Interested in hearty, great-tasting food that doesn't cost a fortune? Look no further than the Garden Court Buffet at Main Street Station. Located in downtown, it's a casual, family-friendly place serving classic home-style eats that won't just fill your belly -- they'll also fill your mind with happy thoughts!
Situated at the center of the resort next to the main bar (look for the giant bronze statue of a wild boar), the dining room is sure to wow you. In addition to soaring wood ceilings and enchanting chandeliers, round tapered columns and intricate metallic arches add to the ambiance. The décor features statues surrounded by greenery, potted plants and floral-printed carpeting. There's a giant circular tree bench with tables positioned all around it. At the Garden Court Buffet, you'll feel like you're eating in a park a thousand miles away from Las Vegas.
A long, winding counter borders the kitchen, which is open so diners can look in as the food is being freshly prepared. At the standard dinner buffet, choose from dishes at seven stations. Hungry for a crisp salad, spaghetti, fried chicken or beef stew? They're all here. Been dying for some hot wings, nachos or pork chops with mushroom brown gravy? You'll find them here, too. Delicious vegetables from creamy mashed potatoes to broccoli and green beans are plentiful. And there are several different kinds of rolls to butter up.
One of the highlights at the Garden Court Buffet is the pizza station. You can watch as the dough is prepped and placed into a brick oven. What comes out is ooey-gooey goodness with an array of toppings that range from pepperoni to Canadian bacon and pineapple. If you're not counting your carbs, you'll want to load up on the golden breadsticks and garlic bread as well.
Lovers of Italian cuisine are sure to adore the manicotti made with spinach and ricotta. Mexican food enthusiasts will revel in the chile rellenos, chicken taquitos and build-your-own tacos. The Pacific Rim is also represented with items like oxtail stew, spicy tofu, kalua pork, dim sum, chow mein and egg rolls. Devotees of down-home Southern cooking will delight in collard greens, baked yams and cornbread. At "The Broiler," meat eaters can pile fine cuts of prime rib and baked turkey on their plate, along with sausages and barbecued pork ribs.
And don't miss out on the seafood. Try the tilapia in a sweet chili sauce, fried shrimp and salmon with tarragon sauce. A more extensive seafood buffet is offered each week on Friday nights. The Garden Court Buffet boasts other themed spreads -- including T-bone steaks on Tuesday nights, steak and scampi on Thursday nights and prime rib on Saturday nights.
Finally, a separate serving area -- labeled "Temptations" -- is dedicated solely to desserts. You will discover a big display case of pies. Slices of blueberry, pecan, pumpkin, chocolate, Key lime, lemon meringue, apple, cherry, banana cream and even sugar-free varieties abound. They are a real treat and a rarity among Las Vegas buffets. There's also a soft-serve machine dispensing chocolate and vanilla ice cream, which can be topped with flavored syrups, nuts and crumbled peanut butter cups. Other decadent desserts -- everything from bread pudding and lemon poppy-seed cake to Jello and brownies -- are also available.
Simply put, what you'll get at the Garden Court Buffet is quality food that's an incredible value for your money. With something sure to please all ages and tastes, there's often a line to get in. But the staff works diligently to attend to everyone as quickly as possible -- and the meal is definitely worth waiting for!
-- By Renée LiButti