Ever been to a "good" buffet?

Most buffets emphasize quantity over quality. Yes, there is lots of food but often little is very good.

Wife and I went to a chinese buffet last night. I like those because I can never get enough crab rangoon. Anyhow the food was a big disappointment and on top of that, the price was double because they had crab legs and other seafood (like shrimp and squid). But I dont like those.

Honestly we havent done a buffet in a few years because we dont like to overeat.

In my life the only “good” buffets have been at Pizza Ranch, which has lots of fried chicken, good pizza, and other items on their buffet. And their is an Italian and a Middle Eastern buffet near us which is pretty good.

So have you ever been to a good buffet?

Most buffets I’ve been to I would consider ‘good’, even the cheap ones. I love chinese buffets because I like all the chicken (esp general tsos) as well as crab rangoons.

But most buffets I’ve been to have been good. The ones that aren’t I only visit once.

I’ve only been to a handful of great buffets though, and those are usually more expensive (around $20 a person) but still worth it.

Ironically I’ve been to a pizza ranch in Iowa city and wasn’t impressed by it.

The Wynn Casino, Vegas - expensive but worth it.

I’ve been to lots of good buffets, even great ones. Thing is, they aren’t $10 buffets. The $10 buffets are okay when I’m with a group of people who want to eat cheap and can’t all agree on some other cheap meal but they aren’t anything I’d choose - I fell like I can get better food for $10 in a non-buffet place. The best buffet I ever went to was at a catering hall - every Wednesday they had the “Italian wedding” buffet. I think it was $30 person 15 years ago. Casino buffets are generally good- but they tend to be $20-$50 depending on the location, the day, the meal etc

Plenty. The one I’ve been to the most is the Borgota buffet in Atlantic City. The casino buffets I’ve been to range from decent to excellent.

The Polish buffets are usually pretty decent, and cheap. Until about ten years ago, there was one in my neck of the woods called Bobak’s where you could stuff yourself silly for about $10. Polish food happens to work well buffet style. It’s a lot of sausages, stuffed pasta (pierogi), dumplings, sauerkraut, pork chops, potatoes, etc.

Also, the Indian buffets I’ve been to all seem to be pretty decent. Once again, many of those types of foods stand up well to the buffet treatment.

Like 15-17 years ago, my aunt took me to brunch buffet in Silver Spring, MD (or thereabouts). I had been expecting something on par with Old Country Buffet, so I was floored. That food was off the chain, which is why I remember all these years later. But I can’t remember the name of the place.

A few, actually.

Back “home” in Springfield, Illinois there’s a place that has a Sunday brunch buffet. It’s not going to win any James Beard Awards, but it’s worth what you pay for it and then some. Also in Springfield is a hotel that has a mini buffet (1-2 soups, 2-3 entrees, 3-4 sides, etc) whenever the chef feels like it. Again, it’s not going to earn a Michelin Star, but it’s leaps & bounds better than most other buffets.

I’ve also had delicious buffets on cruise ships, at Walt Disney World, at riverboat casinos, and at the Wynn in Vegas.

Buffets in Las Vegas are generally excellent.

I used to like Old Country Buffet while they were here. They had a good selection and the food didn’t stay out too long.

Telemark’s example was a good one.

We usually only eat buffets in Vegas, and we are pretty picky there. The best ones are Wynn, Studio B at M Resort, Wicked Spoon at Cosmopolitan and Bacchanal at Caesars.

Around here the trend is for a really good Chinese buffet to open, build up a good rep, and then be sold to family members who promptly cheap out and run the place into the ground in a year. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I’ve occasionally had pretty good buffet dinners. The best, back in the day was at a branch of the New Orleans House in Lexington, KY where you could load up on raw oysters and other goodies. They eventually went out of business and the reason isn’t hard to explain - it was too good for what they charged.

Chinese food buffets are a mixed bag. And I’ve gotten leery of potential food poisoning hazards in stuff that sits out a long time.

One thing I will never partake of again - a Thanksgiving restaurant buffet. I’ve done that twice; the first time was OK, the second time there was a huge line, not so fabulous food and no opportunity to get seconds. Not very relaxing when you’re spending a large proportion of the time on your feet.

I’ve been to some excellent breakfast buffets in hotels. One in Helsinki was so excellent (and the food in Helsinki so expensive) that we basically ate two meals every morning, and skipped lunch. That may have been a bad idea because the kids got a little cranky mid-afternoon.

Indian buffets are usually good. The food holds up well to sitting on a steam table, and it all costs about the same, so you don’t really pay a surcharge for it – and you get more variety.

I went to one of the touted buffets in Vegas, and didn’t like it at all. Second-rate smoked salmon, second-rate shrimp, mediocre fillet… for the same price I could have gotten a reasonable portion of excellent food, instead of free access to tons of expensive stuff that wasn’t as good as it should have been. If I had been younger and poorer and hungrier when I went, I probably would have liked it more.

Boma at Walt Disney World is pretty good. I’d still rather eat at Jiko around the corner, but its more atmosphere than food.

And I agree that Indian buffets are really good.

Seconded. I can’t say that I’ve hit ALL the buffets in Vegas, but the Wynn is definitely the best I’ve been to.

I disagree. To each his own, but to me, most buffets in Vegas are mediocre. The typical buffet may have one or two “good” items, but the rest are generally kind of lame - like school cafeteria lame. The difference from the school cafeteria food is that the buffet food tends to “look” better.
This is why a buffet like the Wynn really sticks out.

The Grand Concourse, in Station Square, Pittsburgh. We’ve been there for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and sometimes for brunch. It costs the same as, or even a bit less than, a meal at someplace like Ruth Chris, and boy do you get your money’s worth.

Holiday meals have the usual lineup (turkey, ham, roast beef, sides), plus a huge assortment of desserts (cheesecake bites, yay!), including an ice cream bar and donuts made on site. I love to watch the machine work. Brunch has pancakes and French toast and waffles made fresh, eggs and omelets made to order, bacon, hash browns and so forth, an assortment of fruit juice, an array of muffins/breads, and the same dessert panoply, including the ice cream bar and donut machine. Alcohol is the only thing that’s not included in the flat rate, but it’s available. And of course we tip generously!

We’re not going for T’giving this year because we’ve been invited somewhere, but we’re doing the brunch on the Sunday before Christmas. I usually semi-fast for two days beforehand. The first time we did T’giving there, we almost didn’t make it back to the car. If not for the coin-op massage chairs in the shopping center we walked through on the way, we might well have collapsed and been found comatose.

So, yeah, if you’re ever in Pittsburgh, try to work in brunch at the Grand Concourse. It’s a refurbished train station, and it’s stunning just for the architecture. And the view from the River Room.

I’ve been to the Cosmopolitan buffet in Vegas, and can testify it was excellent.
Christmas day we went to a buffet in a hotel in New Orleans which was amazing.
When our kids were little we went to brunch buffets at Scanticon and the Hyatt on Route 1 in Princeton, both of which were excellent.
And when I was in Madrid my hotel had a breakfast buffet which must have covered an acre, with about fifty types of meats not to mention other things.
Most buffets are mediocre, and you have to find the one or two good things, but great buffets exist.

(Re: Grand Concourse, I should have said, all this is three- or four-star quality. We’re talking chefs, not defrosted bulk food.)

The Trail’s End Buffet at Fort Wilderness in Disney World was an excellent buffet. By Disney standards it was reasonable, though as pricey as a good meal in most places. Even their ribs were good.

Just to comment, Old Country Buffet was terrible, truly terrible, all the crappy school cafeteria quality food you could eat.

I’ve been to a decent Chinese Buffet, but only decent and they got worse over the years.

The Golden Coral has OK food, not good.

Sizzler & Ponderosa were both terrible.

I’ve been to excellent buffets many times. I used to go to the Phoenician, where they had an enormous variety of choices, all of which were excellent. The meal was capped off by a visit to the dessert room - a sugarholic’s dream.

I forgot a good one, in California there is the Soup Plantation, called Sweet Tomatoes in the south instead. They were good, but they seem to be slowly going down hill over the last 30 years.