A sluggish economy has a way of making people look for bargains. I recently heard on the radio that “all you can eat” buffets are doing a blistering business because people want as much for their money as they can get. I don’t blame anyone there. Buffets can be great places to get more bang for your buck, but remember, “all you can eat” and “all you care to eat” are two totally different concepts.
Buffets are designed to do only two things:
1. Take your money.
2. Fill you up … quickly. Nutrition has nothing to do with it, but there are some healthy choices you can make.
Here’s some buffet secrets:
Buffets will give you oval plates that seem large, but since you don’t use plates like these at home, you aren’t always aware that they’re smaller. When you’ve filled one up twice, you may not have even caught up to just one dinner plate from home.
Buffet plates tend to be shallower than the plates you use at home. You just can’t heap up the mashed potatoes and turkey tetrazzini like you can at home. Those little dessert dishes never seem to hold enough for me either …
Buffets love for you to drink sodas. Those fizzy bubbles tend to fill you up and make you eat less food. And besides, sodas are cheap! To make you drink even more, a buffet will over season many foods so you get and stay thirsty.
Buffets want you to eat lots of those big fat yeast rolls. Bread is relatively cheap when compared to meats.
Buffets will take their time in removing empty plates from your table. Five people eating at a buffet, two trips each = 10 plates. When your next door neighbors walk by, they will think you have some sort of eating disorder! Result: you leave sooner (or you bus your own table).
Buffets use uncomfortable chairs. An aching backside will make you long for the sweet comfort of your car’s bucket seats with that fine Corinthian leather.
To get the most from a buffet, look for the highest quality, freshest food you can find. Buffets can be worth it when they give you a nutritional punch, but to get that, you gotta avoid the overcooked, deep fried, high fat hog slop that characterizes so many. Opt for raw vegetables if they’re offered, baked chicken or fish, salads, and fresh fruits or sorbets for dessert. Personally, one of my favorite buffets is the mega salad bar, you know, the one with 9 different kinds of lettuce and greens and that has a dedicated salad bar attendee constantly bringing out fresh vegetables? By making selections like this, “all you can eat” isn’t really that bad!