I had occasion to be in Atlantic City on Friday evening, meeting friends from overseas who included the Jersey shore gambling mecca on the list of US cities they were visiting.
The idea was to meet up, head over to Harrah’s where my friends had purchased tickets for a “Rat Pack Revival” show featuring Dean, Frank and Sammy. We had 2 hours to kill until showtime and I figured we would eat somewhere at the hotel.
The Waterfront Buffet replaces the old Fantasea Reef buffet and is located in the new tower built in the ever expanding Atlantic City skyline along the bay. It is nothing short of spectacular and even gives you a view of one of the coolest indoor pools on the East Coast anywhere (under a dome and with a nice view of the very attractive, slender people surrounding the pool being gazed at by those feeding at the buffet troth).
The choices that are offered at Harrah’s Waterfront Buffet are difficult to enumerate, but I’ll try. First, the layout is fantastic, there are different “stations” for each series of items and everything is of a much higher quality then you usually see at Jersey shore buffets. This is NOT the Old Country Buffet.
Click to read much more about this meal.
Salad and Soup: Four different soups the night we were there (NE Clam Chowder, Roasted Eggplant, Cream of Chicken and Steak and Potato). I had the Roasted Eggplant and it was very good. The salad offerings are not overwhelming, maybe 15 items or so, but here’s the cool thing: You hand it over and the chef will chop it up for you. He/She give you your bowl back and you ladle one of the 12 dressing choices and some croutons onto the chopped salad and away you go.
Meat: Meat is offered a few different ways. First, the chef will grill you a strip steak upon request and all you do is ask. They had prime rib, roast pork, fried chicken, sausages served Brazilian style, italian sausage and peppers, and chicken cacciatore. If you could dream a meat, it was here.
Side Dishes: About 10 different vegetable offers. A cauliflower/broccoli cheese back I tried was good. They had 5 different kinds of potatoes including a baked potato bar with extensive toppings. Mixed plantains (roasted), sweet potato casserole, southern collared greens, macaroni and cheese, you name it.
Pasta: A full pasta bar, also customizable by the chef if you didn’t like what was being offered.
Fish/Seafood: Lots of people come just for this. King Crab Legs, steamed in front of you, had people lined up. All you can fit down your gullet. Salmon, fried fish, peel and eat shrimp, mussels, a mornay seafood casserole mix – you name it, they had a little something for all tastes.
We’re not half done.
A Mongolian Grill: If you’ve never been to one, they’re fantastic. Chilled or frozen meats and vegetables in a salad bar style setting. You pick all your stuff, the chef takes it and slaps it on a round flat top grill, sizzles it all up, throws your choice of six sauces (spicy, garlic, sweet, etc.) on it and then puts it all back in the bowl from whence it came. It’s delicious (and filling).
Sushi Bar: Yep, they’ve got one. It’s not bad.
Asian Food: General Tso’s Chicken, lo mein, pineapple beef (it was good), egg rolls, all the standard fare – but tasty. I tried something called a pork biscuit. Not very good. But overall a much higher quality then some Chinese buffets you’d go to.
Dessert. Wow. Cakes, pies, tarts, pudding, you name it. A homemade gelato bar and a chef preparing crepes with orange (suzette), bananas foster or cherries jubilee toppings for them (I love crepes and had two: Banana and orange). This is top notch, first class. They even have a whole sugar free section.
The waitress was attentive, checking on us every 5 or 10 minutes, clearing plates, getting drinks. My British friends were impressed as was I. Even the bread was not standard buffet fare, but rather artisan choices with wonderful variation.
If you’re in Atlantic City or elsewhere and in search of a good buffet, I recommend this one. It’s a long way from Wendy’s SuperBar. (anyone else miss that? We’ll have to blog about it some time).
Not much dough: $25 for dinner. Even cheaper for lunch. Go there. Eat much. Bring friends.
For the record: I had just two plates and they were lightly filled. Didn’t have much of an appetite, but I was impressed nonetheless.
There are a couple of good articles about the buffet here: