It’s National Buffet Day. I don’t know why the day after New Year’s is National Buffet Day unless it’s to just wean out the Resolutioners from those who are truly resolved to make a dent in their waistlines. I mean why else would the holidays and what is probably an entire week of terrible eating and drinking be followed by a day that celebrates restaurants that urge diners to pile as much as possible on their plates?
And for the most part, as far as the quality at buffets go, the food is absolute garbage. That’s not to say there aren’t some buffets that have decent quality food. I’m a sucker for the selection at the Borgata in AC. But they can afford mass quantities of good food because they’ve got tons of poor fools throwing away tons of money at tables and machines 24/7.
I mean look at this deliciousness.
But whenever I think of buffets, my mind immediately jumps to what everyone else’s mind jumps to: your local neighborhood crappy chinese food buffet.
Sure, you’re going in for the $5.99 lunch special and it seems like a deal, right? You get all you can eat noodles, shrimp, friend cream cheese wonton thingies, and a bunch of other weird-colored food marinating under pale lamps for hours.
Now I don’t wanna mess with any body’s business too badly, but come on, are you ever really happy that you ate at a cheap chinese buffet?
Have you ever had a meal at one of these places and felt like you were ready to happily tackle your day, energized and sustained? The answer is a definite no, unless you’ve got the best cheap chinese buffet in the world at your house or you have a bizarro digestive system that actually pulls more nutrients from terrible food.
Some of the staples at these places should never be eaten, if you have a choice.
Like imitation crab meat.
Usually a part of the buffet’s “seafood salad”, it’s packed with imitation crab meat and the worst parts of the octopus. You’ll have to put your clothes through the laundry to get the fish stank out.
The pre-packaged fried options are insane. There are tons of different variations of shrimp: sticks, popcorn, prawns, but they all taste like flour and oil. Cheap, addictive, and always-too-salty, the friend options at these joints will put you into a coma after two bites. You can see kids in droves attacking these pans and watching the dead look in their eyes as they clutch their bellies while they walk out of the restaurant.
Sauces. Sauces everywhere.
This thick white sauce on snow shrimp is one of many examples of the terrible offerings at the Chinese food buffet. The fact that there’s some type of cream in a glaze like this is a bad sign, you know, because they’re under lamps for so long.
Clams, oyster, crab legs, oh no.
Fun fact: I’ve seen no less than three people leave Chinese Food buffets on stretchers. I suspect it was after swallowing a bad oyster or clam.
Flavorless sushi rolls with poorly cooked rice and sad pieces of fish = bad idea. Don’t do it. Your better off with gas station sushi.
Almond cookies and freezer burned creme puffs are a staple, as are mushy fruit and some other pre-packaged cakes that were on clearance special at the nearest restaurant depot.
I’m not saying all Chinese Buffets are terrible, it’s just that the majority of them are. It doesn’t mean you’ll have a bad time there. If you can get at the fruit and salad when it’s fresh and if they have a hibachi table where you tip the guy a buck or two for grilling up some fresh meat, you could have a surprisingly good lunch there, and this writer seems to think so too.