The Good, the Bad (or Inconvenient) and the Ugly (Layout) at the Harvest Buffet
[Updated October 2019]
The Fresh Harvest Buffet at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City WAS a decent buffet when this article was originally published in March of this year, but it’s been steadily going down in quality since it opened in 2018. Selections still include prime rib roasted in small batches, freshly shucked oysters and clams and decent mac & cheese but they no longer serve scalloped potatoes.
The plain and Old Bay peel and eat shrimp was some of the best I’ve had at a buffet, but that changed weeks after they opened. I paid cash for lunch about 7 weeks ago and I was taken back by how many things were no longer worth the calories.
The dessert station, which used to include crepes made to order, no longer serves the pistachio gelato that was to die for and the oatmeal cookies they offer are smaller and overly sweet now. I had originally written that there were very few things that I tasted that weren’t really good. I can’t name anything special now.
Check Your Hard Rock Marketing Mailers
The price for the dinner buffet has been lowered two times, from $37.95 when it opened, down to $34.95 and then to the current $29.99. The lunch price went from $19.99 to $16.99 and back to $19.99.
If you have the Rock Royalty tier level, you can pay for the buffet for yourself and one guest for $10 comp dollars per person. Many people get 2 free buffets (or entries into the Legends Lounge for Rock Royalty members) in their monthly mailer.
The Bad – Inconvenient Hours
The hours of the buffet are a bit inconvenient. There was an early lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but now there is just lunch (no breakfast items available) from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. (Monday-Friday) and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday).
Extending the lunch to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday cuts down the line a bit for those waiting for dinner at 4 p.m. The buffet is open late (Dinner from 4-9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 4 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays).
The Ugly – Terrible Design
The layout of the buffet stations is terribly designed and causes congestion and delays and nothing has been done to address this. When it’s crowded, there’s no way to get hot food back to the table. The dessert station and the Italian station have room to move about them from different directions, but everything else is along one long wall, which makes it seem like you have to line up at one end. You could start at the salad station at the other end, but then you run into the long line that is going from right to left. The buffet is in a big space. There’s no reason it couldn’t have been set up for traffic flow.
Understaffed – Fresh Harvest Buffet Hard Rock
Anytime I have been to the Harvest Buffet when it was crowded, the buffet was under staffed—severely understaffed, as in servers running from table to table, dishes not being cleared, drinks not getting filled. There really is no excuse for this and it’s really annoying. It’s not fair to the wait staff, which rely on tips and it’s not their fault. Hire some people, now that you know when the busy times are.
It’s hard for me to believe that other people have not noticed the decline in the buffet, so maybe extra staff will not be needed at the Harvest Buffet. It saddens me that I have to give it a thumbs down now, since it came out so strong and had such great potential.
Fresh Harvest Buffet
Located in: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
Address: 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Phone: +1 609-449-1000
Hours: Lunch (Mon – Fri) 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch (Sat & Sun) 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Dinner (Sun – Thu) 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Dinner (Fri – Sat) 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
[Updated October 2019]