Holiday · Reviews · travel

“4 Best” Buffets in Las Vegas – A Foodie’s Review

Working in the restaurant industry is hard. It’s time consuming and really drains your energy. This is a review of the buffers on the Vegas Strip that I have heard called “the best”.

I have rated them on a scale of 1-5. 5 being the best and 1 being the worst. They are rated on culinary options, food quality, customer service, prices, and cleanliness.

1. The Bacchanal Buffet –

My husband and I have eaten at this buffet several times. This is easily the largest buffet that I am aware of in the Las Vegas Strip. It has multiple options and in my humble opinion, the largest seafood and meat selection of all the buffets I have experienced. The food quality has always been stellar (It has the best and largest sushi selection) and it tends to be the place I find myself craving when I think of Las Vegas. The customer service has always been decent. They tend to be the most attentive though I did have an experience where the server asked my husband and I to leave due to her needing the table. Working in the business, I understand needing the table, however, the way it was phrased definitely could have been better. That being said we have always enjoyed our experiences. The prices are the highest at this buffet but it is always worth it. You do need to go hungry to get your moneys worth though. I do have to give The Bacchanal a high five for cleanliness. They have always done a great job clearing tables and keeping the food areas clean. This is super important because no guest wants to eat next to a dirty table or pick off of dirty forks. The overall rating I would give to The Bacchanal Buffet is 4.5/5.

2. The Wicked Spoon Buffet-

This is one of my personal favorites. While it isn’t as large as The Bacchanal Buffet. It has great flavors. The items that are features in the buffet are well seasoned and flavorful. The customer service has always been really good. Drinks have been consistently refilled and the server was always there when needed. The price for the options and the quality of food is not unreasonable by any means. The tables and food buffets have always been clean when I have attended. Overall this buffet has always impressed me, my only qualm is that it is a bit off the beaten path and can be hard to find. The overall rating for The Wicked Spoon Buffet is 4/5.

3. The Buffet at The Bellagio-

This buffet is one of the smaller ones. While it has a decent size carving section, it has always impressed me with the amount of vegetarian options. They have more vegetables that have been cooked and a salad bar than some of the other buffets. The quality has always been great and I haven’t had a bad meal there once. While the customer service is good, you are in charge of getting your own drinks and for the price it kind of leaves the customer wanting. This particular buffet is probably the one that always has tables cleaned and reset the fastest. I attribute this to the fact that it’s the smallest and the “servers” do the least amount of work out of all the buffets. The overall rating of this buffet is 3/5.

4. The Buffet at The Aria-

While this buffet had the largest seating possible and was in one of the newest hotels, I was disappointed. If you go before 12 am you will not find many options. It had the smallest food options and for the options given it was probably the priciest. The quality was decent but lacked flavor. The customer service and cleanliness of this particular buffet was poor. While the food buffet area was clean the tables needed desperate attention. I watched the table next to us remain dirty for close to 20 minutes. I also had to ask our server for a drink 3 times prior to getting it. This happened not only on our first visit but on the second one as well. The overall rating for this buffet is 2.5.

Over all, I would highly recommend The Bacchanal Buffet or The Wicked Spoon Buffet. I would say the best one for breakfast is The Buffet at the Bellagio. I would not recommend The Buffet at The Aria.

Holiday · Reviews · travel

Top 5 Las Vegas Hotels To Enjoy

As you all know – I work in the customer service industry. Have done for 8 years now, well my husband and I love to travel. We frequent Las Vegas quite a bit. For this reason I’ve compiled a list of the More popular Hotels that we have stayed at and what we thought of them. These hotels include: The Cosmopolitan, Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, Aria, and the Wynn. I’ve listed the hotels in the order of the ones we liked the most to the ones we weren’t overwhelmed with.

**as a note to my readers – I do not get any affiliate payout for these reviews. Meaning they are strictly based on my experience and unbiased or “bought”**

1. The Cosmopolitan- (9/10)

We had a great experience here. We were able to check in early and the front desk staff was super friendly and attentive. We were offered the option of an upgraded room that had a view of the Bellagio fountains and a Japanese bathtub. Let me just say that it was worth every penny! We had a beautiful balcony. The tub had a huge window facing the fountains which was a great perk for me – I was able to relax in the tub and watch the show! They also were able to accommodate our request for a later checkout – super pleased about that. The pool was a great experience. They have these nice wave chairs where you can drag it into the shallows and lounge in the water for no extra charge. The pools are wading pools – meaning there are no stairs they come out via a ramp. While the lower pool was very popular due to the bar – the upper pool was more relaxing, it also had umbrellas to provide shaded areas in the pool.

2. The Aria- (8/10)

To begin the check in area was very clean. Details matter and their area was clean and decorated appropriately. The minimalistic flower arrangements did a lot.

The room was spacey- not as large as the room in the Cosmopolitan or the Wynn, but equally as nice. It was a fully automated room. Everything was controlled by and iPad, including the curtains. They gave us and early check in but were unable to give us a late checkout – little bit of a let down. However, their online checkout system was very user friendly and you could access it from multiple devices. Their pool systems were more traditional. The pool side attendants really were lacking however. They seemed to not care and lack gumption- all except one. Carly saved our pool side experience. Her 4 seasons of working as a pool side server shone through and her guest service game was on par! She was able to explain all of the menu to us and had a great attitude – super approachable. She was someone we searched out which pool she was serving before we sat down. While the Aria has many great things to offer – due to our pool experience and the size of the room it really just fell flat and cane second on our list.

3.Caesar’s Palace- (7/10)

Caesar’s palace has many great things to offer. While we did end up getting married in their chapel and I would highly recommend shu as a wedding coordinator because she saved my sanity multiple times. Caesar’s really only ranks 3rd for us. Their wedding chapels are gorgeous and worth using. The wedding suit was huge. About the size of a medium sized studio apartment. The rooms here are definitely older, but they are clean and the staff is always friendly. Caesar’s also many options of things that their visitors can do (the shops, restaurants, and endless games). The room had many windows which for me is a huge deal – I always want more light in my room (comes from living in a winterized state for so long). We have not experienced the pools in Caesar’s except the winter and it was too cold to do much swimming. But in the summer they have a secluded European pool system and American pools. Everything is influenced by Roman architecture and is gorgeous. Due to it simply being an older hotel – this ranks as 3rd on our list.

4. The Wynn- (7/10)

The Wynn was the first hotel I stayed at on the strip and so because of the memories there it holds my heart but as a rated hotel it falls to the fourth on our list. The room we received was clean and spotless. It was a suit. The view lacked but that was ok. We didn’t get in early and it took longer for us to check in than it has anywhere else. The bed was perfectly fluffy and yet still firm enough. The entry area was stunning. They change the flowers regularly.

The next day they were different. It’s still one of my favorite hotels to walk through due to the flowers alone. The pool side service was excellent. Our attendant was very attentive and gracious. There was plenty of entertainment within this casino. While there are great memories the customer service was simply sub par to other service we received.

5. The Bellagio- (6/10)

The Bellagio is known around the world. Due to being featured in movies like the Oceans movies – it has built up a reputation for itself. I was disappointed. We had a decent check in and they gave a later checkout. However, the room was tiny and in completely dark tones. It only had a few windows and felt like a prison on some level. The decor was nice but very dated. They are known for their fountains – which I didn’t get a view of. It was very clear that The Bellagio really only provides rooms for crashing purposes because the casino part is huge. There’s plenty of games and it is evident they want you to only stay if you are gaming. This only disappointed me and I was very underwhelmed by my experience there. We did not experience the poolside service, perhaps that would have been our saving grace.

Overall, we have had some great experiences but I would highly recommend the newer casinos to stay in. They have more accommodation perks and were not disappointing at all. I’m sure the older casinos could be amazing but they need to be renovated and up dated.

Daily Life · Food Recipes · Holiday

How To Make Amazing Breakfast Potatoes

I’m a flexitarian. When I say that what I mean is that I eat vegetarian most of the time but I do eat meat occasionally. However – I wouldn’t classify myself as a potato loving girl. I eat them but not because it’s the love of my life. My husband however is a “meat and potatoes” man. That being said every weekend we have a brunch together. While I have found several different ways to make breakfast potatoes (hash browns, home fries, french fries, baked, etc.), my favorite has been a homefries style. My mother used to make these all the time for my siblings and I as children and it’s nostalgic for me when I eat them. That being said I have redressed how they are done and made them my own.

 

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes – washed and sliced into cubes about 1/2 inch long and 2 cm wide (any larger and they won’t cook properly; you should also plan on at least 1 potato per person.)
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Garlic (I prefer fresh garlic and if you are using it I would recommend about 1 clove for every 2 potatoes)
  • Onion – cut however you prefer them (if you don’t like onions you could use onion powder; 1/2 of a medium onion for ever 2 potatoes)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Oil (you will need enough to cover the bottom of the pan by about 1 inch)
  • Paper towel
  • Plate
  • Cast Iron skillet (if you don’t have one any skillet will work)

 

Directions:

  1. Over medium heat start pan heating with oil in it.
  2. Once oil is properly heated place potatoes in it to fry (be careful – if you use too many potatoes at once it may not fry properly; you may have to do more than one sets of frying)
  3. Add Onions and Garlic; Season everything to taste
  4. Stir occasionally
  5. After the potatoes are done frying (they should be crisp on the outside and tender on the inside – poke the big ones with a fork to test), remove them from the pan and place them on the plate (which will have the paper towel on top to absorb the oil)
  6. Serve hot!

 

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Like I said it’s nostalgic for me and I was reminded of it as my friend called and asked for it – you all can thank her for it being on the blog! Enjoy Brunch.

Daily Life · Food Recipes · Holiday · Hygge

How To: Make Mini Egg Muffins

I like eggs. My husband loves eggs. Every weekend guess what is made for breakfast at our house – EGGS!! So here’s the thing – I only really like scrambled eggs and I really hate that it’s a ton of work standing at the stove making it. It takes a ton of work. That being said – I have created a recipe based off of reading several different Pinterest/Blog ideas on how to make mini egg quiches. This recipe is great for a morning when you don’t want to stand at the stove or for when you have a ton of guests for breakfast!

Ingredients:

  1. Eggs – About 1-2 per person
  2. Basil – dried about 2 teaspoons
  3. Onion – Half a big onion minced
  4. Garlic Powder – about 2 teaspoons
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. Milk – about 1/4 cup per 6 eggs
  7. Cheese – 1/4 Cup per 6 eggs give or take(I like cheddar but any kind would work; also I have not used a vegan cheese substitute so I’m not sure how it would work)
  8. Oregano –  about 2 teaspoons
  9. Bacon – I used pre-made bacon bits and loved it – about 1/4 cup per 6 eggs
  10. Oven – Preheated to 350 degrees (F)
  11. Muffin Tin
  12. Non stick spray/butter
  13. Mixing Bowl
  14. Whisk
  15. 1/2 cup measuring cup

If you find that you need to add more eggs – do so. I didn’t measure so this is all via guess-work.

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tin with non stick spray
  2. In a large mixing bowl – Mix eggs, milk, and seasonings with whisk
  3. Add Cheese, bacon, and onions
  4. scoop egg mixture into muffin tin using 1/2 cup measuring scoop
  5. Place in oven and back for 10 min.
  6. Test the tops after 10 min – muffins will pop out of cups when they are fully cooked – tops should be just set. rotate pan at 10 min mark if they are not cooked.
  7. let rest for 2 min after pulling from oven.

These egg “muffins” go great with sausage and fried potatoes. They are perfect for each person to have one or two without having to put in a bowl and get that wetness at the bottom (you know when you have eggs sitting in a bowl and somehow you get water in the bottom from condensation and then the eggs sit in a ‘soup’). I tested this recipe out when we had 2 other people staying with us and it was a huge hit. You could do any variation of items you wanted. Best part is that they keep and reheat beautifully (no more than 2 days) so you can make them the night before then heat and go the next morning.

Daily Life · Holiday

How To: Survive Family Holidays

Now I’m no expert. I’m not a therapist but I’ve been told I give decent advice with relationships. Part of that being so many mistakes I’ve made and would love to not see repeated in others lives and the other half just listening and being objective. It’s hard to do that in relationships and even more so when it pertains to family. Holidays are no exceptions. Emotions run high and everyone just wants so desperately to get along that it makes it hard to relax and really enjoy.

That being said I have a few tips to help you enjoy the holidays a bit more. These are all tips that I have learned over the years and that have really helped me relax a bit more.

  1. Let It Go – I know that sounds a bit “Disney Princess” of me but it’s so true. There are many things in life that you can’t control and family is among them. That being said – pick what you can control (ie. Your own attitude). Make the concious decision to relax and refuse to let little petty things ruin your holiday. Who cares what someone else said about another person?! It doesn’t need room in your head.
  2. Take Time For You – You do not always have to be around everyone. Take 1 hour maybe 2 and relax in your own way. I find that going for a walk or leaving for a coffee shop with a good book is the best way to relax. It gives me space and something new to see with nothing to hear. Distance can be healthy and it can be helpful. It will help you decompress and maybe in advertently help them. Think about this – you spend over 200 days of the year living your own life and then when the holidays come around you have to bring new people in. It’s stressful and tense because you aren’t used to having them around. Take time for you, it’s your holiday too.
  3. Set Boundaries You Can Stick To – Never say you can or cannot do something if you aren’t going to stick to it. All that will do is let them know that boundaries are flexible and that you don’t mean what you say. It will also make you feel like you are being pushed around or can’t keep up. If you say you need 1 hour – take 1 hour. If you say you are leaving at 2pm – do not let them manipulate you into staying longer. Sure family is important but so are you and you will feel better for sticking to your guns.
  4. Hygge- My readers are going to get sick of this, but seriously – Hygge. Get up 30 min early and take time to read a book and have a little time to yourself before the holiday “day time” with family starts. You need time to wake up before you have to hit the ground running and your family will thank you for it. Take time at the end of the night – make a cup of cocoa and go sit in bed reading to relax. Don’t feel like you need to spend every waking moment surrounded by noise and family.
  5. Not Your Problem – This is a new concept that I’m still learning from my in-laws. It is taht while you feel bad for something that has happened or hasn’t gone right in another persons life – you are not the solution. Listen to them if you feel like it’s necessary and offer advice if you like. It’s ok to help and it’s ok to feel sympathy but you don’t have to be the savior. I recently experienced the freedom of what it means to say “No” because someone else made a bad decision and you don’t have the emotional capacity to be a savior. Make sure you do it nicely but don’t feel like you have to do something.

In total here’s what I recommend and am learning to do myself. Take time for me – 2 times, each day when I’m with family for extended periods. Realize that I’m not the savior so I can say “No” and set that boundary. I can also stick to it and at the same time realize that their bad attitude towards not getting their way isn’t something I can control. I will not let it affect my holiday and my attitude though.

Navigating holidays and family isn’t easy. I won’t guarentee that these 5 tips are going to solve all your problems, but they do help you. Any suggestions or things you have found to work? I would love to hear them.