Best.Brunch.Buffet.Ever

I’ve been back from Las Vegas now for nine days and it seems like forever.

The good news is that my healthy eating and exercise routine this summer worked and I lost 25 pounds and kept it off for the Madonna concert.  That really wasn’t the only reason for being healthy this summer.  I wanted to lose the 15 pounds that I gained since Ray and I met back in February 2009.

While in Vegas, we did a lot of walking and we even walked on the hotel treadmill.  One thing we didn’t do on vacation was count calories.  You know from reading my blog that I love food, so I’m going to share some of my plates with you.  Food porn, as some may call it!

We went grocery shopping to buy some snacks for the hotel room.  But, we only ate one meal each day and yes, that one meal was a buffet.

By far, the best dining experience on this trip was Saturday brunch for my birthday at the Stratosphere.

While the presentation, the food, the bottomless mimosas, and the champagne was incredible, what was truly impressive is that the brunch was only $19.99 each!  Great tasting and a great bargain!

The choices were endless and it seemed like the chefs switched out various entrees every 20-30 minutes.  It goes without saying, but I will, that even before I got my first plate, of many, that I checked out the desserts.

Along with my first two mimosa, my first plate was salad and fresh fruit.  So far, so good.

As I moved up to lunch fare on the second plate of swordfish, lox and capers, smoked salmon, pork, couscous, and veggies, I switched over to champagne for two glasses.  I didn’t want to overdo it with orange juice and Vitamin C!  🙂

From there, I moved back to breakfast food and back to mimosas for two more.

When I do buffets, I don’t load my plates with food because I don’t waste and I eat every bite.  For this one, I had Eggs Benedict, some French toast with whipped topping, crushed Heath bars, and a cherry, along with some bacon and fruit.

 

When I went back for my last plate before dessert, I had some chilled crab legs, which I’ve never had before.  I also had more lox and smoked salmon, and a little antipasto salad, and another mimosa.  And, then it was time to have dessert.

Before even going to brunch and Vegas, I already had my mind set on what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday and it must have been my lucky day because they had it!

That carrot cake was excellent and it was even better when I drizzled it with caramel sauce.  Oh, by the way, that picture is a little deceiving.  Of course, I had to wash it down with something!

We topped off brunch with a toast to my birthday and to a fantastic time at the Madonna concert later that night.  It was incredible.  Ray and I have decided that when we go back in January to see Lady Gaga we will be having the Stratosphere weekend brunch again.

In case you lost track, I had a total or seven or eight beverages for brunch. 🙂

SECOND BEST BUFFET

On Friday, our second day in Vegas, we took the Monorail train and walked to two grocery stores to get snacks, cherry-flavored vodka, and wine.  While shopping, we noticed a Chinese buffet and decided to have lunch there.  It’s a good thing we did that because we ended up getting tickets to Elton John that night, so we didn’t eat dinner.

So, while the Chinese buffet was good, I won’t count it as my second favorite buffet because it wasn’t at a casino.  That would go to the Palms Bistro Buffet Sunday night.  This summer, we bought a Travelzoo 2-for-1 special and that is why we went out of our way to the Palms.

The buffet was not maintained well and a little messy, but the food was decent.

Before I even got my salad and fruit plate, our interaction with the waitress was rather standoffish.  Wine or beer came with dinner.  I asked, “what are your wine choices?” and she replied, “white or red”.

Simple enough, but I was still curious and asked, “what are the white wine choices?” to which she replied, “white or red”, and I politely looked back at her and said, “is that a white zinfandel or chardonnay?”, to which she finally understood and brought me the chardonnay, the only white wine choice.  At least, there was no confusion on the diet coke!

 

The highlight of my second plate was several different varieties of curried chicken.  When I went back for the third plate, I once again tried more of the curried chicken and a chilled crab leg.  However, the Palms chilled crab leg for dinner didn’t have the same effect, or taste, as the brunch chilled crab leg Saturday at the Stratosphere.

And, of course, I topped the meal off with dessert, or I should say, desserts!  In addition to what you see here, I also have a small bowl of chocolate ice cream.  However, we’ve all seen that so I didn’t take a picture of it. 🙂

The highlight of this meal was a funny interaction between us, our server, and another table.  Midway through the meal, a couple two tables behind us was getting ready to leave.  We had already noticed that the woman was rather bosomy.  And, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that a woman who has probably had a AARP card for many, many years doesn’t have boobies that are that “out there and up there”.

As she walked by, Ray and I both watched her walk by.  I looked up and the waitress was looking at the sight, too.  She then looked over at me and realized that I was watching her watch the couple walk by.  For a couple of seconds, she didn’t know how to react.  So, I smiled that knowing smile.  Okay, it was an OMG smile and that broke the tension for the rest of the meal.

Hey, I say, “if you got the money and you want them, buy them and own them, they’re yours”!

Somehow segueing from desserts to boobies is probably wrong on so many levels.  I’ll just blame it on Madonna since I saw her the night before!

And, the buffet that really was not all that remarkable was the one that we had on the first night in Las Vegas and it was the most expensive.  It was the Big Belly Buffet at the Monte Carlo and it definitely wasn’t worth the $50 for the two of us.

You know it’s not all that spectacular when you load your plate with cantaloupe, honeydew, and veggies!  In all fairness, the limited sushi selections were good and the chicken enchilada was tasty.  The best dessert offering was the individual mini pecan pie.  I had two of them with some ice cream.

Upon returning from Vegas last Monday, we went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday with Gretel and Tammy at Osaka Buffet in Moline, Illinois, my favorite in the Quad Cities.  (Wise Guys Pizza in Davenport, Iowa, is a close second!)

Tammy made me a Twinkie Cake for my birthday and it was scrumptious.

Tammy and Gretel each had one piece that night, which meant that Ray and I finished it off that week.  And, that wasn’t the end of the indulgence or should I say, gluttony.  We had another buffet Friday night with Gretel.

So, after gaining a total of six pounds (and, eight for Ray), we’re both back on the healthy eating and exercising routine.  We’ve both already shed more than three of those vacation pounds.

Here’s a bit of irony.  On the day before Vegas, I had my annual physical in Chicago (and everything came back great).  My doctor was happy that I lost weight, but he told me, “don’t lose any more weight”.  Somehow, my mind told me, in Vegas, that meant eat all I wanted. 🙂

That old saying, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” might be true for some things, but it isn’t for the weight gain.  Those pounds followed us home!

Anthony

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