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Presque Isle Downs Buffet

Carey and I went to the Presque Isle Downs buffet last night. Despite having heard bad things about the food, Carey and I felt secure in our understanding of what "casino buffets" are supposed to do:

  • Draw people to the casino. If a buffet is good, people will come to the buffet and "drop a few bucks" playing games afterwards.
  • Keep people in the casino. If someone gets hungry around dinner time, you do not want "I guess I have to go home and eat" to be an excuse. Rather, you'd want people to say "they have such a good buffet here, I'll just stop in for a quick bite and come play some more."

In both cases, the buffet essentially acts as a way to promote gambling. Though not essentially a loss leader, it was our understanding that casino buffets didn't necessarily care to do more than break even.

Unfortunately, Carey and I were wrong, and the "Triple Crown Buffet" at Presque Isle Downs performs neither of its duties well. For nearly $27 (at lunch rates), Carey and I were shocked to find almost no variety of food contained in only 24 feet of buffet. What food was present was cold and/or stale - and I don't just mean one or two items, either. Everything was in bad shape. Carey and I are surprised we didn't get sick.

Golden Corral and Old Country Buffet look like feasts (and great bargains) compared to the low-quality, sparse pickings available at Presque Isle Downs.

27 Responses to "Presque Isle Downs Buffet"

  1. I wasn't impressed either. We paid for the late night buffet ($10/person). $27 for a lunch buffett is crazy! How many more ways can they find to suck your money while still not impressing me? It's hard to find something good to say about the casino.

    - Random Snapshot of Little Bug and Leela is precious!

    - Will you send me an email? I tried a trick you mentioned to me and it didn't work. šŸ™

    Thanks!

    1. comments must be old ate there last week 08/21/2013 and it was top of the line food fresh and i was satisfied with bill and service. ***** compared to cafeteria food at golden corral

  2. Jenson said on March 20, 2007:

    $27 for a lunch buffett is crazy!

    To be clear, it was $27 for the three of us, not individually. šŸ˜‰

  3. OH, that's much better...ONLY $9.00 per person for stale and bad food.

    I fell better now...LOOK OUT here we come!! (LOL)

    Dave

  4. ERIE said on March 20, 2007:

    OH, that's much better...ONLY $9.00 per person for stale and bad food.

    Indeed. At $5/person it would still be a ripoff - the food is that bad.

  5. Sounds like they should give it away...to bring people there!

    Dave

  6. I just can't do buffets. I can't get the thought of some 4 year old picking his nose and then grabbing a biscuit out of my mind.

  7. tx for saving me a trip to erie. I was going to take my son and others there for lunch today. Now we will most likely go some where historiclike unionville tavern or crossroads in edinboro. ps happy birthday. rosanne conneaut, ohio

  8. I went on a tour bus last weekend. The buffet was everything everyone warned me about. When I came home, that was all that was commented on. How incredibly bad the food was and how it was laid out. Between the bus credit of $5 for food and the players club points, the meal was only $2.50. It wasn't even worth that!. I heard on the news tonight that they are going to change the price and quality and selection of the buffet. Maybe after more people go and put comments on this website, I'll try it again. Or I'll go to Wheeling where the food is fantastic.

  9. Well at first it takes time to get all the bugs iron out. I see how hard people work there to please everyone. Don't forget they only have been open a month now. Change will come because they are a first class organization. There job is to keep everyone happy and to provide the best service to all .
    Good Luck PID and thanks for all you have done for Erie and the surrounding area

  10. They say they're making improvements, but I've already spent my $27. I'm not going back again.

  11. I too was not impressed. The food at my college cafeteria is much better. My biggest complaint would be how the dishes are set on the buffet, ever notice that when the plates are stacked facing up the person ahead of you has touched the top of your plate. The correct way would be to place the plates upside down so the person ahead of you touches the bottom of your plate. Also, why are plastic cups provided for the beverages. On the plus side, the staff was very friendly and cleared our dishes in an appopriate amount of time.

  12. Thanks to all your input, we were going up to gamble over the week-end and stop at the buffet...I guess we'll give it a little more time and "pass" this time to eat there and loose our hard earned money someplace else.

  13. My friends and I went to Presque Isle yesterday and the buffet is still awful. The machines are so tight too! We drove from Marion, Ohio. Our favorite casino is the Argosy, delicious food (buffet) and loose slots. We will never go to Presque Isle again.

  14. Hi all

    Can you elaborate a little more on your experiences with Presque Isle. We might take a road trip there from Cleveland.

    Few questions I had:

    1) How is the place during the week? Crowded?
    2) Can you smoke in the casino?
    3) Are drinks comped?

    Thanks all!

  15. I didn't at the buffet, instead I ate upstairs overlooking the rack track. The food was reasonable and very good. There was even live music. Otherwise I really liked the Casino, it was fun and clean and there was plenty to do. And it will be even better once the horse racing opens.

  16. This is the worst casino I have ever been in. It looks like a warehouse. the buffet food is so bad, and it looks like a high school cafeteria. I am a video poker player and I know my machines. They have the 8/5 triple double bonus machines which are 95% return. Alegany casino has 9/5 triple double bonus which is 97 % return , and some of the double double bonus are 7/5 machines and at 5 coin play even if you hit a royal flush you only will recieve 1250 coins. I have been in many casinos and I rate this one by far the worst.
    PS: normaly casino slot returns are about 4 points below the video poker return. so if the video poker returns are 95 % the slot return is about 91% . this is realy bad compared to Alegany at 94% return.

  17. I ate at the Clubhouse Lounge and Restaurant and was beyond satisfied.
    I hate the aspect of buffets anyway.. most of the people that eat them are either overweight or don't want to pay a few extra dollars for a real meal.

    If you're going to PID, go to the Clubhouse or the La Bonne Vie steakhouse, which is quite a bit more expensive, but is also very good.

  18. I finally made it there. What a disappointment! Food is terrible. The slots are real tight there. It seems as though they're collecting from the slot machines for pay-outs when horse racing starts.

    I don't think I'll be going back...

  19. Agreed the slots were tight. I also got pissed because normally when you play max credits in video poker its FIVE credits. You have to watch because some of the machines, max credits is TEN

    Also only one friggin bar with 25 cent video poker?? Whats up with that?

  20. THE BUFFET IS A JOKE!! THEY SENT ME 2 FREE BUFFET TICKETS, IT DOES SAY NO SEAFOOD BUFFET, SO WHEN WE GOT THERE LAST SATURDAY, WE COULDN'T GET IN FOR THE FREE BUFFET, THEY SAID IT WAS A SEAFOOD BUFFET!!
    I SAID I DON'T WANT SEAFOOD BUFFET AND THEY SAID TOO BAD, CAN'T GET IN WITH OUT PAYING!!
    I SAID HOW DO I KNOW WHEN SEAFOOD BUFFET NIGHT IS?? COULDN'T THEY HAVE SAID ON THE FREE TICKET--NOT SATURDAY NIGHT?? BET THEY HAVE SEAFOOD BUFFET ON FRIDAY NIGHT TOO!
    NO MANAGERS WOULD HELP US--EVEN THOUGH WE ARE FROM OHIO AND WENT THERE IN PART FOR THE FREE BUFFET!!

    SO, I ENDED UP PAYING FOR THE BUFFET!!! I CAN TELL YOU IT WAS LOUSY!!--DO NOT EAT THERE, EVEN IF IT IS FREE!!

    WONDER IF THEY CHEAT AND SCAM US ON THE SLOT MACHINES TOO!!

  21. I live in Erie and go to the casino on a regular basis. The buffet has always been bad and probably always will be. As a regular player of the slot machines, I have noticed that the payout is the worst on Monday and gets better the closer towards the weekend you get. Also the promotional play that is given out each week starts on Monday. This promotional play is actually counted as winnings when figuring the payout percentage. Bottom line is your better off somewhere else unless it is the weekend during racing season. Many of the local players have already figured this out, and dont go there during the week.

  22. In reading articles about the casino, I found one article that explains the tightness of the machines. It explains that a percentage of the slots revenue has to be paid as purses to horsemen. Im sure they still count that as winnings and it will lower the amount of money returned to slots players. I guess your better off at a casino without a racetrack and a better payout.

  23. šŸ˜‰
    I agree that the casino is very tight. The buffet is awful and the payout on the slots is terrible. When you FINALLY get a bonus of any kind, you only get a few credits, unless you always play max credits. I like Allegany much better and I win a lot more there. I also love their buffet, they offer you much more free slot play, earn points faster, and it's much more classy there! Sorry PI Downs, you need a lot of help.

  24. I agree, the downstairs buffet is awful. To answer the above question, yes you can smoke in the casino.. in only 25% of it. You pay for the alcoholic drinks. The non alcohlic drinks are few and far between as well. You don't see a server for hours at a time. The people who work there are very nice though. They need to get their act together on the food. The clubhouse restaurant (off the menu) food is good. However, the buffet at the clubhouse is way too expensive and not that good. I also agree the slots are very tight.

  25. Presque Isle Downs is a total joke. Head over to N.Y. instead.....Everything at that place is CORRUPT. The horse racing is fixed for sure................Presque Isle Downs employee's horrible people.

  26. I Have read every one of the feed back's on pid. and to say the least i am a little nervous to go there we are leaving this thursday new years eve. is it worth it? has anything changed at all???


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