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Golden Corral

 

Diamond Member
Username: Wingmanalive

Www.stainles... .ecrater.com

Post Number: 25404
Registered: Jun-06
Due to the lack of traffic Ecoustics has been experiencing I'd like to share my recent dinning experience at my local Golden Corral in Berlin NJ. The restaurant chain has been making progress and expanding their national exposure and just last year opened up another facility within a 10 minute's drive of me. Many of you may be familiar with the mostly Southern popular chain and some may have never heard of it. Either way, thanks for reading.

For those who don't know Golden Corral is an all you can eat buffet style restaurant. They boast a wide selection of food at a reasonable price. They've included many foods from multiple cultures. American, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, ect. They serve fish, pasta, chicken, pizza, steak, ect and have a salad and dessert bar. They cover most of the vegetables you'd ever want and even offer take home rates by the pound in convenient containers.

Ok, here is where the commercial ends. I didn't even feel right typing it^^^^.

This is the reality of a Golden Corral experience, should you decide to try it:


After negotiating the parking lot trying desperately to avoid running kids and limping, bloated adults you find your parking spot. You wonder to yourself why you see everyone briskly walking from their cars to the front door. You think "maybe they need to use the restroom?". Sadly no. They are regulars who know how the place works and are about to add an additional 5 minutes to your wait. When you get to the front door the reality smacks you in the face. There are 35 people snaked in a congo line corralled in their velvet rope of a prison. "Oh man I don't know guys. This looks insane." "But Dad I REALLY want to try their dessert bar." You simply can't deny your 9 year old daughter of that can you?

So 15 minutes or so in line is what it takes to get to the beverage area. The kids are already filling their kiddy cups that come with their dinner buffet. You look for the adult cups with no success. What you DO see is their $2.39 plastic refillable cup, your only option. So that's screw #1. Naturally all the ice machines are dead out. That may be directly related to every 6 year old over filling their cups with ice and dumping it into the drains........twice. Must be fun, I don't see the appeal. Parents are oblivious, they have the chicken teriyaki in their heads.

So you finally get to the cashier. You've already invested 20 minutes of your time and are about to be vindicated by the glorious and infamous all you can eat buffet at the Golden Corral!! It must be worth it right? Reality #2 smacks you again when, after paying, you must wait in yet another line. The "to be seated" line. You can clearly see all the commotion and people scrambling to get their eat on. It almost turns you off. Ok, it does turn you off. Those lucky enough to be given the green light and have a table are presently picking off the serving tables like a swarm of piranhas taking advantage of a cow trying to cross their river. It's bad. I mean really bad. Ever see a turkey buzzard on the side of the road clearing it of a squirrel carcass? Damn thing would rather take a hit from a car than leave its' food. Hold on, we haven't even sat down yet!

So you've made it past the beverage counter and paid your dues to the cashier, waited your time in the "to be seated" line and have been escorted to a table. NOW THE FUN BEGINS! I hug my kids goodbye as it may very well be the last time I see them as I give them permission to "hit the floor". Slang for "go get yours before it's gone". Your first trip around with plate in hand is like a military reconnaissance mission. You're not ready to dive in yet, you just want to see what you're up against. Fried chicken is gone. Shrimp also. In fact the only edible meat left is in the "make your own taco" section. First mission awards you with a scoop of mashed potatoes, a shriveled up ¼ stick of corn on the cob, a few steak fries and some mac and cheese. They ALWAYS have mac and cheese. It's like their god or something.

You sit down and try and forget about what you saw in the tv commercials, just to calm your nerves over spending $12.39 for warm Dr Pepper, taters, corn, a few fries and mac and cheese. My son filled his plate with what looked like $1 store pizza. My daughter came back with two strawberries and some rice. Yeah, THAT made me feel better. We all eat and I see out of the corner of my eye a wave of very large people approaching the serving trays. They were replenishing the chicken!!! It was as if they had that area scoped out and were on watch, waiting for THAT time to strike. Many over 300 lbs, some even had a cane or a walker. I kinda felt bad for those in walkers at first. Then I remember reading seniors had a discounted rate. SCREW them! I got up in a frenzy, confident I was going to score some meat today for me and my kids, in my visit to the infamous Golden Corral. I was going home a man and a winner, one way or another!

Left my kids behind at the table as I knew I wouldn't see another opportunity in probably 20 minutes. I grabbed a fresh plate and headed in. The chaos was unbelievable. The carnage was everywhere. In what seemed like 10 minutes later proved to be more like 24 seconds. The chicken was gone. I was still 4 deep and never had a chance. I was defeated. The victors walked away with plates piled 3 and 4 high of chicken wings, fried chicken, boneless chicken and chicken tenders. All with childlike smiles on their faces.

I sat back down with my kids sipping my warm Dr Pepper........sulking and accepting my Golden Corral defeat, staring at my receipt. "Go get Daddy's money worth out of the dessert bar kids. Please, we need to go soon". Yeah. That would satisfy me. Go and fill up on junk, seeing as they didn't have anything else to fill up on. They came back with what was supposed to be ice cream but was more like a science experiment in chocolate and vanilla colored...........................I don't know, I don't have a word for it. It was edible so I guess it passes. I threatened my daughter not to even think about the chocolate fountain. As inviting as it seems it is so exposed to human exposure it's not funny. Even watched several kids place strawberries in it, lick the "chocolate" off and kept dipping it in. Again and again. How this is considered sanitary I have no clue.

So we gather ourselves and get ready to head out the door. Just then a waiter pops in and asks if we need anything. "Need anything? Are you kidding me? We've been here for 30 minutes and you show up now?"

"Get your jackets on kids. We're done."

As we make our way to the door through the labyrinth of people and staff, I noticed they are bringing out more replenishments of mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, yet while the chicken, steak and fish are still gone. They will always be gone. At least the rice, salad and tacos will still hold up. Not too many Chinese or Mexicans in house tonight I suppose. Then again their food is relatively cheap so why pay Golden Corral $13 for what you can get for $3??? Not stereotyping the food people eat at all. Just saying. Americans like the expensive stuff so buffets fit their bill.

We make it into my truck, all strapped in. Heading off to my ex to drop off my daughter. Not having that great of a day and dropping $30 on this visit wasn't going to make me feel any better. Then, out of the back came the quote of the day"


"Dad, I'm still hungry."
 

Platinum Member
Username: Rovin

1 15 = 153 DBs ...Trinidad & T...

Post Number: 17257
Registered: Jul-05
dude u shud have a wkly column in a newspaper or mthly magazine ...
 

Diamond Member
Username: Wingmanalive

Www.stainles... .ecrater.com

Post Number: 25405
Registered: Jun-06
Lol. It's not that bad during the day. You just have to avoid the lunch and dinner slots. Sadly I failed in that aspect yesterday. The buffet concept isn't new and has been around for many years. It's just not the appropriate venue when the place is even close to capacity. Everyone is rude and doesn't follow any kind of etiquette. Kids picking up food and putting it back, food hogs that take the entire tray, double and triple wide people planting themselves in front of food refusing to move, premium food always out, those "kids" who insist that a plate full of corn and gravy is best transported by running, people who don't use plates, ect. The general feeling you get is the same during a sale at any Walmart, only serving food.

They even have staff walking around pushing coupons and trying to get YOU to become a regular as well. "No coupon, just get me my #$@! waiter please? My warm Dr. Pepper is running low."

And yes I did take it a step further and while we were sitting eating our "food" we counted the people being let in as opposed to those leaving. It was at a 2-1 ratio. The staff were bringing in more patrons than who were leaving by more than double. Where's the fire Marshall when you need him? Oh, yeah, he's the one in the corner eating all the shrimp. I assume that's the philosophy behind paying first. That way the fish is already hooked. In the end you just want to leave without even taking the time to locate a manager. He would only offer you a coupon anyway.

In the commercials and in their fliers you see a warm, inviting place hosted by very courteous staff who lead you to a bounty of fresh food. That $12.95 + $2.39 drink gets you hardly that.

In the end though I was glad my daughter at least got those two strawberries.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 16230
Registered: Dec-03
My Golden Corral experience is limited to the ones when I was stationed in Florida and Texas. They were pretty decent. However, i can probably attribute that to the small town atmosphere being that the townsfolk were mostly military active duty and retired.

There really were no other decent buffets in town and their main competetion was the Chinese buffet.
 

Diamond Member
Username: Wingmanalive

Www.stainles... .ecrater.com

Post Number: 25407
Registered: Jun-06
Like I said it's a newer place and you have to avoid the rush. They even have a breakfast buffet which is decent. I'd say avoid it though from 11am-2pm and 4pm-7pm. Certainly so on the weekends.

It's just too overcrowded and the lack of self control of so many people and their children. For some food is a drug and buffets are their crack houses. I've witnessed kids dropping all kinds of food on the ground and scooping it up and placing it back on the tray. Nobody is the wiser. Stuff like that disturbs me.

Then you have your parties of 10 who have no intention of occupying their 3 tables for any less than 90 minutes. They are the ones who feed themselves in waves, allowing their stomachs to stretch to full capacity while they time out the replenishment schedule of their favorite foods. They have the place down to a science and milk the place of every last penny of their $12.39 entry fee.



Should be a hog contest.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Rovin

1 15 = 153 DBs ...Trinidad & T...

Post Number: 17259
Registered: Jul-05
''''''''I've witnessed kids dropping all kinds of food on the ground and scooping it up and placing it back on the tray. Nobody is the wiser. Stuff like that disturbs me. '''''''

ooooh thats nasty , there shud be somebody there to at least supervise whats going on

its human nature to overstuff ur gut when alot of food is in front of u but damn some ppl need some self control ....
 

Platinum Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 16231
Registered: Dec-03
This is why the USA is such an obese country. We are the only country with a television show that says to the world "look at us, we have so much food, that it is actually big TV drama to lose weight!" WE call it "The Biggest Loser".
 

Diamond Member
Username: Wingmanalive

Www.stainles... .ecrater.com

Post Number: 25410
Registered: Jun-06
Sadder to see is young kids developing their eating habits at such a young age from their parents. After the age of like 6-9 it's a little late to try and coach an obese child's body into a healthy lifestyle. By then they've developed their own metabolism and how their body burns calories. Not impossible but nature has a way of taking control.


It's kinda why the expensive procedure called liposuction really doesn't work. It's a temporary fix really. You can remove the fat but not your body's mentality of producing it. Remove 10 billion fat cells and lose 25 pounds. Great. Now when the remaining 10 billion double in size to compensate you're back at square one, only a couple of G's lighter in the wallet.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 16234
Registered: Dec-03
And don't even start with the gastric sleeve/bypass/lap band procedure, etc. If they have no self discipline and really cannot change their eating habits, the procedure is useless.
 

Gold Member
Username: Van_man

Boston South, MA

Post Number: 5529
Registered: Mar-06
Im not a big fan of buffets, however I just got back from Foxwoods Casino in ct. They have the best buffet ever, well stocked, quality stuff. $25 a head it should be as well. But the only place I will buffet is there. Try it sometime, btw I dropped like 3 bills in 3 hours. Not a good trip.
 

Diamond Member
Username: Wingmanalive

Www.stainles... .ecrater.com

Post Number: 25419
Registered: Jun-06
I always was a fan of buffets. It's all about geographics I guess. It's just when the best food is completely hoarded by those looking to take advantage of it is when you get disgusted. I'm sure they have tons of accountants at the corporate level adjusting their prices to absorb the "whales" but they don't adjust the replenishment factor to compensate for it. The normal people have to sit back and wait it out, and also pay for their overindulgence in their price.

No joke there is this guy who runs a weekend BBQ close to where I live who I used to pass everytime I drove to the mall who posted all you can eat BBQ chicken, potatoes, mac&cheese, ect for $5. He had TONS of followers and still made $$$ every weekend. I never stopped but admired his contribution to the community. They played horseshoes and BS'd all day. Open to the public, just pay $5.

We need more of these people lol.
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