Bacchanal at Caesar’s Palace

The Emperor of All Buffets

Caesar’s Palace set out to create the best buffet in town, and succeeded. With a selection this vast, and quality so high, you could eat here every night and not get bored—but with a price tag of $55, you probably won’t want to.

Even at this price, the lines can be long. I’ve heard of several-hour waits. Arrive early for dinner (say, 4:30pm) and you’ll probably wait only 20-30 minutes—or check in at a kiosk and get a text message when your turn comes. You can skip the line with an upgraded Total Rewards card, and I’m also told you can skip it for twenty bucks.

Caesar's
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The line at Bacchanal

So, what do you get for your sixty bucks including tax? Hundreds of selections of great food, and when you think you’ve reached the end, you discover there’s a whole other room around the corner, full of more food. It’s crazy. You’d need multiple visits to try everything that looks appealing.

Green mussels and crab legs

For starters, there is perfectly-cooked, peeled shrimp cocktail, green mussels, Jonah crab claws, and there are, indeed, oysters on the half-shell; the shuck-to-plate time might be a little long on these, but not enough to make them less than delicious. There’s a shellfish salad with shrimp and scallops, and of course crab legs.

Oysters
Shrimp
Shrimp and mussels
Mussels
Jonah claws

Which brings me to my only real complaint about Bacchanal: the crab legs. They are only available cold and pre-halved. At this level, they should have hot, steamed crab legs, both snow and king crab. They will heat up your cold crab legs for you, and indeed, at the the Italian section they have “steamed” crab legs ready to serve. They’re not steamed. They are the same pre-halved legs, plunged into hot water after having already been cooked. The result is as you’d expect: overcooked crab meat with much of the flavor boiled out. You’re better off just eating them cold.

But they’re still good cold. Normally I’d have to specify which of these things are good, but not here: everything I mentioned is beautiful.

Carving
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Head to the carving station for a nice selection, including several kinds of sausages, prime rib, brisket, BBQ ribs, turkey, and lamb chops. My prime rib was disappointingly overcooked, so I asked for a piece “as rare as you’ve got” and received one that was still quite overcooked; not enough to ruin it, but too much to be really great. That aside, everything else I’ve tried was great. The kielbasa is a real standout.

The made-to-order street tacos are better than I’ve had at any buffet. Nearby are little dishes of some great nachos; the tortilla chips taste freshly-made.

Nachos
Nachos!
Street tacos
Street tacos, made to order.
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Around the corner you’ll find an Asian section that, unlike almost any other buffet, is actually worth a damn. Highlights include the chicken feet in black bean sauce, pork dumplings, and well-above-average spring rolls.

Asian

For dessert, if you can still eat, head straight for the made-to-order crêpe station. There’s a lot to choose from, but the crêpes are where it’s at.

Crepes
Crêpe station.
Dessert
The dessert area.

An extra $22 will get you unlimited beer and wine, but $22 is excessive.

This is the best buffet in town, with a price tag to match. Here are some more pictures to convince you to eat here.

Chicken feet
Chicken feet in black bean sauce.
Oysters
Oysters!
Cheese
Cheese.
mini-sandwiches
Mini-sandwiches abound.
Chicken in waffle cones
Chicken in waffle cones. No, I don’t understand, either.
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Mexican.