Merry Christmas: The Buffet @ River Rock

What better way to spend Christmas Eve than with family….though not at someone’s house of course! But at a buffet instead, where everyone can eat to their heart’s content without having to wash a single dish! With this place, you have to get there really early, as in maybe even an hour before it opens as there’s often a giant lineup; if you aren’t part of the first group to get in, you’ll have to wait an hour and a half for the next sitting.

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Today, because it’s near Christmas time, the price was $29.95 a person, though usually, during regular times of the year, it’s that price as well.

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Instead of getting salad first like I did at Uncle Willy’s, I dove right into the “good stuff”. At the bottom we have some dynamite rolls, which, although aren’t the best pieces of sushi I’ve ever eaten, weren’t too bad (better than Uncle Willy’s at least). At 5 O’clock, you’ll see the Banana Leaf Fried Rice (it was rather bland and lacking character). 2 O’clock shows the golden goodness of the Deep Fried Won Ton, which was DELICIOUSLY crunchy yet still being nice and juicy on the inside. Behind the won ton lies mashed potato (it was very fluffy, probably due to a lot of butter being used). At 12 O’clock we’ve got some pan fried mushrooms which were a little on the salty side, but still very yummy. To the left of the mushrooms is their supposed feature of the night: prime rib; I found it to be VERY dry, tough, and lacking.  Tucked away under it, however, lay the chicken nuggets (not much to say about them, they’re chicken nuggets). The ham, out of the all the carved dishes, perhaps besides the turkey, was the most flavourful and fresh tasting.

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Showcasing some of the other sushi as well, they were found to be average and nothing spectacular. In the centre, you’ll see they also featured Alaskan King Crab legs. I’m not totally into that stuff, so it was found to be rather dry, though maybe it’s supposed to be like that. At 12 O’clock, they had several kinds of pastas there, though if you’re coming to a more expensive buffet like this, you’ll probably want to skip it. Like the crab, unless you’re into seafood, the clams might also not do anything for you.

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After getting fed up with the giant line for more main entrees, I migrated to the dessert station. On the left they had white chocolate cheesecake. Oh my goodness, it was melt in your mouth cheesy goodness! I think the only place I’ve had better cheesecake is probably at “Trees” downtown. On the right, we’ve got Honeydew covered in chocolate fondue (there was also Cantaloupe and Grapes, as well as various crackers and marshmallows) which you could pour the chocolate on top of. The fruit was not very fresh tasting, but the chocolate was awesome just for the virtue that it’s chocolate. On the far right, you’ll see a rum ball, which I found to be quite delectable due to the fact it had a large amount of rum in it (ha!)

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Good:

-Pretty good quality (for most of them)

-Turkey and Ham were really good, as well as the mashed potatoes and desserts!

-Good service (drinks kept being refilled)

Bad:

-Roast beef was drier than the Nevada Desert

-How they organize lineups is very poorly done (long waits to get food)

-On the pricey side

-Selection could be better

-Long wait if you didn’t get in for the first sitting

Closing Comments: It’s pretty expensive, so this might be one of those places where if you have an entertainment coupon or something, go for it, but if not, hold off and go to Uncle Willy’s or something. It’s good tasting food, though, again, I’m not sure it’s worth $30 per person

Overall Rating: 3.7 PBJ’s out of a possible 5

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