Who doesn’t love a good buffet? I grew up loving to go to buffets because then I could eat whatever I wanted! I was born and raised in the Midwest, and I have to say that Midwesterners love their buffets! It’s a weekly event to go to a buffet and anyone, from kids to grandmas, love it! My family back home frequently tells me about some new buffet that opened that is the best buffet ever. Wait a few months or a year, and then the best buffet is another buffet that just opened. Many times, a buffet is the most convenient option for a meal because you get to eat right away, and everyone can eat whatever and however much they like.
Types of buffets
When I usually talk about going to a buffet, I’m referring to those in the $10-$20 range. These are casual restaurants where families can go with their kids. Usually food ranges from American, Italian, Asian, and sometimes other foods. Golden Corral, Hometown Buffet, Sizzler, and Souplanatation are all examples of this. Mostly American style comfort foods, sometimes a bit of a twist like Souplantation. Their buffet is almost all geared towards only soups and salads and is almost entirely vegetarian. Asian style buffets are also very popular. Then of course there are the Indian lunch buffets! One of my personal favorites! These are the type of buffet where you can actually afford to go frequently without breaking the bank. My family usually likes to go during Sunday lunch time. My grandmother would actually call up and ask if anyone wanted to go to a buffet during the weekend. That’s how much my family loves it!
Other buffets are once in a while ones. Champagne lunch buffets that can cost $25 and up. Don’t forget Vegas! On Vegas trips I always have to get at least one buffet in! Those cost about $40 a person! Whoosh! Definitely not good for your wallet! These usually have something special to them, either including alcohol, or have specialty gourmet food. I have even heard of the Sterling brunch buffet in Vegas, about $80 per person!!! It’s supposed to be the highest end buffet serving very special items.
The worst part about buffets is how much food goes to waste! The mentality when you go to a buffet is that if you don’t like it, then don’t eat it. I try as much as possible to finish what I put on my plate, but if it’s horrible… I really can’t eat it! I’m sure buffets create the most waste of any restaurant types. I’m not even a picky eater, but I can imagine those that are leaving plates filled with half eaten food. I just try to control my portions as much as possible, that way I don’t waste much food if it tastes bad. Smaller portions for the first round, then more if I like it the second round! Or third… or fourth… and so on.
Is it worth the price?
How much do you think you can eat in one sitting? If you’re looking for a casual sit down restaurant, then most likely a normal casual buffet can be around the same cost. Meals generally cost $15-$20 a person around Los Angeles after including tax and tip. A buffet usually will cost anywhere from $9-$14 for lunch or dinner. Pricier buffets that start getting higher than that probably aren’t worth it for someone like me. I’m a small person who can only eat so much in one sitting. My hubby, on the other hand, probably could eat his fill and make up for the money spent. For me though, the limit is probably in the low range, since usually I end up making two meals out of an entree. Buffets end up being more of a convenience option, since you can eat right away!
For the expensive Vegas buffets, I really doubt most people make up the price they paid with the amount of food they eat. Those buffets are more about the experience and novelty rather than just another meal. Even buffets that cost $20 are a rarity for us to go to.
I still love going to buffets! I try to make the most out of it by stuffing myself, but of course I know logically I am paying more money than I actually eat. As long as I stick to the less expensive buffets and don’t go too often, I think it’s allowable every now and then. My hubby and I are trying hard not to go out to eat too often.
Are you a buffet lover? What’s your favorite buffet?