You don’t have to be a local to know about the “Voted Best in Las Vegas” advertising you see almost everywhere around here. Not just on the Strip, even, but at locals’ casinos and even regular restaurants, too. My theory is that as a restaurant owner, you poll your kitchen staff, and go with whatever they say. You remind them, of course, of who pays their salary before the vote. So, if you can forgive a bit of cynicism regarding those “best of” polls, I never know what to believe about a place, even if it gets a “Best of Vegas” award from the local paper. But sometimes, even a cynic has to be moved when a certain name keeps coming up again and again, from various sources. In terms of Buffets, a name I’ve heard over and over, since before I moved here, even, is Bellagio Las Vegas.
I first heard it referred to as “the best” when I read an interview with an Elvis impersonator who was performing in Black Hawk, Colorado. He was one of the performers from the Rivera Hotel at that time, and was presenting the same show to the folks from the high country. When asked about his favorite things about living in Vegas, he listed several things, including “The Buffet at the Bellagio.” Now, if you can’t trust Elvis, who can you trust, right? But still, on subsequent visits to Las Vegas, and in the years since I’ve moved here, I never actually partook of that particular buffet. Until yesterday, the day before Halloween. The observed Nevada Day for this year, in fact. This in spite of the fact that I kept hearing and reading about how good The Buffet is. It has, in fact, won the readers’ choice for Best Buffet in the local paper rather consistently. But I went to the Spice Buffet in Planet Hollywood, and to the buffet in the Mirage, and to a bunch of local buffets, rather than actually checking out The Buffet.
But now I have, and readers want to know if it is really the Best Buffet in Las Vegas. And I’m here to answer: sure, maybe. In terms of sheer consistency of good food, it probably wins the prize. I ate as many different things as I could, in order to give as fair an assessment as possible. Everything I tried was uniformly very, very good on up to excellent. The pizza, for instance, is very good, but that’s what you’d expect in Las Vegas. However, the St. Louis style ribs were also really good, as was the sandwich I made for myself out of a variety of meats and cheeses. And I know, it’s nice to know that all that stuff is good, but what about the most important part?
I am happy to report that virtually anyone who, like me, is alive and well, will find the dessert selection more than adequate. Way, way more than adequate. The photo shows less than one-fourth of the display, and the items do not repeat on the other side, which is something I’ve found at some buffets. I had four desserts if you include the ice cream, but I just ate the ice cream because I like the stuff. The other three I tried for quality, and found them to be really, truly top-notch desserts. That alone might explain why The Buffet gets rated so well by locals. And, for a tourist, on vacation and temporarily exempt from your diet plan, why nothing could be better than an overloaded selection of sweet goodness, now could it?
But I did say “maybe,” so what’s that about? Well, nothing at The Buffet stood out as an individual item. At Spice, for example, they have a crab stuffed lemon sole that is in contention for being the best thing I’ve ever eaten. I didn’t see or eat anything that rose to that level at The Buffet. However, not Spice, nor any other buffet I’ve been to in town, has the consistency of just plain damned good food that Bellagio’s The Buffet offers. So, yeah, it just might be the best buffet in Las Vegas. Of course, I haven’t tried them all, so I guess further research is in order. If Jenny Craig calls, tell her I moved to Australia.