Garden Buffet at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway

On Saturday night, I decided to combine my love of Saratoga with my love of buffet eating. The Garden Buffet is the cheaper buffet in the Racino, however, at $16.00, it is no bargain. Even though I ate a bunch, I did not feel like I got my money's worth. However, one has to expect that everything will be marked up in Saratoga.

The buffet has food from many lands: American, Asian, Italian, and Japanese. I was impressed to see a sushi chef busily cutting rolls, and several cooks carving roast beef and turkey. The sushi rolls were very good, especially considering this was not a Japanese buffet. The prime rib was also good, juicy and flavorful but a bit on the rare side. They had large, juicy pork ribs and oven-roasted chicken legs and thighs.

The buffet did not have a lot of variety. There were perhaps 50 different items, far less than a typical Atlantic City buffet. The salad bar was bare-bones, with lettuce, tomato, onion and beets. There was no bread, egg salad, or tuna salad. There was not a single seafood item, except for breaded cod and shrimp, which were clearly frozen.

The service was not the greatest. Our waitress had to tend to the gamblers, as well as the buffet, which I found strange. We were eating at around 7pm, and there were many other people eating at the buffet. It took perhaps half an hour for my friend to get a refill on his drink.

The dessert was a disappointment. The baked goods were cut into tiny bites, dare I want to gorge myself as any normal American would at a buffet. They had lemon squares and strawberry shortcake, which were both good. The food was obviously bought wholesale and not cooked on-premises. There was no soft-serve ice cream, which I consider to be the topper to any good buffet.

If I was at the Racino, and was hungry, I would probably leave and stop by PJ's in the summer, or the Ripe Tomato in the off-season.


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