Friday, October 07, 2005

Lunch at the Old Country Buffet

It is very rare that we go for lunch at a buffet restaurant, but this past week we had an afternoon on a day that I had off from work that we were looking to have a large lunch so we decided to try the Old Country Buffet for lunch.

Price for lunch is a few dollars less than dinner ($7.19 per adult), and the primary thing missing from the buffet tables were the carvings. Everything else is the same with a few added items that made for a very nice lunch.

We went on a Tuesday and many of the Tuesday dinner items were there. At lunch there are three soups including beef vegetable which I have not see there at night. The full salad bar was offered, as was the full desert bar. Tuesday's feature theme is Italian. The entree bar included veal cutlet Parmesan, baked ziti with sausage that was better than any of the pasta dishes offered at night (this may be a new night feature as well, as it has been a while since we have been to the OCB for Tuesday night dinner), Italian pork sausage, spaghetti with meat and marinara sauces, and pizza. Of course, there was fried chicken, as well as mashed potatoes, french fries, and a variety of vegetables including a vegetable stir fry. There was broiled chicken and a taco bar. The carving station was converted to a burger bar and there were beef burgers and a variety of toppings including melted cheese. There were also barbecued chicken strips here. I enjoyed lunch much more than most dinners at the Old Country Buffet.

One of the best things about lunch at the OCB is that nothing runs out. As it is early in the day they are refilling every tray as they empty.

The crowd dining at lunch was primarily seniors ( everyone else is working). We did not see any business people - who you would expect to find in a restaurant at lunch time, but perhaps a buffet lunch is too time consuming and much too much for lunch during a workday. Even the OCB employees were different. The woman at the cash register was a senior and was hassled by the cash register- "I can't get used to these computers!" She had trouble ringing up the sale, getting the credit card processed, and then getting the register to give us a receipt. It took her calling the manager to finish the transaction (that the night crew can probably do in their sleep).

The table servers were slower than they are at night - even at night this varies. Our dirty dishes were piling up before someone came to clean them away. Eventually, through the meal, this improved.

Lunch at the Old Country Buffet was a last minute decision, but one that I did not regret. If you are looking for something more than a quick lunch, try it!

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David in Gary Indiana said...

I prefer the lunch buffet over the dinner buffet anyday at Old Country Buffet. Big reason is cost. Second, most of the items at lunch time are also available at dinner as well. Some changes do get made at dinner time, like corn might change to corn on the cob. Steak is usually a dinner item, but I don't miss it, as I don't eat steak. I especially like grilled cheese on the buffet, but that can be a hit or miss. Sometimes, it's old and dried out. Other times it fresh, but not cooked long enough and soggy.

Maybe in your area it's seniors, but around my area, there are plenty of business people along with seniors. It's a mixed crowd. I do agree that I find seniors at the lunch buffet more than the dinner buffet. Cost is the biggest factor for that. Also, with my local OCB locations offering a weekly lunch special lower than their regular lunch price; more people go to lunch during the week. It's helped the Highland Indiana location take away business from the poorly run Golden Corral in Schererville Indiana. Lunch at the Highland location is $6.99/$5.99 for seniors, and drink is included in the price. Golden Corral is $7.69 for lunch, with the drink extra, and Indiana 7% sales tax, makes lunch cost over $10. Dinner is that without the drink at Golden Corral. So you can see why many people would go to Old Country Buffet for lunch (at least local to me).