I’m not sure that there is even a single true cafeteria open in the greater Cincinnati area, other than private ones (at schools or large corporations). I think there was a Morrisons in operation perhaps 10 years ago, and before that there was a cafeteria called Cambridge Inn.
Some larger grocery stores have a prepared foods counter with an eat-in area, and everything is ala carte, but I don’t see these as traditional/full cafeterias
If anyone knows of one in Cincy (other than as listed above) let me know.
If you ever find yourself in the Southeast, try a K & W Cafeteria. They are a chain that is based in Winston Salem, NC, but they have less than a dozen locations in North and South Carolina. Their food is a cut above most of the other cafeteria offerings I’ve ever had.
Know both individual tastes and quality of food from one location to the other of the same chain can differ. The only Furr’s Cafeteria at which I’ve ever eaten is in North Little Rock, AR, and though I know several people who really like it, I’ve never found its food to be that good. The same goes for Luby’s Cafeterias and in years past Morrison’s and PIcadilly Cafeterias. I’ve eaten at a number of these latter three over the years and just have never found the food in general at any of them to be that good, while again knowing people who really like them. While I’ve had both good and bad cafeteria and good and bad buffet food, overall my experiences apparently differ from those of most posters, for overall I’d say I’ve found buffet foods to be of better quality and to have better taste than cafeteria foods. This is not a matter of "who’s right and who’s wrong". Experiences, tastes, and opinions can differ.
They are slowly closing the Furr’s Cafeterias in and around Denver. I used to go to one in SE Denver near Monaco and Evans with coworkers. We then switched to the Lakewood location on Wadsworth Blvd., north of US285. It too, closed. Now there is only one in NW Denver and in Pueblo.
I think the food is much better then the places like Hometown Buffet or Old Country Buffet. The use real ingrediants in their products, instead of package ingrediants. It just tastes better to me.
Furr’s makes a mean Chicken Fried Steak and Chopped Steak with mushrooms. You can also get real fried potatoes with onions too. Making me hungry thinking about it.
Sweet Tomatoes is pretty decent and clean. In general cafeterias good, buffets bad. I would rather starve than eat at a Chinese Buffet. I have seen a few decent Country Food Buffets and BBQ Buffets, but more often than not, they are toxic.
We have S&S, Morrison’s and Piccadilly cafeterias in my area. They are very good, but I find myself getting carried away with picking different foods and then I find out I have a $10 lunch !!! I don’t like that they charge for every little thing you pick up … Oh well ! I guess I just have to practice more self-control.
Has anyone tried a chain called "Sweet Tomatos"? They are mostly a salad buffet with just the freshest variety of produce you’ll ever want to see. They make a effort on presentation as well as freshness. They also have pastas made to order, at least 5 different soups, and a variety of breads. My biggest buffet peeve is dripping one kind of salad dressing into another.
the term "sneeze guard" itself is enough to turn you off. We have only one decent cafeteria in Knoxville and that is the S&S. I love the choices they have and their quality is consistently mediocre. That ain’t all bad as you know what to expect. I particularly enjoy their veggie plates.
Krogers discontinued their salad bar because of concerns over deliberate contamination or accidental contamination. They actually had a pretty decent salad bar, but from what I saw, they had more opportunities than others for problems because for the most part, it was unsupervised.
Paul E. Smith
Ever since I learned the formal term for that plastic thing above the buffet — sneeze guard — I, too have tended to stay away from them unless I am the first person in the door of the restaurant! On the other hand, I love a good cafeteria line, where you get the cornucopic effect, but the food is handled only by foodservice professionals.
I generally stay away from all buffets (with the exception of several excellent B-B-Q places). I find the food at most buffets to be sub-standard (IMO). I would much rather pay the extra money to have a freshly prepared meal. I find the chinese places the worst. I like chinese food, but the buffets give a bad impression of it. Also I don’t really like the part about the food just sitting out and then watching how many people act around the food. I especially hate it when some children are allowed to go to the buffet by themselves.
In Knoxville, there are several huge gigantic Chinese buffets and they are all about the same. There seems to be a belief that if they have over 200 items available, us poor southern folks will believe they are the best. Many of the items are the same or cooked from the same chicken with a different sauce. They have small hunks of chicken and pork all cooked or fried and add about 15 different sauces over them and then they are different or suppose to be. Unfortunately they have all begunto taste the same. At first they were a novelty, but now they are just mundane.
Two other things bother me about a buffet:
1: Too many people reaching and grabbing. Most of them take care but a portion do not. I see people reaching in and grabbing food items with their bare hands, dropping foreign things in the food and sneezing or coughing within reasonable proximity of the area.
2: I tend to over eat at these venues. I tell myself that I will not, but invariably, I do and I spend the next two hours in misery.
Best Buffet is not the biggest
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