Friday, January 25, 2008

New Feature at Old Country Buffet

There is a new menu feature at the Old Country Buffet. The feature is "Surf and Turf". Now don't get excited. You are not going to suddenly find lobster on the buffet at Old Country Buffet (and Ryans and all of the other incarnations of this chain). No, the surf part of the OCB Surf and Turf is fish and shrimp. The Turf part is steak.

So, fish, shrimp, and steak... where is the feature? This is another of OCB's recent feature pheonomenon that I have been calling the "why bother?" features. They have put three things that are always on the menu on a feature sign and call it something cute. I am not sure why they are doing this lately. They used to have nice features in the not that long ago past - barbecue, tex-mex, etc. Now we get shrimp and the same awful steak that is there Monday to Saturday anyway.

The fish part of the Surf and Turf feature is Butter Crumb Alaskan Pollack. This is a return of this dish from one of the last fish features. This fish dish has made appearances on Friday nights - so it is not all that different either. One thing, though -it is good. It is one of the best fish entrees that OCB has served. This is a crusty broiled fish with a moist crust. It tastes good. (Yes, I can compliment OCB too.)

The feature is served from Monday night to Saturday night. OCB does not include features on Sundays - despite the new higher weekend price. The sign says that there are additions to the feature on Wednesday and Friday nights - baked salmon, butterfly shrimp (another fried shrimp?), and fried fish.

I went to OCB for the feature on a Tuesday night. Tuesday is Italian night on the buffet servers. There are a few good dishes to be found on Tuesday nights that have nothing to do with the new feature. One is a Chicken Parmesan dish. I have had this on two visits to OCB and it was different each time. The first time that I had this at OCB the chicken was cut into small cubes, battered and fried and cooked in tomato sauce with mozzarella cheese melted on top. The second time the chicken was cut into long strips and cooked the same way. The cubes were much better. They were moister and tastier.

Another good Tuesday night dish is a dish of ziti macaroni with Italian sausage, peppers, and onions mixed in with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. Again, two visits and two variations. The first time had nice, large chunks of sausage. The next visit the sausage was hardly visible and what was found were small, thin slices.

The third good dish was rice risotto. This is a nicely seasoned, soft rice with mushrooms and a good seasoning. It has a good taste and even goes with the pasta dishes found on Tuesday night.

I would not run out to OCB just to have the Surf and Turf. You will not miss much if you miss this limited time feature. Basically, you can get this any night that you go (other than Sundays) as they always have steak (except Sundays) and the always have some form of fried shrimp. In fact, go on any Friday night and you will always find this whole feature including the fish. Again, I say "Why bother?" Who do they think they are fooling with a special feature that consists of regular menu items?

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