Vegetarian Vegas – The Wynn Buffet

13 May

To go to Las Vegas and not experience the delights of a true Vegas Buffet is just inconceivable!!!!

Growing up, Buffets and Topless fantabulous reviews were two of the things Vegas was known for. So even though today, Las Vegas has evolved into the mecca of the celebrity chef – Bobby Flay has Mesa Grill, Mario Batali has Otto, B&B and others, Wolfgang Puck, Todd English, Michael Mina, Tom Colicchio, Charlie Palmer, José Andrés, Scott Connant,  Hubert Keller, and Thomas Keller (no relation…) all have one or various posts where they showcase their delectable creations, we needed to give fair chance and airtime to the long-standing Vegas Buffet.

We did a little bit of research… and we had some time, because we had a trip scheduled for The Grand Canyon 4 days into our stay in Vegas, and the recommendation of the Tour is not to eat at any buffet prior to the trip because they WOULD NOT give us any refunds if we got food poisoning from eating at a buffet. What a vote of confidence for the buffets of the city… or the overeating habits of the average American consumer… discuss amongst yourselves.

We got various recommendations, but they were based on the amount of meat and shrimp we could eat. Unfortunately, Las Vegas has many vegetarian options, but the FullVegetarian restaurant or Vegetarian Buffet is not part of the alternatives just yet.

We wanted a SPECIAL BUFFET, somewhere where the food would be more special than any self serve/all-you-can-eat cafeteria. So we turned to one of the most special hotels we encountered on this trip – The Wynn Hotel. We LOVED the Wynn and Encore Hotels… So chic, so modern, everything decorated so whimsically and bold at the same time. We said that if the hotel décor and ambiance are that special, the food at the buffet for sure would be too.


Check out the décor of the place… It was stunning. We felt we were inside Wonderland and that Alice would pop up at anytime asking us the way to a Tea Party… I was feeling special already. I felt I was underdressed and needed a hat, like those at the Royal Wedding or the Kentucky Derby to fit in more appropriately.

The options were MANY… you will have to excuse the presentation here. I am not a very good platter and buffets are not conducive to the best plate presentation. It’s about what you like and how much can you pile on your plate to avoid constant trips back and forth. Here was what we had:

I had to start with SALAD… Eating salad first makes me feel, regardless of my choices afterwards, that at least I ate something raw and fresh. And there where were many Salads to choose from. You mixed and matched ingredients and topped with your favorite dressing. I think I decided on a creamy parmesan dressing. There you also see a Butternut Squash Risotto made with vegetable broth and currants, Crispy Corn and Quinoa Polenta Triangles with a Tomato Ragu on top, one of my mom’s faves as she went for seconds on this. Also some roasted potatoes… I loved the risotto and the polenta triangles.

The next stop was a bit more International in flavor… Here you see in the cup a Waldorf Salad with blue cheese, grapes and pears. Sooooo delicious… and I had 2 salads under my belt. I was being healthy, right?? Also, some grilled naan bread, hummus and cucumber/yogurt raita. The whole grain bun is to counteract the fact the naan was made of white flour… and no offense, but my hummus recipe is much better.

Continuing with the international flavors, we moved onto the Japanese and Mexican side of the Buffet. Here we had Vegetable Sushi Rolls, various vegetarian ceviches and corn tortilla chips served with red and green salsas. I picked the red salsa because it was milder and the raita was an awesome dipping sauce for the tortillas… note to self to create something that integrates Mexican and Indian flavors. I also had some vegetable spring rolls with a tangy apricot sauce, but the photo did not come out pretty at all…

I was particularly surprised with the ceviches – I only noticed them in a third go around to the buffet line… I had dismissed then as seafood ceviches until I read the labels well. One was made with jicama, shitake mushrooms and hearts of palm and the other one was made with a mixture of beans… I preferred the jicama/mushroom one because we already know how I feel about beans. But the flavors were interesting and certainly something I would entertain to make in the future at home…

Desserts… OMG!!! The only difficult thing about desserts in a non-vegetarian environment is that most of them have some sort of egg or gelatin in them. But we managed… We had strawberry and coconut sorbets, the filling of an apple cobbler and the strawberry and whipped cream filling they were using for the crepes… I just couldn’t resist myself and had to have a crepe made to order. I know, I know it was true gluttony, but I just couldn’t resist myself…

Lucky for us, in Vegas you need to walk as much as you need… because after that “jartera” you need to walk if you don’t want to fall into a food-induced coma. So for all you vegetarians or vegetarian-friendly people… if you go to Vegas and need a recommendation for a Buffet, I fully recommend the Wynn Hotel Buffet. You will not be disappointed AT ALL… I dare you to go out to dinner afterwards!!!

4 Responses to “Vegetarian Vegas – The Wynn Buffet”

  1. Aimee S. May 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    Oh this is lovely Madelyn!

  2. Elvin Orta May 13, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    My experiences with Vegas buffet is extensive, and I would like to add that based on the quality and choice of food would have to be the one at the Bellaggio. They even had honey flowing from a honeycomb! The selection of food was above all the others, with the one at the Paris a close second. Of course, I have to laugh at the food-poisoning warning (never had any problems) but most people probably get sick by the sheer amount of food they ingest.
    Glad you enjoyed the one at the Wynn. It is very good, but not my favorite. But, once again, it’s Vegas! Plenty for everybody!

    • KarmaFree Cooking May 13, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

      Elvin – Excellent… Bellagio and Paris buffets, here I come!!!!! Both are already on my list to try for my next trip… Thanks for the reco. Maybe I should have called you before my trip.

      • Elvin Orta May 15, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

        Laura told me I should include the Rio buffet, and that was indeed my favorite for a while. It’s hard to beat for sheer selection, but in terms of quality I stick with the Bellagio and the Paris…the Rio’s buffet might be a quarter of a kilometer long…

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