At first glance, you might be tempted to dismiss the new Fulton Street Food Hall at Harrah’s Las Vegas as just another food court. But you’d be missing an intriguing innovation we’re thinking may catch on.
Specifically, Fulton Street Food Hall might just be The Strip’s first “a la carte buffet.”
Nothing glitzy, but we tend to be fans of substance over form.
If you set aside the fact there’s no all-you-can-eat price (most of the items here tend to be around $10), everything else about the Fulton Street Food Hall is buffet-like, in a good way.
There’s no food court vibe at all, and you’ll find all your favorite buffet stations in this spacious, understated dining offering with seating for about 250 people. Fulton Street Food Hall is in the space formerly occupied by Ming’s Table restaurant and the Cafe at Harrah’s.
Roomy, check. Shiny and new, check. Let’s food hall! Whatever one of those might actually be.
The “stations” comprising Fulton Street Food Hall include New York-style pizza, comfort food (like sandwiches and lasagna, told you it was a mash-up), sushi, Pan-Asian noodles, soup and salads, frozen yogurt, gelato, as well as a coffee shop and bakery with an impressive selection of desserts.
Like the best buffets in Las Vegas, Fulton Street has a fully-stocked bar.
On some days, this is where we get our appetizer, main course and dessert.
All the stations feel integrated here, as they do at a buffet. There’s also the same feeling you get when you get to build your own dishes at buffet “action stations.” There’s a sense of attention to service, and enough variety to take care of any craving.
While much of the food is prepared when you order it, other dishes are prepared beforehand, so there’s no wait.
Pointless PR phrase of the day, “chef-inspired food.”
It’s the best of all possible worlds, and you can also do something you can’t do at buffets: Get your food to-go.
Let’s take a look at some of the stations, shall we? What else have you got going on? No, really, what’s up with you? You don’t write or call. We see how you are. Moving on!
The coffee shop could very well give the nearby Starbucks a run for its money.
This station offers 25 different Lavazza coffee drinks. (Lavazza is, apparently, a brand of coffee. The things you learn doing a Las Vegas blog.)
Lavazza coffee was founded in 1895. There is a Lavazza Center for coffee research devoted to the study of espresso. Because the Internet.
The coffee runs in the $3-5 range. Not bad for The Strip.
It’s estimated 75% of Italians drink Lavazza coffee. Italians know coffee. And mommy issues. But mostly that first thing.
Also at the coffee shop station is a dizzying collection of desserts.
And so it begins.
Say what you will about the financially-wobbly Caesars Entertainment, but the folks in their dessert department, who supply sugary diversions to many of the Caesars Entertainment resort buffets and restaurants on The Strip, have got this down pat.
Most of the desserts are in the $5 range. Much like your sister.
There are close to 40 bakery items available, and while you probably won’t be able to try more than one or two, as you would at a traditional buffet, who cares? An “a la carte buffet” is a built-in form of portion control.
See? Fruit. Technically, health food.
You get the idea, but we’re sharing more of these desserts so we have something to post on Pinterest.
Tooth decay is the new push-ups.
There’s also six flavors of gelato.
And since we’re starting our “buffet” with desserts, which is how you should do any Las Vegas buffet, by the way, there’s also a frozen yogurt station with a surprising number of options and toppings.
Frozen yogurt is lower in fat than ice cream. We like it, anyway.
Because we care about your yogurt experience, we made note of every single flavor offered: Southern Butter Pecan, Butter Cup, Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter, Peach Medley, Peach Tart, California Tart (see all the jokes we’re not making?), White Chocolate Mouse (sic), Alaskan Moose Tracks, Cookies & Cream, Mint Chocolate Chip, Mississippi Mud, Tahitian Vanilla, Cheesecake, Strawberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Sensations, Triple Chocolate and German Chocolate Cake. (There were two spouts for Cookies & Cream, so apparently we have a winner.)
Right, like we were going to let “White Chocolate Mouse” thing go. Do you know this blog at all?
Fulton Street Food Hall’s yogurt station should be interesting. The sign says “build your own” for $6 ($5 with a Total Rewards loyalty card). We love that the cost isn’t tied to the weight of the yogurt or toppings, but this can result in what’s been called “customers trying to fit a metric ass-ton of yogurt and gummi bears into a vessel not intended to hold an ass-ton of anything.” Clean-up in the frozen yogurt station!
Don’t be surprised if certain flavors are under government surveillance.
Now that we’ve done the important course, let’s meander on over to the pizza station.
The 11-inch pizzas are made in-house, although they might not really be 11 inches, because it’s Las Vegas, if you get our drift.
“Just put quotes around ‘New York-style,’ okay?” ~New Yorkers
Fulton Street Food Hall claims its pizzas are made using a “proprietary dough recipe.” We are not making this up.
We assume the Hawaiian pizza contains some proprietary pineapples. Bonus: The Proprietary Pineapples would make a great band name.
Next stop is the comfort food station. Although we find pizza pretty comforting, but let’s not get bogged down in details.
What kinds of food aren’t comforting, come to think of it?
The sandwich breads are made fresh daily in-house, and there are eight types of bread to choose from, including a sassy Jalapeno Cheddar Roll.
Other offerings at the comfort food station will be swapped out from time-to-time, but on the day we visited, it was all about lasagna and meatloaf.
The salad station was decked out with a colorful display of fresh vegetables, which we’re pretty sure were for decoration only, but they make the whole place more inviting.
An eye-catching display of things you don’t actually get to eat.
Salads are made to order, and you can dine in or take your salad to-go. Same with the soups. Then again, you’re in Las Vegas. Why in the hell are you wasting your time on salads and soup? Go back to the dessert station immediately and order a heaping serving of YOLO.
No one should ever utter the words, “I went to Las Vegas and ate foliage.”
Yes, Ming’s was taken away, but fans of Asian food will find plenty to like at the noodles and sushi stations.
Seating is limited at the sushi counter, so bring your throwing stars. Unless that’s racist, then nevermind.
The sushi station has a long list of “foods this blog has never tried” like eel, crab and octopus.
You can either sit at the sushi bar and watch the sushi chefs at work or get your sushi to-go.
Becoming a sushi chef, or “itamae,” typically takes five years of on-the-job training. This blog has never done anything for five years in a row, other than complaining about bars that don’t carry Captain Morgan spiced rum.
Next to the sushi bar is a noodle bar, with things like roast duck noodle soup and Singapore-style noodles.
But those aren’t really the bars we’re looking for when we’re in a Las Vegas casino. Thankfully, there’s a Fulton Street Bar inside the Fulton Street Food Hall. You can’t miss it, as the edge of the bar juts as close to the casino as you can get without impregnating it.
Any new bar at a Caesars Entertainment resort must now have a water feature.
There are signature cocktails like the “Cucumber Cup” made with Hendrick’s Gin, Robinsons Ginger Tom Ale, fresh mint and cucumber. There’s also the “Bakon Mary” with Bakon vodka, Bloody Mary mix, Guinness and a strip of bacon. There are also cocktails we might actually order sometime.
Yes, there are video poker machines at the bar. You should look into that gambling problem of yours.
Before we forget, while we’re not a big breakfast person, Fulton Street Food Hall will apparently offer a “traditional sit-down breakfast with table service,” in a section of the restaurant devoted to breakfast, from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. daily.
If you care where your food comes from, the folks at Harrah’s say “all components of each of the dishes are locally-sourced and made in-house daily.”
How you locally-source berries in a desert, we’ll never know.
Also differentiating itself from food courts is the fact you can order items at various stations and pay at a central cashier station before you chow up (see below).
There’s a bit of an honor system here. We’re a big fan of customer being treated like grown-ups.
Fulton Station Food Hall does your typical buffet one better, too, in that it will be open 24 hours, seven days a week.
Overall, Fulton Street Food Hall is a great addition to Harrah’s Las Vegas (along with its new Signature Bar, because you can never have too many bars), and there’s clearly been a lot of thought put into appealing to value-seeking, no-frills Harrah’s customers.
Fulton Street Food Hall at Harrah’s Las Vegas is a clever food court and buffet hybrid, a refreshing switch from the reliable but formulaic, interchangeable food courts at Flamingo or Bally’s.
Fulton Street Food Hall was supposed to have been inspired by Fulton Street, a restaurant district in New Orleans. We witnessed a zero percent correlation. Although, they had to call it something.
Fulton Street Food Hall delivers fast food that doesn’t taste like fast food, in a welcoming atmosphere (11 TVs, but not intrusively so), without being a budget-buster.
We’ll be back, and we might even try the White Chocolate Mouse.