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Buffet Le Grand

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Buffet Le Grand

Postby Santa Cruisin » Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:39 pm

Anyone ever eat at Buffet Le Grand in Orleans Place? What was the menu like? Was it similiar in level of service to Maggie Brown's Boarding House where you could get a complete dinner?

This was the only restaurant I didn't get to eat at and was curious as to what it was like.
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Postby BrianPlencner » Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:53 pm

While I was employeed at the Gurnee Park, I did get the chance to eat at the buffett place in Oreleans Place. It was a one-time fill your plate kind of place, and the food was wonderful. I remember them having different kids of sides (Mashed pototoes, green beans, rice, etc), and at the end of it was carved roast beef or carved ham. All of it was made fresh there at the park, and served hot.

The reason I ate there is that in 1988 I was awarded what the park called "Service Superstar". You can see that a few times on the name tags that I posted here

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/forums ... light=#868

I'm not really sure why I got it, except that I probably went above and beyond when it came to my job, and probably my lead or supervisor nominated me for it. Anyway, as part of the "reward" we got to eat a meal for free in that restraunt, and then have a QA session with then park president Jim Wintrode.

Today at the Gurnee Park, that place is now a smaller version of Famers Market, with like 3 different food choices to pick from. I think one is burgers or chicken fingers, one is pizza, and I don't remember the last.

At one time, Steve had posted a video clip commerical from 1978 (filename was mga78001.mpeg). Around the 22 second mark, there is a woman holding a big tray of food. The place she is in I believe is the Buffet Le Grand.
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Postby Santa Cruisin » Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:35 am

Thanks Brian! Now I'm sorry I missed it. Sounds even better than the Boarding House.

Cool name tags!
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Buffet Le Grand / Spaghetti Levee / Bourbon Street Cafe

Postby RLAiello » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:00 am

From what I was told when I worked there in the 90s, Buffet LeGrand was a full-service restaurant with wait staff, full menus and everything. This was THE classy place to dine at MGA... but it only lasted a few years or so. Later that location was changed to "Spaghetti Levee" and then later "The Levee." It remained so until after the MGA/SFGA switchover, when it was changed to Bourbon Street Cafe, which had a menu (as I recall when I worked there) that Brian described.

Interestingly, the same structure in the Santa Clara park seems to have always been a games structure. I have a 1979 map that shows it being called "Fascination," and when I visited the SC park in 1989 for the first time, it was still a games arcade.
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Postby steven » Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:44 am

BrianPlencner wrote:At one time, Steve had posted a video clip commerical from 1978 (filename was mga78001.mpeg). Around the 22 second mark, there is a woman holding a big tray of food. The place she is in I believe is the Buffet Le Grand.


I took that video offline when I put up other videos so as to conserve bandwidth...

I never ate at Buffet Le Grand, but I recall that it was supposed to be the park's nicest dining facility. One day that Cloris Leachman was reported to be in the park, I heard that she ate at Buffet Le Grand.

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Postby Tech Services 1 » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:16 pm

One of my sisters worked at Buffet Le Grand in 1976. (and she's in that famous photo of all the opening day employees gathered around the Columbia reflecting pool).
My family ate there whenever we would visit the park. The food was top-notch (though a little pricey, but worth it!). I remember having something like seafood crepes and rice pilaf.

My sister waited on Mel Blanc when he ate there during a visit to the park, though I don't think she appreciated who he was. She didn't watch as many Looney Tunes cartoons as I did!

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Postby PizzaOrleans'78 » Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:37 pm

I had the unlucky task of waiting tables and bussing dishes a few times when they were short-handed.

I preferred Coke Kiosk duty to that.
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Postby jonrev » Sat May 24, 2008 9:51 pm

Buffet le Grand in Gurnee has been repainted and renamed again, this time to a Johnny Rockets.
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Postby RLAiello » Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:28 am

That's not Buffet LeGrand, that's A-La Burger.
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Re: Buffet Le Grand

Postby forddude1416 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:20 pm

isn't buffet le grand now like buffet-lo something something?
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Re: Buffet Le Grand

Postby WhizzerSFGAm » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:11 pm

^ Buffet Le Grand is now Bourbon Street Cafe and Cyber Cafe. Crazy Buffet-lo Saloon is in Southwest Territory.
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Re: Buffet Le Grand

Postby RichPPPSC » Sat May 08, 2010 6:23 am

I worked at the Santa Clara park at Penny P. Patrick’s, right next door to Buffet Le Grand (1978 - 1979). I remember dipping caramel apples with my colleagues very early in the morning and watching park customers eating breakfast at Buffet Le Grand early in the morning. The breakfast menu at Buffet Le Grand was just as nice and upscale, for amusement park standards, as their lunch and dinner menus. I think Buffet Le Grand changed its name to Spaghetti Levee sometime around 1980 or 1981. While it was still a full service restaurant after the name change, I think it lost some of its charm and sophistication...but it was still nice.

I could see, from some of the previous postings that a few celebrities were spotted eating at the Gurnee Buffet Le Grand. I wonder if this was because the park's private VIP lounge (it was called the "Consulate" at the Clara park) was right across the street from the Buffet Le Grand, directly above the gift shop. I know that the Santa Clara and Gurnee parks were almost identical, did the Gurnee park that the VIP lounge in the same place? This could account for many of the celebrity sightings at Buffet Le Grand.
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Re: Buffet Le Grand

Postby dwolo » Sat May 08, 2010 6:40 pm

I ate a fruit salad with Mike Love of the Beach Boys in the Consulate Lounge. He was touring with his side band, Celebration, and performed at the park. The folks in the Marketing department knew I was a huge Beach Boys fan, and invited me up. It was great and the also gave me a set of drumsticks from the drummer. They're still in a box somewhere!
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Re: Buffet Le Grand

Postby jimmy gimbels » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:43 pm

Sad to report that Buffet LeGrand has been closed for decades. In fact, the building now is mostly closed but you can still peek in a window to see the old dining rooms. Part of the building was converted into a bakery/coffee shop with free wifi. Most items looks to be of the par-bake variety and basically need to be heated or icedIt opened in 2010 with quite the selection of baked good made at the part. The 2011 version is greatly scaled down with only some cookies, brownies and doughnuts (usually stale) on the menu. It does not get much business so I think the days are numbered for this retail outlet.
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Re: Buffet Le Grand

Postby NotBill » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:27 pm

Jimmy - your reports are starting to remind me why I haven't been back in years. Dismal tales indeed.

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