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Jan 15, 2007 01:25 AM

Which San Diego Area Casino has the Best Lunch and Dinner Buffet?

I might take a chance when I'm playing Blackjack, but I'd rather have a sure thing when I'm at the buffet!

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  1. Barona Casino looks like someone dropped a Vegas casino and hotel in the middle of a valley. It's quite impressive.
    The buffet at Barona reminds me of the World Buffet in the Rio (Las Vegas) which is a good thing. The Barona buffet has different sections representing different cuisines (Chinese, Italian, Mexican, etc). They have a Mongolian BBQ, too, which is fresh anf flavorful and sometimes is a meal in and of itself.
    The dessert bar makes Banana Fosters or Cheeries Jubilee to order.
    In all, the food is very good but it's also a little pricey, around the twenty dollar mark. You can get a couple dollars off the price if you have a Barona Player's Card (the card you stick in the slot machines so they keep track of your spending). It's free to get one and you save on the buffet so it's worth the time in line to get one.
    We had Christmas dinner at the Barona buffet and enjoyed it. They served prime rib, a holiday special, carved to order, which was quite tender and had a great seasoned crust. They also had a massive ham leg, the biggest one I've ever seen, also carved to order.

    Valley View Casino, north of Escondido, has supposedly been consistently voted the best Indian Casino buffet in San Diego county. They are currently building onto the casino (the parking garage just opened in November) and they're building a hotel.
    Their buffet also offers different cuisines, though not to the extent that Barona does. It's a U-shaped buffet with the center island offering desserts. They do offer a lot of Chinese dishes and some sushi. They also have a grill where they BBQ everything from whole sirloin steaks to filet mignons. What they grill depends on the day of the week. I have friends who crave their grilled pork chops. Overall the food is quite good and costs just about the same as Barona's buffet (you get a couple dollars off the price if you have a Player's card).
    The good thing about Valley View is they constantly mail coupons and benefits to members of their Player's Club (again, it's the card you put into slot machines so they keep track of your to get one). I'm constantly receiving offers of a free dinner buffet so I think it's worth getting the card.

    The employees at both casinos are friendly and helpful. Barona employees are particularly pleasant and a joy to deal with the few times I've needed their help.

    I've heard nothing nice about the buffet at Viejas. I guess the easier it is to get to a casino the less they care about offering good food to their customers. Valley View, which is so far away it's about where God lost His keys, is just the opposite. They're so far away from civilization, they make sure the food is great and your gambling experience is a good one so you'll keep coming back.

    1. My parents live about 4 miles from Valley View Casino and are constantly talking about how good their buffet is! If you pick up a copy of the free San Diego Reader (usually available outside of major supermarkets), there's typically a buy 1 get 1 free offer for their buffet on the 2nd or 3rd page.

      1. We eat lunch @ Valley View with my parents when they were in for thanksgiving and the food was good. We each got a free lunch buffet for signing up for their players card, and were all pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food.

        In particular, they had 3-4 above average cheeses, the prime rib on the carving station was very good (nice and rare) and the cold salads were all excellent.

        Many of the prepared ethnic dishes were only OK, (gnocchi and another pasta), and the chinese food was pretty salty, but not terrible.

        The staff was very helpful and attentive in terms of bringing drinks and cleaning used plates.

        1. Viejas used to be good, but they've slipped in quality as of late. We enjoyed the buffet at Barona, and also the one at Rincon (we like staying at the hotel there, too, as a local "getaway"). Thanks for the tip on Valley View. We're always looking for places to stop while out on the motorcycle!

          1. I've only been to the one at Rincon, but I was impressed with the quality of their buffet. I didn't know what to expect from CA casino buffets; I'd only been to Vegas casino buffets and some are good (I like the ones at Rio and Mirage) and some are pretty bad (Circus Circus and Riviera). Rincon once did a promotion in honor of Valentine's Day where they had all-you-can-eat lobster every Friday in February (dinner plate sized lobsters). It was so successful, they continued the promotion for several months. I was in lobster heaven! Alas, they finally ended it before I could partake more than twice (this was about 4-5 years ago). I'd always meant to try Valley View's buffet but moved away before getting to it.