June 10 to 15 trip report...six days/six buffets!
Yes, did that!
My wife and I went to L V for her professional annual meeting leaving me with time to visit as many casinos as I could fit in whenI wasn't swimming.
On Sunday we flew in early, checked in to our hotel and got to The Buffet at Belagio for The Champange Brunch before the locusts attacked, which was fabulous! Our Champange glasses were water glasses and our server kept them full for over two and a half hours...my wife loved her omelette with smoked trout. My favorite was the pizza, which was on a par with the best we had in Rome. Of course we tried many other things and would rate the experience very highly. However, it is quite the mob scene.
The next morning, as my wife was in meetings, I went alone to "M" for breakfast. There was no crowd at all. But, there was also nothing exceptional to report on. The food was good and I, but not everyone, enjoyed the service. The couple next to me complained so much I moved.
Tuesday I drove up to Wynn and was in line when they opened. The room is elegant; the food is extremely good; and, I loved the veggies. Their roast beef was excellent. Desserts are great. People watching was lots of fun as the crowd is international, wealthy and well dressed. I, a 67 yearold with two wedding bands ( mine and my dad's) got hit on twice, which was very flattering. My favorite, for whole experience.
Wednesday I went to Rio for the Carnival World Buffet for breakfast.This is much bigger than any of the previous buffets and everything is good. It is the only buffet that served the eggs Benidict warm and with soft yokes....Rio got it right! The gelato is very good with lots of choices. Much to chose from.
Wednesday evening The Paris Buffet catered my wife's convention and the choices were good, but not extensive. For the first time fish wasn't offered. That's probably not true in the actual buffet.
Thursday I was not hungry until supper and we went to Wicked Spoon. I enjoyed the pork spare ribs, which might be the best I've ever eaten. The Asian stir fries were very good as was the salmon. We finished with gelato and a chocolate mousse.
Friday we had to return to Rio on family business and decided to lunch at World Carnival Buffet. My wife agreed that everything was very good and the choices were the most extensive. The rib roast was the best cut I had on the trip. I had a Ruben right off the grill that was as good or better than any I have previously eaten. And, we finished with gelato.
How anyone could rank these is beyond me. Other than I won't be going back to "M" and I like to try the real Paris Buffet, the other four we're extremely good values, excellent service and wonderful food. Pressed I'd say Wynn.
I've been on Chowhound since its inception and I believe this is the most enthusiastic embrace of buffets in the history of the site. My brother loves buffets, and travels to LV largely to indulge, whereas I have to be dragged. I sent him a link to your post, which I enjoyed immensely (even if you haven't convinced me).
re: Dave Feldman
Different people seek different things in food experiences.
While waiting for the valet and my car at one of the many casinos I lost a few dollars in, I chatted with newlyweds on their first trip to LV. They were complaining about the high cost of food in LV siting a slice of pizza and a coke on the strip for $20+ each. While I think it is a fact that food is a bargain in LV, I suspect $20+ each was their budget for that meal. My buffet carried me through two meals and sometimes three, so $25 to $35/ buffet is cheap when compared to a slice and a coke. Why anyone would want a slice and a coke in LV is another topic.
Compare these buffets (Bellagio, “M,” Wynn, Rio, Paris and Wicked Spoon)to The Table of Joel Robuchon and the buffets are cheaper, but there are quality and atmosphere differences of considerable magnitude.
As my choices were made after reading lots of reviews on Chowhound, Yelp, Tripadvisor and Vegas.com, I did read your point of view and actually considered it as I sat in these places. For me at a buffet what I miss from a really good restaurant is the small number of other diners. And, this is ironic because lots of customers bring out the best in a buffet and the worst in a quality restaurant. You saw my reference to the locusts' attack at Belagio. The crowd was amazing! Shorter women nearly tripped me several times as they scurried from one spot to another. But the food was hot and piled high, except for the eggs Benedict, which was cold, and the champagne flowed like tap water. Conversely read reports of folks in Chowhound returning from Paris, who were thrilled that the chef made a little something especially for them after a short conversation and returned to their table later to talk some more...doesn't happen when the place is full!
I chose not to spend money at really expensive places because deep down inside the prices offend me and make me ashamed to admit that I needed to spend 500Eu+ for dinner. I'd rather enjoy what my wife could put together from the open air market and tell all my friends what a great cook she is. I'm not cheap; I think conspicuous consumption is a sin. After an evening in a really expensive restaurant as a party guest or host I feel bad about what that money would do if we just ate at a 50Eu place John Talbott recommended and gave the balance to any of hundreds of excellent charities.
As I started this response...Different people seek different things in food experiences.
And, thanks for all your comments over the years. They have helped me on several trips.
I hope you realize I wasn't being sarcastic or ironic, hychka. I truly do appreciate your point-of-view, and I love your positive approach (and not just in this post). Whenever I see someone enjoying something I don't, I get jealous. I've been trying to understand my brother's obsession with buffets for 40 years. Give me another 40 years and maybe I'll figure it out!
Thanks very much for your post. I'll be in Vegas Oct 1 for three nights (Monday to Thursday). Any thoughts on who has good crab legs/seafood on a buffet?
Hi hychka. Thank you for your thoughtful post. I will be in Vegas for 4 days in the end of October and my brother will be flying in to meet me there. Today he requested In N Out and Seafood. I am thinking one or two of the buffets and cannot wait to take him to Lotus of Siam one of my favorite restaurants in town! I am logging your comments to help as time grows nearer. Thank you again!
I think the M is a stronger offering for lunch and dinner as the top-of-the-line for value buffets (as opposed to the jaw-dropper buffets like Wicked Spoon, Bellagio, and Wynn). The food is competently executed (if not as good as the expensive buffets), but part of the fun of the M Buffet is that beer, wine, and espresso drinks are included with the price of the buffet.