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FEAST BUFFET AT SANTA FE STATION

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Santa Fe Station

4949 N. Rancho Rd.

Las Vegas, NV 89130

866-767-7771

website

$8-$14

Daily 8am-9pm

Buffet

B+

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

Great food, huge selection, bargain price, inconvenient location.

Where is it?

At Santa Fe Station on the north side of Las Vegas.

What kind of food is served?

Barbeque, Asian, Tex-Mex, Italian, American, desserts, salad, and more.

What is the atmosphere like?

Modern, high ceilings, and airy - very comfortable.

How is the service?

Both the serving station staff and the wait staff are very attentive.

What are the prices like?

A fraction of the cost of most buffets of its caliber.

What else do I need to know?

It's worth the drive.

What's the bottom line?

Way better than it has any right to be at these costs.

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FULL REVIEW

There are dozens of buffets in Las Vegas, so what make one stand out from another? A wide variety of food choices is an obvious answer; well-prepared and fresh a must. Value is a primary consideration as the price of buffets skyrockets each year. Service and atmosphere are important too.

The Feast Buffet at Santa Fe Station stands out in every category, making this a dining experience that you absolutely must consider on your next Vegas vacation.

The room is a high-ceilinged, airy affair; modern and comfortable with plenty of booths and tables. Since it is open to the casino, the seating areas located near the front can be a little noisy but that's a minor concern.

The selection of food is almost staggering. Start with the salad bar area, packed with the typical chilled varieties of lettuce and accompaniments but also featuring cold cuts, cheeses, fresh fruit, rolls, soup, and more.

Get into the main courses and the choices become more difficult. I highly recommend you cruise the entire length of the serving stations to get an idea what's there before you load down your plate so you don't hate yourself later for being too full to indulge in something you missed.

There's a barbecue station with several picnic favorites like Texas macaroni salad, potato salad, and cheddar mashed potatoes; heavily sauced affairs such as ribs, pulled pork, and shredded barbeque beef; plus some true southern regional cooking like collared greens.

Visit the Asian section for everything from potsickers to Pad Thai with stops at things like spicy eggplant, sweet and sour pork, egg rolls, and "General's Chicken" along the way.

The Italian area has a made to order pasta bar (pick from a variety of noodles, sauces, and fresh ingredients while they cook it for you) plus a pizza oven and items like meatballs, sausage and peppers, and lasagna if you are pretending you're carbo-loading.

The American area has a carving station with turkey, ham, or roast beef plus traditional diner fair like fried chicken and catfish with hush puppies.

I'm not done yet. Keep going to the Tex-Mex area for tamales, enchiladas, chicken or beef fajitas, and made to order Mexican favorites.

And finally be sure to save a little bit of room for the dessert area. Most buffets in this town stumble badly in this category but Santa Fe's Feast does a great job with cookies, cakes, pies, several different cobblers, soft-serve ice cream with all the toppings, and even hand-scooped gelato.

Keep in mind that selections change often and I visited during lunch so what you find when you get there may be different depending on the time of day and day of the week. But I can attest that everything I tried was fresh, hot when it was supposed to be hot and cold when it was supposed to be cold, and very well prepared.

All of this for prices that are a fraction of what similar buffets on The Strip charge. Breakfast is only $8, lunch a buck more, and dinner and the weekend brunch only $14. If you sign up for the free Station Casinos players' club card they'll even knock and additional couple of bucks off of that.

True, the location is a bit of a drag. Located on the far northwest side of town it's quite a trek for most Vegas visitors but if you have a car at your disposal it's really not that big of a deal. And I don't want to hear you whining about how expensive buffets in Las Vegas have gotten - not when there's one as winning as The Feast at Santa Fe Station.

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