Buffet in NYC? To me (native of Brooklyn) a NY buffet is as foreign as a Chicken Fried Steak in NY. I know there is one location of hometown buffet on Staten Island but where else in the city is there any buffet? If you can tell me, it will be news to me. Buffets in New York City are unheard of to me.
I also lived in Boston and I do not recall any buffet there, but I do not consider myself a Boston expert. Super scooper was a buffet for ice cream but it only last three days a year.
I agree regarding NYC — buffets are pretty much forbodden here (barring Brazilian barbeques and salad bars.) When I moved here nearly 20 years ago, someone asked me out to brunch. When I got there, I couldn’t figure out where the buffet line was, and she couldn’t figure out what I was talking about. The culture-shock cut both ways. Here, brunch is simply breakfast with a few additional options.
Likewise, a few years ago when a friend visited, I took him for Chinese food. He said he’d never seen a non-buffet Chinese restaurant. Which was true before I moved here, but I’d long forgotten about that.
I must admit that after nearly two decades here, buffets pretty much skeeve me out.
"scbuzz" is sooooo right. Especially the ones without, God-forbid, the oh-so-needed "sneeze guards!" Call me a culinary prude, but I’m not consuming anything requiring a mucous shield. Period.
That darn Satan!! [}:)]
There is a seafood buffet at this Casino near where I live. After I eat all I need to, (and a little more) from the selections, I start to work on the crab legs. I crack em’ open and start a pile of the meat, putting the ‘best’ pieces all in a pile to eat at one time. This is one way to avoid the work part of it, but I couldn’r do it if the main meal was waiting to crack them all open and eat.I do this with pistachio nuts also.
I’ve noticed something about the Chinese buffets in South Carolina. Each and everyone of them has French Fries and Onion Rings. Why is this? Is this only Southern thing or is it widespread? Maybe the reasoning is that it gives kids something to eat. But I’ve never seen a child eat a French fry at a Chinese buffet, only adults. WHY would anyone expect an onion ring or french fry here to be good? I say dump the limp rings and flaccid fries and gimme more Chinese dishes. After all, that’s what I’m here for.
Are there any all you can eat buffets in NYC or in the metropolitan area? The only one I know of is a hometown buffet in Staten Island, but getting to SI is a shlepp.
10-4 all the way on that, gator…a body could waste away to nothing while trying to fill up on those things, LOL.
I used to wrestle with this question when I went to any kind of a buffet…it was like, how do I justify getting something else when I haven’t eaten what I’ve already got? Then I finally realized that I’m under no lbligation to like everything I try, so now I just leave it on the plate, and if I’m ever asked why I didn’t eat something, I’ll simply tell them the truth…that I didn’t like it. So far, nobody’s asked me this yet.
While I plead guilty to overeating at some buffets, no buffet owner need ever worry about my overeating any crablegs. I fully agree with gatorbreath that the "reward is too little for the work involved", particularly since I really wouldn’t find them that tasty even if no work was involved. It is amazing, however, to see how many crab legs some people devour.
The president of Red Lobster was just fired for their all you can eat crab legs promotion. Seems there was a mis-calculation on how much folks would eat relative to the price. The promotion eroded company profit so much that there was a huge stock sell off as well.
Personally, the price would have to be pretty low for me to order crab legs. Call me lazy but I find the reward too little for the work involved. Gimme a nice crab cake instead.
Oddly enough, the only time I remember actually ordering crab legs was at the Redstone Arsenal Officers Club in Huntsville, Alabama which is the birthplace of this thread.
I hide my uneaten food under chicken bones [:I] I LOVE all-you-can-eat buffets. I like to see my food before I eat it, and control how much I have. I especially love Thai and Indian. Those foods seem to improve with longer stewing, and I get to try things I would not normally order myself. But I am convinced some of these places (like hometown…eeek) make their food awful on purpose so you won’t overeat. I really miss the ubiquitous Swedish smorgasborgs of my childhood. Especially those yummy Swedish pancakes made with eggs and melted butter.
I don’t think it’s rude to overeat at a buffet, because they’re supposed to set their costs so they can make money. Even if you do gorge out on all the expensive food, there’s probably a bunch of other people who just have a salad or one portion and decide it’s all they really needed to eat. Like if I go to a buffet with a girl, if I have 5 trips she’s probably only had 3, one for salad, one for a small dessert, while I’ve had 5 portions of heaping plates full of ribs, chicken balls, wontons, eggrolls, etc.
Remember also that whatever buffets are serving they’re probably getting a bulk discount on. Unlike serving a plate of crab’s legs that requires a smaller order from the distributor plus individual preparation costs per customer, a buffet just buys a big mess of them and makes them all at once, so a lot of labour & small order costs are removed.
Anyway I think it’s rude to be ejected from a restaurant for overeating. If they have a sign that says "all you can eat" that to me means "eat everything you want and go when you’ve had enough," not "eat just what you need".
One question -what do you do at a buffet when you’ve taken something you don’t like? I’ll either leave it (but spread it around my plate so I looked like I ate more) or transfer parts to other people’s plates so I don’t look guilty. Do some of you eat it anyway?
Also, the rule at buffets is DO NOT REUSE THE SAME PLATE. This took me a bit of time to learn, but ultimately what I thought was rude (using a new plate every time) in fact is much more hygenic than re-using plates.
Finally – don’t eat with your hands right out of the trough. THAT is especially unhygenic.
We have several chinese places around here that serve crab legs on the buff-ay. I have seen people pay 8.99 for the buffet, then sit there and eat absolutely nothing except for about 20 dollars worth of crab legs. Now you can call me old-fashioned, or up tight, or whatever else, but I think this practice is tacky. At 8.99, the crab legs are meant to be enjoyed WITH the rest of the food as opposed to being the only thing eaten. I keep waiting for the buffet prices to go out of sight because of these kinds of diners.
What is it about Chinese restaurants? We have one in my town that I will not patronize because the only time I went there the server and the owner/hostess got into a very heated, all in Chinese argument while putting my leftovers in a to-go box. They took my leftovers and my dinner partner’s leftovers and put them on top of each other in the same box! We walked out and promptly put it into a garbage can.
The mention above of eviction from a Chinese buffet (which sounds as likely was warranted) does remind me of a situation I have observed in several small Chinese restaurants (both buffet and more so non-buffet) in various small towns throughout the south. (Have never seen this occur in any larger Chinese restaurant in any larger town or city.) This situatiion is that of anger/hostility on the part of the server (usually a family member) toward customers, and, somewhat surprising to me, more frequently coming from young persons rather than older ones. I try to think that the main cause of this is communications difficulties between the server and the customer, but it does make for unpleasantness for other diners. There is a small Chinese restaurant in a town near me with quite good food, but I do not go there nearly as frequently as I otherwise would because of never knowing when will experience one of these outbursts on the part of one of the servers. Just the opposite of this Chinese restaurant is a Mexican restaurant owned by a Mexican family in the same town. Its service (as well as food) is excellent, and it is by far the most popular restaurant of any type in the entire area.
All you can eat??? You’re NOT supposed to eat All you can eat!! One of the finest buffets I was ever at used to be done Sunday Mornings at the Hyatt Regency on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It opened with strolling violinists, they offered excellent, quality food in their beautiful atrium. The brunch was written up a number of times. They discontinued it in the early 90’s. It was a real loss.
The several posts above re overeating in buffets (something I’m guilty of), particularly those re groups of college students (and I assume other groups of young men) overeating in buffets, at times to the point of being ejected, remind me of experiences we had back in the ’70’s. Earlier this week several of us were posting on another forum recollections of when back in the ’60’s & ’70’s Holiday Inn dining rooms were THE top dining spots in many small to medium sized cities. I mentioned one in Fayetteville, AR, falling into that category, but failed to remember the Holiday Inn-Med Center in Jackson, MS, which was located between Millsaps College and University of Mississippi School of Medicine. We were there a couple of summers on several-months-long work projects allowing little time to get out to dine elsewhere. Fortunately the Holiday Inn dining room was quite good, particularly on Friday night when it offered a really elaborate seafood buffet (much more so than most seafood buffets today are). Think about half of the Millsaps College (a small, quality liberal arts college) football team was in summer school both summers we were there, and what was so interesting was seeing them come in every Friday when the buffet opened at 5 PM, chow down heavily, sit around a while & rest, and then start all over, repeating this process until the buffet closed at 10 PM. Initially we couldn’t believe it and would take turns going back throughout the evening checking to see if they were still there. Their eating was like they were at the training table. Imagine that Holiday Inn got a lot of Millsaps business of all sort due to its location, so they were always treated by management as local celebrities rather than being hassled/ejected for overeating. There were also usually some students from the Med School there doing a very decent job of heavily chowing down, but they could not hold a candle to the football team. I’ve seen a lot of hearty eating at buffets over the years, but nothing to equal that done by those young football players.
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