I was pleasantly surprised by the Isle Casino buffet, so I thought I'd try the one at the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek. When I first moved here, nothing confused me more than Coconut Creek and Coconut Grove and Coral Springs and Coral Gables. Do they really need cities with such similar names in the same area? While they call this Coconut Creek, It's Coral Springs on the other side of 441. So this is as far from Fort Lauderdale as Coral Springs; about 22 miles from Downtown.
Unlike Isle where you can just park and walk right into the buffet, this is more of a project. There are a bunch of parking lots and garages; I parked in the north Garage which turned out to be about as far from the buffet as I could get. The buffet is all the way on the other side in the back. On a Saturday afternoon at lunch time I was surprised to see that it was half empty.
The price of the lunch buffet is $14.95, which is $3 more than Isle and more than any chinese or sushi buffet I've been to at lunch time. The staff is, to be kind, gruff. Nobody explains how it works. You pay a girl who has no interest in answering questions, and then she points you to a line where there's a hostess seating people. There were only 2 in front of me. It's the same wonky set up as Isle; the difference here is that all of the drinks are included and there is no beer or wine, so they don't have to look at your receipt to know what you want. The bad thing is that you have to wait for a server to tell them what you want, because it's not on the receipt. So I sat and waited. A dude lumbered by with some glasses. "I'll be right back" he promised. He served the drinks and took 2 other orders before coming back. Finally I ordered an iced tea.
Off to the buffet.
They had a running grill with a dude making hamburgers and hot dogs; the grill at the Isle is never live and they always have old, dried up burgers. So I grabbed one of each. I also got some "steamed" brussels sprouts and a rotisserie chicken breast.
The burger turned out to be raw; completely inedible. The hot dog was good, but the bun was huge for the oversized dog, so I passed on the bun. The brussels sprouts weren't bad; not cabbagy but no real flavor either. The chicken was dry as rotisserie chicken goes. Not terrible but not anything I'd want again either. >
Time for another pass.
On the plate this time: Another burger, stuffed talapia, rigatoni "Bolognese", meatloaf and flank steak in a "hot and sweet pepper demi glace".
This burger was better; rare but not raw. The guy cooking had no idea how to make burgers. The talapia was dry and was filled with some pedestrian seafood stuffing. They call their meatloaf "Mom's meatloaf". I'm sure we all had a friend with a mom who made meatloaf like this. Whenever we were invited to dinner we'd politely decline and run like hell home. The rigatoni: mush. The flank steak was tender, but sauce was just a bad gravy that added a strange flavor. This would have been good with a nice mushroom gravy, but no, the chef had to prove his prowess.
Off to the buffet once again.
They only have 2 soups here; Black bean and Italian wedding. The italian wedding looked like chunks of sausage in broth, so I tried the black bean. They have the soup behind the counter here, so you have to get a server to ladle you a bowl: annoying.
The soup was bland and barely resembled any black bean soup I've had before. They also didn't have soup spoons, so eating this with a tea spoon was awkward. No need, the good thing about a buffet is that you can just not eat it.
Up and off again.
Their salad bar is very weak, with only iceberg and mixed weeds as the leafy choices. Lousy grape tomatoes and no salad bowls. You have to make it on a plate. There wasn't very much that interested me at the salad bar.
Not bad; the blue cheese dressing was good. But not very exciting either. The tuna fish was fine if I was on a diet, but why come to an all you can eat buffet if you're on a diet?>
On a Saturday they also had a "brunch" setup, with scrambled eggs, hash browns, grits, sausage and bacon.
I usually avoid buffet scrambled eggs, and these explain why. They make them a tray at a time and they get runny after just a few minutes. The hash browns had some orange and I thought they might have sweet potatoes, but alas it was just paprika. The hash browns were perhaps the worst I've ever had. Even the sausages were odd; cutting them caused the skins to explode so it was hard to get a good slice. I didn't want breakfast anyway.
They had a sandwich station, but only ham, roast beef, turkey and cheese. I couldn't get excited about a ham sandwich. They also had a "carving station" which was a turkey loaf; the kind you make sandwiches from. Time for some dessert.
The dessert station was pretty weak; no good cakes or pies. The ice cream was behind the counter so you couldn't see it. The entire dessert area was in a display case, and you had to wait to get served to get something. Very lame. I ended up grabbing some mousse and a brownie. They had whipped cream but it was in a big container with a huge spoon. There was no way to get a small amount; I would have had to lop off a big blob of it, so I passed.
By now the buffet was totally out of spoons. "Ask your server" they all said. Sure, my server was like Forrest Gump. Fat chance I'd be seeing him again.
The mousse was very good; easily the best thing I had. The brownie was pretty good also.
Service here is a joke. Empty tables aren't cleared for 1/2 hour, and it takes FOREVER to get a refill, if you're lucky enough to even see your server while you're at your table. Fire these people and get some soda machines, PLEASE.
Time to get out of this place. They advertise it as the best buffet on Broward. It's not. It doesn't measure up to the Isle Casino buffet or chinese buffets like Shinju. The bottom line is that there isn't one really good thing on the buffet. There's a lot of cheap stuff. This buffet is insulting, particularly for $3 more than any other buffet that has much better food. "Fresh Harvest" isn't an accurate description of this buffet at all.