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SD help, please: Casino buffet tonight

It's official that we're taking the in-laws to a casino buffet tonight, but which one is yet to be determined. One thread says Valley View is the best. We're in north county, and don't much feel like driving to Barona. Which one will please both chowhounds and the more indifferent people in our party?

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    1. re: Cathy

      One of the casinos was advertising an almost unbelieveable 'special' for their Buffet on weekends for Seniors. Can't remember if it was free of just a few $$s.
      Probably the casino the furthest away. Viaje? (sp?)

      1. re: nutrition

        Nope, Barona. Apparently December is a slow month. They are charging the same for lunch and dinner now. Their food is very good. They have various ethnic "stations"- Asian, Italian, Mongolian BBQ, Mexican, American as well as a salad bar area and dessert area where they will make Cherries Jubilee or Banana Foster or put chocolat from the fountain on hand scooped ice cream.

        The food at Sycuan is quite good. The buffet is small.

        The buffet from Viejas is not bad.

        Still, I drive to Valley View or Harrah's. I live in Santee.
        Those are the three main ones down here.

    2. This post is too late to help you but I disagree on Valley View. It may have been the best buffet once, but since they've rebuilt the casino and buffet area, it's changed but not for the better.
      They've also started charging quite a bit more. I believe now it costs about the same as Barona's buffet.

      5 Replies
      1. re: toliver

        It has more innovative foods and an extreme high quality.

        One small test I do at a buffet is the pizza. This item basically is not good at any buffet and only in certain Italian owned eateries. The pizza at VV is wonderful- they have brick ovens and the dough is yeasty and crusty and flavorful= and made there. The Barona one is not at all as good. The toppings are good but I can't eat the dough. Not as cooked and no flavor.

        OP lives in North county also and it would be closer.

        1. re: Cathy

          We went to Valley View, and I really, really enjoyed it. I grew up eating in buffets with my family, so I've been around. Valley View was one of the best I've ever had. There were mounds of fresh, tasty raspberries, blackberry brandy-soaked blackberries, thick (not slight) slices of prime rib, and several truly tasty dishes. I had thought I was done with buffets, but I will probably take my own parents there when they are in town. I never thought to try the pizza -- who would have imagined good pizza at a buffet?
          Thumbs up for VV from our whole party.

          1. re: maestra

            I am so glad you tried it an liked it, and I do agree with you on every statement. It is so unusual to find such quality/way high end...for a REAL treat, the Black and Blue steakhouse is amazing. But, just about equal in quality, just sit down...

            I basically never get pizza at a buffet, but The Mister did and was fully prepared to have just the toppings and he was surprised, which was the only reason I tried it.

            Since you live closer to it, it works out even better for you.

            1. re: Cathy

              Did they give you an assigned time to go stand in line? Last time I was there, they had a system like FastPass at Disneyland. You walk up, they give you a ticket with a time on it, and you come back to wait in line. We arrived at 4:30pm, figuring there wouldn't be much of a wait. The hostess gave us a return time of 7:00pm! Two and a half hours later when the dining room was clearly not full. We ended up getting in much earlier due to our friend's player's club status.

              Granted, there could have been tons of people who already received their time assignments, but when we left around 6:30pm, she was handing out slips for 7:30pm. From what we could tell, there would be a deluge of people coming in at 7-7:30pm, which probably would defeat the point of that system. There must be a method to the madness that we're not seeing.

              Due to the transition to a new facility, we figured they're trying out new things, but we've been leery of going back ever since because we're not willing to sit around for 3 hours just to eat at the buffet, even though it's delicious.

              1. re: geekyfoodie

                We arrived at about 7:00 p.m. on a Saturday, and the only reason we had to wait at all was for a table for 5 to open us. Maybe people stayed home that night because of the rain.

      2. I know you've already made your trip to the buffet but hands down, Barona has the best buffet around. In December their buffet is only $8.95 per person (even on Thursdays when they have Prime Rib). The thing I notice about Barona is that they don't leave food sitting there, pre-made for a long time. I love their Frutti de Mare, which has lots of mussels, manila clams and shrimp in a flavorful tomato broth. It is sooooo good!

        Cathy described some of the different stations and they also have delicious Kung Pao chicken and flatiron steaks and delicious sushi made and restocked right there very frequently. Which brings up the point that sometimes they run out of a dish for a few minutes and I've noticed the patrons can get impatient but I'd rather wait a few minutes for something brought out hot then have food that has been sitting there getting stale. For instance, the garlic toast at the Italian station has never tasted like it's been sitting there at all. No matter what time of the evening I walk up there, it is hot and fresh. That says a lot to me...

        1 Reply
        1. re: LisaSD

          I agree Lisa, Barona is good and fresh but I think the overall quality of food at VV is better and a tad higher end. I did say Barona was very good and I do consider it a 2nd best in the county-with Harrah's a close third.

          I also know for a fact that ALL of Valley View's food is thrown out between lunch and dinner and never re-served... I mean salads and desserts as well as all hot foods and sides and toppings... and that Barona does not do the same (they wrap and refrigerate and either use for dinner or next day's lunch).

          The low price-and same for lunch and dinner- at Barona is a first for them (in the more than ten years the ahve been around) and I believe it reflects the fewer amount of patrons between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

          I do not dislike Barona, but if I have to choose, Valley View wins. I have been to both multiple times(more than once a month) in the past five years.

        2. P.S. I just checked their website - the Barona buffet is $8.95 on Mon-Thurs until Dec 20th...FYI

          3 Replies
          1. re: LisaSD

            I think it is Barona that has 2 for 1 Mon-Thurs in Dec also.

            1. re: LisaSD

              how did i not know about this, i'm going tomorrow.

              1. re: clayfu

                It is advertised in the Union Trib and Reader...and if you have a card and are on their mailing list, you knew about it in November...

            2. Looks like Viejas followed Barona's lead and lowered the price of their buffet for January:

              $13.95 HARVEST BUFFET. EVERYDAY IN JANUARY.
              JANUARY
              Enjoy Dinner in the Harvest Buffet Monday through Sunday for just $13.95 per guest!
              Sunday through Thursday dinner is served from 4 to 9:30pm.
              On Friday and Saturday dinner is served from 4 to 11pm.
              Plus, take advantage of the same low price of $13.95 per guest for Saturday and Sunday Brunch from 10am to 3pm!