Happy Memorial Day! On this sacred, patriotic day, ELV asks: What better way to honor our war dead, and celebrate the start of Summer than by overeating!
If such a caloric confabulation appeals to you before you step into your summer duds, check out the Wicked Spoon. It’s worth a look for several reasons: (Some) portions are controlled to help curb the aforementioned overeating problem; the selection may not be as vast as other feed lots in our humble burg, but your first bites tell you quality is being stressed over quantity; and finally, it is located in the always groovy Cosmo, where public art is always in full bloom:
The problem is, of course, just like putting a Panama on an even-toed unglate, a buffet is a buffet is a buffet. And while the best of them may be far superior to the worst, they are still the most offensive way to eat on the planet. Unless, of course, you don’t mind looking like this, these, or one of these.
But if waste and overeating is your thing, knock yourself out. As justified as those objections are to the very idea of buffet eating, another one bears mentioning: All buffet food, no matter how carefully prepared, is but a facsimile of the same dishes made better at a restaurant specializing in that sort of food. You want pancakes? Go to Du-par’s or The Original Pancake House. An omelet? The Omelet House. Asian food? Any one of 64 restaurants up and down Spring Mountain Road. You want to settle for line cooks and low paid workers trying to duplicate food that tastes better elsewhere? Vegas is here to bury you in badness.
We will let buffets off the hook on one level. They serve a useful purpose for our many Asian tourists who have limited (or no) English skills. Buffets enable these individuals and groups to easily navigate our cuisine (and find something to like) without putting them through the awkwardness of dealing with menus and waitrons. And I guess the same holds true for large groups, families, and hordes of hungry young men. For these groups, ELV gives all buffets a “go in peace pass.” But not for anyone who wants to eat good food, prepared authentically, in a civilized fashion.
Back to the Wicked Spoon…our dining companion, Troy Polee (aka ‘Cuz), was shocked ELV didn’t know you paid for buffets before you started overfilling your plate and stuffing your pie hole. So he took pity on us and picked up the $47 tab for lunch, for two. (Not that cheap, you say? We know. Yet another objection we have to these food factories.)
How was the food? At least as compared to the competition? Since this was only our fourth buffet (Circus Circus (so bad even our eight-year old son wouldn’t eat it), Rio Seafood (good, four years ago) and Bellagio (passable)), we had little to no basis for comparison. The barbecue ribs weren’t bad….but they weren’t that good either. The tacos weren’t in the same league as Tacos Mexico, much less some of our better shops in town, and the curried cauliflower was but a poor imitations of the real thing. The ceviche was okay, and the sushi no better or worse than Trader Joe’s. Desserts were the highlight…but then again, they should be. The desserts at most hotels are usually the best things their kitchens turn out. Our buffet maven cousin — who claims to have eaten in almost all of them — pronounced in it the top 5, but not better than Wynn or Bellagio. Because of his 25+ years of experience in these things, we’ll stand by his opinion, and let those be the last words on the subject.
Here’s hoping the last also describes our future with eating like this.
As mentioned above, the lunch tab for two came to $47+$5 tip. Thanks ‘Cuz!
WICKED SPOON BUFFET
In The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino
3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109