Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do You Buffet?

I have somehow been sucked into a weekly lunch "date" with friends at the local Chinese Restaurant all you can eat buffet.  We somehow went from diner food/pizza/ sandwiches to going to this buffet almost every week.  The cost per person with a drink for lunch is $5.80, a bit more if you have a beer or glass of wine. 

The buffet is incredible mundane, lots of drab chicken dishes, lots of typical "American" dishes-mac and cheese, pizza, onion rings, potatoes, a small sushi bar, one to two vegetable dishes (usually cabbage or green beans), fried rice in an interesting neon color, vegetable lo mein that has almost no veg in it, a large dessert bar with tons of canned and fresh fruit and jello.  If you are lucky, there is a beef dish or two, sometimes none, occasionally something like a meatloaf.  The soups are egg drop, wonton and hot and sour.  When we first started to go, the variety of foods offered was better, more Chinese, less American.  I guess more people were eating the macaroni and cheese rather than the dan dan noodles.  When we first started to go, the resteraunt was fairly empty, now even at 1:30 PM, it's half to 3/4 full of patrons ranging from high school kids to retirees.

Why do I keep going back? Well, for what ever reasons, my two friends like the place and for me, it's not about the food, it's about the company. Plus it's a "cheap date" so to speak. You can't get a extra value meal from Micky D's for that price.  We do live in an area that has limited ethnic food choices and both these gals are not adventurous eaters either. They think chicken with cashews is exotic.  I pretty much have the same food each week, soup, a salad, steamed dumplings, an egg roll, some veg and I'll rotate my choice of chicken dishes. I never see a tofu dish or anything spicy (my preferences).  You can see into the kitchen and it looks like the restaurant makes it's own dumplings, egg rolls, spring rolls and wontons. I wonder if there is a Chinese food supplier that supplies the items that are deep fried and or soup stocks and sells it to these places...


Grace. said...

One funny story--at a local BBQ buffet I ran into the owners of a local Chinese restaurant with lots of their family members. One of the daughters told me that for group outings, they liked buffets because everyone would find something they liked, which they had a hard time doing in American restaurants where an ordering mistake meant they were stuck with food they couldn't eat.

Anonymous said...

I love Chinese food and was totally blown away in 1993 when I visited my brother in Germany. Over the course of 3 weeks, they took me to 4 different Chinese restaurants. Chinese waiters, speaking German! Big spring rolls compared to our dinky egg rolls and atmosphere galore.