I gotta admit - nobody does a buffet better than the US of A. Even if we take Vegas out of the equation, there are plenty of all-you-can-stuff-your-face joints just South of the border. Now I'm not talking about quality, I'm merely amazed at the selection and quantity. That would pretty much describe the places we find in Bellingham. Further South, we find more higher end buffets in Seattle and yes, the Grand Daddy of them all in Vegas. But what about in the GVRD? Nope, nada, zilch. Other than some AYCE Japanese and Sunday brunch offerings, there are no good buffets (and really, buffets aren't the best place for great food anyways). The newest to join the fray is The Buffet at Grand Villa Casinos - not to be confused with The Buffet at the River Rock.
Juju really wanted to check out the "seafood buffet" offered from Thur-Sat. So I joined him for some gluttony at an early 3:30pm on a Saturday. Woah, were we going for some senior discount or something? No, none existed and hey, we're not that old! Even at that unholy hour, there was a lineup 20 people long. Once inside, we were shocked at how small the place was in terms of food selection and seating. Walking back to our table with a plate of food was like walking through an obstacle course with chairs, tables and people packed tightly together. As for the buffet line, there was Soup, Salads and Salad Toppings occupying the first few sections. Nothing particularly interesting... until the big pile of King Crab Legs. These were really large and meaty with varying textures of either being fluffy or a bit spongy. I thought they were on the saltier side as well. Yet, considering the venue, the crab legs were pretty good.
Moving along, the next section consisted of Veggies and one pasta. The pasta was mostly al dente with some uncooked portions. It was really bland. It was replaced with a tomato sauce version later on. Then we had a modest array of Asian Food with fried rice, fried noodles, spicy shrimp and butter chicken. The shrimp was actually decent with some spice and having a great snap. The butter chicken was a bit strange because it tasted more like curry chicken. The dark meat was tender and moist, yet the whole dish was luke warm which was off-putting. Next to it, there were 3 Meat choices including roast pork, black bean mussels and baked salmon. I can confidently say all 3 sucked. The pork was as hard as Ron Jeremy and the accompanying sauce was well... use your imagination. The mussels were rubbery while the black bean sauce was goopy and salty. The salmon was probably either chum or pink which meant it was dry and lacking in flavour. The buttery Hollandaise-like sauce on top was greasy and didn't really help save the fish. So the crab legs, shrimp dish, mussels and fish qualified this as a "seafood buffet"? Me thinks this is a bit misleading...
At the end of the buffet line, there was Roast Beef. It wasn't prime rib though which meant it wasn't exactly buttery soft. Although it was prepared a perfect medium-rare (closer to rare), it was hard to chew and wasn't all that flavourful. The accompanying gravy was starchy and lacked meatiness. Lastly, the Dessert section had to be the most pathetic one I've ever seen. It would've made Mijune cry. 4 options, that's it. At least the red velvet cake was not bad. Okay, there is not other way to say it - this buffet blows. If it weren't for the crab legs, this was no better than Uncle Willy's (but for double the price). Please do yourself a favour and spend your $25.95 at EBO on the same floor.
- Crab legs were not bad considering everything
- Bright, modern dining space
- Food selection and quality sucks
- Seating arrangements are tight and hard to maneuver through