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Dec 7, 2008 02:56 PM

Looking for a good North American Dinner Buffet

Does anyone know of a good North American Dinner Buffet in Calgary? I've seen them in the States...and the only one I've heard of so far is in a truck stop in south Calgary! Which, BTW, is not terrible...but certainly is not where I would take the family for a night out.

Preference is for a buffet that is serves throughout the week as opposed to just a special feature on weekends.

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  1. Maybe the Village Park Inn in motel village? What about Smuggler's Inn?

    7 Replies
    1. re: sarah galvin

      Do either have a dinner buffet?

      I think I know the type the OP is looking for, we used to have one in Silver Springs but it's gone. I can't think of another.

      1. re: sharonanne

        I haven't been to Smuggler's in eons but they were known for their dinner buffet. I guess you could almost call it a salad bar with roast beef. What about Mother Tuckers? As for VPI, it was a suggestion. They are the type of place that might.

        1. re: sarah galvin

          Suggestions are good. I'm just thinking I know what the OP means but I can't really describe it much better. than they did. The local buffet place only had a buffet, there was no option to order off a menu and kids were charged based on age. There were always certain dishes like roast beef, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese.

          We go to the VPI for the brunch buffet for a business meeting once a month. It's not that great but it doesn't look like they do a dinner one.

          We went to Mother Tuckers in the summer because I miss the salad bars and they had a dinner buffet. I can't wholeheartedly recommend that one though. Either my memories of salad bars are wonky or the place has gone downhill. I guess it's the closest. That wasn't prime rib and certainly not chocolate in the "chocolate" fountain.

          1. re: sharonanne

            It must be an American thing because I don't remember ever finding a 'buffet only' menu anywhere in this country. Unless, of course, it was ethic. Small towns will have a buffet on Sundays in a restaurant, but they still allow ordering off the menu - just had that a few weeks ago in a small town.

            1. re: sarah galvin

              In Silver Springs, I swear. Was where the Shopper's Drug Mart is now. Based on the age of my son I'm thinking it must have been 20 or so years ago.

              1. re: sharonanne

                I don't know about Silver Springs but I know there were a couple of buffet only places in the NE over 20 years ago. One was on 36th Street and 32nd Avenue and there was another one in the Village Square Mall. I can't recall the names of either ones now. Something like Country Buffet.

                Currently, the only non-ethnic buffet place I know of is in Edmonton. It's called the Buffet Royale.

      2. The Grey Eagle casino west on glenmore, does a really nice North american buffet, complete with large chocolate fountain. Not sure if you can take kids in there though. but it is tasty...

        3 Replies
        1. re: retroville

          Do you THINK you could take kids there?

          Grey Eagle is smoking and it's a CASINO. Come on.

          1. re: John Manzo

            The Deerfoot Casino allows children in the restaurants. They even allow them in the lobby. Just not in the gambling area, which amazingly is not in the same room as where the restaurants are.

            I suspect that the Grey Eagle would be the same. A call to the place however would end any sort of speculation.

            Having just looked at their website, they mention that they are "kid-friendly".

            1. re: Shazam

              No kids allowed at Grey Eagle as far as I know. At least that was the case when we tried to go for brunch this spring. We were stopped cold at the front door, turned around and marched out. Maybe they've changed their tune since then?

        2. I can't think of anything other than the already suggested Mother Tucker's for a dinner buffet through the week.

          I know Glenmore Inn & Blackfoot Inn offer a dinner buffet Fridays and Saturdays. If push comes to shove, I'd give the nod to Blackfoot Inn. Better than middling...

          Now its going to bother me that I can't remember the name of the buffet place in Silver Springs almost 20 years ago!

          1 Reply
          1. re: ybnormal

            Was it called "Unce Willy's" by chance? I remember they were everywhere back in the late 80's to mid 90's. There is still at least one kicking around in Burnaby, by Metrotown.

            Bonanza was another chain that kind of fit the OP, except that they had an A la carte menu. IBut if you just ordered the food bar (I think they called it 'Fresh-tastic') There was more than enough for a full meal.

            I wouldn't classify M.Tucker's or Smuggler's as buffets, more as restaurants with
            Salad/Soup Bars. There aren't any entrees available as part of the AYCE part of the restaurant.

            In the U.S., these places are everywhere, mainly the chains 'Granny's' and 'Old Country'.

            Back to the OP, I lived in Calgary for 10 years, and the only thing close to what your describing was at GRAZE Restaurant in the Executive Royal Inn North Calgary on Barlow Trail NE.

            Other than that, there's always the pre-game buffets at the Saddledome and McMahon Stadium, the buffets at the Big Four building during Stampede, and crashing weddings!

          2. Hey, what about Cravings? I've never been there but it looks like what used to be Mövenpick in Toronto- food stations, not a buffet exactly but it might fill the bill.


            1. I know what you mean. Such examples in the USA are establishments like Hometown Buffet. I do vaguely recall such places in Calgary, but that was decades ago.

              There are no places in Calgary that offer the variety and the cuisine you expect. The places mentioned so far are fine buffets in their own right, however.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Shazam

                For North America, I would have to say the Wynn in Las Vegas. I've also had other very good buffets in LA, especially the asian ones that include japanese. For buffets there are different categories so it's very hard to say what is the best.

                I went to one in LA called Country Bear (something like that) and I loved it. It was cheap and it had an amazing selection of comfort food, not fancy or highend but great every day food.

                1. re: Shazam

                  I remember going to a buffet on Macleod trail that had both chinese food and N. american stuff like mashed potatoes and meatloaf. It might have been "Treasures of China" (not affiliated with the one that used to be downtown) or "Foody Goody".

                  I'm not ensorsing the food (not that great!) but just putting it out there.