Plan to post meal updates this week as perusing eats in 2011 LV.
I am staying at the Rio so started off with the Village Seafood Buffet.
Although I went there Monday (on a slow week) and we know this is taboo in some seafood circles . . . . this was not the place I remembered from 6-7 years back (maybe longer).
First the price (about $43 incl tax) is not exactly user-friendly and no free glass of wine or anything to take the sting out. (A lot has changed since my last visit here.)
Then a perplexing waiter interchange as follows:
"You want drink?"
"Yes please, I'd like a cocktail."
"No Coke, Pepsi."
"No, a cocktail."
"Only Pepsi, sorry."
The fella was nice enough but we had extensive communication problems subsequently about wine as well. Then paying for the drinks was painful too. Can't bill to room without some slip that I don't have with me. So eventually pay by credit card. $25 for a G&T and a glass of mediocre wine!! Again, the tab is already $70 PAID and I haven't eaten or drank a thing! And I thought buffets were all about abundance at a good price . . . hmmm.
But all would have been well had the seafood been great. It was NOT great. In fact it stank (some of it literally.)
Clearly everyone comes for the crab legs which begs the question (given the plethora of all-you-can-eat crab legs for $15.99 across the US) why they don't just do that and slash the price to 1/3rd.
Nothing seemed pristine (the most important factor with seafood). I started with sushi and sashimi. Salmon was OK but the tuna was poor as was the whitefish offered. The sushi rolls standard but tired (as if sat around for some time) in taste and texture. Even the pickled ginger just seemed stale and non-vibrant, ditto the wasabi. Ditto EVERYTHING!
I then dabbled with some clams and mussels. Bad idea. The clams are what stunk the most. Awful. One set of mussels was Ok, the other worse, and some sitting unopened and unappetizing as such worst of all. And the oysters ! Yuk to the nth power. Revoltingly served in ice full of partially shucked other oyster meat remnants and semi liquid ice muck.
A good tip for the drinks had softened the waiter with whom I could not converse but he never did offer a glass of water (I know it's not the default in desert LV) for his good tip. I could have appreciated one.
So I wandered around for something decent. I found it in the humble New england clam chowder. It didn't taste horrible (but is a hard dish to totally mess up). The Manhattan was not so successful.
I skipped the crab legs as a lot of the ones I saw were unappetizingly skimpy and "drippy."
I tried some prime rib along with the american south fried shrimp and calamari. Calamari poor. Oh and the boiled shrimp had earlier with the clams and mussels had no taste (no salt).
The people watching (for a solo diner) is always interesting and I was once again set to pondering the various techniques with which people approach buffet strategy and tactics. For example I saw a young man with a quite attractive date who were seated then he said something like "I'm off" and disappeared to get his rations for 15 minutes leaving the quite attractive young lady to her own devices. Clearly chivalry (and perhaps the Golden Age of Rio buffets) is dead.
I REALLY didn't enjoy this. It was poor value, and poor quality and only just passable cleanliness and service. I am hoping for much better things to come. I will post updates as I delve into them, I have a previous post here about Bouchon. should I just leave that really good memory alone or risk a return visit . . .
Thanks a lot for reading this and subsequent posts on this LV trip. If anyone can recommend a seafood buffet (or special or spread) that does not disappoint I'd love to turn this around.
Not a good start but it must (?!) . . . maybe . . . all upwards from here.
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Village Seafood Buffet
3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103