By: Keith Bennett
Review Date: 06-20-14
STAFF REVIEW: The print ads found around the casino tell visitors that the Grand Buffet “features an enormous variety of delicious items including Italian, Mexican, Asian and hearty American style dishes! Enjoy Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in the buffet, and Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays!”
Tuesday Night – Italian Night & Pasta Bar (3:30 PM to 9:00 PM) – $12.99
Thursday Night – Mexican Night & Taco Bar (3:30 PM to 9:00 PM) – $12.99
Friday Night – Crab Legs & Prime Rib (3:30 PM to 9:00 PM) – $19.99
We had family in the 1990’s that always stayed at The Edgewater. Those who stay and play at the Edgewater usually end up with coupons and points that enable them to eat for free at the Grand Buffet — so they typically do. As tag alongs back in the day, we ate here regularly, because of that. Back then I read that the Grand Buffet was the largest Laughlin Buffet (in terms of number of items) on the Laughlin Strip. I can attest to the fact that “back then” there were many more items than these days. Are they still the biggest? These days some of the kiosk-like stations are empty or only have a couple of items.
These days we are often staying on the Laughlin Strip with friends who appreciate the Edgewater’s –now Colorado Belle’s– poker room and so the trend continues. We have had numerous opportunities to eat free of cost at the Grand Buffet. Most recently we had dinner here on Friday (Crab Legs and Prime Rib) 06-20-14. Buffets are hard to review. Or is that my excuse to temper my comments? Can buffets even get a decent overall review? You know as the owner of an attorney marketing firm, I so appreciate the Edgewater / Colorado Belle’s marketing people that I sometimes feel like I am bashing dear friends when I have to be brutally honest in a review like the one I just did on their new dual-property restaurant The Loading Dock Bar & Grille. So on the Grand Buffet, maybe it is best that I put the review in an easy to scan PROS and CONS in case you are looking for a Buffet destination.
If you are a fan of Crab Legs, you can scarf them to your heart’s desire on Fridays. I noted piles and piles of crab leg shells from numerous patrons who take advantage of this Friday night treat. My table companions were certainly crab fans. One always saves room for a slice of Prime Rib with some spicy horseradish sauce.
- Breakfast Buffet is a good choice – hard to screw up a breakfast buffet. Omelet station with chef, Belgian waffles, mini bagels (with cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onions, & capers), country fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, Salisbury steak etc…
- Hint: Omelet chef treats you better if you know a little Spanish lingo.
- Friday Crab Legs Buffet is a good choice if you are a crab person.
- The cashiers always seem like Walmart Greeters: Super friendly, can POWER THROUGH player cards with magician-like hands to offset needing cash, often “experienced seasoned citizens” (except the young man –last time– who is super human, works register, waits tables, and if I was his boss he would be in-line to be the Buffet’s manager).
- Wait staff work very hard and are very friendly.
- I’ve heard comments that the decor is tired & dated.
- I have personally walked by a broken glass pane going on 3 years in a exit door from an overflow room that enters the long hallway exit. This is an indicator that management doesn’t accept the Broken Window Theory.** When you see obvious BROKEN / UN-FIXED issues go unaddressed for y-e-a-r-s in a business that actively reaches out to recruit patrons you assume that the facilities management (or senior management) participates in allowing their property to be thought of as “in decline.”
- I’ve been behind people in line who were shocked to find the advertised prices do not apply without having a valid player’s card (i.e. stop & get a free Player’s Card).
- The number of items has decreased over the years.
- The quality and freshness of food has declined over the years.
Compare ALL Laughlin Buffets
|Hotel / Casinos||Buffet’s Webpage||Links to Yelp Reviews|
|Riverside||Riverside Buffet||3.0 STARS (19 Yelp Reviews)|
|Aquarius||Windows On the River Buffet||2.5 STARS (40 Yelp Reviews)|
|Edgewater||Grand Buffet||2.5 STARS (40 Yelp Reviews)|
|Colorado Belle||Captain’s Buffet||1.5 STARS (20 Yelp Reviews)|
|Tropicana||Roundhouse Buffet||4.0 STARS – (4 Yelp Reviews)|
|River Palms||Island Buffet||2.5 STARS (12 Yelp Reviews)|
|Harrah’s||Fresh Market Square Buffet||3.0 STARS (39 Yelp Reviews)|
Grand Buffet – Location, Phone, Website and Menu
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**The Broken Windows Theory was first introduced by social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, in an article titled “Broken Windows” which appeared in the March 1982 edition of The Atlantic Monthly. The title comes from the following example:
Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or dirty streets in some cities. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, residents mentally give up and are likely to toss litter – why not?
Consider a destination property with deferred maintenance items. If there are broken glass panes, leaky roofs, rusting rails along the River Walk, un-patched holes in concrete block where the McDonald’s, Nathan’s and Krispy Kreme signs had been mounted, eventually people stop joking that the Pioneer is falling apart and start saying that The Edgewater is a “perfect example” of why _______. May even be a subtle signal to employees: “if management doesn’t give a rip, why should we?”
A successful strategy for preventing a property from being seen as a property-in-decline is to fix problems when they are small. Repair the broken window pane that ALL Buffet Patrons see and REMEMBER within a short time, say, a day or a week