San Manuel’s Serrano Buffet mixes it up

San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino has mixed things up in its Serrano Buffet.

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The Mexican buffet night has moved to Friday night, replacing the typical seafood buffet, which is now on Wednesday.

Also, barbecue night has been moved to Tuesday.

But that’s not the big news.

The big news is that they’ve also revamped the menu.

Dine 909 was one of a select group of media folks invited to a special tasting dinner hosted by Chef Joe Craighead and Food and Beverage Manager Bob Svonkin a few weeks back. I enjoyed pretty much everything I sampled that evening.

The changes are welcome, since while I’ve always thought that the Serrano Buffet was good, I’ve also thought that there was room for improvement.

Head over the jump to read on!


The dinner was designed to showcase the new items on the Friday night Mexican buffet.

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The first plate brought out had a small portion of aguachile (a spicy ceviche), red snapper Veracruz and smoked chicken enchiladas suizas.

The shrimp aguachile was very refreshing, and a good mixture of spicy and tart.

The red snapper Veracruz was a decent-sized piece of fish, done perfectly. Meaty, yet tender, with a good flavor.

The enchiladas suizas were my favorite item of the evening. They were unlike any other enchiladas suizas I’ve ever had, and probably the best I’ve ever had. Excellent twist on a traditional recipe.

When I return to the Serrano Buffet for the Mexican buffet, I’m sure I will have several portions of the enchiladas suizas.

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Up next was Sonoran shrimp scampi, leg of lamb taco and Yucatan pork with habanero aioli.

The Sonoran shrimp scampi wasn’t overly garlicky, and had a nice hint of citrus.

The leg of lamb taco was an interesting twist. I’m not really a lamb person, but a good coating of melted Manchego cheese on the tortilla made it much better for me.

The lamb taco is one recipe they’re still working on, so it might not be on the buffet line just yet.

The Yucatan pork was probably my second favorite. Again, I’m not really a pork person, but this was very good. The meat was very tender and spiced just right. Despite the habanero sauce, it wasn’t blazingly spicy.

As with the enchiladas suizas, I would probably have a second helping of the pork.

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For dessert, we were treated to apple enchiladas, which were warm, very tender and not overly sweet. The perfect ending to a great meal.

We were even serenaded by a mariachi band while we dined.

And for those who want to get the party started, they’ve also got a Margarita bar and a selection of domestic and imported beers are available.

The Mexican recipes aren’t the only ones which have been revamped, however.

The Asian recipes were recently reworked, and the Italian selections are next on the list.

If you haven’t been to the Serrano Buffet for a while, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the changes.

San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino is at 777 San Manuel Blvd. in Highland. The Mexican buffet is from 4 to 11 Friday nights and costs $18.95.

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