LVMPD k9 at the sign
LVMPD k9 at the sign

A couple of weeks ago, we – my Aunt Joyce and cousin Byron – attended the 27th annual Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K9 Trials at The Orleans Arena.  I’ve only missed it once in the past 7 years (last year’s home-buying and moving activities messed up my schedule) and I wasn’t about to miss it again.  As always, it was terrific, and the #VegasStrong emotion was everywhere!

Sunday is the only day when the public can attend the trials, as the first two days are made up of compulsory events, including search, and bomb and drug detection. The video below shows the competition exercises prior to the main event and the main event itself. It does leave out the comical moments (comical to us, at least. The handlers wanted to more or less melt into the floor because their K9 partners often decided to get “creative”).

K9 TRIALS FULL RUFF from Black Room Productions on Vimeo.

After a full afternoon of applauding the wonderful dogs and their handlers and spending way too much money for souvenirs and donations, naturally we wanted to eat but didn’t feel like cooking. We were thinking about going to another casino when we walked past Medley, the buffet.

Despite having been here for years, we had never visited the buffet at The Orleans. We did not expect what we got.

I was pleased to see that the Sunday night dinner was only $20.99 for non-club members – club meaning those who gamble enough to get discounts from various casinos. Good thing they don’t depend on me because once I get past the nickel video poker machines, my palms start to sweat. In the nearly two and half decades I’ve lived here, I’ve NEVER had a jackpot. Of course, maybe if I actually played…

But I digress…

We paid our money and went in, and I’m happy to say that it passed the “smell test.” That means that along with the tempting food aromas, there was the fresh smell of clean everywhere. We were promptly seated and began to forage.

Naturally, I tried everything. From the salads, to the meats, to the ethnic dishes, everything was delicious, well-seasoned, and cooked well. The only thing I could criticize was that the Pho could have had a little more five-spice, but that’s being nit-picky because I am the Vegas Pho queen. That said, the overall quality easily rivals just about any buffet food I’ve had on the Strip.

That’s the good.

Now we get to the not so good. Someone needs to have a good talking to with the pastry chef.

I tasted the pistachio ice cream, the red velvet cake, and the lemon meringue pie.

The ice cream appeared to have some sort of artificial coloring added to it, and it had way too much almond extract. The pistachio in the pistachio ice cream was barely detectable and the slightly neon hue bore no resemblance to any pistachio that I’ve seen.

The red velvet cake was okay. Nothing outstanding, not bad, just okay.

Buffet at the Orleans
Buffet at the Orleans

And now we get to the lemon meringue pie. Whoever made it should have been beaten about the head and neck with their own rolling pin. The “lemon” part wasn’t bad, admittedly. The meringue part was nicely browned, but the browned part was as tough and stretchable as rubber. But the worse part was the pastry. It was, in a word, inedible.  There was hardly a trace of flakiness to it, and it was as tough as MDF. It was easily the worst piecrust I’ve ever had.

So obviously, I’m not a fan of the desserts.

The rest of the food, however, was great. If they can get the dessert issues straightened out, there’s no reason not to patronize it on those days when you look into the kitchen and are just not feelin’ it. Know what I mean?

Next year, don’t miss the trials. And when you want to try a new buffet, go the Orleans. Just skip the desserts. That can’t be a bad thing anyway.



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