Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gluten Free at the Las Vegas Buffets

Buffets in Las Vegas are no longer cheap, but they are still a bargain compared to eating in one of the many “designer” restaurants by celebrity chefs such as Emeril or Wolfgang Puck. I had two buffets while I was in Vegas this weekend, and each was under $30. Compare that to the menu at Tom Colicchio’s CraftSteak (located at the MGM Grand, where I was staying) offering a “three course menu starting at $110.”

CraftSteak wasn’t in the budget (a pity, since the menu looked great), so we had dinner on Friday night at the Planet Hollywood buffet for $24.99. “Chef Mike” took me through the buffet to show me what was safe for me. It’s worth mentioning that you always have to use your judgment and be informed, since these chefs have to keep a lot of different allergies and intolerances in mind, they can get confused. Mike briefly thought I couldn’t eat corn and also said “you can have pasta, right?” as he got the corn and wheat mixed up. Once we firmly established what my particular intolerance was, he was great. The buffet at Planet Hollywood is pretty extensive, but there wasn’t a lot of GF choices. Of course, I don’t eat seafood, and there was a significant amount of GF food there, so it might be a good choice for the seafood lover. I had Prime Rib, sweet potatoes, grilled asparagus, and fruit. There was flan for dessert, but I was full, so I passed.

I never actually sat down for a real meal on Saturday. I had no breakfast, lunch at McDonalds (yogurt parfait and French fries), and for dinner I ate peanut butter and crackers in my room. Jif now sells these cute individual packets of peanut butter that are great for travel and I had brought some Nut-Thins with me.

Sunday we headed out to brunch at The Wynn ($29.95 WITH champagne, $23.95 without it. I chose to have the champagne!) The Buffet at The Wynn is justifiably famous as one of the best in Las Vegas. I met Chef Tim, whose last job was in Dallas at our prestigious Mansion at Turtle Creek. We chatted about Dallas for a few minutes and he showed me the buffet. I over-ate so much that I may not need to eat again until next year. I had:
Prime Rib
BBQ Ribs
Mashed Potatoes
Corn on the Cob (in a really delicious mayo-based cream sauce)
Bananas and Strawberries in Crème Fraiche (this was the only thing I ate that I didn’t particularly like)
California Rolls
Homemade Coffee Ice-Cream with toasted coconut sprinkles (very rich coffee flavor)
Caramel Rice Pudding (a little too sweet)
And, of course, several Mimosas.

For dinner, I had an apple.

On Monday, my companion and I had our breakfast delivered by room service, so that we could catch an early flight. We ordered the night before, and it was delivered promptly as promised. The gentleman who took my order was knowledgeable about Celiac disease and went to double check for me to guarantee that the hash browns were safe. We had omelets, hash browns, and coffee; everything was very tasty.

Vegas is a funny town. There are some things I really like about it and some things that are really annoying (mostly the smoke and noise), but I will say that I was well fed and I had no problem finding safe choices without any advance planning. Viva Las Vegas!


1 comment:

  1. it may not matter at this point, but MCDonald's fries do contain gluten and dairy.