Vegas is known for their “best of…” list. Everyone is claiming to be the best steakhouse, the best pizza or the best buffet. Some are really the best, but most are very good and only individual taste made it the best. My wife, being from Chicago, feels she can determine the best deep dish pizza the Valley. Yet other Chicagoans will dispute her claim. As for me, I am from New York and all deep dish pizza is a sin.
Hence the old Latin maxim: De gustibus non disputandum est (or as I learned, “ De gustibus non est disputandum”). “In matters of taste, there can be no disputes” (literally “about tastes, it should not be disputed/discussed”).The implication is that everyone’s personal preferences are merely subjective opinions that cannot be right or wrong, so they should never be argued about as if they were. In English we simply say “There is no accounting for taste”. However, that never stopped a Food Critic or an everyday foodie from sharing their opinion.
So, here is mine. By accident, I found the “worst” buffet in Vegas. It is called Le Villages and it is located in that food corridor connecting the Paris with Bally’s. I found myself eating there via a series of mistakes which makes me say “shame on you” to both Bally’s & the Paris.Wanting to see a classic & vintage Vegas show before it closed forever, my wife and I booked dinner and a seat at the “Jubilee”, Donn Arden’s tribute to the glitz and glamour of Vegas’ glory days and the last remaining classic showgirl production on the Strip. Million dollar costumes, bare breasts and recorded music. You know the old line “Stand there and look pretty”. A few months ago, we saw a similar show in Havana, Cuba with live music. They said they were the first Vegas & best showgirl show and they were right.
Forget the breasts for now and let’s get back to the food. Like any want-a-be millennial, I bought my tickets & dinner at Hexx on line(Vegas.com). We were told that Hexx kitchen+bar offered classically approachable cuisine, focusing on fresh, quality-sourced ingredients and Strip-side patio dining with unparalleled views of the Bellagio Fountains. Like eager beavers, we set out for the valet line at Bally’s for good food and bare breasts.
Arriving at Bally’s valet, I asked where the Hexx restaurant was, the answer— “I don’t know” (mistake 1). At Bally’s ticket booth was a long line and 4 ticket salespeople with one dedicated to “platinum card holders only”. Just as I said to myself, “This won’t take long”. It was 5pm and 2 of the 4 went off duty (mistake 2). There was no line for prepaid ticket holders and I had to wait while people decided what show they wanted, on what day and in what seat. Why bother to book on line if it doesn’t save you time. When my time finally came, I was told, I was given tickets to the Buffet because that’s what people booking that show usually got. Even though my on-line reservation said Hexx, I got “the buffet” (mistake 3).
Now the worst buffet in Vegas—in my experience (mistake 4). According to Yelp, Le Village was voted the best buffet in 2008. It seems they went downhill and like the economy they are still waiting for a full recovery. The best way to explain this is point by point.
I will say, that Vegas.com helped me get a partial refund for the dinner mistake but their initial response was that I should have fought to get the right dinner tickets and if I had read the reservation, I should have gotten there earlier to handle the long lines(Mistake 5). I’m in Vegas to have fun, not to get in line for a dinner ticket at 3pm to eat at 5pm. I’ve got places to go, slot machines to play and happy hours to enjoy. That’s what “My Vegas” is all about!
So Las Vegas is not perfect, but then how many Sin Cites are? With over 200 buffets in the valley, there are more Susi in the sea. It’s one of my top 5 Foodie cities along with New York, Chicago, New Orleans & San Francisco.
Join Patrick Barney as he explores his love of travel & food around the world & in his home town of Las Vegas.