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Jun 9, 2007 06:22 PM

Lost Wages and Good Meals-Las Vegas Trip Report Day Four (Spice Market Buffet and the Cupcakery)

Day 4
Today was checkout day from our hotel, so we had time for a late breakfast/early lunch stop and we wanted to try out the Spice Market Buffet at the new Planet Hollywood/old Aladdin. We had previously been to the Spice Market Buffet for lunch and had enjoyed it. We snuck in to the buffet for the breakfast price and had a first round of breakfast items and then sampled a second round of lunch items. My overall impression was a big “MEH”!

The pros:
-the soup I had, which was tomato bisque, was very good. Rich and hearty with a touch of cream, it tasted homemade
-the seafood offerings for lunch were better than average, with four different kinds of shrimp and shrimp salad, smoked salmon salads, scallops, and a few other seafood dishes I can’t quite remember
-stuffed Cajun pork chop, hubby had this and said it was moist and flavorful

The cons:
-the waffle, French toast, and the pancake were very, very dry
-the hummus was inedible, wrong consistency (too thick, almost paste-like) and the olive oil drizzled on top was bitter
-falafel was bad, basically a heavy, greasy gut-bomb
-chicken fried steak was overcooked and even the gravy couldn’t save it

Our feeling was that the quality of the items had gone downhill since we last tried it (early 2000s). The breakfast items were not that special, and if we wanted to have lunch, we could have a better lunch at Rosemary’s for almost the same price.

Spice Market Buffet
Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino
3667 Las Vegas Blvd. So.
702 785 9005

On our way out of town we stopped at the Cupcakery to pick up a dozen cupcakes for us and the folks. We love the selection of cupcakes and here are our favorites (although they are all delicious):
Kir Royale: moist raspberry cake drenched in a bubbly champagne frosting
Southern Belle :sumptuous red velvet cake smothered with cream cheese frosting
Pina Colada (flavor of the month): yummy coconut-pineapple angel food cake with rich coconut frosting

Worth a stop for those who love cupcakes!

9680 S. Eastern Avenue, Suite 100
Las Vegas, NV 89123
Phone: (702) 207-2253

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  1. great daily reports !!! a true foodie - wide variety and willing to travel the vegas valley - thanks for sharing !

    1. There's been a lot of chatter on CH lately about whether the Spice Market Buffet is any good--"it used to be good when it was the Aladdin, but then it got bad when it moved upstairs while they did the Aladdin-Planet Hollywood make-over, but now it's back downstairs and maybe it's good again"--that sort of thing.

      My wife's posting and my posting here certainly won't definitively answer the question about whether it's good again, but we have some insights and observations.

      One, the Spice Market Buffet is throwing around a lot of advertising about it being voted "best Las Vegas buffet" or something like that. I strongly feel it does not live up to that moniker. This buffet was not necessarily bad, but there are many other above-average buffets that are better than Spice Market.

      Two, the remodeling of the downstairs looks incomplete. The dining section of the buffet (the tables and chairs, lamps, and posters on the walls) are new, and it looks like they've added an Asian food station (or possibly changed the one that was already there). But almost all of the other stations look exactly the same as when it was the Aladdin buffet (same signage, same Middle Eastern decor, etc.).

      Three, the Middle Eastern food station, supposedly one of the strong points of this buffet, did not have a very large selection, nor was the food at that station all that good tasting. My wife's report (above) outlines some of our objections. The selection was very stereotypical Middle Eastern/Mediterranean options: hummus, falafel, tandori chicken, olive salad, etc.

      Four, my impression about many of the buffet comments (here on CH as well as on other web sites that rate buffets) is that many people feel a "good buffet" is one that has a large selection of things to eat. If that were the case, then practically every buffet on and off the Strip would be a "good buffet"--including the Spice Market. Selection is part of what makes a buffet good, but not the whole picture. A truly good buffet has a good selection of food that tastes good. Spice Market does not meet this standard.

      (Not that I've been giving this a lot of thought, or anything!)

      4 Replies
      1. re: alanstotle

        Thanks for the detailed update. Under its previous incarnation, I always thought this buffet was a good compromise between houndly and non houndly types who were looking for decent food at a value price.

        I used to ignore the Italian, Mexican and Asian sections and just go for the Middle Eastern for the lamb and chicken and nibble on some of the seafood section items. Those always seemed the best options. But it had enough variety and quality for the non houndly types unwilling to spend Bellagio buffet prices but still wanting a decent buffet

        It sounds like this no longer fits that criteria. .

        1. re: alanstotle

          I agree with you're assessment completely. A good buffet is not selection but rather good quality and freshness over quantity/selection. For those who like selections and quantity then circus circus is you bet. To me going to that kind of buffet might as go to a farm where you eat swill out of trough. Your wife mentioned Rosemary for lunch but where is it? Can you recommend a good quality buffet. We are going there next week for 3 nights.

          1. re: frugalgourmet

            The posting where glazebrookgirl talked about our lunch at Rosemary's where you posted the question about the coupon has the address for Rosemary's. Hopefully you saw that address. It's located out on the west end of town--a bit of a drive from the Strip but totally worth it in our opinion. I hope you enjoy it.

            Our favorite buffet remains the Le Village Buffet at Paris, though to be honest we eat breakfast there mostly. We've had the lunch offerings on occasion. Others on Chowhound have suggested that the quality of the Le Village has gone down over the past few years, so it may not be for everyone.

            We enjoyed the buffet at the Mirage: the food was quite good though we thought there was not as much selection as we would have liked. The buffet at Bellagio is famous, and we enjoyed it, though it's pretty expensive.

            We've had good (but not great) buffet at Mandalay Bay and at the Rio. I've heard that the (new-ish) buffet at TI is good, but some reviews of it are mixed. We may try it on our next visit.

            There are numerous threads about buffets in LV. My experience reading them is that opinions about which buffets are good vary widely. I think that many people have widely varying expectations for buffets, and so a recommendation for a buffet is really not worth a lot until you get to know the recommender a bit and find out what their expectations and standards are.

            1. re: alanstotle

              Thanks. I have similary thought on Mandalay Bay. I did brunch two years ago at Rio was good- quality and freshness of the food. Bellagio has wonderful presentation especially with the dessert section but falls short in tastes. Bellagio may not be that pricey considering roast Kobe sirloin is being served. Normally you would pay $40 just for the beef in steak houses. I have not tried Paris and TI and will do so next week.

        2. i frequently buy cupcakes at the cupcakery for my "banker girls "...the customer service reps at my vegas biz bank, on occasion i'll have a taste or two - i've tried cupcakes 7-8 places in so cal and i feel the cupcakery beats them all ( i still need to try the cupcake spot in la that uses whip cream frosting...the name escapes me but i know it's on santa monica blvd near sepulveda...behind a donut place...might be winchells ...auntie em's when they are on their "a" game might beat them but their cupcakes are too damn big...and i do like the mini-cupcakes at ...geez..i forget the name of that one too...on sepulveda in sherman oaks) anyways....last week i tried the raspberry/kir royale....i loved it !

          1. Had a memorable meal at Rosemary. The weekend brunch buffet at Paris was outstanding @$25 per head. The selections were immense and cooked with great care. I think it's better than Spice Market. The Mexican restaurant next to the British Food Mkt is good but pricey comparing to what you get at Rosemary and brunch at Paris.