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bacchanal buffet underwhelming

Discussion in 'Restaurants & Buffets' started by chef, Apr 27, 2017.

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  1. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Finally, after a couple of aborted attempts the last year or so, I made it to Bacchanal. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I left disappointed.
    The two major drawbacks were bland flavors and cold/lukewarm food.
    I preface this by saying I ate at non-dinner hours, when many of the heavy-hitter items are not found. None-the-less, a $39 ($29 earlybird pre 10:00 am) brunch should rank with the tops of any Vegas buffet.
    I did not find this to be the case. Sadly, I had better experiences at some of the value-based Stations buffets.
    What Stations does that Bacchanal does not is at least keep its food relatively hot. A disturbing trend among Strip Vegas buffets is found with individual servings, probably instigated by the Cosmo.
    Stations does not try to be cute, but rather accepts buffet preparation and service for what its intended design is - bulk quantities of food, preferrably good-tasting, to the masses.
    As my friend ken2v attests - fancy dining it ain't.
    That's the impression I had with Bacchanal with all its small dish shapes and sizes. A buffet is not about the presentation, but the food.
    Speaking of such:
    Prime rib was completely flavorless, making me wish I was at the Cal coffee shot eating the $9.95 special instead.
    Crawfish was standard Vegas buffet quality - dry, tiny and flavorless.
    Chilled crab claws were also without flavor.
    Red velvet pancakes - never tried them and after eating those, see no reason to ever eat them again.
    Save the eggs benny for restaurant sit-down service. They don't keep on a buffet and Bacchanal's version of lobster benedict was evidence of that.
    An individual ravioli in cream sauce had potential, but why serve it in that form when it cools off so rapidly.
    On a sidenote, all Vegas buffets put food out too far in advance instead of trying to cook/serve to demand. That could be the nature of a bureaucratic kitchen workforce and screws with a place like Bacchanal trying to offer a restaurant approach to a buffet.
    I know trendy places want to get away from the steamtable mentality, but that how a buffet work best.
    Back to the food:
    A Chinese-based soup wasn't any different that what is found on other buffets. And like the serving bowl of steamed clams sitting out on the counter without heat underneath it, temps were lukewarm. Both tasted okay, but nothing special.
    The truffled pizza was fine, but not distinctive. Mussels were served smoked and regular and a "cheaper cut of meat" when it comes to seafood. Meh.
    Cold shrimp (one of the most overrated food items anywhere) was adequate. but at least had a remoulade sauce to go with.
    Not much of a salad selection. Maybe that picks up at night.
    The above are examples of items I tried that left me uninspired. To be honest, I can't come up with that one dish that strongly appealed to me. Don't get me wrong. This isn't a bad buffet.
    However, it does not live up to its hype. In fact, the there was no wait to get in at 9:45 am and the dining room was relatively quiet throughout the lunch hour.
    If I had to pick a fave part, it was the chilled watermelon and carrot juice.
     
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  2. meyers67

    meyers67 VIP Whale

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    It may have just been a bad one time experience. I had it twice last trip and was happy. Many food critics put it at or near the top of the Vegas buffets.
     
  3. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 VIP Whale

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    I also felt that the food could have been warmer when we ate there last year. I had dinner using my diamond credit and remember thinking I was glad I didn't pay out of pocket.In fairness we were planning on going to a steakhouse that night but the wife was not very hungry so we decided on the buffet instead. I will most likely give it another shot this October.

    Mark
     
  4. vegasnut

    vegasnut VIP Whale

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    I never did the breakfast at bacchanal, only the dinner ones and they were really good i found the price a little bit steep though( about50$)
     
    vegasnuts going nuts again
  5. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Appreciate Chef's post. I have eaten at this buffet four times (mostly because I am not much of a fan of the other current dining options at CP) and I have not had a bad experience, but I was underwhelmed on all but one of those experiences.

    I actually do not mind the individual serving phenomenon, but I agree that there are real questions about the quality and temperature of many of the offerings. Whenever someone lists this buffet as one of the best, I am perplexed. I am not a huge fan of buffets generally, but IMO, Wynn and (to a lesser extent) Cosmo are the only two worth going out of your way to try.

    I will say that I had a good experience at the CP buffet a few weeks ago on easter Sunday. As expected, they jacked up the price for the holiday and added a few different items (although not really enough to justify the inflated price). But for whatever reason, the food was particularly good that day. The same dishes I had tried there in the past were better and more flavorful. Maybe they put forth an extra effort for the holiday. If so, they need to do that every day
     
  6. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    I prefer the individual servings.

    I've had this buffet 3 or 4 times and have been happy with it but the last time (brunch just like Chef) I wasn't all that happy with it. I had no problems with the food temp but the quality was lacking compared to my previous visits.
     
  7. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

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    Good to know.

    I really don't get the logic behind paying $30 for this, even for breakfast, when there are loads of good, filling meals to be had on the Strip at that price. Let alone the dinner price.
     
  8. GeorgeG

    GeorgeG Tourist

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    So here is my review.

    I ate at bacchanal four times during my trip last week. First it was stupid of me to pay $75 for the Easter lunch buffet. But I was starving having not had anything all day, went in at 3:00 ish. Bad time to go since food had been sitting out for quite a while. The beef brisket wasn't smoked just baked and too tough and fatty to eat. The Prime rib was flavorless, meatballs were good but cold. Suckling pig was great if you got the fresh but the older that had sat under the heat lamp was dried out. Watermelon with balsamic vinegar and feta chase was good. Lot of fresh seafood, but I don't do seafood so wasted on me.

    Went to the breakfast buffet three other times between 8:30 -10:10 used the LVA coupon twice to reduce the price. Also tried to get there before 10:00 so could get it for $29.95 before coupon.

    Was better than the Easter buffet but still weak for what paid. They were not changing out items, just dumping fresh on top of the old. Hash browns, bacon, eggs, etc. Got an omelette from the omelet station and it was overcooked and cooked at too high a temperature so the outside was tough.
    Bacon on one day was totally dried out and over cooked. Also the sausages.

    I found that if I was careful I could find things that were great, if they had just been put out. Found excellent steak pizza, pepper steak, the ham and pork belly on the carving station was very good.

    But it's too expensive for the quality of the food, they need to pull items off the line when they have dried out. Desert options were very weak compared to M Resort even.

    Photo's

    https://goo.gl/photos/SD7Y2ohtNdq6oNvg8
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  9. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

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    Anyone use the LVA $10.00 coupon along with the reduced price to bring it down to $19.99? Will they allow that?
     
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  10. justmare

    justmare High-Roller

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    I've eaten at Bacchanal too many times to recall the number. It's been very good sometimes and at other times, very bad. I have not at all been impressed with breakfast.

    My go-to items for dinner are the shrimp and crab. I prefer the crab cold, but there have been times they've put it out directly from the freezer. They should be a bit more prepared and have it thawed at least. With the shrimp and crab I enjoy a little green salad, and as someone mentioned, the salad offerings leave a lot to be desired.

    The other thing I have to go for are the street tacos. LOVE them, but eating street tacos at a buffet with that price tag definitely leaves you with a not-getting-what-you-paid-for mindset. I wish they had a little window outside the buffet that just served those street tacos for a couple bucks each. I would probably eat them every day I was in house!

    I agree that the dessert offerings are kind of poor. I normally grab a small scoop of vanilla gelato and a chocolate covered strawberry. The rest doesn't do much for me. Even the cookies are just so-so.

    I'm a very simple eater, so my views are probably not the norm.
     
  11. vegasdev

    vegasdev VIP Whale

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    "The two major drawbacks were bland flavors and cold/lukewarm food"
    that is always my complaint about most buffets. I like my hot foods hot and my cold items cold. I think sometimes they are afraid of lawsuits from someone getting burned. or maybe they are just stupid.
    I think the bacchanal buffet started out strong, but CET is not known for being consistent on quality in any department.
     
  12. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Yes, that is what I did. Stayed from 9:45 am - 11:30.
     
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  13. drfishalot

    drfishalot Low-Roller

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    I have eaten there once about 2 yrs ago, there was no line, got there right before dinner, food was hot, but not memorable, haven't been back. the Bellagio buffet is getting tired but is still my go-to
     
  14. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Chef,

    Sorry you had a poor experience. I have been twice, was able to duck the extremely long lines with Diamond entrance, but since I no longer gamble at CET (and limited gambling to occasional poker at this point), will likely not return due to the expensive price, crazy lines, The buffet is far better than the previous Caesars' Buffet which was both expensive and marginal / poor.

    Both of my trips were in the evening. I liked the quality cheese, the soup offerings. Oyster and crab selections decent, warmth was hit or miss. Liked the sliders and crepes. Had very good service, but that could have been due to Diamond section eating. Overall a good buffet, but not a good value and not worth the time between line and dining.

    I have been staying more off strip these days, but when I am on the Strip, the buffet I choose is Bellagio weekday just before the start of dinner pricing. Being on Central time, it works out perfect. Like the Red Rock breakfast buffet on weekdays (weekends too crowded).
     
  15. BenjaminNicholas

    BenjaminNicholas Low-Roller

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    For breakfast, I'd recommend The Peppermill over anything a buffet could provide
     
  16. Gino

    Gino "The King of Inappropriate."

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    I got food poisoning at the old Caesars buffet once, which speaks volumes about how bad the food was that I had eaten..Hell prior to thatI had eaten the buffet at The Boardwalk numerous times and never been sick..lol..Kinda been wanting to try Bacchanal despite that since they opened in 2012.
     
    Reno to Las Vegas...and other places in between..
  17. TehRed

    TehRed Low-Roller

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    I've been twice and not personally had any issues either time. In fact, the last time I went I had some absolutely superb mexican food (for my tastes at least)
     
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