Okay, Snarkosphere, bear with me.
When I decided to visit chain restaurants this week, I promised to myself and to you that I would approach each place with an open mind and a spirit of hopeful curiosity about the food. I vowed I would not make any facile jokes about customers strapping on the feedbag, lining up at the trough, or shuffling into the feedlot — even if I find myself in a buffet restaurant named for a livestock holding pen.
On to Golden Corral!
I was honestly curious about this restaurant, particularly the one I observed going up earlier this year in the corner of the North Dekalb Mall parking lot. There are so many nights when my wife, kids and I want to catch a 7 o’clock movie at that mall and need to eat something fast, inexpensive and reasonably healthy beforehand.
Why not Golden Corral? It was made for this situation. The cost: $11.49 for a weeknight dinner and $12.99 on weekends during the current prime rib promotion. That’s not cheap, cheap, cheap, but it’s what we would spend for a quick taco dinner, or at an Asian noodle quick service restaurant, or for a box of whatever at the Whole Foods hot bar.
At the Corral you buy your meals up front, find a table and present the receipt to your waiter, who will bring you water or any pre-ordered drinks. Then you’re off. Salad bar, potato bar, Asian station, wings wheelhouse, grill, bakery, soups, dessert. It took the teenager in our party about three seconds to notice the chocolate fountain, cotton candy and soft serve ice cream among the desserts.
My curiosity has now been sated. I most likely would not go back to the Golden Corral. I wasn’t looking for a memorable meal but nonetheless I couldn’t find much that personally appealed beyond the dishes mentioned about.
- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog