Most of my friends in law school are not from the San Diego area, some come from as far south as Louisiana, some even as far east as Georgia, so their experiences in food tend to be quite different from what i eat.
My friends of the paler skin complexion always ask me to take them eating here and there and everywhere.
Which leads to our story *gather around kids*
About a week ago my friends and i were playing poker. The question of Indian Casino's came up, as they joked about how horrible and cheap most of the casino's must be and how there are Native American's stationed outside ready to take their money. They were rather surprised when i told them that the casino's in San Diego were almost Vegas-like (almost , I SAID ALMOST!!!).
So this past Wednesday was my friend's birthday and his only wish was to eat at Barona Casino's Buffet.
Not one to say no to craps,war, and banana fosters (just wait!) i showed them all the way. The five of us piled into a car and took that windy mountain road to Barona's.
Anyways, enough with the stories! on to the food!.
The general buffet at Barona's on any weekday is 16.99, with their preferred members card its 20% off. On Thursday its "prime rib" night which is not only prime rib, but also steamed crab legs (lines are insane for this), unfortunately the price goes up to 21.99
Their "main" attraction on the normal days is the Mongolian BBQ. Some people like Mongolian BBQ quite alot. I'd actually venture to say more than some.
At Barona they have a selection of cabbage, green peppers, onions, napa cabbage, tofu, bean sprouts, spinach, brocolli, and eight different sauces (from sweet and sour to hot and spiccccy). After you pick your selections they top it off with some noodles and you pick between chicken/beef/pork/shrimp.
Personally, their Mongolian BBQ is lacking. Its pretty flavorless even if you pour on the sauce like a fraternity initiation night. I've tried this without the noodles, i really think in this case Less is more. (so in your face radio guy who says less is more is stupid!).
As a gentle substitute for the lack of crab legs they have laid out a spread of peel and eat shrimp. If you like your shrimp cold and tasty this is the place to be.
Coming from a chinese family where fresh seafood is a pre-requisite for our dinners the idea of frozen seafood has rarely apealed to me. Except when it comes to cocktail shrimp. The shrimp at Barona's weren't anything to take a picture and write home about (haha oh my) but they weren't bad. Average size but a lil above average taste.
Funny quote tho heard at my table : "what do you do with all the little legs on the shrimp!? i've never seen this before"
Next is the sushi.
*yawn* see that sushi? yeah nothing amazing. Its average buffet sushi, not as bad as the crappy rice chinese buffets use for their sushi but its just standard fare.
And what good is a buffet without a nice Roast heat lamp?
Today they had an elegant Leg of Lamb slightly over done with a dash of flavor, a over-well done Roast beef that even an old man would ask for a rarer slice, and a very average turkey.
okay i lie, the lamb wasn't THAT bad. I just expect a little bit of rare on my lamb, this had none. But i hold true to the rest of the items. A heat lamp never does a body good.
One of my favorite areas in this buffet is their "mexican" grill area. The kitchen staff is constantly producing fresh corn tortillas to mix with Lengua, carintas, carne asada, fried fish, and many many more! My personal favorite is the shrimp pictured here. I don't know what its stir fry'd in but one of the key ingredients must be TASTY. THey are constantly making new batches of this in front of the grill, the stuff just doesn't seem to last. (cause they are all in my stomach =P)
The next two pictures shows the salsa spread, pretty good for a buffet, but considering we're in San Diego i'd expect the Mexican food section to be better than most *unlike the chinese section which sucksssssssssss*
Another great thing that they have here is the white/milk chocolate fountains! Usually they have tons and tons of strawberries piled up in a mountain of delectable delights. But today they had no strawberries =( Instead we have apples, marshmallows, pretzel sticks, and banana's. Good flavor chocolate, i wish there were Strawberries tho, nothing like juicy fruit + hard chocolate rolling in my mouth ..... *drool*. Just isn't the same with an Apple.
But my favorite dessert, which my friends can attest to is the Banana Foster which they make fresh for you!
Combination of brown sugar and Banana Liquor heated in a pan (almost like a paste) then with added Banana's to help it stew. Right before taking it out a shot of brandy is thrown over it.
Add a little bit of vanilla ice cream....... and there you have it! one of the most delicious treats known to man.
Ah i do like Barona Buffet, somedays its better than others but this was an enjoyable experience. I'm glad they got rid of "BBQ" night, which was a huge disappointment, dry ribs anyone?
If you by any chance do go gambling try and drop by the Buffet its pretty good. I don't know if i'd drive 40+ minutes SOLELY to eat the buffet, since its not AMAZING, but its definitely enjoyable.
Service is a little slow when it comes to getting your drinks but the waitress/waiters are usually pretty nice.
They even prepared a lil dessert gift for my friend! look at all those sweeeeeets!