Friday, May 16, 2008

AS DIFFERENT AS NIGHT AND DAY - AND THEN...

We went to my not so favorite Old Country Buffet on a Saturday for lunch. Those of you who have read this site know that this particular OCB is in Levittown, NY. I have expressed a lot of opinions about this Old Country Buffet restaurant - most of them not so good. I have been there for lunch before, but during this lunch I was seeing things that I had not seen before - things for the better. I was actually thinking good things about the restaurant - at least for their lunch service. But then - almost at the end of the meal something happened. Something so bad that all my good thoughts flew out the door - as anyone who witnessed this with me should have.

Now, I am going to save that tidbit for the end of this article. I am going to start by writing the article that I had intended to write as we got about half way through the meal.

In the past I have made comment about this location of OCB's overall cleanliness, management problems, and its failure to keep their food trays filled and refilled - at least with equal category items (entree for entree - not rolls for entree). These problems were not evident that Saturday afternoon. The floors were not spotless, but better than they have been. There were actually four managers on duty and their presence was evident in the dining room. One of the managers (the infamous one - read past articles to know why) was actually moving from table to table with a tray of cinnamon buns asking diners if all was well - and did they need anything. Remarkable! I must say that I have been back since at night for dinner during the week and the this manager was doing the same thing! Excellent move in the right direction! Perhaps someone at OCB is paying attention to what I am writing. (Actually, I am pretty certain that someone at OCB does read this site, based on some comments that have been made on articles.) As to the buffet - well, all of the trays were refilled with the same item as they needed to be.

I must say that there was a remarkable difference at this location between lunch and dinner - yes, like the difference between night and day. We had a very enjoyable lunch.

You do see some strange people there - both at lunch and dinner, but that is no reflection on the restaurant. Yet, you do see some strange people. Many of you will remember the "napkin man" that I wrote about some time ago. He is not back. He has disappeared from all restaurants that he was spotted at, but I did see on that afternoon a "napkin lady". This lady covered the table in napkins - and covered all of the plates that the gentleman with her placed on the table as she sat and waited for him to collect their food. After each course, all of the napkins were replaced with new napkins - all of them. This OCB must attract OCD. Many years ago Bill Cosby had a comedy routine on an album - the routine was about the New York City subways and it was called, "A Nut in Every Car". For some reason this came to my mind that afternoon.

So the meal was pleasant. My good wife told me that she was going to the ladies room before we left and I waited at the table. Had we just left when we finished dessert this would have been a very different article. I would not have witnessed what I am about to tell you and I would have ignorantly gone away happy. But ahh... I didn't leave. I got to observe.

I was seated at a table close to the salad bar. A woman at one side of the salad bar started yelling out a child who was at the other side of the salad bar. I believe that they were related - but I am not certain of that. The woman was yelling, "Stop that!" and "Don't do that!". And rightly so because she then said to a companion - loud enough for many to hear - that the child had taken something from the salad bar, put it in her mouth, and then she SPIT it back into the serving bowl! Now, this woman did not stop with scolding this child - she correctly got hold of an employee - a woman who may have been one of the cashiers, but seemed to be walking around the buffet servers in a supervising capacity. The woman told this employee the entire story and told her that she needed to remove that serving bowl from the salad bar! The employee listened to the woman - seemed to understand what she was being told (not always a given here as many of the employees speak marginal English) - and the employee calmed the woman. BUT, did she go to the serving bowl that was pointed out to her? NO! Just then one of the managers walked by and this same employee stopped him and spoke with him. I could not hear what was said, but I thought to myself, well ok, she is getting his help to take the serving bowl away. NO! That did not happen either. Whether she told him what happened or not, he walked away and then she walked away. The serving bowl with the SPIT food in it - still there and diners moving about the salad bar were serving themselves from it. I was disgusted. Here I was about to write the "be nice" article about this OCB and then the worst thing that can happen at a buffet happens - no manager or employee responds when told that someone SPIT in the serving tray!

Should there be a new rule? "Don't spit in the serving trays." Gee, I hope we do not have to stoop that low. A friend recently commented to me after reading the Rules of the Buffet that they are mostly common sense. Well, of course they are! But apparently too many people are lacking in common sense these days. How sad!

Well, there you have it. Overall, this OCB is better at lunch than it is at dinner. HOWEVER, management and the employee are guilty of the ultimate no-no at any buffet - ignoring that someone SPIT in the server! The Board of Health would have shut the place down on the spot had they been called!

1 comment:

Zachary said...

wow thats crazy the managers at my OCb would Treat that like a Code Red We have on Male And two female managers that would have definately had that taken care of