Jun 3, 2010

Buffet of Buffets: Lago Buffet

Part Four of Four - Lago Buffet - Caesars Palace
For the last buffet in our 24-hour window under the Buffet of Buffets, we went to Lago Buffet at Caesars Palace. I'd actually never heard of this one before the Buffet of Buffets but I'm glad I got to try it.

Lago was definitely the best of the four buffets I tried; it had a more upscale feel to it and it featured higher quality food. What might put people off is the relatively small selection compared to the other buffets. But I've always preferred quality over quantity, so this is my pick among the four buffets sampled.
The vegetables and pasta were very good and buttery. I sure do love me some butter. They didn't have as much selection of vegetables as say Planet Hollywood or Paris, but what they did have was well-prepared with some dishes made fresh in small batches. You can see the chef preparing sautéed green beans above.
Here, you can see the small but good selection of pastas.
The carving station. But where's all the meat?! It was so good I ate it all! Okay, I kid. I only had a single slice of the prime rib and it was delicious and very juicy. I might have overdid it on the horseradish initially but at least it cleared my sinuses. Anyway, the chef was grabbing more meat from the oven in the above shot.
Fish and rotisserie chicken. I didn't happen to try either dish, but they looked pretty fresh.
Mmmmm... the bread was better too. I especially like the pretzel bread spread with a little bit of butter.
Like the other buffets, Lago had a complete salad bar but I can't get my money's worth with salad!
There was also a nice display of meats and more vegetables to go with your salad. And yes, there was also a few sushi rolls in the back there.
Ah, fried dumplings cooked in small batches in a pan... These were especially tasty and part of the Asian cuisine section of the buffet. The skin wasn't too thick, there was some crunchiness from frying, and the meat and vegetable filling remained nice and juicy. There was also a few dim sum items available in a steam tray, but they were a little dry and the pan-fried dumplings were so much better.
And, of course, there were shrimp and crab legs. Again, there's more of a seafood selection at the other buffets, but Lago does serve up the favorites.
Roasted chicken and green beans in covered warming pots. Honestly, it just seems like more care went into the preparation at Lago Buffet than at the other places we tried.
Lago did have a dessert table to rival the other buffets though. No ice cream though. The desserts I tasted were also a bit better than the other buffets. The brownies were more chocolate-y. The chocolate-covered strawberries (also available at Spice Market Buffet during our stay) were sweeter like they sprung for the bigger, sweeter strawberries. Basically, there seems to be a quality hit in trying to achieve a greater variety like at Rio.
More desserts. The cupcakes were just "okay," but the custard cups were fairly good. Despite the look, you couldn't just suck the custard right out of the cup.

If I were to rank the four buffets from top to bottom, Lago Buffet would definitely be number one, Paris's Le Village Buffet would be number two, followed closely by Rio's Carnival World Buffet, and then Planet Hollywood's Spice Market (I would put it neck and neck with the Carnival World Buffet, but it's the most expensive of the four and Rio had slightly more buffet, variety, and a full-service bar).

Hours & Prices
Breakfast: Monday- Friday, 7am-11am - $17.95
Lunch: Monday - Friday, 11am- 3pm - $19.95
Weekend Brunch: Saturday & Sunday, 7am- 3pm - $24.95; $34.95 with champagne
Dinner: 3pm-10pm; Thursday - Monday - $26.95