Best Las Vegas Buffet
Bacchanal of Caesars Palace v.s. Wicked Spoon of Cosmopolitan
In my first article I posted 2 years ago about who had the Best Las Vegas Buffet, Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan or Bacchanal at Caesar’s Palace. In the original post, Wicked Spoon barely won in a VERY CLOSE Battle. I have since visited both Buffets on several trips and can now report that BOTH buffets have slide in quality since the date of my original post. The key question, did one of these buffets have the ability to maintain their edge over the other?
As I reported two years ago, most buffets tend to self-destruct after two years in terms of service, quality and generally taking shortcuts. what was once Best Las Vegas Buffet could fail the next year. Both of these top two buffets are no exception. I noticed several points were both buffets are cutting back to rein in costs, although the question is if the trimming led to the benefit of the buffet or the start of a death spiral? This investigation begin as a result of my readers giving me reports of issues with each buffet. I begin to log the issues and checked them each of my own trips.
Head to Head Match Up by Buffet Section
Head-to-head score card on 12 categories (Meat Station, Fried Foods, Comfort Food, Cold Seafood, Warm Seafood, Italian/Pasta Asian, Latin/Mexican, Charchuterie, cold bar/salads, Desserts, Service, Style). Who wins Best Las Vegas Buffet in this second round? Let us discover by category.
Meat Station (2014: Decisive Win: Bacchanal)
(2012 Winner: Bacchanal)
Bacchanal: Again won this category for won this category for their variety of high end meat including prime rib, turkey, rib-eye, brisket, pork rib, beef rib, lamb chops, whole sausage links, rotisserie chicken. The one change I see with Bacchanal is that they do not have the same variety of meat as they used to have during their first year, although not significant. On my last visit they even had the tomahawk cut of rib-eye (very impressive).
Wicked Spoon: Two years ago they offered seven types of meat including prime rib, leg of lamb, turkey, rotisserie chicken, bone marrow. On my latest visit they still had 5 types of meat including prime rib, beef Colette, bone marrow, chicken, sausage. Although you can see that the offerings have degraded to cheaper cuts. Some of my readers have sent me messages that during the last two hours of the buffet, Wicked Spoon has run out of Bone Marrow.
Fried / Americana Comfort Food (2014 Marginal Win: Wicked Spoon)
(2012: Marginal Win – Wicked Spoon
Wicked Spoon: Their fried food game remains the same as it was in 2012. Still high quality fried and comfort foods.
Bacchanal In my last post I noted that Bacchanal had yet to tune their fried food game. They are much better now with crispier fries and fried fish. The fried chicken is till superior at Bacchachanal.
Cold Seafood ( 2014: Decisive Win - Bacchanal)
Bacchanal has stayed on top of their game on this category, although the key difference is that Bacchanal has scaled back on the bling bling presentation of their seafood, instead going for a more mature presentation. What they still nailed perfectly is their shellfish, crab, oysters, and mussels. Quality and variety is the key to this win. Wicked Spoon slid significantly on the quality of their crab legs (smaller and not as meaty). Wicked Spoon still does really good cold seafood salads.
Hot Seafood (2014: Tie)
Both Wicked Spoon and Bacchanal both still had a great selection cooked seafood. They both executed these dishes as if I went to a white tablecloth restaurant. No Change.
Italian/Pizza/ Pasta (2014: Tie)
(2012:Win – Wicked Spoon)
In my last review, Wicked Spoon won the Italian/ Pasta category due to their selection, quality and the make your own Mac and Cheese bar. I say a slight lowering of quality and selection in Wicked spoon. On the other hand, Bacchanal’s quality remained the same.
Asian (2014: Tie)
(2012: Win – Wicked Spoon)
In 2012 the X-Factor that made Wicked Spoon win over Bacchanal win over Wicked Spoon was variety and novel presentation. For me the Asian section has not evolved at all since Wicked Spoon opened and their were slightly fewer options. Bacchanal’s selection and set up largely remained the same over time. I liked the hot dishes better at Wicked Spoon, but Bacchanal had superior sushi and made-to-order soups in traditional wooden boxes.
Mexican/Latin (2014: Win – Bacchanal)
(2012: Win Bacchanal)
Bacchanal: Bacchanal clearly wins for better innovation and variety of Mexican-Latin dishes. Authenticity and regional influence was key to the win in both 2012 and 2014. Bacchanal still offers over nine types of fresh salsa salsa were served out of mason jarsand are very high-end authentic.
Wicked Spoon’s Mexican/Latin is smaller and with less pizaz in their game. They still offer made to order street tacos and quesodillas. They are still as delicious as usual.
Charcuterie Display (2014: Win - Bacchanal)
(2012 Decisive Win: Bacchanal)
In 2012, Bacchanal clearly dominated this category by using high-end cured meats, cheeses, breads and preserves and the consumable honey comb. This section has been scaled back. You can no longer grab a piece of honeycomb (it is now behind glass, although the honey choices are still there. I think that the quality of the meats an cheese are still high, although the last time I visited, there was slightly less choices.
Wicked Spoon - in 2012, I report that Wicked Spoon’s charcuterie display was just a small part of the cold salad section. This remains true today and it has not evolved too much. They do have a nice cheese selection.
Cold Bar / Salads (2014: Tie)
This category was unchanged, both buffets excelled with their cold salads.
Desserts (2014: Tie)
This section also remained as a tie. Wicked Spoon still excelled with their hot molten chocolate cake, but Bacchanel excelled with made to order crepes station. Both Buffets rocked the house with their Gelato stations.
Service (2014: Win – Bacchanal)
(2014: Win Wicked Spoon)
This is a reversal of fortune for Bacchanal. I think the key issue here is that Bacchanal has finally ironed out their customer service issues that we experienced the first time. No longer did we deal with waiters competing over our table. Now service is prompt, knowledgeable and seamless. Last time I reported a two hour line for the buffet, the wait time is significantly less now. The max we have waited is 30 minutes during a rush…not bad.
Wicked Spoon’s service has unfortunately taken a hard fall in our last couple visits. The issues started in the line to be seated at our table with a 15 minute wait in a half-empty dining room. When we were sat our waiter hard a hard time with refills and removing dirty plates. We have visited four times since the original glowing review and the service seems to deteriorating a little each time we visit. I hope this slide stops. Nothing worse than eating with a stack of dirty plates next to you.
Best Las Vegas Buffet is…
The Best Las Vegas Buffet is clearly Bacchanal who did a better job at ensuring that their quality did not slide. Wicked Spoon needs to do something to innovate or revamp to be dominate once more. I will still visit Wicked Spoon, although I will go in with slightly lower expectations than their hey day of 2011.
Price of Wicked Spoon and Bacchanal Buffet
Prices have increased at both Buffets since this article was first published
- Breakfast Mon-Fri $25.99
- Lunch Mon-Fri 35.99
- Dinner Sun – Thurs $50.99
- Dinner Fri & Sat $53.99
- Weekend Brunch $44.99
Note about Wicked Spoon Prices- they seem to flex with demand and seems to get most expensive on Holiday Weekends. Go to yelp and look at reviews, everyone is listing a different price for the same weekend dinner and the same weekday Brunch. There is no price listed on their website. When I called for clarification they would only give me today’s prices. Below is the BASE prices.
Daily Brunch: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. ($26.00)
Weekend Brunch: Saturday – Sunday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. ($34.00)
Daily Dinner: Monday – Thursday, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. ($38.00)
Weekend Dinner: Friday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday, 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. ($41.00)
For more info:
Best Las Vegas Buffet according to the internet?