By Dalia Colon for the CheapTickets Blog
All-you-can-eat buffets are American as apple pie (even better if they include actual pie). Whether you live in the United States or are just visiting, these over-the-top eateries will have you patting your belly saying, "God bless America."
Studio B Buffet
In Las Vegas, everything's a production -- including mealtime at this "show kitchen buffet." Graze on more than 200 appetizers, entrees and desserts, and watch the ubiquitous screens to see in-house chefs whipping up more before your very eyes. Wash it all down with a selection of free beer, wine, cappuccino, cordials and other beverages included in the cost of your meal (adult weekday lunch $16.99, dinner $23.99; more on weekends).
Cedars Mediterranean Mezza and Grill
There's no shortage of barbecue joints in the Lone Star State. But when health-conscious Dallas residents develop an appetite as big as -- well, you know -- they head for this fresh fare. The Vegetarian Feast ($10.85 lunch, $11.85 dinner and weekends) is an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of hummus, tabouli, pitas, imported cheeses and other meatless must-haves. The a-la-carte menu also includes plenty of beef kabobs, lamb gyros and other items to keep carnivores happy.
If you're looking to splurge, this Charlestown, Rhode Island, seafood buffet is the place to do it. For $91 per person (less for kids), indulge in endless lobster, bacon-wrapped scallops, prime rib, jumbo shrimp and other delicacies. Also save room for the desserts, which are just as decadent: Haagen Dazs ice cream bar, chocolate-covered strawberries, and all the cheesecakes, pies and cannolis you can imagine.
Boma: Flavors of Africa
It's easy to gripe about the prices at Walt Disney World, but this eatery in Disney's Animal Kingdom Resort Area, is one of the better deals. Breakfast ($20 adults, $12 kids) includes traditional American fare like omelets and pancakes jutaxposed with African-inspired offerings like turkey bobotie (a South African-style lasagna), African pastries and of course, Kenyan coffee. The dinner buffet ($38 adults, $18 kids) is equally international, with items like Tunisian couscous salad and Durban-style roasted chicken. (Picky eaters can always fall back on the mac and cheese.) The menu, combined with the colorful, marketplace-style decor, might just make you forget you're in Orlando.
This popular brunch spot brings a taste of the South to San Francisco. The weekend buffet ($25.95) offers comfort foods like chicken and waffles, biscuits with sausage gravy, cheesy grits, and pecan brownies. Diners watching their waistline can fill up on the buffet's lighter fare, including house salad, fruit salad and succotash veggies.
Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich makes her Italian fare affordable to the masses at this institution on Manhattan's Restaurant Row. The signature Sinfonia di Paste ($18.95 lunch or $23.95 dinner) includes unlimited table service of three daily pastas -- think toasted beet and goat cheese ravioli with fresh mint, semolina gnocchi a la Romana or whatever else Executive Chef William Gallagher -- plus your choice of Caesar salad or antipasto.
Here's another option for "don't get up, we'll bring the food to you" dining. This Savannah, Georgia, eatery serves everything family-style. Strangers bond over never-ending platters of meat loaf, cornbread dressing, okra gumbo and other stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. As my friend who used to live in Savannah said, "Think Sunday dinner at grandma's where she has more in the kitchen but it's not all on the table." The restaurant is open only for lunch ($20 for adults; half-price for kids), but the endless platters of food should keep you full well into the evening.