Last month my mom had the great idea to treat Jake and I to “free” buffet at Valley View Casino. I’m sure she planned this out carefully. Mom gets a ride to the casino while Jake and I get to feast! Normally the buffet (which features lobster!) costs $32.99 on the weekends so this was a DEAL. Thanks, Mom, for being a big time player. Hah!
We went early on a Saturday morning. Mom told us the best time to go was when it first opened so there wouldn’t be a line. No one really wants to buffet at 11am except for us, I guess.
Prepare yourself for an ONSLAUGHT of buffet photos.
Make your own salads. They have real bacon as bacon bits, not that fake wannabe crap.
Shrimp and all the crab legs. ALL OF THEM.
I liked how everything was in a smaller size bowl. Everything looked freshly made.
Chips for your nacho making needs.
Come to me, Coconut Shrimp!
More salads plus avocado quarters! Yeah, one of those avocado slices went right onto my plate.
Mushroom pasta and some fresh looking broccolini.
More pasta plus roasted veggies. Mmm!
LOBSTER TAILS. Beautiful, steamy lobster tails.
Plus a stuffed lobster thing, if you’re into stuffed things.
Those sweet potatoes look like they just came off of someone’s Thanksgiving table! I was sad to see they have evil raisins in there, but I got some anyway.
Such small little bowls of food! Makes the presentation look a lot nicer than some other buffets we’ve been to. Ahem.
Ribs and turkey.
Don’t those little carrots look so pretty?!
The Asian food area of the buffet is upon us.
There are tons of options here at the Valley View Casino Buffet! What I really liked is that everything is in smaller portions at this buffet. I noticed that there were a bunch of cooks right behind the lines and they all seemed to be constantly cooking and preparing dishes. The smaller portions mean they have to cook items more often which means fresher food gets put out more often. The food looked fresh, tasty, and very appealing.
Jake’s first plate. He got a salad. That’s how I knew about the bacon bits being real bacon. Good boy.
He gave me a chicken wing to try. It had a nice flavor from the sticky sweet glaze on it but it was a little salty.
Jake’s second plate involved more orange chicken (which was Jake’s favorite thing). The macaroni and cheese was really creamy and pretty good. The mashed potatoes were also nice and creamy but a bit on the bland side (the gravy helped a little).
My first plate involved prime rib (so-so), mushroom ravioli (LOVE – creamy and filled with lots of mushrooms in a creamy alfredo sauce), some other pastas (which were kind of weirdly sour?), cilantro rice, avocado quarter, coconut shrimp (decent, tasty enough for me to shove in my mouth a few times), and of course a lobster tail!
For the lobster tail, if you want to dip your lobster in melted butter (like me) you just need to ask your server for a cup o’ butter and they’ll bring it right out to you.
My second plate… involved more lobster (Jake got one for me since you can only get one at a time), a tiny bit of macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, a single lonely carrot, a bit of those sweet potatoes, some clams/mussels and a weirdly dry piece of cornbread.
I really liked the veggies which tasted fresh and delicious. The macaroni and cheese was nice and creamy. The clams/mussels were okay, nothing to write home about. Obviously I loved the lobster. It was sweet and fresh and tasted great dipped in warm butter.
Mom got this plate of cookies. I didn’t get shots of her food because she didn’t wait around for us. She ate as quick as possible to maximize her casino time. Heh.
And now… a whole separate section just for DESSERT. They had a LOT OF IT.
I think they want you to ask for assistance so you don’t just dunk your face into the chocolate fountain. I feel like that probably happened and now that’s why this sign exists.
Portable stick treats covered in chocolate.
Mini pies! I love mini food! It makes me feel slightly less guilty. But you can also be like “I get a whole pie to myself!”
The strawberry shortcake bar was apparently attacked by a hoard of dessert lovers. This is the aftermath.
Ohhhh that shiny chocolate top. Ohhhhh it looks so good.
Tiny fudge treats with tiny M&M’s! More tiny pies! Tiny cups of rice pudding!
Out of focus flan.
Did you think we were done yet? HAH. There’s cookies… and brownies… and fruit…
And berries… and cream…
Also also sugar free desserts!
More sugar free desserts.
And of course… and ice cream bar.
They scoop the ice cream for you but then you can put whatever the heck you want on top of that sucker.
Jake got an ice cream cone with butter pecan and strawberry.
And he got one little butterscotch pie (which was really tasty – the crust was buttery and crisp and the butterscotch filling was creamy and just a little sweet – I might have stolen half of this from him) and some fruit. He’s not big on dessert.
As for me… it was really, really hard choosing! I got this slice of orange cake. The orange cake was very light – the texture of it reminded me of a tres leches cake (very moist) but with a stronger orange flavor. I found this to be too soft for my liking since it was very moist.
I loved the look of this one with the glistening, shiny top. They really know how to make the desserts look appealing here! The top was a soft meringue that had the consistency of a marshmallow. I didn’t enjoy the top but I loved the chocolate bottom! I just scraped the top off and enjoyed the creamy chocolate bottom.
In the taller cup with the raspberry is rice pudding. The green pie is a mini key lime tart which Jake commandeered from me. That was his favorite item – it had a good tart flavor and reminded us of Key West. The cream puff (which is covered in chocolate with a gold flake on top) had a vanilla bean custard inside (you could even see the vanilla bean specks). The cookie was a shortbread like cookie with pecan and dusted in powdered sugar. My favorite item was in the tiny cup – it had a coffee flavored mousse topped off with crunchy little chocolate balls plus a nice swirl of whipped cream and a little stick of chocolate. I loved the coffee flavor of that tiny little dessert!
All in all Jake and I enjoyed this buffet more than some other ones we’ve been to. Not everything is outstanding but I liked the variety and the freshness of the food. I also liked that they had a ton of options – lots of side dishes, sugar free desserts, and more!
This Tasty Life: http://food.theplainjane.com— This blog is a creative outlet for me and my need/desire to write. With a journalism degree in my back pocket, I wanted a fun way to express myself and got into food blogging one day when my friend, Alyssa and I started photographing all of the food we ate. By day, I am a front end web developer and in my off-time I like to bake, cook, and explore new foods! My boyfriend, Jake, is heavily featured in my posts. His kids sometimes make an appearance as well as my friends and co-workers. I write the way I talk, freely and openly with a bit of humor and snark. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in San Diego. You can email me at maryd at theplainjane.com (remove the spaces). I accept proposals, advertising inquiries, product review and restaurant review inquiries and more. Just contact me and we can discuss it.