January 28, 2009

Free dinner & gaming

We had a wonderful stay at MGM Grand, but before I get to those details I wanted to share what we did Friday night. Planet Hollywood mailed each of us a coupon good for a free buffet, $25 free slot play and other goodies. We decided to take advantage of it, I called to confirm the coupon was good at any time, and it was. Perfect.

We stopped by the player’s club booth to get our freebies. Comped buffet coupons in hand we jetted over to the buffet. It was prime dinner time so there was a good crowd, it’s always better to dine while a buffet is busy. When the cashier ran our receipt I noticed dinner would’ve been $60.32 for the two of us. Ouch! But for free, score! We’ve eaten at the Spice Market Buffet twice before, once for breakfast and another time for brunch. I was much more pleased by the dinner selection.

The seafood station had tempura and peeled shrimp, crab legs, served cold but they were heating them upon request and several fish based dishes. Near the salad, there was cheese and sushi. There were pizzas and Stromboli and typical Italian buffet fare, along with the usual Chinese dishes. The Mexican and American mainstays were available, as well; they also had a baked potato bar. The Mediterranean station is what sets this buffet apart from others; they have grilled vegetables, skewered meats, grape leaves and other traditional dishes. The dessert counter offers a wide variety of pastries, pies, and cookies; they have ice cream and a crepe station, as well.

Service was attentive and prompt. My favorite selections were peeled shrimp, sushi rolls, cheese and shrimp tacos. Frank really liked the shrimp tacos, as well. We each tried a crepe for dessert, bananas foster for him and apple for me – they were terrible, just awful, nothing like what you get at Paris’ buffet. I actually didn’t like any of the desserts we tried – mousse, tiramisu, chocolate chip cookies. They did me a favor and saved me calories. We topped off the meal with a cup of coffee. It was really good. I enjoy a strong black coffee, it was just the way I like it – a rarity for me.

Bellies full we went up to the casino and set our sights on 50 cent Jacks or Better. We used our free play, we played for a bit, no major wins, but Frank made $20 and I walked away with $26. They paid us to eat, gotta love that. We took the money and ran, well, walked over to Bellagio to see the Chinese New Year Display; it was very similar to last year's display. It’s definitely not one of their impressive displays. We were going to watch a few fountain shows, but the rain was coming down pretty hard. We opted to go home, instead. All in all, it was a nice night. I hope Planet Hollywood bribes us again.

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