VitalVegas and the Art of the Casino Buffet


Meet Scott Roeben – one of my favorite bloggers to read daily, and his blog Vital Las Vegas.  Here is what Scott says about himself (or, them, since he talks about himself in third person plural!)….

 “We have been in Las Vegas for more than a decade, and once created words for one of the world’s most recognized Web sites,  From there, we went on to write the blog for  Caesars Entertainment, the world’s largest gaming company, including a number of Las Vegas resorts. The blog was named the “Best Blog” in the country in PR Daily’s 2012 Digital PR and Social Media Awards. We were named the most valuable blogger/blog in Las Vegas in 2011 by CBS Las Vegas, and were an editor’s choice for Best Blog in the Trippies Awards in 2010.”

Notice the newest award he received – the Las Vegas Digital Media Award for Best Blog in 2013.  Bravo, Scott!Las Vegas Digital Media Award

Now, he really is only one guy, but he can be as bazaar as he is interesting – funny as he is informative.  What else would you want from someone giving you a personal perspective of Las Vegas?  As a newbie to Las Vegas, you can pick up essential tips for your first visit.  As an experienced visitor, Scott gives you an insider look at things you might not have yet experienced and should……or not.

Last week, Scott posted in his blog “10 Ways to Make the Most of a Las Vegas Buffet.”  This inspired me to see if any of his suggestions would apply to our four casino buffets ( five if you count Oxford Casino occasional buffet).  The two largest (and most expensive) buffetts are as you would expect in CT’s mega-resorts at Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods (no more Foxwoods-MGM).  Two smaller buffets include Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway in Bangor, Maine and a gem of a small buffet at Newport Grand Slots in Newport, Rhode Island.

So, here is the Vital Vegas list, edited to meet New England’s buffets.  Actually, Scott’s strategy works well for just about any buffet.

1.  Have a strategy – “To own a Vegas buffet, or any buffet), you need to have a strategy. Is it most important to have a lot of your favorite dish or to try a wide variety of dishes? Don’t wait until you arrive before sorting this out…. Don’t just wing it!” (This is especially important for the larger buffets)

2. Don’t Starve Yourself Beforehand – “If you don’t eat, your stomach will contract, leaving less room for all the buffet goodness. Eat light in the morning before your buffet adventure, including food with sugar to get your metabolism ready for the challenge ahead.”  (Now, I’m not so sure nutritionists would agree with the sugar-thing, but buffets are not just about quality – it’s about quantity!  Of course, I remind you to review Suggestion #1 again.)

3. Drink Water Instead – “In the days before your buffet visit, drink lots of water to stretch your stomach. That way, you’ll be ready to get the most value for your buffet dollar.”  (Ok, there are many reasons to drinks lots of water, especially out there in the desert.  So, while you are preparing to keep hydrated and preparing to deal with the occasionally hangover after the casino experience (not that I know about  this first hand, but I’ve read about it), why not prepare for a little more gastronomical joy?)

4. Chew Gum and Swallow Ice Cubes(You have to read Scott to understand where he is coming from.  This might fit a vacation in Las Vegas, but I’ll pass on suggesting this one for your usual buffet visit.  If you want to know why he suggests this, go to

5. Time Your Visit CarefullyThis is one suggestion that has been used ever since the buffet was a staple experience in a casino.  Scott writes, “One of the best tips for making the most of a Las Vegas buffet (or all-day buffet with different pricing per settings)  involves perfectly timing one’s visit. Costs vary depending upon which meal is being served. The idea is to pay for breakfast, but to arrive just before the lunch menu is served. The same goes for paying the lunch price, but getting the dinner dishes. Buffet Web sites are an invaluable source of information, so exploit them.”

6. Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing(I love this one!)  “Comfort is important as your body accommodates lots of food……..Belts are the enemy of a winning buffet experience. Expandable waistbands are the buffet champ’s best friend.”

7. Visit All the Buffet Stations, Without a Plate(This is closely related to suggestion #1. maybe should be 1A?) “It’s important that your first pass of the buffet be for surveying purposes only. Going empty-handed will help you avoid making impulsive selections. See what’s available, then formulate a plan of attack.”

7A. This is Binbin’s (so I’ll speak in third person too, I guess) suggestion concerning plate-size.  Take smaller plates – not necessarily to eat less, but to leave the table more.  Getting up for a stretch and walking around again to survey the best of what you missed is a great strategy to continue the experience.  After all, for the price of many of the largest buffets, you want to just spend time and relax a little more, get a little exercise and get a time value out irt as well!

8. Avoid Stomach-Fillers like “…. salads, bread, rice pastas and pizza because they’re the least expensive to provide. Focus on the meat and seafood if you’re looking to get the most value from your buffet investment.”

9. Eat Slowly and Deliberately – “Avoid the temptation to gorge yourself quickly. Take your time. Buffets are a marathon, not a sprint” (Besides, that roll, pasta & salad, oh my, just takes up too much space and mixes with the goodness of all the rest – seperate is how I like it.)

10. Don’t Screw Up Dessert – “The single biggest mistake of novice buffet-goers is eating so much that they can’t enjoy dessert. While desserts aren’t the most high-cost items at a buffet, they’re some of the most pleasing, so save room.”  I agree.  After all, the desserts are what many of the best casino buffets are the most proud.  Leave room, try small quantities of all.

So, let’s review:

1) This blog includes ten suggestions for getting the best “VALUE” from your buffet.
2) More importantly, check out Scott’s blog at
That’s all for now.

2 thoughts on “VitalVegas and the Art of the Casino Buffet

  1. binbin415 says:

    You’re welcome. I read you everyday through Hunter’s app VegasMate. Oh, by the way, great suggestion for the Viator contest on Five Hundy. So funny, but so true. It could end at the Berlin Wall in Main Street Station.

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