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When thinking about Las Vegas and food and it almost always comes up buffets.

From my first visit to Las Vegas back in 1984, buffets were a part of every trip. Over the years the landscape of buffets have changed dramatically. What was a lot of  comfort food at a cheap price to bring you into the casinos has now become elaborate gourmet feasts.

The Bellagio may have been the first casino to really bring gourmet foods to a buffet. As the casinos battled on the Strip with each trying to outdo the other, the prices grew with the level of foods.

The days of $6.99 buffets to get you into the casino now has grown to costing as much as $49.95, with long lines as patrons waiting an hour or more to get in.

At one time or another I think I have tried every buffet on the Strip. This past week I was at Planet Hollywood playing poker and decided to take a break for dinner at their Spice Market Buffet.

I’ll bet it had been three or four years since I was at that buffet. I have to say, for a mid-priced (under $30) buffet, I was very pleased. As with every buffet worth its weight, Crab Legs has to be the single most popular food item.

Personally, that is my first stop for two very important reasons – I love crab legs and they won’t fill me up right away. So I get my favorite item and have plenty of room to enjoy a lot of other foods.

Planet Hollywood splits them in half for you so most of the work is done. You just have to take the crab meat out with a fork. 

If you’re a Diamond Member they seat you in a special section and the waitress will bring hot crab legs right to your table. Nice touch for their highest rewards members.

The Spice Market Buffet has different foods from all parts of the world. American fare has all the usual items, including ham, turkey and prime rib at the carving station. You can enjoy BBQ ribs and fried chicken as well.

There are pastas and pizza in the Italian section. They had great sections for Mexican foods and Asian items. There was a fresh grill that served up Mediterranean meats grilled on skewers. There is something for everyone at Spice Market.

No buffet is complete until you enjoy some dessert. For me it would be desserts because, really, how can I have just one with so many choices?

Spice Market had all the usual desserts but the signature items that stood out to me were the made-to-order crepes and the Cupcake Bar. The cupcakes stole the show.

I never saw so many different kinds. Here are some – Red Velvet, Boston Cream, Caramel Apple, Chocolate Almond, Cookies and Cream, Cannoli, Mint Chocolate Chip, Kahlua, Banana Toffee and Key Lime. 

If you like cupcakes you will think you died and went to heaven.

Save a little room because they also have Cotton Candy as a dessert item. Yes, I think they put the cotton candy in with children in mind but I can tell you many grown ups were enjoying it.

The food was great and at under $30 you can’t beat the value. Be sure to show them your rewards card to receive a discount. I give the Spice Market a rating of 3.50 Forks out of 4.

Marco D’Angelo is the senior handicapper at He co-hosts FIRST PREVIEW every Thursday at 10 a.m. on ESPN 1100 AM/98.9 FM. Follow him on twitter: @MarcoInVegas. Contact him at [email protected].

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