How Much Can You Eat?

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Michael Stern
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2003/06/11 19:28:18 (permalink)

How Much Can You Eat?

Our latest story for Epicurious.com is about All You Can Eat Restaurants http://eat.epicurious.com/restaurant/sterns/index.ssf?/restaurant/sterns/allyoucaneat.html. Please check it out, and we welcome you to add any we missed to the Roadfood.com database in the form of a review.
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    RubyRose
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/11 20:45:28 (permalink)
    I do have a pet peeve to add. Since when did all-you-can-eat restaurants evolve into all-you-care-to-eat ones? Something about that phrase just smacks of some type of food world political correctness and it really bugs me. Please tell me I'm not alone.
    #2
    mayor al
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/11 21:54:59 (permalink)
    You are not alone RubyRose !!
    I think a good review for a terrible dining experience is " This Place Sucks!" but in this PC world that type of review would be deleted in no time !!
    I have learned to agree in general with the comments made all over this board about some health concerns and quality control at buffet style restaurants. There are a few where I feel the risk is worth the possible damage.
    I have been to several AYCE places that serve "Boarding House or Family" style. That so far seems to be a reasonable compromise.
    #3
    Michael Stern
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/12 04:24:02 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by RubyRose

    I do have a pet peeve to add. Since when did all-you-can-eat restaurants evolve into all-you-care-to-eat ones? Something about that phrase just smacks of some type of food world political correctness and it really bugs me. Please tell me I'm not alone.


    My feeling about "All You Care To Eat" is that it was a way for a restaurateur to subtly hint that the point was not to eat until you busted, but to eat until you had enough, thus discouraging customers from ravishing the buffet. And I totally agree about the health concerns about serve-yourself places. That's why I like always to be the FIRST in line for any meal, pre-sneezes. That's also why I love cafeterias so much. No, they're not all you can possibly eat, but they have the same bounteous hospitality ... and the food is handled only by foodservice professionals.
    #4
    Jennifer_4
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/12 16:33:33 (permalink)
    I love AYCE places for the variety which is important to me, since I don't have the stomach space for quantity eating..probably best I don't, I be bigger than I am now! hehe. Of course I'd rather have a smaller variety of excellent food than a large variety of mediocre stuff, like at Hometown Buffet..ugh!
    #5
    VibrationGuy
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/12 18:45:56 (permalink)
    Color me a cynic, but I'd suspect you're *vastly* more likely to be harmed by food in places with bad temperature controls than you are from buffet service. It doesn't matter if it's a 5-star french masterpiece or a food cart in a questionable part of town; keeping food under 45 or over 140 is key. The only difference with buffet restaurants is that the bad food handling practices are front-and-center, rather than behind a swinging door or pass-through.

    One advantage I particularly like about buffets is that I can take a cruise through, have some soup and a roll, both low-risk foods, and assess what the risk level is from the rest of the items. There are salad bars I wouldn't touch on a bet, right next to hot lines that are perfectly safe. I've been appalled by places that don't seem to have the turnover required for successful buffet, and willing to take more risk at places that look clean, have good food and don't let anything sit anywhere for two hours, so the temp. control risk isn't very high.

    Eric, Who Really Should Make It To The Maltby Cafe One Of These Days (Any Chance Of A Full Review, Michael?)

    #6
    kland01s
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/13 09:23:42 (permalink)
    I generally feel safe with a buffet if there is an attendant on duty who actually seems interested and fequently checks on items and stirs things.
    #7
    pigface
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/13 19:58:52 (permalink)
    I Liked the Hopkins House in Pensacola ... And No I don't need to eat that Much everyday, But it provided a Memorable Dining Experience, that we shared with three complete strangers at the same table of shared dinner platters. Highly Recommended
    for western Florida
    #8
    CoreyEl
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/13 22:20:55 (permalink)
    I never feel like I get my money's worth at a buffet, as I never can eat more than one plate, and it seems like everyone else makes multiple trips. Plus, I got the food poisoning of a lifetime at a Chinese buffet, so even the word scares me these days...
    #9
    kland01s
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/14 13:01:12 (permalink)
    I'll second the food poisoning at a Chinese Buffet, while the rest of my family was enjoying Easter dinner this year, I was upstairs moaning and groaning from the Chinese buffet we went to the night before. Didn't eat too much at the buffet, just the wrong thing and I was the only one who ate it.
    #10
    mayor al
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/14 16:42:24 (permalink)
    I decided to post this entry here as opposed to the BBQ thread because I want to have those of you who might search out other dishes on a buffet have the opportunity to see how the folks in Western Kentucky make things "Right". Stern's did a nice review of the Moonlite some time back. The prices have gone up a bit, $11 for dinner now, but the quality and variety remains great.
    In the first photo I want to show you the Hot Veggies available with the meat that is pictured in the restaurant review section of this site. From left to right...Fried Apples, Green Beans with Ham chunks,Mac and Cheese, Creamed Corn, Whole Okra Pods stewed with Tomato and Onions, A Brocolli-Cheese Cassarole, and Mashed Potato's and Gravy (Brown)



    In the meat section, In addition to the four basic BBQ meats (Pictured below)--Chicken-Pulled Pork and Pork Ribs-Brisket- Mutton (chopped fine and in chunks) they had (Thursday evening) Fried Shrimp (pass them by next time) Catfish Filets (outstanding) Whole Catfish, and Country Ham on small Bisquits. Here is the basic BBQ service..Keep on coming back as needed to make you "more than Happy".






    After all these decisions Here is what I came away with... On the little plate...Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, Pickled Beets, and the Shrimp that I will pass on next time...too much breading on to little shrimp. In the main arena!!! I have Fried Apples, Mutton chunks, Pulled Pork and some Pork Ribs, and several Catfish filets. AND some really good Ice Tea.



    Two other attractions that I did not post photo's of...The Burgoo, Kentucky's version of the Brunswick Stew. It receives rave reviews from many of the folks at the place..I just make it a low enough priority when compared to the other items, that I pass it by often. Also they have a really nice clean and well-chilled cold veggie bar. Slaw is good, Potato Salad is better. Lots of added veggies and melon slices and balls and other fruit.
    If you jump over to the Pie Favorite thread, you'll see why we kept our plates 'Moderate' The dessert offerings are worth a second look for sure.
    Finally they have a "store & take-out section" in an ajoining room by the entrance. You can buy anything on the menu for take-out, plus the usual Tee-shirts and Hats, Burgoo (Canned), Sauces, and 4 lb bags of Hickory Chips for use with home smokers. It is fun wandering thru this area, after one completes the Prime Mission.

    #11
    Pool Boy
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/15 14:22:57 (permalink)
    I love burgoo.

    I am not a fan of buffet type places, though.
    #12
    algernon99
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/23 16:29:48 (permalink)
    My favorite all-you-can-eat is when Tony Roma's does their annual (or is it semi-annual) Endless Slab promotion. All you can eat Tony Roma ribs is heaven on earth for me. And I can eat a fair amount, under the right conditions. Health concerns don't come into play because you order each new slab or half-slab and it comes by waiter from the kitchen.

    Oh my goodness, I'm salivating all over the keyboard....

    Rich
    http://www.beanbible.com
    #13
    peppertree
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/26 17:55:35 (permalink)
    Applebee's near me is having All You Can Eat ribs this week.

    The question how much can you eat? I surprised myself yesterday. I am 5'8" and weigh about 165. I am not a fat person though I probably could lose 15 pounds.

    Yesterday I took a friend to a local NY style deli called Manny Hattans. I ate a deli style brisket sandwich (fat and heavy filled with meat) and my friend never had a knish before since he is a Texan and a Gentile so I ordered a knish for us to share. We also decided to share an order of fries which was a pretty full dish of fries.

    My friend had a deli sandwich and to eat his half of the knish, he had to push himself. He got pretty full from
    the sandwich. He did not even attempt to eat a french fry. As for me, I ate my sandwich and half knish plus I ate the whole order of fries and had a bottle of Dr. Brown's Cream Soda. After we parted, I had a half hour to go before an appointment. I was still hungry so I went to Chick-Fil-A and bought a chicken sandwich to go and bought a 44 ounce Coke to drink with it from a gas station. I still was not full but I was no longer hungry. Sometimes I wonder about how much I can eat.
    #14
    EdSails
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/26 18:19:22 (permalink)
    One interesting thing I've noticed about some of these "all you can eat" specials is that they really aren't worth it. For example------Johnny Reb's here has catfish on the menu with sides etc. for $10. I ALWAYS have a lot of leftovers to take because they are huge portions. They have an AYCE special during the week for $14-------but you can't order leftover food (usually what i've found on AYCE menus. In the long run, I feel I get more food on the regular menu than the AYCE. That goes for most places that have these specials.
    #15
    Sundancer7
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/26 19:17:14 (permalink)
    Gee Whiz Peppertree: I wish I had your problem. I restrict my diet because of health preferences. I cannot even come close to your ability to consume. Good luck and I hope you can continue.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #16
    BigGlenn
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/06/27 00:26:45 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EdSails

    Johnny Reb's here has catfish on the menu with sides etc. for $10. I ALWAYS have a lot of leftovers to take because they are huge portions. They have an AYCE special during the week for $


    Just left Johnny Rebs a hour ago. Took my daughter there for her 16th Birthday, She wanted Catfish. I still do not like Johhny Rebs as I mentioned earlier in another thread. Tonights meal just proved my point. Again, Chris N Pitts is better by far.
    #17
    MikeS.
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/07/01 01:30:50 (permalink)
    quote:
    opportunity to see how the folks in Western Kentucky make things "Right". Stern's did a nice review of the Moonlite some time back.


    So where is the Moonlite? Western Ky is kinda vague and since I'm brand new here...I don't have a clue. Thanks!

    MikeS.
    #18
    EdSails
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/07/01 16:54:08 (permalink)
    I just may need to try Cchris and Pitts this weekend-------what's their best thing to try?
    #19
    BigGlenn
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/07/01 18:38:26 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EdSails

    I just may need to try Cchris and Pitts this weekend-------what's their best thing to try?


    "Mr. Sails" The Pork Ribs are great. My wife likes the Beef Ribs or Prime Rib. I have heard that their Baseball Cut Steak is the best. I usually get either Chicken Fried Steak or the Combination BBQ Of Chicken and Ribs. Lunch is cheaper, Dinner you get a lot more. "Prepare to Wait if you get their Late!" for Dinner. If you take the kiddies they have the best prices for kids meals. They get a lot too! I hope that you enjoy it as much as my Family and I have over the last 15 years. P.S. This is not an all you care to eat place but it is worth going to for good BBQ.
    Happy 4th Of July Yall!


    #20
    kangolpimp
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/07/15 01:15:42 (permalink)
    Some all you can eat buffets have signs asking to please only take the amount of food you can eat. Others are a bit more subtle with signs that say please help us to not waste food. My favorite is when the sign says you will be charged for uneaten food. Has any restaurant ever enforced this policy? Has it happened to anyone here?
    #21
    yumbo
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/07/15 02:46:01 (permalink)
    Way back when I was a member of a collegiate swimming team, our bus rolled into an AYCE place after a meet. It was a grueling competition and we were starving. We had just served ourselves our 2nd helping when the manager decided to close down. Our coach confronted him and he replied: "That's all you can eat."
    #22
    kangolpimp
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/07/15 02:59:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by yumbo
    Our coach confronted him and he replied: "That's all you can eat."

    If that's all we can eat, this is all we can pay! That's what I would have said as I left half the price of the buffet.
    #23
    tiki
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/07/16 09:45:49 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EdSails

    One interesting thing I've noticed about some of these "all you can eat" specials is that they really aren't worth it. For example------Johnny Reb's here has catfish on the menu with sides etc. for $10. I ALWAYS have a lot of leftovers to take because they are huge portions. They have an AYCE special during the week for $14-------but you can't order leftover food (usually what i've found on AYCE menus. In the long run, I feel I get more food on the regular menu than the AYCE. That goes for most places that have these specials.

    $10 for catfish!!!!In Checotah Ok there are 3 different places i can get ayce catfish for 6.99----another reason i moved to Oklahoma!!!!
    #24
    foodguy
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/07/16 10:50:25 (permalink)
    Maggiano's Little Italy (small chain, a few restaurants only in big cities)is the best all you can eat / family style. The sides, deserts pastas entre, its just too good.

    [|)][|)][|)][|)]
    #25
    pennypincher
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/07/16 11:19:47 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by MikeSh

    quote:
    opportunity to see how the folks in Western Kentucky make things "Right". Stern's did a nice review of the Moonlite some time back.


    So where is the Moonlite? Western Ky is kinda vague and since I'm brand new here...I don't have a clue. Thanks!

    MikeS.
    #26
    pennypincher
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/07/16 11:24:30 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by MikeSh

    quote:
    opportunity to see how the folks in Western Kentucky make things "Right". Stern's did a nice review of the Moonlite some time back.


    So where is the Moonlite? Western Ky is kinda vague and since I'm brand new here...I don't have a clue. Thanks!

    MikeS.


    The Moonlite BBQ Inn is in Owensboro, KY, southeast of Evansville, IN.

    http://www.moonlite.com/index.htm
    #27
    JimInKy
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/11/03 03:51:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by algernon99

    My favorite all-you-can-eat is when Tony Roma's does their annual (or is it semi-annual) Endless Slab promotion. All you can eat Tony Roma ribs is heaven on earth for me. And I can eat a fair amount, under the right conditions. Health concerns don't come into play because you order each new slab or half-slab and it comes by waiter from the kitchen.

    Oh my goodness, I'm salivating all over the keyboard....

    Rich
    http://www.beanbible.com

    I'm glad Rich mentioned the Tony Roma's promotion. I took note of their current TV advertisement and saw my chance when a rib-loving friend came through town last Friday. Over the years the two of us have enjoyed some good ribs--from Calhoun's in Knoxville to Fat Matt's in Atlanta--and she was game.

    The Lexington, Kentucky store's endless slab promotion applies to all varieties of ribs and the price is $17.99. I was only interested in the baby back ribs and when the damage was done, the server said I was about one bone short of eating 3 slabs.

    Our server could not have been more gracious or attentive in keeping us supplied with hot ribs. The restaurant serves reorders in half slab amounts, which makes sense. Incidentally, this special doesn't apply to the side dishes. On our visit, every plate of ribs were served just right - tender, flavorful and cooked to perfection.

    It was fun to get my fill of ribs in a restaurant. There is not a lot of meat on baby backs which is why I was able to go through 3 slabs. I should mention that I love TR's milk based slaw; it always tastes fresh and is not sweet. Just good natural flavors. I should also mention I skipped the rolls and other side dish.

    As rib chains go, I like Tony Roma's, and I particularly like their spicy, "original sauce" for ribs (which can be purchased on site and in supermarkets).

    I discovered Tony Roma's in 1985 in Nashville. The store was located on Elliston, by the Vandy campus, and was wildly popular. At that time there were only 5 TR stores in the nation, all in rich cities like Palm Beach, Miami, Palm Springs, etc.

    For me, Tony Roma's cannot compare with Dreamland (ribs cooked over hickory coals) or the better Memphis rib joints, or with ribs from a whole hog slow-roasted, half a day in East Carolina. But in the barbeque barrens of the Inner Bluegrass, these baby backs sated us just fine, until I can break away for the world-class fare.

    The store manager told me this promotion is slated to continue through the end of the year. I would certainly do it again.
    #28
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/11/03 05:14:53 (permalink)
    Back in the days when I was managing restaurants with buffet lines, I would routinely, every hour or so, go through the line checking temps with a thermometer and alcohol wipes. I was always surprised when people commented that they had never seen that done before.
    #29
    spadoman
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    RE: How Much Can You Eat? 2003/11/03 08:28:40 (permalink)
    Last time I went to one of those places, the waitress came up to me and said,

    "OK, that's all you can eat!"
    #30
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