I realize there has been a lot of silence on my end. The end of November and the beginning of December were crazy, with my internships, finals and sorority obligations. But now I am on break (THANKFULLY), and am getting back in the blogging swing of things.
I have to admit, I’ve been extremely lazy in the cooking department as of late. Let’s just say that the past few weeks the restaurants of Davis have been reaping the benefits of my patronage big time (I’m looking at you, Nugget). I’m very much committed to getting back in the kitchen, but all in good time. For now, I would like to share with you the most glorious, gluttonous, food experience I have had thus far in my life.
I recently went to VEGAS with thirty of my sorority sisters (yes, thirty, you read that right). It was definitely some of the most fun I have ever had, and I can really only describe the experience as surreal. We stayed at the Venetian, which I highly recommend (although the next time I go, there is somewhere else I’d like to stay…more on that later), and I roomed in a suite with six of my friends. One of these friends had heard of a buffet in Vegas called the Wicked Spoon Buffet., and after a hard sell to the rest of the roommates, we convinced our room to head there for brunch. The buffet is located in the new Cosmopolitan Hotel, a destination on the strip that oozes trendiness. With the lobby filled with columns made of high definition televisions playing abstract graphics, the casual bar between the lobby and the casino, and it’s slightly out there artwork, I fell in love with this hotel as soon as we got there (this love was only solidified when we went to their nightclub, Marquee, later in the trip).
Let me start by saying that at $30 for brunch (add $8 more for bottomless mimosas), this place is an absolute steal. Sure you have to wait in about an hour line to get in, but it is totally worth it. We were all pleasantly surprised when we got inside the actual buffet and noticed the decor matched the rest of the hotel-clean, modern lines. Of course, we also noticed the food: trays and containers lined an entire (very long) wall, with a huge dessert station in the middle of the room. I actually giggled with glee.
What sets the Wicked Spoon apart from most other buffets is that rather than having the food piled on heaping trays (which can get kind of gross, I will admit), most items are individually portioned into their own cute serving containers. Furthermore, this food is really excellent stuff, and not of the lackluster quality you will find at a lot of buffets. Needless to say, I had a field day. Unfortunately I was only able to nab photos of about 1/2 the items actually consumed, but here it is for your viewing pleasure:
Clockwise from top left: eggs benedict (LOVED the individual serving dish…SO cute), leek and fontina thin crust pizza, pasta tubes in a garlic cream sauce with chicken and sundried tomatoes, and butternut squash ravioli in brown butter sage. Yep, this is not your average buffet.
Clockwise from top left: Pork banh mi, clams in saffron curry, chicken adobo, asiago stuffed gnocchi with asparagus and tomatoes (only mediocre dish of the entire brunch), and sweet and sour pork shoulder (SO. BOMB).
Chelsea’s omelette. It was build your own, obviously, and the toppings were stacked.
Fried chicken and sweet potato and pork hash. Although I didn’t eat this (sad face), I wanted to show it because I think it gives you an idea of cool the individual serving plates are.
Here is the meat carving station, that had AT LEAST seven different kinds of meat (rosemary rack of lamb, slab bacon, ribs, etc.) all carved to order right in front of you. I had some prime rib, because why not, and it melted in my mouth. For real.
Generally not a big fan of dessert, but the selections here were out of control. Above is, clockwise from top left: strawberry short cake (the creme was incredible), mini cheesecakes (raspberry and chocolate), BLACKBERRY COBBLER, almond joy gelato (actually the best flavor I have ever had), chocolate covered strawberries with heath bar, mint gelato (with real mint pieces), choco chip cookie, and molten chocolate cake. Whew, I’m tired.
By the end of the meal, we were all just kind of sitting there with our eyes glazed over, not really talking. As I have said before, buffets are not social activities. They are work.
I really, really, REALLY cannot recommend this place enough. Thirty dollars might seem like a lot, but when we compared it to our meal at Margaritaville (the saddest place on earth…a story for another time) the next day where we all paid around the same price, it is definitely a steal.