Sunday, June 15, 2014

Casino Buffets

Although it has been a few years since I've eaten in a casino buffet (last few times were in Las Vegas), I've eaten in a few in Minnesota and Washington in the last couple of months. Because the buffets were in casinos, one big problem for me was that you had to make your way through the smoky casino floor to get to the restaurants. And a couple were so close to the action, that they were slightly smoky inside the restaurant.

So I was pleasantly surprised at the buffet in Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie, WA. When I entered the casino from the parking garage elevator, the first thing I noticed was that the smoke smell was pretty faint - not at all overwhelming. The smoking section was at the ballroom end of the casino gaming floor and the restaurants were at the opposite end. So, it was very easy to find the buffet and eat there as well as play some of the machines without getting overcome by smoke. A definite plus!

One end of the restaurant was banked with windows overlooking the mountains and valleys of the Cascades - beautiful. Chairs and tables were comfortable and not too close to each other. And the servers were attentive, refilled our beverages frequently and made sure we had whatever we needed.

The food was very good - none of us got something that we didn't like which is unusual at a buffet. The salad bar had items that were chilled and crisp, including some items not usually found - alfalfa sprouts, radishes, walnuts - and 9 salad dressings in addition to raspberry vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette, and oil and vinegar. Plus they offered the usual additional items such as Caesar salad, coleslaw, potator salad, cottage cheese, fruits, and soups.

For hot offerings, there was an Asian section with Mongolian stir fry, chow mein, sukiyaki, teriyaki, sweet and sour pork, broccoli beef, fried rice, steamed rice, and a few other typical items. I had the chow mein; the vegetables were still a little crispy which I like and it had a nice sauce that wasn't overpowering. There was an Italian section with lasagne, spaghetti and meatballs, breadsticks, Italian pork chops, and pizza. The pizza was pretty good - not pizzeria-style, but not bad. Oh - and a large bowl full of roasted garlic - my husband would be in Heaven!

There was a fish and seafood section with cod, halibut, salmon, crab cakes, and calamari. I'm not much of a fish eater, so I skipped this section, but my companions said they were pleased with the food. There was also a meat-and-potatoes section with roasted turkey, turkey gravy, ham, mashed potatoes, potatoes au gratin, green beans, corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, teriyaki meatballs, fresh fruit, cheese, biscuits, and dinner rolls.

For dessert, there were cookies, bars, a chocolate fountain with strawberries and marshmallows, soft serve ice cream, and a variety of cakes and pies. I had a pina colada bar and a chocolate brownie, both of which were very good. My friends had the bread pudding, a berry crumble, cookies, bars - everything was pronounced very good. But, they didn't have any carrot cake, which is a particular favorite of a couple of us - just a minor disappointment as we were so stuffed anyway.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised at Snoqualmie Casino and would recommend the buffet. At lunch, it was only $10.95, so a very good deal for all you could - but probably shouldn't - eat.

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