's (Mexican), Gallery Cafe, and Mark Twains (Chicken and Ribs).  

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*All content and pictures are presented for informational and entertainment purposes. The review was based on our own personal experience and the food was purchased by us, not comped by the restaurant.  Your results may vary. Time, events, menu items, prices, and dates are subject to change by the property responsible for them.  We are not affiliated with, nor do we receive any compensation from any of the properties or entities mentioned herein. All pictures are the property of and were taken by Laughlin Buzz but may be shared for personal use with credit given.  

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