Friday, February 12, 2010

The Best Buffet Coupon Deals

No, this is not another of our annual awards, but I have to share with all of you the two best buffet chains that offer regular coupons for free meals. I get coupons from all of the big chains. It is easy to do - just register your email address at their website and you will start receiving offers. Old Country Buffet even sends out a free meal coupon when you register - just for registering, but the OCB coupons are few and far between.

The two best deals are the two large salad buffets - Soup Plantations/Sweet Tomatoes and Souper Salad. These chains have buffet locations across the country but not further north on the East Coast than North Carolina. Each regularly sends out Buy One Meal, Get One Meal Free coupons regularly - at least once, if not more a month.

Sweet Tomatoes/Soup Plantations is the larger of the two chains and the larger restaurant setup. I had the pleasure of dining at one of their two locations in North Carolina a few years ago and you can read my review of that restaurant here. The feature of this buffet is soup and salad and they have an amazing variety of soups and a vast assortment of mixed salads. The offerings vary each month and there are themes that are changed month to month. One of the things that you will learn being on their email list are the features for the month - and always a coupon to go with it. The price is already reasonable but with the coupon two can eat dinner for less than ten dollars US. There are not many places where that is possible any longer. There is also more on the buffet besides soup and salad. There is pizza, a baked potato bar, pasta, and a great assortment of baked goods and desserts. I was very pleased when I visited this buffet on that very hot afternoon in North Carolina - and my picky eater wife after a little convincing from me that it was OK to ask for plain pasta was happy too. This was an experience and one that I wish was close enough to enjoy again some time soon. The only complaint that I have about this chain is that they do not move further north on the East Coast. If you are lucky to have one near you - if you live on the West Coast there are plenty of locations as it started in California (where salads are well known) - get on their email list and start getting coupons. If you are on Facebook, they also have a page and they run contests there with even better deals!

Souper Salad is another chain that I was able to go to on that same trip in 2007. This buffet was in South Carolina - the furthest north location in the chain. A reader had told me about the chain just before my trip and when we planned our itinerary I made sure to be close enough to try it. You can read about my visit here. This is a smaller chain and, at least, the location that I dined at is a smaller restaurant set up than Sweet Tomatoes/Soup Plantation. But though the offerings were less it was very enjoyable and if anything good could be less expensive, this was it with a price a few dollars less than the other chain. Here again, the order of the day is soup and salad. Like the other chain, there is a potato bar, a pasta bar, pizza (read my original review about the pizza), a variety of really good baked goods, and desserts. Despite its size there were somethings that I actually enjoyed more at this buffet than the other (and I dined here first before the other). Again, if they were only further north. This chain is in the western part of the US and in the south east, but no further north than North Carolina - I think. The website, while cutely animated, has one of the worst restaurant locators that I have ever encountered. It is slow and after waiting for what seems like forever no results ever come up. After a long wait I did manage to get the Spartanburg location to come up so it is still there and the only one in South Carolina. If you have one near you, and you are a buffet goer, you probably know about it. Go to the website and sign up for the "club" and you will start getting coupons- Buy One Get One at this price - two can't eat lunch for that little and here the same price is for dinner or lunch, weekend or weekday!

As I say, these are the best and most regular offers. Occasionally for some special date, OCB will send out a coupon with a reduced price meal if you buy one and they send a similar coupon for your birthday. They are odd with their coupons - they mail coupons in some areas. They mail coupons to my sister-in-law who lives about twenty miles from me and not near an OCB, but here where there is a location there never is a coupon in the mail. I have a nice sister-in-law who sends me hers.

It is always nice to get something for nothing.

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