Define “paradise” for me, please, Flamingo Las Vegas. It must refer to the view of the gardens from the Flamingo’s buffet, because it surely isn’t referring to the buffet itself. I stayed at the Flamingo Las Vegas over Labor Day weekend this year. Before I checked out of the hotel on Labor Day, I decided to splurge on a buffet breakfast to fuel me up for the day. I find Vegas buffets in general are good solo-friendly dining options, because there’s no awkward wait time between ordering your food and receiving it the way there is in regular restaurants. You can get it and out relatively quickly. I had read poor reviews of this particular buffet online, but decided to take a chance on breakfast anyway, because, really how can you screw up pancakes and eggs? Well, you can, apparently.
The first shock to my system was when I was told breakfast would cost $24. Twenty-four dollars for BREAKFAST??? Are you kidding me? At this point, I should have walked away and had breakfast elsewhere. That would have been the smart thing to do. But I reasoned with myself that surely, if they were charging so much, they must be putting on a special brunch spread for the holiday, right? Wrong. They were just jacking up the price because it was a busy holiday weekend.
Not only did they not serve anything super special for a holiday breakfast, they didn’t even have some of the most basic staples of a breakfast buffet: There were no pancakes, no waffles*, no berries, and no french toast–just something called a “french toast casserole” that didn’t resemble french toast so much as a bland, sloppy mess. I wound up eating that plus scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, a mini-quiche, hash browns, a slice of brie cheese, and a chunk of melon. (I could have gotten a made-to-order omelet, but I don’t like having to wait for something to be cooked at a buffet. In retrospect, I should have waited.) Nothing stood out as being above average in quality. The one positive was that my large orange juice was included in the price of the buffet. They did have a few lunch items out at 10:30 am, but who wants salad or dessert for breakfast? Not me. I did not go back for seconds, which is unheard of for me at a buffet. But the first plate of food was so disappointing, I thought “Why bother?” So if I wasn’t paying $24 for good food, what was I paying for?
Certainly not the service. From the no-nonsense cashier who brusquely rushed me through the (non-existent) line for the buffet as if I were an annoyance rather than a customer, to my invisible waitress who never showed her face to me so I could tell her she had neglected to give me a spoon with which to stir my coffee, service here was sorely lacking. The only good service I got was from the hostess who pleasantly obliged me in seating me at a two-top by the window so I could have a nice view while I ate my very mediocre breakfast. The window, of course, was smudged and dirty.
I think the thing that sticks in my craw the most was how offensively they jacked up the prices just because it was a holiday. I hate price-gouging in any form, and this was price-gouging, pure and simple. I felt like I’d been mugged. This breakfast was worth $10 max.
So thank you, hostess, for being the only bright spot in an otherwise horrid breakfast experience at the Flamingo’s Paradise Garden Buffet. I give this buffet a D- and recommend that if you’re staying at the Flamingo, do yourself a favor and have breakfast anywhere but here.
*According to the Flamingo’s website, they do serve pancakes and waffles for breakfast, but believe me, I looked. There were none. It’s possible they may have run out of both at the time I was there, but what are the odds?