We were first time visitors to Seminole Hard Rock Tampa and tried Fresh Harvest for dinner - we are originally from Philadelphia and have tried Atlantic City, Pennsylvania (frequently)and Nevada (occasionally) casino buffets in the past.
The dining room was not very crowded, we actually got in before the Saturday night dinner rush as there was a line when we left (7:30/8:00), the hosts were friendly and really efficient; reporting back on a headset empty tables, those finishing and those being reset.
Our server, Amanda, was excellent - polite, informative and kept drinks full and the table cleared as well as checking to be sure we were enjoying everything and didn't need anything.
Amanda shared the lay of the land with us as first time diners: pointing out the Asian station, raw bar, grilling station, Italian food and American Stations; as well as soups , salads and of course desserts!
We started with the Asian station and raw bar. My partner had some sushi; well done, just in need of some more signage explaining more than 'assorted sushi'. The steamed shrimp and chive dumplings were excellent, light and flavorful.
I had a plateful of fresh, plump, sweet oysters - exactly what I would expect this close to the gulf. The cocktail shrimp were flavorful but some were slightly overcooked.
The American station was carving Pastrami which was excellent ( the attendant needed a little personality adjustment, the only unfriendly person we encountered), very tasty fried chicken, mashed yellow potatoes, fall of the bone, really tasty, smokey pork ribs.
The Italian station had several well presented pasta dishes, an assortment of salad and antipasti as well as fresh made pizza including Chicago deep dish pizza. The individual lasagna were wonderful; great flavor and lots of cheese.
We spent a lot of our time at the Grilling station - the flank steak was moist, juicy and flavorful; the assorted sausages were GREAT flavorful, spicy and moist. They had a side of beans - not typically baked beans, this was a ix of assorted beans with some root vegetables and LOTS of flavor.
On the other side of the grilling station was a Stirfry station - sort of Mongolian BBQ but done in a wok, lots of fresh vegetables, meats and sauce options to mix in with seasoning and noodles. My partners beef and noodles was excellent however the line moves VERY, VERY slowly as they have one person working the station with one wok.
The buffet has one REALLY unique thing; they offer you additional a la cart entrees at an additional surcharge. beautiful NY Strips, Rib Eyes and Lobster Tails - all fairly afford-ably priced and seemed to be selling very well. Your sever will order them for you and bring them to the table. * please note that there are LOTS of wonderful meat and seafood entrees included with your buffet pricing.
Dessert was the one very 'mixed bag' in this experience. There is a nice assortment of ice cream, toppings, sliced cakes, tarts cookies and sugar free desserts. My chocolate macadamia nut tart was excellent as was the guava and almond tart. cookies were good too. However the Key lime pie ( one of my favorites) has an odd texture like someone had tried to stir in raw flour to thicken it - kind of grainy. Same with the cannoli; growing up with LOTS of Italian bakeries, these mini cannoli were crisp and had lots of chopped pistachio on the end but that's where it stopped. The filling was lumpy - not sure what cheese they used as it didn't resemble riccotta or marscapone; it had tiny lumps of what might have been confectioners sugar that wasn't well incorporated but the mixture wasn't all that sweet either.
Not an exciting ending to an otherwise memorable meal.
Overall we were impressed with the cleanliness of the room and buffets, everything was filled and refreshed as well as good quality and flavorful. There were LOTS of Sous chefs and Managers on the floor and in the kitchens checking on preparation and service.
While not excited that the casino has no apparent non smoking area and was very smokey - the restaurants may bring us back for another visit.
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