If you have yet to travel the world, don't feel bad. At Rio's Carnival World buffet, you'll definitely feel like you did.
This buffet is popular for its diverse selection of food from around the globe. Since the stations are organized by cuisine type, you'll have an easy time navigating without missing anything. The different stations include Italian, seafood, Japanese, Mexican, Asian and American food.
Even if you don't eat meat, you can still enjoy plenty of options. The salad bar includes all your leafy greens and veggies, but you'll also stumble upon other fun starters. The vegan-friendly, extra creamy coconut rice with cranberries is not to be missed. And just a few steps away at the Asian food station, you can pile your plate up with crispy samosas. These potato-filled bites go great with spicy hot mustard.
The made-to-order teppenyaki at the Japanese food station is simply delicious. The live teppanyaki "show" is a lot of fun since you get to watch the chef cook your meal right before your eyes. First, grab one of the wooden bowls and add your veggies at the teppanyaki buffet line. You can select items like minced ginger, garlic, onions, peppers and carrots. Pass your bowl to the chef and choose from chicken, beef or shrimp.
Tofu is also available by the veggies. And instead of a fish oil-based sauce, the chef can prepare your teppanyaki dish with soy sauce instead. We also recommend adding the delicious sweet hot sauce, which gives your meal an exciting kick. In a short time, you'll get your fabulous creation. Warning: You might want to come back a second (or third) time to try even more creations!
You can also have a made-to-order soup and noodles at the Asian station. At the noodle bar, select your choice by number. These include Vietnamese beef pho, egg drop soup, udon noodles, rice noodle with tom yum broth (a sweet and spicy Thai soup), hot and sour soup and wonton soup.
If you're a seafood lover, Carnival World Buffet offers unlimited crab legs and a small selection of sushi rolls. For more seafood options, you might want to try Village Seafood Buffet, also located inside the Rio.
There are plenty of sweets to choose from, ranging from cookies and pies to bread pudding and specialty cakes. The gelato station is the perfect ending to your dinner. Choose from flavors like chocolate or tiramisu. Since the mango and strawberry sorbet are simply blended fruit and ice, these two flavors are completely vegan.
While you dine, you can either sit in front of all the action of the buffet stations or if you don't mind a little bit of a longer walk, there is a dimly-lit dining section with booth seating. A glowing, color-changing centerpiece gives this area a lounge/nightclub feeling.
Your server will make sure you have enough soda, juice or water at your table. If you want to bring your dining experience up a notch, there's a bar by the Asian food station. The cost for alcohol is not included in your buffet admission. Soft drinks served to your table are complimentary. When you're ready to leave, you can even ask your server for bottled water to go.
The line for Carnival World Buffet isn't too bad before 5 p.m. After this time, however, you might be waiting for a bit. No matter how long you're in line, you'll find your experience around the world is worth every second.
-- Review by Jeannie Garcia