Monday, October 31, 2011

Aqueduct Buffet at Resorts World New York City

Trying to get information about the new Aqueduct Buffet at Resorts World New York City located at 110-00 Rockaway Blvd. in Jamaica, NY was extremely difficult on the opening weekend (October 28-30, 2011) since the website for the casino (http://www.rwnewyork.com/) did not list times or prices and the customer service line (1-888-888-8801) was not operational Saturday or Sunday. As a result, I went to lunch at the Aqueduct Buffet on Sunday, October 30, 2011 to check it out.

I learned the Aqueduct Buffet is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (with all food removed by 11:00 p.m.). For lunch, they charge $16.99 plus tax for adults (raised on February 1, 2012 to $19.99 plus tax). For dinner (which starts at 5:00 p.m.), they charge $19.99 plus tax for adults (raised on February 1, 2012 to $24.99 plus tax Sunday through Thursday and $29.99 plus tax on Fridays, Saturdays and Holidays). Additional food choices are added during the dinner hours.

The buffet is divided into a number of stations, which include, but are not limited to, the following: Asian Station (Chinese & Japanese), Spanish/Middle Eastern Station, Comfort Food Station, Italian Station, Upscale Station, Seafood Station, Salad Station, Soup/Bread Station and a Dessert Station.

An example of the food served for lunch at some of the stations follows:

Asian Station: LoMein w/Bean Sprouts & Scallions, Vegetable Fried Rice, Asian Sesame Chicken, Stir-Fried Shrimp w/Vegetable, Pan Fried Dumplings, Dim Sum, BBQ Pork, Soy Chicken Wings, Seaweed Salad & Spring Roll

Spanish/Middle Eastern Station: Lamb Gyro Wrap, Steak Fajitas, Black Lentils & Tandoori Chicken

Comfort Food Station: BBQ Ribs, Meatloaf, Macaroni & Cheese, Fried Chicken & Mashed Potatoes

Italian Station: Chicken Cacciatore, Sweet Italian Sausage w/Tri-Colored Peppers & Onions, Mussels, Penne in Marinara w/Meat Balls, Rosemary Chicken, Polenta, Flounder, Roasted Potatoes & Asparagus

Upscale Station: Salmon, Pork Chops, New York Sirloin Steak, Corn On The Cob & Kiebasa w/Sausage (with the option to purchase the following a la carte items for $9.99 an item: Sirloin, Tenderloin, Chops or Lobster)

Seafood Station: Shrimp w/Cocktail Sauce

Salad Station: Macaroni Salad, Four Bean Salad, Rice Noodle Salad

Soup/Bread Station: Potato Leek Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup & Tomato Basil Soup

Dessert Station: Fresh Fruit, Rice Pudding, Chocolate Pudding, Fruit Parfait, Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Cream, Bread Pudding, Blueberry Cobbler and many cakes.

Drinks such as soda, coffee, tea, cranberry & orange juice were included in the price of the buffet and are brought to you by a member of the wait staff.

Overall, the food was fresh and the staff friendly. Tours of the buffet were available and there were also roving entertainers. The view of the track from some of the seats in the buffet room (300 seats) was exceptional. I liked the fact there was a rest room you could access from the main buffet room. Parking was free but if they start to charge for parking, I recommended that future buffet customers be able to have their parking tickets validated so they won't need to pay both for parking and the buffet if they are just coming to Resorts World New York City to eat.

As for criticisms, I have a few. First, some of the food was not labeled. Second, a number of food items were left in place too long causing them to dry up. Examples included the New York Sirloin Steak, Lamb Gyro, Steak Fajita and the Corn On The Cob. Eventually these items were replaced and were fresh but it took longer than it should have. Third, the Tandoori Chicken had a curry rub on it and was not prepared in the traditional manner (with the fiery red hue you might be used to). Fourth, the Fruit Parfait had a nasty taste to it (but you might find it to your liking). Finally, the orange juice tasted like it was watered down.

Despite these minor negative observations, I would highly recommend you try the Aqueduct Buffet. I will certainly be returning myself.

If you are gambling in the casino and don't have time to sit down for a full buffet, the following restaurants are also available in the Food Court: Wolfgang Puck Express, Stage Deli, Cups n' Cones, Popeyes, Fiesta, Good Friends and Queens Burger.

4 comments:

  1. I returned to the Aqueduct Buffet on Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. with a party of 8 and I am happy to report that the labeling and food issues have been resolved. Almost all items were labeled, no food was left in place too long, and the Fruit Parfait was gone. Everything was fresh and tasty.

    However two additional issues arose during this visit:

    First, there were small black flies circling the fruit. I have no idea where they came from (perhaps the ice cream machine) but the problem must be aggressively dealt with before it gets out of hand.

    Second, the wait staff must be properly trained. Last time, my server was great. During this visit, drink orders were delayed, dirty plates were piling up on the table, and our waitress did not return often enough. Service improved when I mentioned the problem to two managers but the last thing I heard before leaving was a couple yelling at the same waitress because no one had visited their table since they were seated and they were now halfway through their first course.

    The wait staff needs to stay on top of drink orders and remove dirty plates in a timely manner. Management needs to train slower wait staff members to show them how to accomplish these tasks.

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  2. On November 14, 2011, I went to the Aqueduct Buffet at 7:00 p.m. to try their dinner menu. The only difference I could see from the lunch menu was the addition of crab legs and this fact was confirmed by my waitress.

    I was very pleased with this visit. All the food was fresh and tasty. The tandoori chicken was cooked traditionally with the red hue and was tender. In fact, all the food was excellent, almost all food items were labeled and no black flies were in sight.

    The only remaining suggestion I have is for the Managers. There were a number of them in sight and my suggestion is, "Less Talking & More Walking!".

    While the Managers talked near the register, I had to ask for cups for the ice cream that had run out and were not replaced; I had to ask for more Cocktail Sauce, which had run out at the Shrimp Station; and when items like the Peach Cobbler ran out, a different item was put in its place without changing the sign.

    These are things that should be caught by Managers Walking About who keep a close eye on the stations during the evening.

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  3. I hosted a Holiday Party at the Aqueduct Buffet on Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.

    Our waiter Joevani was exceptional and the food was delicious and tasty. I have no complaints and I recommend everyone check this place out if you have not already been there.

    The only disappointment was that the ice cream machine was out of service and could not be fixed during the two hours we were there. Still, there were many other desserts to choose from including freshly baked cookies.

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