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“Opening with limited power much appreciated” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Forest Buffet

Forest Buffet
15 Highway 50, Harrah's Lake Tahoe, NV 89449
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Price range: $10 - $20
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Brunch, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Buffet, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Olathe, Kansas
Level Contributor
46 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Opening with limited power much appreciated”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

There was a power outage from 4 - 9 PM on 7/20/2014 that included the whole south end of the lake to the best of our knowledge. Gaming continued, but dining options were very limited. Our reservation at a local Italian restaurant was worthless as they were unable to serve. Friday's Station at Harrah's was closed but the maitre d' there advised us to try the buffet. They were open with a very limited menu for $10. Salad, peel and eat shrimp, very tasty prime rib au jus, and an array of desserts were just the ticket on a darkened evening. No waiting either.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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227 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
46 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

Buffets are usually a hit or miss proposition. The Forest Buffet at Harrah's Lake Tahoe scores more hits if you plan properly: SUGGESTIONS: It was a busy Thursday in Tahoe with concerts and a golf tournament, but it's always a good idea to get there a half-hour early before its opening at 5:00pm. They will open the line 15-minutes early. It's also a good idea that you get a players club card (21+) as you will get $3 off your buffet price (usually 21.95, but 18.95 with card).

PROS: 1) Again, if you get there early, you will get a prized window seat, and the view is spectacular. If the weather is iffy (like thunderstorms), then you're in for quite the show. 2. The servers (like ours who said she had been there 26-years) are excellent and efficient bringing your drinks and clearing plates) deserve at least a 15% tip. 3. If you're a fan of peel and eat shrimp, then you'll have no problem with these along with a good cocktail sauce. 4. The oriental pork spare ribs are meaty goodness with almost no fat (two servings thank you). The garlic green beans near the spare ribs are a double-portion worthy. The yukon mashed potatoes with gravy are a B+. The eggplant pamesean was quite impressive as was the cheesy garlic bread, and baked sole with salsa. Don't get me going on the deserts, as the Black Forest cake and cherry pie with vanilla ice cream were great and ended our stuff-fest.

CONS: Not too many, BUT......the carved Prime Rib was a disappointment. It was cooked to medium rare, but it was extremely dry (even with au jus). The sushi "assortment" was minimal and nearly flavorless. The get there early suggestion carries through here as the "unsupervised children factor" comes into play around 6:00pm. You know....parents come in and set the kids wild and ignore them.

As buffets go, this is a great value (for 18.95), but the bottom line is to get there early and enjoy!

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
1 Thank Jeff K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
57 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014 via mobile

It's a buffet. It is the reason America is the greatest country in the world. Lots of food, not the best food, but lots of it.

The fresh fruit and veges were great, nice salad selection, very fresh and tasty.

The Asian selection is decent, the food was hot and plentiful. Soups, ribs, chicken, potstickers, chow mein, etc.

The prime rib is tasty, and they have chicken, potatoes and gravy, a fish entree that is a little dry. pasta and sauces were ok according to one of the kids. The wife said the pizza was pretty good, and the sushi was pretty to look at, but that's about all.

The highlight of this place is dessert: pies, cookies, cakes, crepes, ice cream and more pies. All were good, and I think we tried them all.

The view is awesome, hard to beat. The food is typical buffet, nothing really great, but everything was at least mediocre or better, and there sure is a lot of it. Price wise it's a little steep, but come on, this is not Golden Corral.

Visited July 2014
Thank Jeff C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tracy, California
Level Contributor
168 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“Worth the price of admissions”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

So, after settling into our room at Harrah’s, we headed up to the 18th floor for supper at “Harrah's Forest Buffet.”

The Forest Buffet actually did not open until 5:00PM, so I thought we would “beat the crowd” by arriving before they opened.

“Boy was I in for a shock!”

We arrived several minutes early and I thought we would “undoubtedly be one of the first people in line…”


Instead, I was greeted with roughly 50 other guests who most likely assumed the same thing I did! “I guess gamblers get hungry too!”

This being a “Thursday night, the adult fare was $21.95 per person.” Not bad for an all-you-can-eat place.

Had this been a Friday night, the price would have been, I think between $31.00 - $35.00 per person, but “seafood” was added onto their menu, which we were expecting.

After “snaking our way through the line, which reminded me of the lines at Disneyland, I paid for our rightful place in this “smorgasbord of a restaurant!”

I asked, and we were seated with a window view of Lake Tahoe and the California side.

After being seated, our waiter informed us that they were also serving “sushi," which perked our immediate attention!

My son and I wasted no time in getting ourselves plates and made a “bee-line” towards the sushi station.

To our disenchantment, we arrived at the “Sushi Station,” only to see that the sushi was only the “hand rolled types and contained no “raw fish” that sushi is famous for!”

Instead, there was avocado, cream cheese, and other "cooked" ingredients, which did not appear appetizing! We did sample a couple of pieces, which wasn’t all that terrific.

They also had a “Chinese Food Station” but that to was a disappointment. They served chow mein, which tasted nothing like it with “spaghetti” sized noodles and mixed veggies.

Their attempt at “sweet & sour pork” was also a disappointment with the taste coming nowhere near the flavor of this famous dish.

The “western style” dishes were fine but anything “Asian” was a disappointment, but then again, it was “a buffet!”

We filled our plates with other "traditional" food fare such as, ham, pizza, mac and cheese, prime ribs, etc.

Their prime rib was very tender and not over cooked as I have experienced at other restaurants (“Black Bear Diner”). They also had plenty of condiments to go along with your prime rib meal.

Don’t get me wrong, the food was very fresh because there was so many hungry people, nothing lasted that long.

Everything we placed on our plate was enjoyable and we went up several times. Not to say I am a "pig" when it comes to eating but it is an "all you can eat restaurant.”

The salad was fresh and crisp, but then again, “how the hell can you screw up salad?!” After making several trips up, I noticed their “Dessert” section, which was across from the main food line.

Anyone who loves desserts would consider themselves in heaven at their enormous assortment. From pies of all different flavors, to cakes, pudding, and French éclairs, there was something for everyone.

"Yes, I unquestionably indulged in all the desserts and wasn't embarrassed at going back for seconds or thirds......”

Our waiter or server was very attentive and provided us with anything we wanted in the way of beverages and other condiments. I made sure he was compensated at the end of our meal.

Overall, I was somewhat dissatisfied with this “dining experience,” mainly because we thought there would be “seafood” involved, but the meal was satisfying and worth the price of admissions.

After out meal we "wobbled" back to our room to rest before going down stairs to gamble.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
1 Thank Holdtheair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
202 reviews
114 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Awesome View! Food was OK.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

This buffet is on the 18th floor of the Harrah's Lake Tahoe hotel & casino. Get a seat near the window and you'll be treated to a fantastic view of the surrounding area, including the lake.

The food was decent. I've been to many buffets and I don't expect gourmet fare, but for some reason I felt let down by the choices available. Overall, the quality of the food was acceptable, but there weren't any dishes that stood out to make me say, "Yum! I'd come back just for this!"

Bottom Line: A good place to eat if you want to stuff yourself and gawk at the town below.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Thank PhlegmMaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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