Empire City at Yonkers Raceway’s Lillian Russell Café’s Dessert Buffet

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 | ice cream, Restaurants | 2 Comments

Who doesn’t get excited about all-you-can-eat dinner buffet? Because what usually accompanies it? All-you-can-eat dessert buffet, that’s what! And where can you find this treasure? Well, lots of places, I’m sure, but the one I’m going to talk about is found at this post’s title, which I really don’t feel like writing out again.

Why was I at such a location in the first place? Another walking tour, of course– this one beginning in beautiful Riverdale, the Bronx and ending up in Yonkers (one of my favorite New York place names). I also like horsies and was excited to see harness racing for the first time. After dazedly making our way through the celestial lights and sounds of the electronic slot machines on the ground floor, we found the restaurant and dropped $24 per person for the prized buffet. We grabbed our plates and raided the numerous shiny steam trays containing such old-school delights as prime rib and chicken francaise.  Some of us moved quickly from dinner to dessert, some saved time and combined dinner (beef slice) and veggie-containing dessert (carrot cake slice) on one plate, and the shocking verdict is this: nothing was very good, some things were very bad. 


The highlight of the dessert buffet was easily the Edy’s soft serve ice cream sundae station.  Being a cocky Dairy Queen alumna, I was sure I’d make a sundae of exquisite beauty– “You own this,” I chuckled to myself.  When I first pulled the soft serve handle, however, the ice cream took forever to emerge, and then when it did, it spewed forth with such speed, that it immediately filled my tiny bowl and went right over the edge.  So… ugly and… no room left for toppings!  I tried to fit in what little chocolate syrup that I could, but mine was a sad ice cream-laden creation.  My friends heeded my advice about the dastardly handle and made the necessary corrections for their sundaes.  One friend made a concoction that was all toppings; another hid a “cookie surprise” on the bottom of his bowl; another made two sundaes and proudly plowed through each one of them (to get his money’s worth, of course).  One more word: have you ever heard of pancake syrup as a sundae topping?  Neither have I.  And judging by the high level of pancake syrup left in its bin at the station, neither had most of the other patrons, either.

The rest of the desserts featured in the buffet– rugelach, cheesecake, and éclairs– were just horrendous.  If you look at the picture I have here, you might agree that everything “looked as if it had been dragged across the carpet, then thrown onto a platter,” as my friend mentioned.  To uphold my journalistic integrity, I actually tasted the rugelach (unspeakably awful) and the éclairs (which were oddly moist, as if they’d just been thawed out from the freezer). There were also some unidentifiable sugarless cake (?) slices that made me thank my stars I’m not diabetic. 

I’m sure you can’t wait to go now!

Empire City at Yonkers Raceway
Lillian Russell Café
810 Yonkers Avenue
Yonkers, NY  10704