Eating out – or getting take out – with a vegan is no easy matter, at least here in San Leandro (L.A., though, is another matter altogether). So I’m starting to ask restaurants what vegan dishes they offer previous to taking my daughter to the restaurant.
These four dishes are always vegan at Favorite Indian, Hayward. I’m sure that’s true too at the other branches, but you may want to confirm.
Vegetable Pakora, veggies coated with seasoned chickpea flour and fried.
Dal Curry, a yellow lentil curry. I tried this at the buffet, and it was pretty good.
Aloo Gobi, potatoes and cauliflower cooked with spices.
Bhindi Masala, okra cooked with spices and onions.
Chana Masala, chick peas cooked with spices. Alas, my daughter is not too fond of this.
In addition, Favorite India can make the following dishes vegan. Simply ask them to make them with no cream when you order them:
Eggplant roasted in tadoor and cooked in a cream and tomato sauce
Vegetables, nuts & cheese cooked in a mild sauce (asked them to hold both the cream and the cheese/paneer)
Mushroom & green peas cooked with onion & tomatoes
Whole black lentil & red kidney beans cooked in a creamy sauce.
They may have other vegan dishes at their buffet, so it doesn’t help to ask. The restaurant manager/owner – the young woman who is often at the reception desk – is very knowledgeable as to the ingredients.
The other night I decided to take Mike out to dinner. One of our daughters didn’t want to go out and the other one was out, so it seemed like a great opportunity for a date night – and for trying a new restaurant.
After our first choice didn’t work out, we ended up at Xiang Yuan Xiao Long Bao – which occupies the space that Ming Tasty had for many years. It was an inspired choice, as neither of us had ever had Shanghainese food per se, and we love trying new things.
Given the name of the restaurant, we of course had to try the Xiang Long Bao (also known as XLB) from the Dim Sum menu (which seems to be available at any time). We ordered both the pork ($7) and crab ($8.5) versions. Not having XLBs before, we were unprepared for what we got: a steamed dumpling filled with both meat and broth! To accomplish this, cooks add pork skin to a broth and allows the collagen from the skin to melt into the liquid. The pork skin and veggies are discarded, and the now collagen-rich broth is refrigerated and allowed to solidify. It’s then chopped and added to the dumplings along with the filling. Ingenious and delicious.
I wasn’t sure how to eat the dumplings, so at first I broke them with my chopsticks and just ate each part separately. Later I adopted Mike’s method of just putting the whole thing inside my mouth (make sure they cool down before you do this). They were much better that way, as flavors and textures are allowed to combine in your mouth. Apparently, the proper way to eat them (or at least the way used by the restaurant reviewer at the East Bay Express) is to bite off the top, allow the broth to cool, and then to sip it, before eating the rest of the dumpling. I think I like Mike’s way better, though they are a little bit big (and I have a small mouth).
We also ordered the green onion pancake ($4). This was very oily, and therefore pretty filling. It was a bit bland, but it was great with the broth from the dumplings. I’d order it again, but would want some sort of tasty sauce to go along with it.
Finally, we had the pan friend pork buns ($8). These were unlike any pork buns I’ve had before. Instead of bbq pork, they had the same soupy filling as the dumplings, though with less liquid. Once I abandoned my expectations that they be sweet, I found them very good. They were also easier to eat, and I’d definitely order them again.
The restaurant itself is in a good location in downtown San Leandro, but suffers from a very generic building. Still, it’s nicely decorated with photos of Shanghai at the turn of the 20th century – I was somewhat surprised of how western it looked.
Service was competent and polite.
All in all, I look forward to returning.
Read the East Bay Express review for more suggestions on dishes to try.
Last week my 16-yo daughter actually got a craving for Ethiopian food. We don’t eat Ethiopian food very frequently – maybe once or twice a year now -, so it was a surprising craving in her part. And as she said, how privileged is she that she gets to have a craving for Ethiopian food and have it satisfied.
We decided on Ethiopia Restaurant in Berkeley because they have a great Groupon deal: two appetizers, four entrees, two desserts and four glasses of wine for just $40. You need to add tax and tip, but I can’t imagine anywhere else you can get a deal anywhere as good as this (if you know of one, let me know!).
We had been to Ethiopia Restaurant before, and this time it didn’t disappoint either: the food was just delicious. We started with the sambousas, the Arab/African version of Indian samosas: triangles of phillo-dough style pastry, filled with either lentils or meat, fried and served with a red sauce. They were pretty good.
My 16-yo ordered the nene’wee, a sampler of 5 vegetarian dishes you pick from 12 choices. She absolutely loved the yekik alicha, a yellow split pea dish that they also serve as a side for other dishes. Next time, she may just order this. She was happy enough with the kinche (bulgur), but the other three dishes she chose were too spicy for her. The engudai we’t, a mushroom “stew” (actually mushrooms cooked in a butter or oil based sauce), tasted very much like t’ibs wet, its beef version. The sauce was exactly the same. The yemisier we’t (red lentils) and shiro we’t (garbazo beans) seemed to have different sauces, but they were equally spicy.
The meat-eaters among us ordered the yebeg alicha (lamb “stew”), yebeg t’ibs (sauteed lamb) and the meat combo which comes with doro we’t (chicken “stew”), t’ibs wet and yebeg alicha. They brought the first two dishes in a huge tray, on top of injera, but they forgot to add the third – so the tray looked very empty. It wasn’t until we were finished with the food that we were able to reach out to call the waitress and have her bring the meat combination (we were still hungry, so we needed it). I got the distinct impression that you get more food by ordering your meal individually rather than family style, so next time we’ll do that.
All of us really liked the yebeg dishes, though one of us had to be told it was beef for her to try it (here is hoping she doesn’t read this review). We particularly liked the sauteed lamb dish. The t’ibs and doro wet dishes were both spicy, though my husband enjoyed them. The rest of us are wimps.
Whether individual or family style, dishes are served with the split pea stew outlined above and a simple salad of lettuce, tomatoes and onions. We ordered a bowl of rice which my daughter didn’t like (my husband tasted it and said it had butter in it), but which they didn’t charge us for. The injera is made with teff and was cold, but otherwise good.
For dessert, one of my daughters had the baklava, which was a pretty small piece, and the other the chocolate mousse pie. They both seemed happy.
I had a glass of the chardonay, which was sweet but good. My daughter had a sparkling apple cider – they didn’t charge us for that either, but we declined the 3 other glasses of wine.
Service was good and friendly, but the two waitresses were overwhelmed with the full dining room – that’s why it was very difficult to get their attention during the meal.
Groupon says you can buy a voucher for this deal every 30 days, so I’m planning to go again next month.
2955 Telegraph Ave
M-Su 11:30 AM – 10 PM
I ordered pizza from Angelina’s Pizzeria while staying at The Signature in Las Vegas. It was an OK experience. The pizza is thin crusted and pretty generic. One of my daughter’s loved it, the other one wasn’t happy with it. I thought it was OK. I also got a meatballs sub which was very generic as well.
Delivery was $4 and it took over an hour – but they delivered all the way up to the room.
I would probably try a different place next time, but this was one was adequate enough. Angelina’s has five restaurants in Las Vegas.
5025 S Eastern Ave
Las Vegas, NV
We stopped by India Oven / Indian Masala for lunch on a Thursday night in late July, 2017 and enjoyed their lunch buffet. It was pretty generic as far as Indian lunch buffets go, which is not a bad thing.
The restaurant is a fusion of two different Indian restaurants, Indian Oven and Indian Masala, and it does not seem to have decided upon a name so it’s using both. Hey, it’s Vegas, why not? It sits in a small strip mall but the inside is rather nice, it could even pass for elegant if it didn’t have a buffet.
The buffet included a small salad bar, made-to-order naan (choice between plain, butter or garlic), had a couple of appetizers (vegetable pakoras and samosas), soup/daal (if I remember correctly), rice and vegetable rice and four each vegetarian and meat entrees. It most certainly did not have all the dishes they claim to offer in their website, not even close. I tried the four meat dishes and was fairly pleased. The chicken tikka masala had a very nice flavor, slightly spicy, but deep. I enjoyed it. The goat and chicken curry both seemed to have the same sauce, it was good but not a favorite. The chicken tandoori was juicy and very flavorful. My daughter was less happy with the paneer dish she had, but it wasn’t one she usually eats (there was no paneer tikka masala).
The buffet also includes drinks, and my daughters liked the lemonade and the mango lassi, which was more like a thin mango drink than a lassi.
Service was fairly good, though they initially tried to charge my husband for a buffet even though he had clearly not eaten anything (he was sick). Dinner for the four of us (I was there with three tweens), came up to a little over $50 after tax.
Given the plethora of Indian restaurants in Vegas, I’d probably try a different one next time, but this is certainly good enough to visit again.
India Oven Restaurant
India Masala & Bar Grill
1040 E Flamingo Rd
Las Vegas, NV
Open 11.30am to 3pm – 5pm to 10pm
Every year we get a Buffet of Buffets deal when we visit Vegas, and it’s become our costume to go to the Paradise Garden Buffet for a light lunch. I like visiting the Flamingo Habitat, and the buffet overlooks it. Really, the view is the best thing about this buffet. The food is terrible.
The Flamingo is now offering a weekday brunch buffet, instead of separate breakfast and lunch buffets. The offerings are mostly breakfast stuff, pancakes and eggs, sausages and breakfast meats (ham, turkey and sausages – no beef) but they do have made-to-order omelettes and pancakes as well as one cold-cut sandwich, which was rather good. They also have pizzas, which my youngest daughter absolutely loved, and not-bad fried chicken and pork loin. They have made-to-order crepes, but they only offer sweet crepes and the quality of the ingredients left much to be desired. They cannot be compared to those at the Paris’ buffet.
The Flamingo no longer offers a chocolate fountain. It was awful and my daughter doesn’t like chocolate, but she loved seeing it. She wasn’t happy it was gone.
All in all, this is a buffet I would not pay to go to.
Paradise Garden Buffet
3555 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV
Weekday/Weekend Brunch 7 AM – 2 PM daily: $22/25, Children 4-9 yo: $11
F-Sa Dinner Buffet 5-10 PM: $30
This review is from our trip to Las Vegas in August 2014.
The Flamingo hotel is one of the cheapest of Caesar’s properties, and its buffet gets some of the worst reviews. However, it has large windows with views of the flamingo habitat outside, and who doesn’t love flamingos? So armed with our buffet of buffet passes, we headed there – via taxi – a Friday around 3:30 PM in August 2014.
The restaurant was open (it now closes at 2 PM), but the server in charge of the section by the windows had not shown up and they didn’t want to seat us there. After quite a lot of pleading and a request to speak with the manager, they made do and sat us in that section. Given that we had come specifically for the flamingo experience, I really was not willing to accept anything else. The first dining room – the closest to the entrance -, where we were seated, has the best view of the habitat as that’s where the flamingos hang out.
Other than the view, there is absolutely nothing to recommend this buffet. First of all, it’s fairly small consisting mostly of American fare. Nothing looked particularly appetizing to me, so all I got was some prime rib and a cilantro chicken wing. The beef was surprisingly good for a buffet – better than the one served at the Paris and Planet Hollywood – in that it wasn’t dry. The chicken was also tasty. So if you do go for the flamingos, these two items are safe to eat.
One of my daughters did enjoy the sushi and the cold shrimp and the other one did fairly well with the pasta, but they are kids. My dad, found both the roast turkey with gravy and the fried chicken very dry.
Desserts were a little better. Skip the chocolate fountain if it’s working. It may look cool but the chocolate syrup tastes like cocoa powder. The cupcakes weren’t a big hit, but the little pudding cups were good. Some of the pastries were also OK. My youngest daughter liked the cotton candy.
All in all, we wouldn’t go back for the food, but the view made it worth it – at least as part of the buffet of buffet deal. I would not pay for it otherwise.
We visit Las Vegas every year, tagging along with my husband who goes to a conference, and we start our visit by getting a Buffet of Buffets pass and hitting several of the buffets that are included. Flavors has never been a favorite, but this year Spice Island at the Planet Hollywood was mostly closed and the Rio’s buffet didn’t seem to be worth traveling to. We hit Harrah’s buffet for dinner, and it was worse than I remembered.
I started with the New York steak, though the roast was so grayish that I wasn’t particularly sure that’s what I was getting when I asked for a slice. It was flavorful enough, but it lack juiciness. I had a slice of roasted pork which was as pedestrian, a very generic piece of beef with snap peas, and not much else. My daughter was very disappointed with the pizza. My husband ate mostly shrimp. The bread pudding wasn’t bad for dessert, but the ice cream was so low quality that even my daughters (who are not exactly picky in this department) rejected it. Instead try the canoli, which was actually quite tasty.
My favorite part of this buffet is that you can actually get your own drinks so you don’t have to wait for them to be refilled. That’s sad.
Again, this is not a buffet I’d pay for or bother going to again. Others seem to feel the same way. We got there around 6:15 PM on a Friday night and we didn’t have to wait in line to get in.
Flavors The Buffet
Harrah’s Las Vegas
475 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV
Weekday Breakfast $21/12, Weekend Breakfast $23/12, Weekday Lunch $23/16, Weekend Brunch $28/16, Weekday Dinner $28/16, Weekend dinner $30/16. Groupon deal often available. Children price = 10 & under, Total Rewards members save $1. Available with the Buffet of Buffets pass.
This review is from July 2012.
This is probably the first breakfast buffet I’ve had aside from those that are complimentary at some hotels, and I was very happy with it. It offers plenty of choices – your standard American fare, some Mexican and Chinese stuff (though the latter seemed like left overs from the night before) and plenty of sweets. That’s what I went for, and I was quiet happy.
The mini lemon cheesecakes, raspberry pudding cups, cheese blitz and apple crepes were all excellent – you’d be happy if you got them at a 5-star restaurant. Also nice were the bread pudding with vanilla sauce, the cinnamon roll and the brownie. Less successful was the custard (not sweet enough), the croissants (a bit dry) and the bacon (good flavor but dried out). The sausages, on the other hand, were great. Skip the heavy, cakey doughnuts and the chewy bagels, though there is lox if you want them. The pancakes and French toast could have been better, I wouldn’t bother with them. The biscuits were good, but look for the ones in the warm tray.
Don’t skip the fruit, while the strawberries were tasteless, the watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon were perfectly ripe and sweet – they were a hit with my husband and kids. The pineapple was the canned type, but my youngest enjoyed it.
There is also a carving station (ham, I think) and make-to-order omelets, which we didn’t try. You can order ice cream as well – I wasn’t too fond of the strawberry one.
As for drinks, the coffee was fine, the hot cocoa standard, I felt the chocolate milk was weak but my daughter liked it.
The minus part of the buffet is that we got it as part of the “Buffet of buffets” deal, but we were so full after eating it that we couldn’t take advantage of the lunch buffet that was included in the price.
We have been going to Le Village Buffet at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas annually for several years. My kids love going there and insist that it be part of our annual trip (my husband goes for a conference, I go for the pool, the kids just come along). In these years, I’ve noticed a substantial decline. We visit it with a Buffet of Buffets pass, which means we pay about $20+tax per person for the meal. For that, it’s not a bad deal. But at the $32 full price, it’s not in the least justifiable.
We visited Le Village Buffet both for a weekday dinner and breakfast last week. I noticed the dinner buffet to be poorer and less French than in previous years. Gone was the tri-tip from the Savoy section, for example, replaced by roasted cauliflower! You could still get chicken or sausage, but no beef. The prime rib had been replaced by roast beef – it had a nice flavor and it was a large piece, but it wasn’t special. There was no roasted lamb or pork belly. There was duck a l’orange, but it was a failure. Once again the meat was too dry and the flavor lacking to justify the dish. I was sorry I tried it. If they are going to kill a duck, they should honor it by cooking it properly. Mashed potatoes and mushrooms were good, but pedestrian.
A mushroom crepe, cooked with cheese and sprinkled with some sort of truffle sort, OTOH, was delicious. I did have to wait for half an hour to get it – the Paris was apparently too cheap to have two crepemakers working on tandem -, but at least I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the leftovers of my daughter’s caprese crepe (but note that the mozarella they use is not fresh, despite their claims). She liked the truffled mac & cheese.
Desserts, as usual, did not awe, but some were OK. Mostly not worth the calories, however.
Breakfast for me the next morning was a strawberry ricotta crepe. The wait wasn’t as long, but again they could have used a second crepe-maker. The crepe was delicious – but not worth the $22 price, even if we add the average coffee and non-fresh orange juice that I also consumed. But the crepe was too filling to want to eat anything else. My daughter had the cookie dough crepe which she felt was really good but too sweet. The more traditional banana/nutella crepe was also good.
The choices for crepes (same for dinner and breakfast) have also gone down. They used to have mixed berries and sliced hazelnuts available in the past, but they do no longer.
Note that Le Village Buffet is the only buffet in Vegas that accepts Open Table reservations. Make them and save yourself the line.
Le Village Buffet at the Paris Hotel & Casino
3665 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV
Weekday Breakfast $22/13, Weekend Breakfast $24/15, Weekday Lunch $25/15, Weekend Brunch $31/20, Weekday Dinner $31/18, Weekend Dinner $31/20. Groupon deal often available. Available with Buffet of Buffets pass.
The following review is from 2014
For years, Le Village Buffet at the Paris Hotel and Casino was my favorite buffet in Vegas. I appreciated the combination of French classics and regional dishes, and looked forward to tasting dishes that I don’t encounter that often otherwise. My daughters love the atmosphere – the buffet is decorated so that you feel you are eating al fresco in a French village square. However, my last visits to the buffet – for dinner and breakfast in August 2014 – were really disappointing, and I don’t look forward to going back.
We went to dinner at 8 PM, later than in previous occasions, but not what I would consider particularly late for Las Vegas. The place was hopping and there were enough people in line that I was happy we had made a reservation through Open Table and were sat immediately (however, we were put in the non-decorated room near the bathroom, nor a particularly nice dining location). The food, however, left much to be desired. They were out of several dishes and the quality and taste were inferior to previous occasions.
This time I started with the cavatappi with truffle sauce, which I had raved about the previous year. It was almost as good. The duck a l’orange was overcooked and a little tough, but not too greasy and the orange sauce was good. Scalloped potatoes were as good as I remembered – as was the tri-tip.
Other dishes were a failure. Both the prime rib and the stuffed lamb were dry, the former was also chewy. The mac & cheese had peas instead of bacon, and even my 9-year old didn’t like it. The sole was cooked Florentine style this time, and also seemed dry. They were out of quiche. The pork belly, which had been served in a cute individual plate last year, now had the texture and flavor of pork shoulder, but still managed to feel dry in my mouth. I usually like my dishes salty, but I felt most of the meat was oversalted.
For dessert I had a made-to-order crepe with mixed berries (they were out of strawberries) and bananas inside, and caramel sauce, powdered sugar, whipped cream and candied hazelnuts outside. It was outstanding, delicious, perfect. I would much recommend.
The creme brulee was also quite good, and there was a square cheesecake with berry fruit inside which was also delicious. Other cheesecakes weren’t, but I didn’t try too many of the desserts.
Service was good, but all in all, I didn’t think it was a particularly noteworthy meal.
Breakfast the following morning was also disappointing – or would have been if I had paid full price for it. None of the pastries looked appetizing, they weren’t French and they were served cold. My daughter likened them to pastries from Costco. We didn’t actually try them, however, so perhaps they tasted better than they looked. My daughter had a muffin and enjoyed them.
My husband said the slab bacon was pretty good. They have a wide assortment of savory dishes, but I prefer sweet fare in the morning. I had one of their #1 crepes, with banana and nutella, and it was very good. However, there is a creperie right outside selling crepes for $11, which is a better deal than the breakfast buffet.
The coffee was OK, the orange juice was low-quality bottled stuff.
We’ll be staying at the Paris again this year, so I may still give the restaurant a try if I get a good daily deal. Regular price for Total Rewards members vary from $23 to $34 depending on meal and day.
August 2013 review
I will admit that what keeps us returning to Le Village is, more than anything, the setting. The buffet is made to look as if you are eating in the middle of a French village, under the late afternoon sky. Sure, it’s a little bit Disneyesque, but charming nonetheless and a huge favorite of my oldest daughter, Mika, now age 11.
We wouldn’t go back to Le Village if the food wasn’t good, however, and indeed the food here is at least a notch or two above that of other buffets. Not everything is a winner, of course, but there are enough wonderful dishes to keep any French food lover happy.
The buffet is divided in stations which purport to present dishes from different regions of France. In addition to these, there is a large salad, soup and seafood station as well as a dessert station. The food at the regional stations is not always true to the provinces it represents, but they at least try to make the effort.
During both of our most recent stays, we enjoyed the grilled meats in the Savoie station. They are nicely seasoned and cooked, just make sure to forgo the sauces. Don’t miss the cheeses at this station either.
Next to it, the Brittany station specializes in crepes. They have both savory and sweet offerings. I haven’t tried the savory yet, but make sure you leave room for a sweet crepe at the end of your meal. They are very, very good. I particularly enjoy the hazelnuts on top.
The Normandy station specializes in seafood, and if you must have sushi while at Le Village here is where you’d find it. I had the stuffed sole instead, which was very good. I hadn’t enjoyed the quiche when I had it in 2012, but by 2013 it had become more flavorful.
No Vegas buffet can survive without the obligatory carved-to-order roasts and other American traditional foods, and Le Village has decided to place this in the Burgundy station. The prime rib was very good, so I guess I can’t really complain. The mac & cheese was lacking back in 2012, but by 2013 it was made with brie and bacon and could satisfy both kids and grownups alike.
Food in Alsace also got better. In addition to the traditional bakeoff, this year there was an amazing pork belly, fork tender and extremely flavorful. Don’t miss it and get some scalloped potatoes and caramelized onions while you’re at it.
I’ve always left the Provence station for last, but perhaps next time I should change that. The cavatappi pasta in truffle sauce I had this year was, easily, the best dish I had in Vegas. It would not be out of place at a 5-star restaurant and I think next time I’ll begin by having half a plate of it. Alas, I remember this same dish lacking the year before so hopefully my good experience wasn’t a fluke.
Dessert wise, if you must try something other than a crepe (and you probably must), Le Village does a particular good job with its chocolate pastries and its creme brulee. The kids like the frozen custard, very much like soft ice cream.
When we were there, Le Village also offered an “all you can drink wine, champagne or mimosas” for $14. According to their website, they’ve now changed this to all-you-can-drink Blue Moon or Miller Lite beer, house red and white wine or bloody marys for $12. The house wines are undrinkable, however, so unless you really like Blue Moon (which I haven’t tried), you may want to stick with water or soda.
Service was competent both times we went, however it was much friendlier the second time. She got a much better tip.
The one issue I have with Le Village buffet is that it’s rather expensive. It’s between $30 and $33 for dinner ($3 off if you have a Total Rewards card) for adults and $18 to $20 for children, but Le Village defines as an “adult”anyone over the age of 8. I hope that they don’t apply the same standards to their labor practices. In any case, I wouldn’t pay full price to go to Le Village, but keep your eye on groupon for special deals (we got dinner and unlimited drinks for 2 for $45). Le Village also participates in the Buffet of Buffets deal.
July 2012 Review
My husband and I love French food and had been happy enough with our last experience at the Paris Buffet (back at the turn of the millennium), that we decided to give it a try again for dinner when we visited Las Vegas last month (July 2012). This despite the fact that the buffet now gets mixed reviews. In all, I have to say we were pretty happy and it was easily the best of the four other buffets we ate in Vegas using our Buffet of Buffets pass (Planet Hollywood, the Rio, Harrah’s and Main Street Station).
Three things make the Paris buffet special. One is the Disneyiske setting, in an open-air plaza, under a fake sky, surrounded by cute French-looking houses. My kids loved it, but so did I. A second is the fact that the food actually tries to be regional French, it doesn’t always succeed, but it’s a valiant effort. Finally, it’s the fact that the menu is limited enough to at least give you a chance to try everything you want to try (not everything there is, of course). I tried a lot of stuff.
The food stands are divided by French region, though there is a station dedicated to soup, salads and seafood and another to desserts. I tried the French Onion soup here and was underwhelmed. The onions had not been caramelized enough and the broth was too weak.
The first region I visited was Provence. Here I tasted some beef braised in a dark sauce. My husban liked it quiet a bit, but I felt the dish needed some sweetness, some wine in the sauce or caramelization on the beef. The saffron rice tasted like plain buttered rice, it was good but there were no hints of saffron. A dish of pasta in a cream sauce was quite satisfying, though I think it would have been helped by some grated cheese on top. A stewed chicken gave a hint of having been cooked in wine, but otherwise lacked seasoning.
My next region was Alsace, a region in the border with Germany that has gone back and forth between the two countries. I’ve both eaten and cooked Alsatian food before and I’m quite fond of it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t too fond of the chocroute garni, the meat was a tad too sweet and too spicy for me, while the pickled cabbage was too vinegary for my taste. The rest of the offerings were better, but not Alsatian. The cassoulet was nicely done and the meat was flavorful,the caramelized pearl onions were delicious, though a little underdone, and the scalloped potatoes were wonderful.
My venture into Savoie (a region I don’t know at all) was even more successful. Here I tried the grilled pita bread, lamb, tri-tip and chicken – apparently they like to grill in Savoie. They were all great, in particular the lamb and the tri-tip. Don’t bother with the chateubriand sauce, however, it wasn’t that good and would have ruined the meats.
This station also includes a sample of cheeses. The smoked gouda (or a cheese that tastes as such) was particularly delicious.
Normandy offered a stuffed sole which I loved. It had a beautiful crust and a delicious flavor, once you added a squeeze of lemon juice. Mike wasn’t as fond of it, and I can’t really understand why. The ham and cheese quiche was less successful, it tasted very much of Parmessan. There is also a small sushi section, but I didn’t try that at all.
Finally, I was surprised that there was neither beef bourguignon nor coq au vin in the Burgundy section but I then realized that this was actually the American station. Here you can find rotisserie chicken (I didn’t try it), prime rib (very good), roasted pork with apples (so salty as to make it inedible), roasted and mashed potatoes (good enough) and mac & cheese (lacked flavor).
For dessert, I first headed to the Breton section where you could try apple crisp and bread pudding (homey, but nothing to write home about) as well as made-to-order crepes. The crepes were the standard French variety, rather than Breton buckwheat galettes, but they were delicious. I had mine with strawberries and bananas covered with fudge and hazelnuts. The one problem is that the strawberries were already macerated and too sweet, so make sure you add some element to compensate for that. Still, it was sooo good.
We also visited the dessert station and here I tried several things. There was a chocolate mousse pastry on a hazelnut crust which was delicious and a lemon cookie sandwich that was out of this world. The other desserts impressed less. The cheesecake was less inspired that at other buffets and the creme brulet lacked umf. I liked the peanut butter cookie, but the sugar cookie was nothing special. The kids loved the soft custard (aka ice cream).
I had the unlimited mimosas/champagne/wine deal for dinner ($14, I think), and it’s a good deal if you’re planning to drink alcohol and are not too picky about quality. I enjoyed the mimosas and the champagne. The wine tasted like $2 chuck and I would definitely not have it again.
Probably the worst part of the evening was our waitress. She was efficient but seemed to be having a crappy night and there was never a hint of smile on her face. I’m sorry, but dining is an experience and unhappy waitresses bring it down a notch.
All in all this is a good buffet and I’d definitely do it again.
I’ve been a fan of Delights in previous trips, but we skipped it this time. The menu has been greatly reduced and the prices have gone up. A simple coffee is now $4, a 12-oz fountain soda filled of ice is $5, and a tiny bottle of Fiji water or Pellegrino is $6!
Food is more reasonable, but those prices are just unconscionable.
This blog post was written in 2015
Food in Las Vegas is expensive, and nowhere more so than at the hotels where captive audiences allow restaurants to charge outrageous prices without even flinching. Even the restaurants at the hotel food courts are expensive, with a low-quality fast food meal reaching around $10. In this context, the Delights Deli at the Signature suites is really a delight. It has high-quality, delicious food at very reasonable prices.
I’ve eaten there several times during both my stays at the Signature. I’ve had their sandwiches, pizza and pastas (all around $12). They come in generous portions, and they pack them well to bring to your room. I had the cajun chicken alfredo last time, which was tasty but a bit spicy. The pizza is traditional, Italian-sytle thin pizza. Pretty good and well priced. They also have breakfast dishes.
They are open daily 7 am to 9 pm, and you can browse at their menu online. However, you can only order in person. Beware that wait to get your meal prepared can take long, even at non-peak times. There is a nice, casual dining room if you want to eat-in.
at the Signature suites
145 East Harmon Avenue
Las Vegas, NV
I’ve written about restaurants deals in San Leandro and the Bay Area before, but new places offering deals have come around, so I thought it was time for an updated posting. These are the deal sites I’ve found, if you know of others please let me know!
Get $25 gift certificates to local restaurants for as little as $2. Minimum purchase (usually $35-$50) required. Other restrictions. Click on link above for details.
The original “daily deals” service. You sign up and you get an offer for a good or service, often at a deep discount. Relatively few restaurant deals but they have the occasional one.
These are the coupons you get in the mail. I thought it was the same site as the one above, but they have different offerings. The link goes to the deals for San Leandro, but they have them for all over (just enter your zip code).
Also check the website of the particular restaurant you want to go to. Some (pizza & Chinese joints in particular) will have coupons there or clubs that you can join for special deals.
Pools coupons from the sites above