I love buffets. From the chicken wings piled up like golden jagged mountain edges, to the mounds of fresh salad which loses all of its nutritional value once I use the soup ladle to pour blue cheese over the thin layer of veggies topped with mounds of cheddar cheese. From the metal containers full of instant mashed potatoes that are accompanied by imitation brown gravy. It doesn’t matter to a true lover of buffets if it’s fake gravy because there are 10 types of bread to sop it up with. It as close to heaven or having explicit sex in the open one can ever hope to achieve,
True buffeters have a plan of action as soon as they enter the restaurant. As soon as they’re seated they head straight to the first round of light stuff. We know never to pile our plate high with salad. They will tempt you with garden salad, potato salad, carrot raisin salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, 3-bean salad, and every vegetable cut up that they can serve cold. Beware this is only a ploy of the restaurant to get you pre-filled up with rabbit food before you get to the main entrée. Only amateurs fall into this first trap. Tread lightly here; the bigger kill is yet to come.
The next minefield is the chili or soup bar. Yes, a little more substantial than bunny food, but I am suspect of any meal that you can really stretch by adding items that are buried in a thick chili or imposter marina sauce with bits of deceptive, questionable brown meat or hidden beneath an impenetrable veil of clam (you hope)chowder. Again, this is a move reserved for amateurs. If you succumb to the warm wisps of herbs that are penetrating your mind, at the very most only get a small cup instead of that large, unfathomable mixing bowl that they’re disguising as a fashionable soup tureen.
Now we finally arrive at the piece résistance, the entrée and hot side dishes of the buffet. The plate in your hand starts slightly shaking in anticipation of the event that is soon to begin. We see the fried chicken waving its wing at us, while its breast entices us to indulge further. I hold my glance as I spy the hot, crispy fish that is dripping with cholesterol clogging oil and I almost past out from the unimaginable pleasure it is soon to bring. The chilled pink shrimp resting upon a bed of ice is sure to cause me to pause here. I don’t know if it’s from the fact that I love shrimp or the fact that the little buggers are almost out of my price range at the grocery store. Just the fact that I can eat pounds and pounds of shrimp and not pay over $1000 is like me giving the royal finger to my local supermarket. Thick slices of meatloaf are laid upon a polished serving dish automatically elevating it from its blah Tuesday line up at your house to something that is now represented as a fantastic and nouveau item to join the runny macaroni and cheese. I don‘t care how un-homemade the macaroni and cheese is. I glorify cheese. I revel in cheese. Cheese is my friend no matter if it’s blue, American, or Norwegian. In my world there is no bad cheese dish. I feel the same way about dressing or stuffing depending on the region you’re from. I can eat the boxed stuff and it still can make me feel as if it will be time to open the Christmas presents at any moment.
Not to be taken for granted and for them to stake a claim to your heart is the Chinese food section. There’s fried rice, pepper steak, crab rolls and crispy egg rolls. Honey chicken and orange chicken have you in a battle to decide which one you will take. Then it comes to you the true realization of why you’re here, there is no decision, sanity was left in the parking lot. You are free to explore and full your gut up until you get that bloated feeling in your stomach and you pray for one big burp.
Then when you have opened the top of your pants, you still drag yourself over to the dessert area determined to get your money’s worth. Nothing is out of your reach for the moment; you have become wanton and irrepressible in your lust for food. Here you will see cakes, pies, brownies, and cookies all lined up to lure you in. You are now totally out of control. The hell with the diet and better yet the hell to the significant other if they don’t like your love handles. Your mouth starts quivering as a crazed, gleeful laugh escapes from your lips as your hand pumps down on the ice cream machine.
The only things I don’t like about buffets are the inexperienced buffet eaters that get in the way of and irritant us professional eaters. I wonder why fully intelligent people revert to being a visitor from another planet when they get into the buffet line. “Oh look Hon, asparagus”. They pause to look at the dehydrated spear lovingly. Then after they have discussed, pointed at, and oh and ahh’d over basic everyday food and they have finally decide to pick something up; they take a small spoon-full as slow as possible. They act like they have perfect manners and that they never dribble all over their own tablecloth in their rush to eat after a long day. Please spare me from them and their obnoxious kids. Here’s a question I would like to ask some parents, “why do you have your 3-year old practice holding a tilting plate at the buffet line and not in your kitchen?’ I think that’s all that needs to be said about that.
t wait to get home in the privacy of my bathroom and really let one loose. All I want now is to stretch out in my bed to dream of the next super buffet to conquer.