Choices Buffet at the Pala Casino

by Mikey

I thought that it would be a good time to add buffets to the wide array of food on EMC.  On a trip to Huntington Beach, my Uncle took us out through Temecula to the Pala Indian Casino to try out the newly remodeled Choices.  How can a fat guy pass up on all you can eat?

Choices Buffet – Pala Casino near Temecula

Choices is to the right of the main entrance to the Casino.  It’s actually a really well lit and beautiful dining area.  The food is spaced out, giving you lots of elbow room, and the food is categorized pretty well.  It’s definitely had a very modern facelift and resembles more of a high end Vegas buffet rather then the Laughlin spaghetti oh’s and mashed tater buffets.

Choices has one of the coolest features in a restaurant that I’ve ever seen: a steak bar.  A place where steak exists in different forms and cuts.  It’s just like how heaven should be.  All I need now is Megan Fox asking me if I want mine medium rare.  Let’s just go ahead and say “Yeah, Mike had him a few steaks.”  After the third one, my heart kinda started to slow down a bit, but I hurried and got a taco with hot sauce to get it up to speed again.

The steaks were pretty good.  My only gripe is that at certain periods, the steaks sit out a bit too long and medium rare becomes medium and medium becomes medium well, etc., etc.

That’s easily solved, of course, by going to different sections and getting a little prime rib, ham, turkey, or lamb.  Most of the meats were pretty good.  The prime rib was a bit on the fatty side and the lamb was a kinda dry, but for the most part it was all pretty good.

They have fantastic mashed taters, and their yam mash is fabulistic.  The Swedish meatballs were a very Presto Pasta, but their beef gravy made up for that.

The fried items were not so good.  The popcorn shrimp was rubbery and gritty and most of the other fried stuff was either suffering from being overdone or being done way to early.  I’d love to see a buffet have a station where they fry on order and give up on the massed trays of fried food.

I didn’t try the king crab legs after watching my mom arm wrestle one. It looked like a lot of fight for a little bit of meat. At a buffet, food is supposed to be easy to take down.

I did, however, grab some cooked shrimp and I noticed a couple of them had not been de-veined all the way.  Some still had feet, so I went ahead and skipped out on the shrimp.  I think generally, unless it’s a specific seafood buffet, it’s probably best to skip the seafood anyway and stick to the red meat.

I know what your wondering. “But Mike, what about the salads and breads.”  Well, unfortunately for you guys, one of Mikes buffet rules is no salad and bread cause it takes up space for steak and prime rib.  I’ll give you a better glimpse of my buffet rules in a later post.  However, I can say that my uncle, brother, and ma all seemed to enjoy the produce and salads and I didn’t really hear any major complaints.

One of the greatest parts to this buffet was the desserts.  They were absolutely amazing. Usually, in a buffet, you get a vanilla wafer with some whipped cream on it and some chocolate pudding type stuff.  Here they had all kinds of fantastic chocolate dipped items, pistachio creams, wonderful tarts, and all kinds of really tasty sweets.  I definitely got my groove (and Stella’s groove) on in the desert eisle.

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For the most part, I definitely think this place has a great buffet.  If you make the journey, go on a Saturday so you can get the special steak action.  Plus, you should get there early because the place fills up quickly.  Give yourself some time to get there before dinner and sign up for a Pala card to get a discount too.  Then loosen your belt, stuff your face, and eat till you can eat no more.

I’m pretty sure I left about 25lbs heavier and with a heart condition.

Directions:

From Orange and Los Angeles Counties: Take I-5 south to Hwy 76 and go east 23 miles.

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