Okay, so I'm sure this has been posted before, but, where do you like to dine in Vegas on a budget? I'm going tomorrow, and I am not a wealthy woman. Here are things I need to have:
1) On the strip
2) Walking distance from Luxor to be included
3) Buffets, and I mean good buffets, can be included
4) Should not exceed $40 per person
5) No chains, please
I know I like the savory crepes at the Paris, but other than that, most of my Vegas trips have been somewhat blase in the food dept.
BTW there's a free tram that runs between Excalibur and Mandalay, stopping at Luxor. That gives you easy non-walking access to New York New York and MGM and Monte Carlo is close.
Mandalay - as others have said, Burger Bar (technically at Mandalay Place between Luxor and Mandalay Bay), Border Grill, maybe you could do appetizers at StripSteak within your budget. You could also have a drink and an appetizer at Mix (bar) at TheHotel on the early side and catch a great view.
Luxor - not familiar with the restaurants there
Excalibur - blech
Tropicana - blech
Monte Carlo - not familiar with the restaurants there
NYNY - While I'm not a fan of the casino, finding it oddly crowded and louder than necessary, there are a couple of possibilities there: Il Fornaio (I guess it's a chain but I quite like the outposts in Beverly Hills and Irvine), and Nine Fine Irishmen. As to the latter, I'm presuming you could eat there within your budget as I don't have any personal experience, but it seems to get ok reviews here. As with any pub I'd think you'd do best by keeping it simple.
MGM - We mostly stay there and I'm pretty familiar with the restaurants. On the more casual side, you could easily have a nice meal at the Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill, and I like it. Even more casual is Craftwich which is sandwiches from the Craft folks. You could have a really nice meal of a salad (choose 10 ingredients from a very long list) and another appetizer at SeaBlue and it would include their addictive (and free) warm pita served with three dips. You could also have a pasta at Fiamma - I recommend the one with the La Quercia prosciutto and truffle butter, and the short rib raviolini gets raves too. A pasta and a glass of wine at Fiamma would definitely be doable within your budget and it would be enough to eat.
I don't think you're compromising by going the appetizer route, as IMO appetizers are often more interesting than main courses and we often put together an appetizer-based meal. If you are amenable to dining this way, then I suggest that you check out the menus at Mandalay Bay and MGM. You could easily be very happy.
Oh yeah, you could also have a really nice breakfast at Verandah (at Four Seasons, attached to Mandalay Bay) for under $40.
The mandalay buffet is under $40 - it's decent. I'm a burger bar fan at mandalay, too.
i think you can go with a few apps at brand steakhouse - monte carlo. The pub is also worth a lunch especially if you are a beer drinker. Market city caffe in MC makes some decent bread sticks to go with the pastas.
mgm has some decent deals at all their restaurants ( fall menu - check it out on their website ) but you have to go a little higher than $40 - i think a few of them were around $50 for a multi - course meal
good luck and happy eating !