To this little unvegan, few things are more incredible than a buffet. Where else can a man choose from such a vast collection of meat products? Whoa, are there vegetables in the general vicinity of this chicken dish? Too bad, I guess I’ll just move on to the next one. A buffet is a place of choice and almost literally a microcosm of the fulfillment of the American Dream.
As the dream goes, there is no greater collection of delicious buffets than in Las Vegas. It’s no stretch to think of Vegas as the buffet Mecca, and the Kaaba in this Mecca must surely be Rio’s Carnival World Buffet.
When I was seated, I didn’t even take the time to sit down, as I just threw my jacket on my seat to begin my feast.
Round 1: Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and a meatball.
There was no need to take it slowly. It is a fact that it takes twenty minutes for the mind to realize that the stomach is full, so I had to get as much food as I could before my crazy stomach decided it was full. Since I had been drinking all day, I went straight for the fried food. The fried chicken was a good heavy hitter to coat my stomach. The mashed potatoes were great as a side, featuring a healthy amount of butter and even some cheese. The single meatball stood strong for a loner, while the only disappointment was the mac and cheese, which needed a lot of salt and loving. I don’t understand how restaurants can mess up mac and cheese. I strongly believe that any restaurant should be able to make food better than I can, yet somehow whenever I make Kraft’s Macaroni and Cheese, it seems to turn out better than a restaurant version of the same dish. I made sure to rid myself of these thoughts and kept on eating. After a quick devouring, I moved on.
Round 2: Pizza, crab legs, french fries and a soft pretzel.
My next set of food featured quite a variety. The pepperoni pizza was pretty good, but nothing worth filling up my stomach on. The crab legs, however, must be the greatest idea that buffets have ever come up with, at least from the point of view of the buffet owners. It takes so damn long to open those legs up and eat them (oh wow that just sounds wrong), that you don’t realize your twenty-minute eating window is closing. After eating one, I decided to make the jump to the fries, which were more like a smorgasbord of potato. Not only were there regular fries, but also steak fries and tater tots. All that was missing were waffle and curly fries. Maybe they’ll have those next time to complete the package. The soft pretzel was also a great addition, but I couldn’t get past thinking it was just filler and only had a few bites.
Round 3: Roast beef, turkey, BBQ beans, corn and more mashed potatoes.
It was around this time that my friends got full and stopped making their runs for the buffet. I would be lying if I said I needed more food, but this was no longer a matter of eating for survival, I was eating because there was just so much left for me to experience. As my stomach began to feel the effects of my binge, I made sure to hit the meat hard. That’s what she said. I got myself a nice, big slice of roast beef and an equal slice of turkey to accompany it. Just in case turkey wasn’t enough of a side dish, I also grabbed some BBQ beans, corn and mashed potatoes. The roast beef was tasty, especially with the gravy, but the turkey was a bit dry. Luckily, everything else made up for it and whet my appetite for a final push to the buffet.
Round 4: Beef short ribs, an enchilada, a taquito and a taco.
Although it didn’t fit with the general fiesta theme of my plate, I decided I could use some beef short ribs, which were really good and didn’t get too stuck in my teeth. I had mangled the enchilada while getting it onto my plate, which may or may not have been the reason I didn’t love it. The taquito, however, more than made up for it. Finally, I had the kicker, a make-your-own-taco, complete with melted cheese sauce. Oh, how I wish I could have discovered the sauce in the beginning of my feast! As my condiment of choice, it surely would have turned a superb meal into the best meal on Earth. Alas, this was not meant to be, and I could only enjoy the sauce on my Mexican fare and long for that day that I return to Rio.