Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Week of Buffets

This has been a week of dining at my local buffets. This was a holiday week and we dined out through the week. We started with Easter dinner at Greenfield - the Brazilian all you can eat steak restaurant that I wrote about a few weeks back. I was able to convince my sister out of going to the Milleridge Inn holiday buffet - see my article around Christmas about this experience - and talked her into a restaurant of my choosing, and I chose Greenfield. The Easter dinner there was just as good as dinner has been any other time. The price was the same and the offerings were the same - with a few added seafood dishes in the hot entrees area. We were not rushed in any way and the service was excellent. (No one here seemed annoyed to be working on the holiday.) The restaurant was not crowded - but we ate late for a holiday dinner - not mid- afternoon which is customarily the busy holiday dinner time, but at 5:30 pm. It was fun. It was festive. We did not leave hungry. What more can one ask for?

The week progressed with dinner at the Asian Buffet in Hicksville, NY. This restaurant has been previously reviewed. They have a new "lower" price from Monday to Thursday - $11.99 per adult at dinner. Despite this attempt to make the meal more reasonable, this restaurant is pricing itself out - the restaurant is always empty with just a few tables occupied. The food is good - the price is not for this level of Chinese buffet. They want to be like the big international buffet restaurants but they do not offer anything on the buffet that compares. I am not saying that this is not a good restaurant. They have nice food. It is just too expensive for what it has.

We went to the Old Country Buffet on Wednesday. Nothing special to say about Wednesday except that we saw that the St. Louis Ribs and Steak Special has begun and is offered on Thursday - Saturday. Note the hyphen. That is how the sign is written - so does that mean that this is Thursday, Friday and Saturday - or is this Thursday and Saturday. Not sure. Since Shrimp and Salmon are still the special for Wednesday and Friday, suspect that there are no ribs on Friday. There is steak every night but Sunday.

I could not resist a chance to try the St.Louis Ribs so we went back on Thursday night. The ribs are good. They are similar to the baby back ribs that were featured in last summer's barbecue nights - probably the exactly the same. I am not sure what makes them St. Louis Ribs but they were small - served in pieces of three or four ribs. They just about fell off the bone - which is how they should be. They were not over-sauced. I suspect that this is their summer special this year. (Last year it was barbecue, the year before tex mex.) They were smart and had enough ribs to keep them coming out - they did run out of brisket and ham, but it was late.

Thursday night was prime for people watching at the OCB. A guy came in with a woman and sat at the table behind us. I could not see who was there as my back was to them, and only the guy was talking. They came in late and asked the server (at OCB this is actually the table cleaner) where he gets the hats. The Hispanic woman could not figure out what he was talking about - neither could I. He then must have pointed to a kid across the room wearing one of the bee masks that the character bee hands out to the children. The bee had been around earlier and was long gone. The server explained this to this guy - who had never been to OCB before. I figured that there must be kids with this guy - but I did not hear any. He wanted to know if he could go to the "box" and get some. The server tried to explain that you get them from the "Bee" and the Bee is gone. The server left them and I heard him explain to the woman - there were no kids - that the hats are to be worn in the restaurant - "You know, it's a fun thing," he explained. They were never at any OCB before. I do not think that they were ever at a buffet restaurant before. He had to stay at the table while the woman went up to get her food. When she came back, then he went up. He kept talking about the buffet as like a cafeteria. He was odd in many ways. My wife had a full view and told me that his underwear - royal blue - were sticking out of his pants - as was his butt crack. Very appetizing for all around. Well, anyway, don't you know that sometime along he got the "hats" (really the bee masks) and made the woman that he was with wear the bee mask. This was the first person over the age of 12 that I have ever seen at an OCB wearing a bee mask. He argued with her through most of the meal for making him come there. At the table next to us I got to hear a very loud lady talk about her diarrhea. How nice!

Tonight we went to the usual Friday night buffet - China Grand Buffet in Farmingdale, NY. It was as usual. There is an article reviewing this restaurant if you look in the archives. Service tonight was poor. The "Lobster Grabbers" were there - but it did not matter because they never put new lobster out while we were there - which is consistently a problem here.

So it has been a week of buffets. Next week I go back to work and it will be dining at home again.

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