Truth be told, a friend and I, prior to the coronavirus, had been regular Monday morning gambling visitors to the Wynn Las Vegas. We would play for an hour and a half (typically not winning much) and then would go to a host, tell him or her we were hungry and would, via comp, be granted lunch at the wonderful Wynn buffet. (Obviously we typically lost more than the cost of the lunch.)
However, coronavirus is in town now. Having received an email welcoming us back to Wynn Las Vegas gambling, we went. Then another email noted if we each gained 150 points during our gambling experience, we’d qualify for a free brunch at The Buffet. We were told The Buffet is not open as it has been in the past, but even as a sit-down small-bites restaurant experience, The Buffet should provide a satisfying dining experience.
So last Monday, after gambling and with masks in place, we walked over to a host’s lounge, had that free buffet put on our players’ cards and walked to The Buffet. A Wynn employee guarded the entrance, reminding patrons that a reservation was necessary for entrance. Seeing just a small crowed, we explained that we had a comp and no reservation. Maybe we looked like billion-dollar gamblers or maybe The Buffet was looking for customers. Whatever, we were given immediate reservation-on-the-spot access.
We were shown by a mask-wearing usher to a table for two. We noted far fewer tables in the dining areas than in the past. We were both hungry, which at the old buffet meant we could immediately march up to the serving areas and secure food. But Monday? We waited a fair amount of time and finally were greeted by a waitress who noted this was her first day on the job. (Interesting; what about the former waiters and waitresses? Didn’t they come back to work?) We gave our drink order and then had a choice: a paper menu OR have the menu miraculously appear on our phones by photographing a QR (quick response) code secured in plastic on the table. We opted for paper menus.
The waitress explained to us that we can have as many items from the menu as we can eat in two hours, but we were advised to pick three items and when those were done, we could pick three additional items and so on. The printed menu was large, with offerings on both sides, so we had plenty of choices. Once we gave the waitress our choices, we waited again (not long) and suddenly the items began appearing, one at a time, each delivered by a different person. The portions were small, but probably the size any diet guru would love.
Two of my initial selections, salmon and roasted chicken were excellent; a third one, under-cooked broccoli in a curved dish, was difficult to cut in the dish provided. (I told the waitress as much.) My next two items which included dessert were quite good. So we gamblers did not starve.
The cost of our weekday brunch would have been $36.99 which we were given on a bill. We then gave the waitress our players cards; we signed something and the bill was marked paid. We felt obligated to tip according to the bill, something the old buffet didn’t require; but O.K. we got a free lunch so a larger tip was O.K.
We enjoyed our brunch, and I guess providing meals is necessary for the many visitors to the hotel (yes, in the valet area, we noted a number of folks with luggage, presumably checking in), so I guess the Wynn is doing the best it can under the circumstances.
But…the bottom line is, for my friend and I, we preferred non-coronavirus times and the OLD Wynn buffet.