A Warren of Buffets: 8 Places to Fill Your Plate. And Fill It Again.

By John Deiner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 2, 2004

For the past few years, the world's top chefs have streamed into Las Vegas, opening restaurants that have put the city on the gastronomic map.

But none offers all-you-can-eat dessert. Indeed, many visitors can't leave Vegas without scarfing down dinner at one of the town's fabled buffets.

Some things to remember: Most buffets also offer breakfast, brunch (on weekends) and lunch, which can be considerably cheaper. Some are more expensive on Fridays and Saturdays, when they're most likely to be mobbed (going early is a good idea). And cheap buffets -- $10 or less for dinner -- are cheap for a reason.

Here are eight buffets we've sampled in the past six months. For more options, check www.a2zlasvegas.com.

Spice Market Buffet (Aladdin)

What we liked: Lots of variety; food stations include Italian, American, Asian and Middle Eastern. Food, including sushi, is prepared by chefs as you watch. Dining room features tall ceilings, good distance between the tables and excellent service. Grade-A desserts include chocolate-dipped strawberries and peach flambe.

What we didn't: The lines. Before we left, our server told us that there was a two-hour wait to get in.

Why we'd go back: It's one of the best buffets in town.

Details: 702-785-5555, www.aladdincasino.com. Dinner served from 4 to 9:30 p.m.; $22.99.

The Buffet (Bellagio)

What we liked: It's Vegas's most elegant buffet. Inventive food choices include barbecued wild boar ribs, chicken Wellington with sun-dried tomatoes, baby squid salad and pesto mashed potatoes. There's a homemade bread station, and food is prepared while you watch. Diners can choose from an extensive, expensive ($12) list of specialty cocktails.

What we didn't: Distance between buffet and farthest tables is mammoth. And the price is just too steep for a buffet.

Why we'd go back: Sometimes, even buffeteers want a touch of class.

Details: 702-693-7111, www.bellagio.com. Dinner served from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday and 4:30 to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; $24.95 (Sunday-Thursday) and $32.95 (Friday-Saturday).

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