A couple weeks ago I was invited to the press conference/unveiling of the new Thunder Falls buffet at the Seneca Niagara Casino. Since I have a boring 8 to 5 job, I couldn’t make the event or taste the food (a serious bummer). But I thought I’d pass along the pictures and press release they sent us.
Early last year I visited the casino for the first time and was curious about their buffet when I watched a very long line form before dinner service. Even though I haven’t tried their food, I’m even more interested in stopping by after reading the details about the money and planning/designing that went into the new buffet. If you’re thinking about stopping by, the hours are Lunch ($15) 11am to 4pm, Dinner ($20) M-Th 4pm to 10pm, F-Su ($24) with Primer Rib and Shrimp 4pm to 10pm and breakfast ($11) available on Sat/Sun 9am to 11pm. Prices are an extra $2 if you are not a member of their “Players Club”.
SENECA NIAGARA CASINO & HOTEL OPENS FABULOUS
ALL-NEW THUNDER FALLS BUFFET
$8.5 million open-market style restaurant features more than 100 foods
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – Dec. 20, 2012 – Seneca Gaming Corporation upped the ante on casino dining today with the unveiling of the new Thunder Falls Buffet at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls USA. The casino’s original restaurant has been transformed through an $8.5 million investment into an open-market style eatery with stunning architectural designs, high-tech lighting and video screens, and a completely revamped menu of more than 100 food items. Thunder Falls Buffet officially opens to the public on December 21 at 11 a.m., just 10 days before Seneca Niagara Casino reaches its milestone 10-year anniversary.
“Today, a restaurant already regarded as the region’s best buffet has become even better,” said Barry E. Snyder, Sr., president of the Seneca Nation of Indians, at an unveiling event earlier this afternoon. “Our award-winning culinary team has redefined what it means to eat at a buffet, and locals and tourists alike will come to know Thunder Falls Buffet as a must-visit dining location when visiting the Niagara Falls region. More than a million people dine at the buffet every year, and we fully anticipate that number to increase.”
Thunder Falls Buffet will now feature more than 100 food items across six food stations – the Central Grille, Mediterranean, Asian, Pizza, Dessert and the Salad Bar – with a focus on healthy and ethnic dishes as well as classic comfort food. The open-market design, created by leading interior design architectural firm SOSH and built under the leadership of Seneca Construction Management Corporation, has a direct connection to the nearby gaming floor and brings interactive cooking in front of guests.
“Together with our business partners and more than 200 very skilled local construction workers, we completely reconstructed Thunder Falls Buffet from top to bottom in just a few short months,” said Robert Mele, chairman of the Seneca Gaming Corporation board of directors. “We’ve created an ultra-modern buffet that, in fact, looks and feels like an upscale restaurant with a wide selection of delicacies for everyone to savor.”
With the new design, overall seating at Thunder Falls Buffet will increase from 420 to 500 seats. A unique wine and beer display, large video screens and colored lighting will add to the interactive and exciting feel inside the restaurant. In addition, terrazzo floors, rich fabrics, intricately-lit buffet stations and a sound system with music are just some of the new features that await guests.
The restaurant also promises guests an uncomplicated dining experience. Servers and chefs will be trained to accommodate dietary needs such as sugar-free, low-sodium and gluten-free options. Different types of comfortable seating – such as booths, tables, and even a chef’s table – are located close to the stations for added convenience and create unique dining experiences for each visit. Kiosks located adjacent to entrances allow for seamless check-in and pre-payment. Altogether, Seneca Niagara Casino’s Food and Beverage Team expects to serve more than 80 people every 15 minutes during peak hours.
The buffet’s dessert station will have its items made daily by students at Niagara County Community College’s new Niagara Falls Culinary Institute nearby on Old Falls Street downtown. Seneca Gaming Corporation is a proud sponsor of the Institute, having donated $1.275 million to ensure the program’s success and offering students the opportunity to work alongside the Seneca Niagara Casino’s professionally-trained chefs and culinary professionals.
“The world’s best casinos have superior buffets, and Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel is no exception,” said Cathy Walker, president and CEO, Seneca Gaming Corporation. “There is a world of flavors under one roof at Thunder Falls Buffet, and we invite guests to visit and enjoy every one of them.”
Photo Gallery (provided by Seneca Gaming Corporation):