Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To Buffet or not to Buffet?

You know that one of the claims of fame of Las Vegas is their buffets. Certainly, I would think that most people would want to get the most for their money. I imagine that buffets fit that bill, to some. Ok, you're hearing a large "but" to this last statement. And, you would be correct. It is my opinion, that, buffets do not hold the value that perhaps that they once had. In our present economy, buffets are not the meal choice for everyone. There are a few factors to consider about buffets: healthy food choices versus comfort foods, amount of individual food consumed at a sitting, personal health and the price of the particular buffet meal.

Some of the bigger casinos are trying to make a concerted effort to create healthier menu choices for their customers. The Rio comes to mind. But certainly, they are not the only ones. In reality, I'm not convinced that most that frequent buffets are concerned whether healthy choices are available. I'm a diabetic and I'm not alone in my dietary concerns or in my condition. However, even if you're not concerned about such things, food quality should be one. I'm not totally convinced that food under lamps, that has been handled by many people and that is out for a length of time is healthy. No, I've never gotten sick from a buffet but I do think about such elements after I eat at one.

The tendency for me is to overeat at a buffet. The availability of tasty food choices and the immediate gratification factor are great influences on overeating. But, as most of you know overeating is not only an uncomfortable condition but not very healthy. Additionally, the feeling of getting your money's worth also motivates me to overeat. Overeating is something I rarely do but buffets are the exception. Again, I'm not convinced that most that frequent buffets are concerned about overeating until it is too late.

Of course, my health is a governing concern for the way I eat. It has to be. But, that is not to say I don't enjoy buffets. I do and there lies the problem. I have to take care what I eat, how much I eat and total calories. So, I limit the times I eat at a buffet. It is my belief, that we can control most of what happens to us. We can choose what we do. Eating at a buffet is, after all, a conscience choice. I do believe a buffet is part of the total Vegas experience. So, by all means try one. But, be aware of what you are getting in to.

Price is a factor that, admittedly, concerns me. Most dinner buffets cost between 10.99 - 18.99. Sometimes the price is more depending on the casino and what is offered on the menu. That is all well and good but seriously, I don't know many people that can eat $20 worth at one sitting. I know that I can't and that is what bothers me. You're saying, well just don't eat buffet. You would be right, it is a choice. Therefore, I don't eat at buffets very often. If I'm going to spend $20 for a meal, I'd like to have the ability to take what I don't eat with me. You can label me cheap but I've been going to Las Vegas for the last 30 years and buffets no longer have the same allure. Plus, I don't particularly believe they have the same value as in the past. I remember $4.99 dinner buffets.

Buffets are a personal choice. They are not the tremendous value that they were. But, in order to have the total Vegas experience, you must eat at one. But, be aware of what you are getting yourself in to. Enjoy yourself then decide if they are for you. Consider food quality and choices plus personal health risks. Finally, if the meal is a value to you then keep on buffeting. Consider though that Las Vegas has a multitude of meal options to fit every budget. Well, I wish you and your families much good health and fortune.


  1. As a British Vegas fan - glad I found your blog :o) I got married in the MGM Grand and have been to vegas several times but travel prices and having a baby means I cant visit as much as I would love to so great to find your blog so I can keep up with the vegas highs and lows. As a brit we also have never seen anything like the buffets in vegas - I did eat far too much and came back last time a few paounds heavier :o) Scarlett x

    1. I apologize for the late reply. I've been meaning to get to the blog but life happens. Vegas still is my favorite place on earth. I'm very glad you enjoy some of the things I feel. I will continue to write on this blog now that my life has evened out a bit. I will definitely keep you and your family in mind when I write. Thanks - Tony