Oops, I forgot to take a photo of the outside… but it’s pretty easy to find. If you take any of the FREE shuttles from Bally’s/Paris or Harrah’s to Rio (you don’t have to be staying at any of those hotels to take the free shuttle!), it drops you right in front of the entrance to the casino that leads straight to this buffet. And if you’re really nice… well, you can email me and I’ll email you a coupon for this buffet, $5 off per person in your party up to 4 people. (Yes, I’ll email you the coupon for free- I’ve seen people selling the coupon on eBay!- and it should work.)
The first time I went to the Rio World Buffet was when I took FeistyMom to Vegas in May 07. It was super cheap – with the coupon, if I recall correctly, it came out to less than $10 a person and there was a huge selection of buffet foods. Good stuff. So I was especially keen on returning to the sight of excess and gluttony –
do you know why Las Vegas is called Sin City? I’m being serious here. It’s because in this city all seven deadly sins are displayed egregiously, constantly, and without shame, without regret. Think about that for a second. Each sin is encouraged to thrive in this city. The economy depends on those sins for its survival.
Anyway, I was really eager to return to the scene of excessive gluttony for an inexcessive price, and was shocked when we walked up to the line and discovered the price for weekend brunch has now been raised to $23.99, same as the price for dinner. (Now I am not claiming this is an outrageous price… although the same food is served during the week for lunch prices at $16.99.) However, HB was still game and so we went in and used our $5 off coupons, so it was around $20+tip a person.
[Note: I just went to double check the prices of the buffet and discovered that weekend brunch is a champagne brunch, though this fact was not advertised while we were there, nor did our server offer us champagne. I’m a little peeved by that… I would have had champagne if I knew it was included! WTH!]
One of the reason I really like World Buffet is the wide selection available. I’m generally a picky buffet eater, but in Vegas, I’ll eat at just about any buffet, though I have preferences.
My first plate was from the carving station, straight ahead. Rib eye, short ribs, kalbi (Korean short ribs), a teensy bit of mashed potato, and yes, broccoli, then some creamy horseradish. While the rib eye can only be described as “Well, it’s from a buffet” and lacked seasoning, dipped in the creamy horseradish, it was pretty good and did scratch that rare beef itch I’d had since I quit eating meat. Mmm.
For my second plate, I walked the entire length of the buffet and settled on a few crappy shrimp tempura rolls (the rice was gummy and bland), a chicken wing that I drizzled a bit of BBQ sauce on (super crispy, and I meant to go back for more, oops), a piece of duck that was horrible enough that “Why did you even pick that up, it LOOKS bad!” (soggy skin and sitting in fat; I thought it was Peking duck because there was a carving station but the guy never carved any and the pieces just sat there swimming in goo, ugh), and some Chinese veggies (yes, I did want those, thanks).
Plate #3 was when I finally found the salad station, which had hid itself at the very, very end, behind a section of the buffet that stuck out. Some melon, greens, a bit of dressing, croutons, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. Mmmmm.
The fried food plates combined with my nachos plate. I was telling HB the story of how, as a kid, no matter what, I would end my buffet meals with a giant plate of chips and cheese drizzled on top, and how much I loved it. I was talking about wanting to do that now, but I also wanted a fried food plate, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do both, as by this time, my stomach was telling me that I was crazy. So I was ‘good’ and combined them both – a fried piece of haddock (too much breading), a fried scallop (waste of a scallop), some fried shrimp (I don’t like shrimp except fried, and these were good fried shrimp; crispy, not too much breading, and perfect, though if you’re looking for shrimp’s natural flavor to shine, this isn’t the dish), tartar sauce and lemons to jazz up the tartar sauce. Then, on the side, I had chips with cheese, lettuce, guacamole, and sour cream (delicious combination!). If you know me at all, you’ll know this was me showing a bit of meat restraint as I opted not to add the seasoned ground beef to the nachos, feeling they would bring them to a level I didn’t want to enter.
After all that, I sat glaring at the table as HB laughed at me. You see, when we’d walked in, I’d said “I’m going to eat 5 plates!” and I was now missing one. She wasn’t holding me to it, but I wanted to succeed at my self-challenge!
So I got ice cream instead. Gelato they called it. None of their flavors intrigued (I KNOW, that’s amazing!) – they had one decorated with ladyfingers that made me all excited but when I looked, it said “NY CHEESECAKE” (since when does that have LADYFINGERS in it?!). So I got Cookies & Cream, a flavor I never eat, and was amused to discover that the cookies part of the flavor came entirely from the cookie crumbles in it, while the gelato portion was just creamy. It was eh, but a fine end to the meal nonetheless.
Yvo says: Overall, a really great, wide selection with something for everyone (I would say the above is a completely inaccurate representation of what’s available; seriously, there’s a TON of great food – I just didn’t feel like eating some of the stuff right then, but that’s okay, since the price isn’t horrifically astronomical, you feel OK eating just what you want and not so much “I have to eat my money’s worth”). I will definitely be going back – with coupon in hand – and eating here again. But not for dinner or weekend brunch, I’ll definitely go for the cheaper prices.
PS FeistyMom has eaten here for hours on end before. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but there are pictures of her in front of a loaded plate with the time stamp… and then 10 minutes later, another loaded plate… and 10 minutes later, another loaded plate… yeah, she can eat. Where do you think I get this from?!
PPS Sorry for the pics, I’ve been brightening them a little bit before posting them lately, which has been helping, but my computer is doing something funky… and long story short, no touched up pics for a little bit. Sorry!