We love to work up an appetite walking all over Black Hawk and Central City and then setting down to eat (thoughtfully, of course) all we want. We tried the new Garden Buffet at the Saratoga casino, formerly Fitzgerald's, in Black Hawk this week. The experience was pleasing in every regard:
-- A very satisfying selection of fresh, tasty food.
-- Decent desserts (hard to come by at casinos, whether in Colorado or Vegas).
-- Bright, pleasant atmosphere that seems unique to BH/CC.
-- Friendly staff.
-- Clean restrooms.
Also, we liked the size. Not to big, not too crowded. We arrived right when the buffet opened at noon, so we don't know how well the food was maintained throughout the day. Everything we tried seemed very fresh and served at the appropriate temperature. Salad bar had a good variety of veggies and OK variety of fruit. My favorite lunch items were the garlic and cheddar biscuits, steamed vegetables, the meatballs and the Italian sausage and roasted peppers. The sausage is roasted on spits, which is the healthiest way it can be prepared because the fat cooks off. I think it also allows more of the flavors (anise, etc.) to come through. I liked it so much that I passed on the carving station.
For deserts, I enjoyed the baked apple rings (not usually something I'd try, but they looked sooo good), the German chocolate cake (fresh and generously sliced) and the Cold Stone Creamery ice cream with dried, candied orange peels.
When it comes to casino buffets, I strongly prefer places where I don't feel like I'm eating in a basement or gymnasium. It's my biggest disappointment in BH/CC buffets. But this dining area offers blue sky and sunshine for everyone and pleasant street views from tables near the windows. The decor for the serving line is very bright and clean.
The staff was very friendly and courteous if perhaps somewhat new. I'd like to see more interaction between serving line staff and customers, because some of the dishes are refreshingly different, though not what I'd call exotic.
The area outside of the restaurant (on the third floor) is also very spacious and clean, including the new restrooms.
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