My first buffet: Vegas baptism by spicy cabbage
Wed, Nov 2, 2011 (5:08 p.m.)
Photo: Steve Marcus
A girl’s first time should be special. Perhaps a bottle of J. Rogét Brut, a party hat, a splash of confetti, an entourage of attentive men and as many pounds of food as she can cram on one plate (or maybe three).
No wedding spread or Easter luncheon could have prepared me for Sunset Station’s Feast, my very first Las Vegas buffet. Not counting a salad bar the size of a studio apartment and a case of ice cream, it offers 180 dishes and 55 desserts.
- Feast Buffet
- Various times, $8.99-$14.99 (without Boarding Pass)
- Various Station Casinos
“Carbs at the end,” advised Station Casinos PR manager Jay Alpert, waving me toward the chaffing dishes like Willy Wonka about to break into song. My strategy was to take only what I couldn’t resist: 2 plantain slices, 1 scoop Pad Thai, 3 spicy cabbage leaves, 1 slice beef brisket, 1 scoop butternut squash, 3 Brussels sprouts, 1 barbecued chicken thigh, 2 broccoli florets, 3 tofu chunks, 1 cheese ravioli, 2 sesame buns, 1 meatball, a roasted garlic head, 1 scoop corn, 2 cherry tomatoes, a whole jalapeño pepper and a fortune cookie.
I made it about halfway through.
“You don’t have to eat everything, but you can taste everything,” said Feast room chef Ben Viray. He left a Strip buffet gig to oversee 54 cooks who’ve fed more than a million people at Sunset Station this year, many of them locals who dig the value, variety, service and mini chocolate éclairs.
I wanted more than one, but I hadn’t touched the carrot cake, red velvet cupcake, macaroon, cannoli and marshmallow brownie on my plate. Viray told me I could go back for thirds—that it’s encouraged—but I didn’t want to seem too eager. I also didn’t want to have to unzip my skirt. I may not be a buffet virgin anymore, but I am a lady.
Sunset Station features a 457-room hotel with 70 luxury suites, a casino, restaurants, a showroom, a movie theater and a bowling center on more than 98 acres in the heart of Henderson. It's located across from the Galleria at Sunset Mall and is also just a few minutes away by car from Lake Mead, Lake Las Vegas, Sam Boyd Stadium, golf courses and recreation areas.
The casino offers 110,000 square feet of gaming space, with more than 2,400 slot machines, more than 200 video poker machines, 39 gaming tables, a 300-seat race and sports book, a 488-seat bingo room, a keno lounge and an eight-table poker room.
Family-friendly features include a 13-screen movie theater and a 72-lane bowling center.
Restaurants include the Sonoma Cellar, for steaks and seafood; Cabo, for authentic Mexican food; Pasta Cucina for authentic Italian cuisine and the Oyster Bar, for Louisiana seafood and oysters. The 300-seat showroom hosts top names in entertainment as well as regular cover bands.