The basic idea in going to buffet restaurants for an indulgent meal is so you can eat a lot without spending so much. With places like the Wood Grill Buffet offering all-you-can-eat meals for as low as $11.49 and Hometown Buffet being as cheap as $8.50 per head, you can definitely chow down without breaking the bank.
This is why some folks might feel confused and curious about the upscale all-you-can-eat restaurants. They can get very expensive, so why should you spend so much when there are cheaper alternatives? Are they really worth it?
In our opinion, it can go either way. In a good upscale buffet, you can definitely get great value for your money. In a not-so amazing ‘upscale’ buffet, you can be better off going elsewhere. It’s always the quality of the food and the restaurant that will make it worth the splurge.
If you find yourself in a nice upscale buffet, you can hit the jackpot. There are lots of things that you can enjoy. Here are the highlights that make them worth the splurge:
They offer fancier dishes than your budget buffets.
Sure, you can find steaks and crab legs in most AYCE eateries, especially the ones that feature food from various cuisines. They can be very nice, depending on the restaurant. But in fancier buffets like the Bellagio Buffet, a gourmet dinner buffet is available on the weekends.
Here, you’ll find fancy dishes like venison, caviar, and fresh-made sushi. They also offer the unique Chef’s Table experience which will let you pay extra so you can get tableside service from a chef. This includes custom offerings which is something you will never expect from a buffet.
You can tell that the quality is better.
When you go to an upscale buffet, it’s also rather easy to tell that the food is just better in terms of quality, compared to budget buffets. Some think that the elegant interiors contribute to diners forming such an opinion and they may be partly right. However, once you dig into the food, you can definitely say that you won’t get that from a $5.99 per head joint.
Since you’re paying for premium, you can also get higher quality ingredients. The dishes themselves aren’t your run-of-the-mill home cooked meals even though some of them still have a few classics and comfort food picks.
Take the Buffet of the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas as an example. This upscale AYCE eatery stands out from the rest of its competition by providing a wide range of freshly made options. Aside from the seafood cocktail and fresh fish choices, they also offer made-to-order pasta and naan that is fresh from their Tandoor oven. They also offer great service in the salad bar (they can toss it for you!) and sliced to order roasted meats.
Some fancy buffets offer a whole different experience.
To elevate their diner’s experience, some high-end buffets do not offer the same experience as regular buffets. There are a few that offer sit-down and tableside service which is the exact opposite of what budget-friendly AYCE diners provide. Since such restaurants make money by having to pay fewer staff members, providing tableside service is something unique to certain eateries.
Take the Brazilian steakhouse buffets Chama Gaucha and Fogo de Chao, for example. These places brought the churrascaria experience stateside so they made sure to do it with a bang. This includes roving meat chefs or gaucho chefs which carry slabs of freshly cooked meat that they carve for the diners right at their tables.
These places will still need you to fetch your own side dishes from their food stations but that can be easily remedied. You can just go once and fill your plate with your desired sides and then proceed to spend the evening downing slice after slice of different types of meat.
Brunch buffets are just special in their own way.
Endless brunches are also one type of upscale buffet dining that people enjoy. It’s definitely a different kind of experience in itself since brunch isn’t necessarily something you can compare to a normal buffet lunch or dinner.
Brunch tends to be more decadent and sophisticated but also laidback in its own way, so it’s a fancy experience that may be worth a try. The fact that it will let you enjoy a good deal of day drinking is quite luxurious, letting you relax and enjoy nice food without any limits while at it.
So, yes, these may still be all-you-can-eat restaurants, same to the ones your whole family goes to from time to time but they also offer an entirely different experience that’s worth more money. They are fancier in many aspects, so why not pay more? You’ll get to eat a lot of the fancy stuff anyway, so it can certainly be worth every penny.