Nathan (vovat) wrote,

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All U Can Eat

When I was younger, I used to enjoy going to buffets and other all-you-can-eat style restaurants. In my adult life, however, I find myself not enjoying this sort of place as much. Part of it is that bethje doesn't like buffets (well, she likes Ponderosa, but those are very few and far between nowadays), so we generally don't go to them. But there's also the general feeling that such places bring on, which is that, if you haven't eaten enough food that you can't get up from the table without the aid of a forklift, you haven't gotten your money's worth. And really, most restaurants already have much larger portions than are recommended, so eating even MORE than that isn't the best idea. I've also noticed a growing trend in all-you-can-eat items at non-buffet restaurants, like the endless fries with a burger at Red Robin and Ruby Tuesday. We went to Ruby Tuesday yesterday, and I didn't even think the fries were very good. Even when they are, though, I often can't even finish what I've given with my meal. Fries are a very starchy, filling kind of food, so endless fries are sort of a scam anyway. Same deal with the never-ending pasta bowl that they featured at the Olive Garden a few months ago.

The two main all-you-can-eat specials I still like are the shrimp at Red Lobster and the lunch buffet at Pizza Hut, because, well, these are two foods I can eat a lot of without feeling full. In fact, most places that serve shrimp tend to skimp, and to use enough breading to suffocate a camel. I've had all-you-can-eat shrimp deals at Applebee's and Friendly's, and not only was the shrimp not as good as Red Lobster's, but you mostly got breading anyway. I haven't actually done the math to figure out whether I'm getting a good deal from Red Lobster or Pizza Hut (after all, part of the point of the all-you-can-eat concept is to make it seem like you're taking advantage of the restaurant, when of course you're really not), but it at least feels like it. Still, since I leave these places overstuffed, I'm sure it's a good thing that the shrimp special is only every once in a while, and I generally only get the Pizza Hut buffet on the rare occasions when I'm out in the middle of the day.
Tags: food
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