Vegas report 10/20-10/23
slightly edited from my blog...
10/20 Buffet Dinner at Cafe Lago (Caesar's)
I was fairly bummed we got a bad table at the buffet. Getting in and out meant mashing my hip against the corner of the table. It's a good thing I'm flexible! I liked the marinated veggies along with the olives. The pork chop and chicken were good. I also liked the ham. The veggies like broccoli were way overdone and a sickly yellow-green. I couldn't try everything as I was full but people were going mainly for the crab legs and shrimp (I had one but it was way too much work--they do not provide small forks). The cocktail shrimp were nicely firm with a spicy cocktail sauce. The fresh fruit and fruit tart were a nice end to my meal.
I really liked our waitress. She was very nice, happy and smiled a lot. She came by often to check on us.
$28 or so with tax and tip.
10/21 Buffet Lunch at The Buffet (Wynn)
I enjoyed the mini sushi rolls, clam chowder, marinated veggies, various cold salads, fresh sliced bacon and prime rib. The chicken noodle soup was fine though the noodles were way too mushy and overall, it was a little salty. I liked the cocktail shrimp from Caesar's better as well as their sauce. Wynn's wasn't as spicy. I skipped all the breakfast stuff but my friends seemed to think the veggies for the breakfast burrito were too spicy. I didn't like the Kansas ribs. It was all sauce and not much meat. The eggroll I had was too much wrapper and not enough filling. The lemon tart was a little bit too gummy but I loved the passionfruit sorbet.
Overall, I think the meat and cold salads are worth it. The candy apples looked intersting as well as most of their desserts. The bloody mary I ended up with was too watery and the iced tea was acceptable.
Service was consistent despite a shift change. We were there approximately 2.5 hours.
$36 or so with tax and tip ($8 more if you get the mimosa/bloody mary brunch)
10/21 Dinner at Le Provencal (Paris)
We started with the calamari. Very lightly fried and great batter but not enough calamari. I felt like I was just eating the batter which is fine for some but not for a seafood nut like me. My friends raved about the butter and bread that came to the table.
I had the seafood linguine. I was bummed two clams weren't open. I liked the three large shrimp best of the clams and mussels also in the dish. What sold me was the claim the sauce had 8 tomatoes in it. I love tomatoes and the sauce was nicely playing up the flavors of the seafood as well as the basil.
$30 with tax and tip
10/22 Breakfast at Peppermill (strip- near Riveria)
I had the french toast collage which said came with three eggs, two strips of bacon and two sausages. The eggs looked like the whole dozen! It was fun to grind fresh pepper into 'em. I loved the sausage and the bacon was fine. The french toast is made with thick Texas toast. Not too eggy and served with whipped butter and syrup.
My friends had the bbq chicken wrap and feta cheese omelette. They both enjoyed their food and felt happy with their choices despite the kitchen messing up the omelette. She wanted egg whites and the order had to be redone. Service is a little slow but it is a really crowded place. We had to repeatedly ask for the cocktail waitress but it was worth it. I throughly enjoyed my giant bloody mary. The mimosa and kir royale were also loved.
$25 with tax and tip
10/22 Dinner at Wasabi Jane's (Venetian)
After the Blue Man Group, we just wanted a quick bite and ended up at the food court. I chose the least dried out stuff from the wannabe Chinese/Japanese place. I got the mabo tofu (not spicy enough), green beans (not spicy enough), yakisoba (a little dry) and a water. Friends seemed to like the little sandwich shop next door.
10/21 Lunch at Commander's Palace (Aladdin)
When I looked up all the places I wanted to try in Vegas, I knew I definitely wanted to try Commander's Palace for their "1880" fixed price lunch ($18.80) along with their $.25 martinis. That's right, you can get four martinis for $1 (limit 4). I tried the Commander's Palace signature martini (very blue!), French (a little too strong with the cassis instead of chambord--they use non-premium spirits for the $.25 martinis), pomegranate and juicy cupcake (like a strawberry lemonade flavor). The pomtini isn't one of the special martinis but they comped that one for me because my catfish was underdone.
I started with the sweet potato bisque. I enjoyed the freshly ground pepper on top of the not-overly sweet bisque. My catfish was absolutely wonderful. The polenta that went with it was very good. I loved the microgreens and shoots on top of the fish. The slightly bitter notes from the greens complented the fish quite well. But as I said, my first fish was underdone. The next was seared more (loved that crispness) and fully but not over cooked. Service was very attentive before the incident but suddenly, it was even more stellar. I received a small tasting of the turtle soup while I waited for my new fish. I ended up with the wonderful white chocolate pistachio parfait. I expected it to come in a glass but it was a huge triangular slice with artfully squeezed caramel on the plate.
My friends enjoyed the salmon appetizer and bananas fosters dessert as well. Commander's Palace was my favorite meal of the whole trip.
$26 including tax and tip
Places to avoid:
Starbucks at the Mandalay Bay- much more expensive than a regular Starbucks. A litre of Fiji water was $6.47 ($6 plus tax).
Go to any ABC store and that same water will probably be around $1.50-$2!
re: Dave Feldman
As far as I know, Caesar's was the place for buffet back in the day. They're actually fairly good in quality and quantity of choices. No, it's not as big as the Wynn but I felt they were actually maybe just a little bit better at refreshing the foodstuff. The marinated veggies I mentioned went fast and were immediately replaced. The sushi stuff was better at the Wynn but Caesar's had more variety.
I'm not sure what you mean by "back in the day," but Caesar's has always been eccentric in the buffet department. For a long time, it had no buffet at all, and then put a very small (but good) one in Cafe Roma. It sounds like Caesar's might have beefed up the size and quality of the buffet since the last time I was there.