Friday, March 16, 2007

Current Buffet Chain Features

The large chain buffets often have a promotional feature menu. These are special items that are added to the general buffet menu and features for a limited period of time. Currently two of the chains - Old Country Buffet (which is also Hometown Buffet and Old Town Buffet) and Golden Corral have special feature menus.

We have written about the current Old Country Buffet feature before. I have tried this one and as OCB features go, this one is not bad. The current feature is called Three from the Sea and includes Butter Crumb Alaska Pollock, Orange Shrimp and Crab Cakes. They also have included fried clam strips and fried shrimp. This feature is only available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. I like the crumb pollock. It is one of the better fish dishes that OCB has served. It is moist and has a good texture and flavor. The crab cakes are tasty, but are not like other crab cakes as they are flat and more like crab pancakes. The orange shrimp was too sweet - what works for their orange chicken does not work with shrimp.

The current feature at Golden Corral is called Applewood Grill. Unlike Old Country Buffet it is offered EVERY night on the dinner menu. The Applewood Grill includes grilled bacon wrapped chicken breast, grilled bacon wrapped sirlion fillet, carved salmon, and grilled bacon wrapped pork loin. The bacon used is called "Applewood" bacon - and evidently, thus the name of the feature. Now, somewhere in the deep recesses of my memory, I want to say that I have had this feature at the Golden Corral - but I cannot recall when. I have checked my articles from the past year to see if I wrote about it - I think I would have. I did not mention it at the Winchester, VA Golden Corral in June. So perhaps not. But I do remember those bacon wrapped steaks - and this would have had to be before my cholesterol encounter with my physician. Anyway, I don't see a reference to it so perhaps I dreamed it. (Do I dream about buffets? I did not think so.) Regardless, Golden Corral steaks vary- they are better than OCB steaks, can be very good, and have been not so great. I did some searching about Applewood bacon to find out what makes it so special as to name a feature around it. Applewood bacon does not seem to be a "brand name" but rather a type of bacon smoked over - you guessed it... apple wood. It is supposed to be the best tasting bacon. The Golden Corral website photos make it look very appealing - take a look at the bacon wrapped around the chicken breasts. Part of this feature is also adding the bacon to a variety of sides including escalloped apples with bacon crumbles and several potato dishes. It all sounds good - even if I am not supposed to eat the bacon.

The feature menus do not show up on either restaurant's nutritional listing. So let the eater beware if fat or calorie counts are important to you.

There is no current feature listed for Ryan's. Their website is not as extensive as the other two chains and tends to remain the same -so there may very well be a feature there - but it is not on the website.

Cactus Willies lists no current feature. Though, like the other chains there are daily features, which tend to stay consistent (unless the menu changes). (I plan to give them a try again the next time I am near one - just to give this chain a second chance.)

Saturday is St. Patrick's Day and you can get your all you care to eat Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner at OCB - it is a one day special included with the regular features.

So there you have it. The chains are all over the United States and you can find one near you by going to the web link for each chain at the side of this site.


Delphi said...

In your article you say "Old Country Buffet (which is also Hometown Buffet and Old Town Buffet)" but that is not correct. Buffets, Inc. owns Old Country Buffet and Hometown Buffet, but NOT Old Town Buffet. Old Town Buffet is in no way affiliated with Buffets, Inc.

Robert A said...

I stand corrected. Buffets, Inc operates Old Country Buffer, Hometown Buffet, and Country Buffet. They also have acquired several other chains including Ryans.

Old Town Buffets it turns out is a small chain with locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Anonymous said...

OCB Steakes are better when not cooked on a griddle you have to find a Broiler or Display grill location most the old stores use gridddles for the steaks

and Old Town Buffet is not owneed nor affiliated with Buffets inc

Robert A said...

Read ahead to Aug 3, 2007 where we tell you all about Old Town Buffets!

Anonymous said...


"There is no current feature listed for Ryan's. Their website is not as extensive as the other two chains and tends to remain the same -so there may very well be a feature there - but it is not on the website."

Currently Buffets Inc Corporate has tooken full control over Ryan's So what ever the Current Promotion for Old Country Buffet, Hometown Buffet and Country Buffet will be the same at all Ryan's and Fire Mountain Grills too