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buffet | DineDelish


Las Vegas is changing all the time. It’s always out with the old, in with the new. It is always best to be the newest and the hottest in Vegas. You always need to reinvent yourself. Caesar’s Palace is one place where thought it is an old property compared to the rest, it keeps it fresh and interesting on the inside. This change also happens to the buffets as well. You can’t have endless roast beef and a mound of crab legs and say you are the best. These days, we want gourmet stuff, and a lot of it. That is why small plates of different dishes are popular at Vegas buffets. Bacchanal Buffet in Caesar’s Palace is just the place. Taking Cosmopolitan’s Wicked Spoon off its short lived rein as top dog, Bacchanal is the newest Buffet in town.

Coming here on a Sunday as a last hurray meal, the line was packed. Payard across the way was looking mighty tempting. No line, no wait. It is safe to say, I waited in line for everyone who reads my blog — This is for you! The wait was nearly an hour, but it was the newest buffet in Vegas. I had to.

I was glad to see a lot of variety at this buffet. They had small dishes of different things. Instead of ladling on the food from a pile of food, you just pick up the plates that look My favorites included the authentic tacos, cured meats, and crab legs. Bacchanal buffet featured many items that aren’t available at a normal buffet. For this reason, the buffet was a good experience.

Going to a buffet is all about having everything you want, even dessert. You can have your cake, and eat it too. Their dessert selection was quite impressive. From cookies in a jar to macarons, and ice cream, you can have anything you want. My favorite were the crepes. I just saw the jar of Nutella and I was set. The crepes were wonderfully prepared and were a great finish to my buffet.

Bacchanal at Caesar’s Palace is awesome. Their new approach to the buffet in Vegas is refreshing. Pretty soon, all of the top tier Vegas buffets will have to do this. One thing I did not like about the buffet is the inconsistency of the design. I prefer open spaces when eating at buffets, but theirs was a bit broken up. It was tough to navigate through the different sections. Also, the seating areas are not all the same. The outside area was wide open and bright, but there were seating areas in the corners and different rooms. Not all of the furniture (tables are chairs) was the same. This made for an uneven feeling and everything felt clustered. Other than that though, the food was great. Still though, my all time favorite buffet is still Wicked Spoon.

Bacchanal on Urbanspoon


To me, Sunday is all about going to church. A close second is Sunday Brunch. At Duke’s in Huntington Beach, brunch is king. Eating glutonous amounts of food after church seems a little hypocritical, but brunch is a different story. And remember, you are on a food blog, not a religioun blog. Brunch is more about variety than over eating. Sometimes, I don’t want just eggs and bacon. A lot of the times, I want a little bit of everything. Thank goodness for Sunday Brunch. To top it all off, this was right in the middle of beautiful Huntington Beach. Sunday Funday, it is.

From all different varieties, the display was quite imppresive. My favorites were the roast beef, sausage, bacon, and eggs benedict. Forgot that I was a carnivore, did ya? Of course, every brunch needs an omelet bar, and theirs didn’t skimp on the ingredients. All of the food, ranging from the ginger shoyu chicken to the Hawaiian style Poke was fresh and delicious.

The desserts and pastries were plenty to choose from. Cookies, cinnamon rolls, chocolate dipped strawberries and fresh fruit stacked so high on tables. My favorite was the coconut french toast. The coconut gave it a nice crunchy and sweet texture on the outside. I don’t see why not all the restaurants do it like this.

Huntington Beach is easily one of my favorite beaches in Orange County. Sitting right at the start of the Huntington Beach pier, Duke’s is difficult to miss. Eating in the outside patio area, with the views of the ocean and beach all made for a great experience. Nothing beats brunch right in front of the water. Simply Beautiful.

Duke's Huntington Beach on Urbanspoon


When going to Vegas, some just eat purely at buffets. For some reason, buffets an Las Vegas go hand in hand. They won’t eat at buffets every day when they are at home, but when at Vegas, its buffet after buffet. Hence, they made the Buffet of Buffets, which is a 24 hours pass to a select buffets at any time. For me, I prefer no buffets. If you have been to one, you have been to them all.

Cravings Buffet inside the Mirage Resort is no exception. It is exactly like every other buffet. Their selection was quite extensive though. Every wall and corner had something fresh. The huge dining area had no walls, which allowed you to survey everything without obstruction. Everything was labeled and categorized accordingly, and for the most part, the food was edible. I wouldn’t say its one of the best on the strip, but definitely a contender. I would even say Cravings Buffet is a bit underrated. It is a step down from maybe Wynn or Bellagio, but it still has some substance to it. If a buffet it what you are looking for, Cravings Buffet will do the trick.

Cravings on Urbanspoon


Fogo de Chão translate in Portuguese as “Fire Ground”. Such a fitting name when you are talking about meat cooked with direct fire. When you think of Brazilian BBQ, Churrascaria in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills to be exact, Fogo de Chao comes to mind. If you put endless quality meats together with Beverly Hills, you know its going to be expensive. Taking advantage of the Dine LA menu, you save nearly 20 bucks a person. Not only do you get to eat all the meat you want, but well, I guess that’s it. Bottom line, its a buffet, but nothing like the cheapy-deapy stuff. I tend do eat everything and anything that is served at buffets, so I had to strategize. Not a lot of carbs, just meat. You and your green on one side, red on the other coaster, and your meat. My coaster was on green for a while, meaning, bring on the meat! The servers made sure I had the cut of meat I wanted. Servers with swords came by and carved away at the perfectly cooked meats — think meat skewers for a T-Rex. I got lucky and always had the outer crust — that’s where all the flavor is. Green means go — I was ready to eat.

Speaking of strategy, the restaurant has their own game plan — get guests full on breads and carbs. As am appetizer, they serve some pão de queijo, the bread. Freshly baked and warm, they were so chewy and gooey in the middle with a nice milky flavor. You can easily eat too much of these and leave no room for the meat. Be careful. To add to this carbohydrage stomach filler, they give three sides — garlic mashed potatoes, crispy fried polenta, caramelized bananas. They even offer more sides of rice, beans, and forofa upon request. Wanting the meat, I forewent the extra sides. My favorite were the crispy polenta. It tasted like large sheets of french fries with a crunch like no other. The caramelized bananas were great in between meats — It helped keep the taste buds alive, going back and forth from savory to sweet. The sides were delicious and plenty, but I made sure not to over do it.

Brazilian Barbecue restaurants have a lot of signature meats. Bellow are some of the popular meats served:

Picanha: This is their Top Sirloin. The meat is very tender and lean with a nice fat layer encapsulating the meat.

Alcatra: This is also their Top Sirloin. This had a strong beef flavor, probably the most of the group.

Filet Mignon: Of course, this was one of my favorites. Not wrapped in bacon like other Churrascarias, this one was the purest and cleanest beef of the bunch. Though very lean, it was very juicy. It was the softest of them all and it melted in your mouth.

Ancho: This is the Rib Eye. One of my favorite cuts of beef, this was one of my favorites. It had a good balance of fat and meat. It was cooked perfectly.

Fraldinha: This is the Bottom Sirloin. The meat was tender as well but had more marbled fat within the meat. I liked this far more that the Picanha.

Cordeiro: This is the Lamb. I am not much of a lamb fan. They cooked it well enough to make it juicy and not so gamey.

Frango: This is the Chicken. On the bone, the flavor was clean and of the highest quality. It was cooked nicely with a tasty seasoning on the outside. It was a nice pair with the Linguica.

Linguica: This is the Sausage. It had a nice snap with the natural casing. The sausage was salty and not too fatty. It was perfect with the chicken.

Fogo’s salad bar was impressive as well. Ranging from vegetables, salads, cheeses, salumi, sauces, and more, they were perfect pairings with the meat. Some of the things that stood out were the endive, cheeses, and bacon. Yes, they had a whole bowl full of fried bacon. Any buffet with a large bowl full of bacon is fine by me. Another thumbs up for me was the whole Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese wheel. This was the real stuff, from Italy. It was great with the prosciutto and the meat. All of the vegetables and cheeses were great with the meat.

The Dine LA menu has changed since the past. Fogo was a few bucks cheaper and gave dessert at the end of the meal. Though the dessert was taken off the menu, it was still a great deal. The meat was amazingly tasty and generously seasoned. The sides and salad bar was fresh and good quality. When you dine at Fogo, you are eating like Kings. Thanks to Dine LA and Restaurant Week, I could do it for cheap(er). Any carnivore like myself can appreciate Brazilian BBQ, but at the end of the day, it’s a buffet, a mega chain that exists all over Brazil and United States. At the end of my meal, I got my money’s worth and felt I needed to take a shower. Covered in meat sweat and filled with grease, I was satisfied.

Carnivores 1 / Vegetarians 0

Fogo de Chão on Urbanspoon


Sometimes you want to be bad.  That is what Vegas is for right?  What if you already are in Vegas.  Where do you go to be bad?  Well, Cosmopolitan of course. As they say, they have the right amount of “bad”.  I don’t really know what the right amount of bad is, but if it’s anything like Wicked Spoon, they got it right.  I’ve been to my share of Las Vegas buffets — Wicked Spoon just raises the bar.

I was first impressed with their carving station.  They had bone marrow! I took two.  Shhhhh.  Eating those things with some horseradish and chimichurri, smeared on a crostini.  It was great.  Rich in fat, and delicious.

I was lucky enough to grab the freshest crab legs they had, straight out of the steamer.  Conveniently next to the carving station, they poured mounds of crab legs all for me. Great timing Franklin.

I made my way to the mac and cheese bar.  How awesome is it that I got to have my mac and cheese however I liked.  I had them put some bacon and jalapenos.  Of course, I had to have blue cheese and parmasan. They prepare it all right in front of you and it comes out bubbling hot.  It tasted so delicious.  The blue cheese was strong, which I liked and the jalapenos gave it a nice spiciness — the bacon just topped it all off.  All in my personal copper pot.  Perfect.

My favorite food item that was not at a station was definitely the polenta.  It was really creamy and fulfilling.  It tasted kind of like grits — less of a bite, yet more firm.  It was cheesy and delicious. I also liked the fried chicken wings and duck.  I tried some pretty good Peking duck in SGV, and theirs was amazingly close to good duck.  Impressive.

I was kind of disappointed with their dessert options.  This was all because of my assumptions in my head.  I had a misconception about Wicked Spoon — I always thought it was a dessert only buffet. So when I thought this through, I thought to myself “This place must be a dessert sugar rush paradise.”  Though their desserts weren’t what I imaged it would be, it still was a good experience.  I didn’t really have a favorite one like I did at The Buffet at the Wynn, but it was all a great ending to my massive meal.

Buffets are almost all the same at Vegas.  Meat station, crab legs, and other food items.  Wicked Spoon impressed me.  Not only was most of the food good, but they offer cuisine that is not common in all buffets.  Bone marrow, Peking duck, gourmet cheese bar, I can go on and on.  I did see a less of a sushi/sashimi menu — I guess it is a small price to pay. Though I do like sushi, it was well worth it.  It was refreshing to eat here.  Trendy and a bit over the top at times, it was all delicious and I had a lot of it.

Cosmopolitan is young, hip, and very much part of the in crowd right now.  They are close to City Center, but I don’t think they are part of it.  Heck, they probably went all out and against the City Center.  Something about Cosmo doesn’t exude the classic Las Vegas, but the new — this is good and bad. I can see the direction they are taking this.  Everything flash, over the top, and gaudy.  Sinful, sin city, and wicked to say the least.  Las Vegas is evolving, and the Cosmopolitan is a testament of that.  Wicked Spoon is so different from the other Vegas buffets — refreshing I would say.

Wicked Spoon (Cosmopolitan) on Urbanspoon


Some days, you have to let loose.  Diets and counting calories don’t matter.  You shut down your hunger sensors and gorge in a all you can eat meat fest.  Koreatown has Korean BBQ restaurant at almost every corner.  One of my favorites is Hae Jang Chon on 6th Street. They offer some good quality meat and I personally like their selection.  This is one of my favorites because of the stone plates that the meat is cooked on.  These things are like the iron skillets that get passed down generation to generation.  All the meat essence that was cooked before is still on there from past patrons.  Time after time after time, all that meat essence is still there, and it comes out in the food.

The time me and my family went, just like any other night, was a busy one.  We waited nearly over an hour, so plan on doing the same.  It was particularly loud inside.  People were binge eating and drinking — nothing out of the ordinary on a Saturday night in Koreatown. This is all part of the Korean BBQ experience.

The food here is just as good as the experience.  Besides their many side plates, my favorite meat options are thinly sliced beef, short rib meat, and pork belly. I also like to get the tongue.  The tongue has a nice beef flavor but is not as chewy.  It is tender and the flavor is really nice., contrary to what others may think.

I also tried the baby octopus.  The beef on pork on beef was getting kind of tiring.  I roasted the baby octopus for a little, making sure not to over cook it. It was very tender and wasn’t rubbery at all.

The ending is the best.  Once you are done with the meat, it is time to eat more.  They clean the rock slate and cook this vegetable rice mix.  It is crispy on the bottom and so good as a finisher.  Check out the video to see the waiter in action.

Eating all you can eat is good, but not all the time.  Once in a while though, you have to give in.  Cook all the meat that you want, just the way you like.  It is right in front of you and once it is done, you just eat.  Watch your tongue though, that grill is hot.

Hae Jang Chon Restaurant on Urbanspoon


There is nothing greater than stuffing your face with everything and anything for 40 bucks. I mean, that is what Vegas is all about right? Prime rib here, some macaroni here, sushi and sashimi here.  Anything you want, you got it. I know everyone has their favorite buffet at Las Vegas.  Some are die hard Bellagio Buffet fans, and some go for the biggest one which is at Rio.  Though the Wynn buffet isn’t my most favorite, it is the nicest.

The decor here is really nice.  The main dining area is actually really attractive, with bright sunlight coming in and exotic looking trees and plants. The fun stops there, because once you enter the external dining area, it is just plain and normal.  Though they do kind of trick you, the main kitchen area is really bright and inviting.

The food was just average — I mean, it’s a buffet.  Never have I went to a buffet and said to myself, “Wow, this is the best _____ I ever had.”  Some may have come close, but never the best. My favorites here were the squash risoto, strawberry and banana creme fraiche, and the desserts.  I was sad to find out that they did not serve crab legs for brunch.  I usually make my money’s worth with crab legs, but this time, I felt I came out on bottom.

Of all the buffets in Vegas, Wynn has the best dessert selection — of course second to Wicked Spoon.  My favorites were the tiny colored cups of gelato and cakes.  One of the best of the desserts were the cupcakes.  They were so simple and so small, but the cupcakes were so delicious. I don’t know if it was the sweet frosting or the edible glitter, but these cupcakes were amazing.

Vegas wouldn’t be Vegas without a day of face stuffing.  Gluttony is the reason they call Vegas Sin City, right?  The Buffet at Wynn has a good selection of food, and the inside is inviting. Just remember, if you want your money’s worth, go for dinner.  And eat extra crab legs for my sake.

Buffet (Wynn) on Urbanspoon

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