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ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/30/13 3:46 P

TIG123GER: Wow! I have never been to a buffet of that stature. I would go to one if I could. I had long planned to go to a $79 lobster buffet (my children were going to take me) that had numerous lobster dishes, etc. but, alas, it closed down before I ever got there.

TIG123GER SparkPoints: (77,547)
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10/30/13 11:29 A

We went to one in Vegas at the Bellagio and it was wonderful. It had cavier, smoked salmon, filet mignon with multiple sauces, all the breakfast stuff but everything was made to order rather than sitting in those metal containers, fresh caesar salad, and the desserts were heavenly. Not cheap but the food was delicious.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/29/13 9:26 P

After reading all these buffet posts, I still did not think of one of the most unique and wondrous buffets I ever had, until I was moving some things in the frig and saw a bunch of my wife's veggies.

A few years ago my YD and her BF who live in California were taking my wife and me on a sight-seeing trip, I think to Wine Country. Anyway, they took us to a Sweet Tomatoes/SoupPlantation buffet. There are two reasons this buffet "blew me away."

(1) I had two humongous salads, piled high with some veggies I had not heard of or certainly had never eaten before. They were great salads and very healthy.
(2) After the salads, I had 2-3 kinds of soup, chocolate muffins, and a veggie pizza like bread.

It was such a great eating experience. If a person just wanted to eat healthy, there were enough veggies/salad ingredients to feed herds of elephants and hippopotami. If a person wanted soups and breads and dessert-type things, they were there, too.

Unfortunately, there are no SW/SP's anywhere within hundreds of miles of me.

BJPENNY70: Add in a few cold ones, and that would, indeed, be fine eating!

BJPENNY70 Posts: 4,806
10/29/13 7:57 P

This was years ago. I was invited to a pig roast. It was set up buffet style. I have never seen so much food. Totally Southern Traditional Style and so good you wouldn't believe it.

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
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10/29/13 6:51 P

Well unfortunately I don't have a favourite one but I wanted to read all the stories on this thread.....some sound wonderful!

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/29/13 6:50 P

GOALWTIN7: That seems like an oxymoron type situation to me. LOL! "Cruise to lose"! My goodness, I love the concept -- but -- ALL THOSE BUFFETS!? I know there are plenty of SparkPeople who could lose weight on such a cruise -- but I would not be one of them.

Anyway, that sounds as if you had an immensely fun time and have long-lasting memories.

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
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10/29/13 6:16 P


That chocolate buffet looks like a great place to take guests to celebrate a birthday, maybe a Sweet Sixteen. You asked for a cruise buffet story so here is one. Over 20 years ago I went on Richard Simmons Cruise To Lose cruise to the Bahamas. There were little monitors in our cabin that showed ship activities 24/7 if you wanted to watch. This ship had a midnight buffet, popular back then on cruise ships. I was there to lose 15 pounds and have a fun trip with Richard Simmons which it was. We all ate together and he conducted exercise classes.

At midnight I was watching the monitor and they showed an elaborate buffet with an amazing dessert table and several Richard Simmon's guests filling their plates. They did not weigh in the next morning. Nothing like Big Brother watching you.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/29/13 4:27 P

ERINTFG: Ok, that did it! When it does open up, my wife and I are making the 90+ minute drive. While in the metropolis we shall hit some places like Trader Joe's, too. Booyah!

Wow! That Hy-vee sounds great. I like the idea of getting a lot of fresh fruits and veggies if one wants a healthy buffet. My sister and her husband, whom probably we will meet for the Pizza Ranch buffet, love having a Hy-Vee card because they get a lot of gas discounts by using it. It's interesting about Pizza Ranch because my sister and husband have been to 5 different locations.

ERINTFG SparkPoints: (45,448)
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10/29/13 2:42 P

albertjon-- I love pizza ranch buffet! That's probably the place we eat out at most, because with kids buffets are the best. No waiting for food and everyone can get what they like! Plus they have kids eat free nights the same evenings my daughter has tumbling class . . .

My favorite though is the buffet at Hy-Vee grocery stores in the city-- they have these fabulous salad bars with so many amazing fresh fruits and veggies. Plus they have all-you-can eat Chinese and Italian as well as like "homecooking" options. So it's another great place for the family to eat.

JEFFGIRL Posts: 11,255
10/29/13 2:54 A

Don't know if unique, but loved a Chinese buffet I went to in Florida.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/29/13 12:24 A

One of my sisters loves to eat at Pizza Ranch buffets. She loves their chicken. There is going to be a new one opening up in one of our state's metropolises, so sometime in January or February we plan to meet with her and her husband and try it out. Unfortunately, I have seldom met a buffet I didn't like. But I went to the Pizza Ranch site and I know I will love that buffet.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
10/25/13 8:21 P

Yes, I did get the lbs off. That was in my pre-Spark days. Although, now that I think about's probably time for me to take another vacation!

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/25/13 8:00 P

LOVE4KITTIES: Well, I would hope the few extra pounds were worth it, that you got them back off, and that you made some positive memories that will long stay with you.

At least, that is how I felt at that Chocolate buffet at which I ate several years ago. I also ate a lot of lobster, other seafood, and Chinese food on that vacation trip. I gained around 6-7 pounds, but lost it in about a month. Well worth it!

Edited by: ALBERTJON at: 10/25/2013 (20:33)
LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
10/25/13 7:56 P

Yes, I probably gained 5 lbs on that 7 day cruise to Alaska. The buffet was open almost 24 hours per day... It's easy to go overboard with the food being so available. In addition to the buffet, there was a separate place where you could get pizza. It wasn't really that good, but it was SO available. Oh, the cookies that my husband kept having delivered to our cabin by room service probably contributed to my gain. The cookies and coffee were absolutely delicious. The coffee was some of the best I've ever had, no doubt due to the cream I kept putting in it.


Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 10/25/2013 (19:57)
DRFOOTWEAR SparkPoints: (2,309)
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10/25/13 7:34 P

I live in Las Vegas and I have tried a good number of the buffets. If you are out here, try the Bacchanal buffet at Caesar's or the Wynn buffet. They have both surpassed the Bellagio buffet in terms of quality and variety.
My last big eating binge was an 11-trip outing at the Wynn. Uggh. Good and bad memories.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/25/13 6:57 P

LOVE4KITTIES: I have a feeling I would gain quite a bit of weight if I went on a 5-7 day cruise.
I readily admit I am a quantity sort of person, loving the food choices that larger buffets offer. I have eaten at some rather high-priced restaurants and have generally gotten good food, but a few times the expensive meals were mediocre, at best. I do understand why many people do not like eating at buffets, though. I have a few relatives that don't.

My last buffet experience of note was at the Golden Corral where several kinds of chicken wings and grilled sirloin were the main features. The wings were excellent, and the several small pieces of sirloin I ate were grilled perfectly for my taste. The several other choices I made, including desserts, were all good.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
10/25/13 5:52 P

In answer to the question about cruise ship buffets--I took a cruise to Alaska (Princess Cruises) and the buffet was okay. There wasn't as much variety as you might expect many nights. Some of the items were very good and others were not so good. Pretty typical buffet food. We soon realized that, if you went to the dining room, they served pretty much the same stuff you could get at the buffet, except that they brought it to your table, on a plate, and you had to wait for them to do it. So, overall, we did eat at the buffet. There was one day where they had a prime rib buffet. That was really good and I still remember it. Prime rib is one of my favorite foods.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,292
10/25/13 5:38 P

Sunday brunch buffet at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN. This is the hotel with the ducks in the fountain in the lobby. omg, it was FABULOUS! No plain scrambled eggs or french toast there; it was all super elegant, classy stuff. If I remember correctly there were "breakfast" type foods as well as "lunch" things, plus incredible desserts.

Second favorite buffet-- we took the General Jackson showboat on the Cumberland River in Nashville, to a Titans football game. On the way there, I don't remember too well what was served. BUT on the way back after the game, it was a dessert buffet. Lots and lots of chocolate stuff. The General Jackson is owned by Gaylord, who also owns the famous Opryland Hotel. Again, super classy stuff.

Not a "buffet" per se, but a chocolate festival at the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville. It was all laid out buffet style though. Dozens of tables set out with all kinds of everything chocolate you could think of, some sort of plain but a ton of it from all the top restaurant kitchens in Nashville. Chocolate sculptures, chocolate covered everything you could think of, it was amazing.

DROPCONE Posts: 1,592
10/25/13 3:39 P

House of Blues Chicago Gospel Brunch! This was over a decade ago, and it was a group outing for work. It was so fun! Let me tell you there was no going back for seconds once you got through the buffet line once, it was too jam packed. I'm not particularly familiar with gospel at all, so I don't know if whoever was performing was famous or not. But the whole thing was great fun. Food? What food? I don't remember the food!

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/25/13 3:12 P

It has been many years since I went to a Las Vegas buffet. I know I have seen them featured the last couple of years on Food Network and the Travel Channel. They have gotten much bigger from the couple of times that I visited Las Vegas many years ago.

I am hoping that some of you will share experiences with any buffets you may have had aboard cruise ships, if you have vacationed that method.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,565)
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10/25/13 2:45 P

MARY brings up a very good point that I too noticed, buffets tend to be more about quantity and less about quality. Locally, I went to a buffet at an Indian restaurant that wasn't bad. There wasn't a large selection of foods, so their quality was better than the quantity. I do have a weakness for good chicken tika masala. lol

I went to a restaurant famous for its Chinese buffet. too much choice. If you took even a small bite from everything they had you would have been stuffed.

If you want to talk real buffets, let's talk VEGAS. I'll say it, the casinos know how to present a buffet !! LOL !!! I went to the buffet at the MGM Grand and WOW, talk about my eyes being too big for my stomach. Eating at a casino buffet in Vegas was seriously fun and right now qualifies as my best food buffet experience.

One day, maybe I'll get to try the buffet at the Venetian or Cesar's Palace.

Didn't have time to try one of the breakfast buffets, but yeah, if I'm eating a buffet, I'm eating in Las Vegas.

MARYJ1959 SparkPoints: (11,385)
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10/25/13 1:39 P

I'm not big on buffet dining as the food is not usually of very quality, just quantity; but they are fun to go to with a large group of people because each time you get up you can sit at a different place at the table to talk to someone different. A group of old coworkers got together and did this and there was probably 20 to 25 people - but it wasn't about the food, it was about the "old days." I live in Mich, and went to Oklahoma to see some cousins and went to a buffet there - interestingly the food at a Oklahoma buffet was much better than any I have had in Mich and cheaper.

BELLYDOG Posts: 2,459
10/25/13 12:59 P

I remember the last time my family went as a family to a buffet. My third brother, child number 7, was about 4 years old. As we all sat down to eat, a very large woman entered the buffet line. The 4 year old spotted her and had to make a comment. We all knew his comment was not going to be a good one so we tried to get him to stay quiet. Unfortunately, that made him speak even louder. As Mom tried to shush him, he said in a loud voice, "But Momma, there's a FAT LADY over there!" We were all horribly embarrassed, because all conversation stopped, you could have heard a pin drop. My Mom wasn't exactly thin, she was expecting child number 8 at the time. Anyway, we never went back to the buffet.

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
10/25/13 12:11 P

Actually, I never met a buffet I didn't like, can't think of a specific one I like better than another.

But I think they are so fun for Sunday brunch.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
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10/25/13 11:39 A

First, I understand that many SparkPeople do not eat at buffets for several different reasons. I respect that.

OK, for those of you who have or do eat at buffets, what is a buffet that you remember for having great foods or unique foods or a lot of variety, etc?

Years ago I saw on the Food Network channel a show about a chocolate dessert bar in Boston. Since I have children living in that part of the country, I made a casual remark about that show. One summer when we made our annual visit, our children all combined to take us to CafÉ Fleuri -- Chocolate Bar, The Langham. It offered over 165 desserts, most of them chocolate in some form. It was a very fun experience. It will be unlikely I will ever experience it again, but I am very glad I got to do it.

Ok, next? What buffet eating experiences are memorable for you?

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