3770 Las Vegas Blvd S.
Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV 89109
In Vegas, they say it’s all about the buffets. Indeed most casinos on the strip have one, and you can walk right in and eat without gambling. In fact many are comped right to your room. Such is the case with The Buffet at Monte Carlo. Most used by the guests of the hotel itself the place has a plethora of options it serves for lunch and dinner. Of course, this casino was created by MGM as more of a budget option for the strip. You’ll find the buffet matches. In quality, not price.
The buffet is big. It has a few dozen hot dishes a day with some switching all the time and others being constant. Some things I tried:
- Fried chicken: extra crispy, very crunchy and featuring chicken that is still moist on the inside. I like the stuff for its crunch but it can be a little oily.
- Beef brisket: served out of the middle of the buffet, this brisket is wildly juicy and just a little smokey. For that reason its an awesome main course.
- Smoked turkey breast: A simpler dish, but the meat is allowed to speak for itself a little, which is nice. Can get dried out if left too long, though.
- BBQ Ribs: The meat is great, though the ribs could stand to be a bit less mothered in sauce.
- Grilled Salmon: The best of the seafood, the salmon is moist and served with a little lemon to give it an extra kick. The best of the seafood.
- Fried haddock: The stand-in fish is battered and served up plain, but it’s dry on the inside.
- Sushi: There are a few simple sushi rolls, always served chilled, and they’re typically filled with crab stick or tuna. Good if you like the inexpensive store variety.
- Orange chicken: There tends to be a few options if you want some Chinese-inspired food, and the Orange chicken is lightly fried, bite-sized and not too bad, though it could use a bit more sauce. Because it too dries out fast.
The buffet is specifically designed with quality in mind – you must wait to be seated, often in a deliberately gradual manner, and at $25 a head ($18 for lunch) you’re not paying for a run-of-the-mill experience. Unfortunately, that’s what you get here, with many of the foods tasting frozen and others drying out quickly in the heat lamps, even amid the lunch time or dinner time rushes.
All in all, it’s not uncommon to get a meal comped if you stay at Monte Carlo, no doubt this makes a significant part of the audience here. And while it’s useful to take advantage of those comps to make a visit to the strip less expensive, this spot isn’t worth paying the full price to try. Stick to the casino.
- The lunch buffet has largely the same options as dinner, albeit at a different price.
- Items at the center of the buffet on the meat table are the best bet for a main course. Otherwise stick to the sides.
- If you’re staying at the hotel, see if you can get a few trips here comped.