Sunday, September 9, 2012

Harvest Buffet, Cache Creek Casino

Having been to Vegas 4 times in the last 12 months, I've had my share of great, good and bad buffets all along the strip. I went in to the Harvest Buffet with low expectations, thinking thinking it was going to be along the lines of a Sizzler or Hometown Buffet. 

I started, as I usually do at a buffet, with a salad. Their selection of salad ingredients was wide and well presented. The produce was fresh and crisp. The items that were cut, were uniform and fork friendly. It was also well maintained, no cross-mixing of items and no dressing drips across the counters.

They have a great assortment of cuisines including Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Grill and American flare. The Chicken Enchiladas had good a chili flavor to them and the Pork Chile Verde was almost as good as mine. The only draw back was that the pork had a little to much cartilage. The Broccoli Beef and Young Chow Fried Rice were my favorite from the Chinese station. The sauce on the Broccoli Beef was just right, not too much and not watery and the broccoli was cooked but still had the fresh crunch texture. The BBQ Pork Ribs from the Grill Station were just the way I like them, not quit fall off the bone and just a slightly chewy. You can't go wrong with their Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Bread Stuffing, it reminded me of dinner at Grandma & Grandpa's. The turkey was moist and the mashed potatoes were smooth but still had some potato bits here and there.

The end of the meal came with two trips to the dessert island. It sits in the middle of the restaurant as their centerpiece and boy is it! They have a selection of cakes and pies that will make you want to try each and every one. They also have fresh made bread pudding with a vanilla sauce and rice pudding.

All in all, this was a great experience. It isn't the best casino buffet but it is definitely one of the better ones. 

Disclosure: I had joined the Player's Club at Cache Creek Casino, which gave me $25 in dining credit. My Mother and I took advantage of the deal one weekend. Needless to say, our meal was free because of the credit. 

Harvest Buffet - Cache Creek Casino on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Melt

One of the newest restaurant locations to the Stanford Shopping Center, The Melt, brings a quick and easy place to grab lunch. It's a 5 x 5 menu: 5 combos, 5 sandwiches, 5 soups, 5 desserts, 5 drinks.

My favorite is The Mission, a Jalapeño Pepper Jack on Sourdough sandwich with a Sweet Corn Tortilla soup. The soup is creamy and full of flavor. The sandwich has a kick, not only is it made with jalapeño pepper jack cheese but it gets a sprinkle of jalapeño dust after being grilled. If you need something more added to your sandwich, you can add tomato or bacon, free of charge.

They aren't just a lunch/dinner restaurant, they also offer a breakfast menu consisting of egg-in-a-hole, waffles and cinnamon-raisin bread. I haven't had a chance to try breakfast there yet, but it is on my list.

Online ordering is a cinch too. Place your order online, print out your QR code, skip the line and scan it once you arrive. They won't make it until you scan, ensuring a fresh, hot meal.

The Melt is also an environmentally friendly restaurant.
"THE MELT also aims to be one of the most eco-friendly fast casual restaurant businesses in the country by only using plastic-free and independently BPI-certified compostable packaging. From soup cups to sandwich wraps, THE MELT packaging is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper, contains no bleach or other toxic chemicals, and is lined with a plant-based PLA rather than polyethylene. This approach helps THE MELT offset carbon emissions associated with the manufacturing and transportation of all packaging, reduces landfill waste, and saves thousands of trees every year. Additionally, the restaurants are being designed by the James Beard Award-winning hospitality and architecture firm AvroKO, and are made entirely of recycled materials from the walls to the floors." THE MELT | Eco-Friendly Packaging

The Mission,
a Jalapeño Pepper Jack on Sourdough sandwich with
a Sweet Corn Tortilla soup

The Melt on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Burger Saloon

In the middle of downtown Woodland, California sits The Burger Saloon (TBS). You get the feel of an old western saloon that's been spruced up just a bit when you walk up the slight incline to the hostess stand. Along the left side of the main dining room is a well-stocked bar; everything needed to make your favorite adult beverage. The burger section of their menu takes up the whole right page and is divided into two main sections "House Recommendations" or "Build Your Own" and in addition to those, you have your choice of meats and buns. Don't ask for substations on the House Recommendations, just build your own if you want to tweak it.

Being a sucker for bleu cheese and caramelized onions I chose their Black and Bleu, cooked medium. As described: Cajun blackened seasoning, bleu cheese [crumbles], caramelized onion relish, oven-roasted tomatoes and a spicy aioli, I also chose the hand-pressed certified angus beef patty and a brioche bun. Just a heads up, their burgers are à la carte. You need to order your side if you like an accompaniment. I was having lunch with my Mom and she wanted to get their sweet potato fries, a full order. We could have gotten away with a small order, the full order is huge.

For a mid-week lunch and not being packed, it seemed to take longer that what it should have, but it was worth the wait. The burger was cooked to perfection and the the topping added to the natural beef flavor, without masking. The bleu cheese melted and mixed with the spicy aioli and what dripped off turned into a sauce for my sweet potato fries. 

My mouth is watering as I write this. I'm looking forward to my next visit to Woodland and The Burger Saloon.

The Burger Saloon on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mike's Roadhouse

If you're looking for a great place for a great meal, don't bother coming here. For years I've driven by Mike's Roadhouse but never stopped. Tim and I decided to give it a try one night for dinner. I wish we had gone to our standby across the street, BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse.

We started out with an appetizer sampler platter. It wasn't anything impressive; remove from freezer, fry and serve, not to mention it was missing the jalapeño poppers as listed on the menu.

I ordered the Roadhouse King's Platter for dinner. The chicken was grilled up but sauced after being removed from the grill; that defeats the name of BBQ Chicken. The sirloin was undercooked, it was more rare than medium as requested. The ribs were just ok, they too were sauced after being removed from the grill. The vegetables were mushy and lacked any seasoning.

Needless to say, this was a huge disappointment and I will not be returning to Mike's Roadhouse.

The jalapeño popper are where? 
Roadhouse King's Platter

Mike's Roadhouse on Urbanspoon