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THE BUFFET AT EXCALIBUR

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Excalibur

3850 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-597-7288

website

$18-$27

Daily 7am-10pm

Buffet

B

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

Revamped in 2015, this is a modern buffet with a wide variety of cooking stations.

Where is it?

At Excalibur on the South Strip.

What kind of food is served?

A good variety of various cuisines - American, Mexican, Chinese, and so on, plus a big dessert station and more.

What is the atmosphere like?

They've redone the previously tacky King Arthur theme and to be honest - I kind of miss it. The new room is nice but it's just not as much fun.

How is the service?

Your contact is limited with the staff but they seem friendly and well coordinated.

What are the prices like?

Dinner is going to run you around $27, while lunch and breakfast are cheaper so it's one of the less expensive buffets on The Strip.

What else do I need to know?

The lines for the made-to-order options can be long.

What's the bottom line?

Better quality than the old buffet but a little more bland.

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FULL REVIEW

When the Roundtable Buffet opened with the Excalibur in 1991, it was the first of what would be many highly themed buffet experiences in Las Vegas. Its Knights of the Round Table trappings (think suits of armor and heraldic crests everywhere) was a hoot and laid the groundwork for places like Pharoah's Pheast at Luxor and the Le Village Buffet at Paris Las Vegas. While fun from an experience perspective, it was always toward the bottom of the barrel in terms of a dining one, serving up big, heaping bins full of boring buffet food luke-warmed by heat lamps. People still visited in droves, though, because it was one of the cheapest buffets in town and sometimes all you need is fuel when you are preparing to go back and attack Sin City.

These days the Las Vegas buffet experiences has gone as decidedly upscale as most of the rest of the city, with food quality and prices hitting the stratosphere. Witness Caesars Bacchanal Buffet, which has more than 500 food items and costs more than $50 at peak times. A buffet like the old one at Excalibur just can't compete in this market.

So of course now the old buffet at Excalibur has given way to the new Buffet at Excalibur, complete with a multi-million dollar renovation, new food offerings, and new pricing of course.

The room is much nicer than it used to be although significantly less amusing. It's done in various shades of orange, red, and earth tones with plenty of table and booth seating. There are food stations lined against the back wall including ones for salads and fruit, made-to-order omelettes at breakfast and various carved meats the rest of the time, and regional cuisines like Latin, Asian, and Italian. There's also a big dessert station in the middle of the room and a drink station along another wall and even a full bar (which costs extra).

Although there was nothing terribly groundbreaking when we visited, the selections were broad ranging and satisfying. We happened to be there just as they were transitioning from breakfast to lunch so we got to see various egg dishes, the aforementioned omelettes, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, and more for the early crowd switching over to everything from pizza to carnitas tacos to a giant hunk of prime rib and beyond. Obviously menu selections will change from time to time but that gives you an idea of what you can expect.

The quality was above average if not exactly spectacular and they need to work on their temperature monitoring (some items were not as hot as I would have liked them to be) but overall this is a much better overall experience than it used to be. I liked the made-to-order crepes and the comprehensive drink station, serving coffee, tea, soft drinks, juices, and more, is a nice change from the buffets where you have to wait for someone to bring you a beverage.

While prices are a bit higher, they didn't jump as much as would be expected for this level improvement and are still on the low side for Vegas. Breakfast is around $18, Lunch $19, Dinner $23-$27, and brunch $22. You can also get an all-day pass for $36-$40, allowing you to each there at every meal in one day if you want, or you can get a "to go" pass so you can take as much as you can carry for $17-$20.

I would have still liked to have seen one suit of armor, but if it came down to a choice between that and better food I'd choose the latter so they made the right decision.

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