The Buffet Strategy Thread

One of my favourite ways to eat, is all-you-can-eat. However, I feel I could improve in various areas of buffet matchups. So I decided SRK needs to have a thread to discuss strategies, foods to avoid, etc.

For instance:

I don’t understand why people eat the shitty pizza or french fries at a Chinese buffet.
I’ve heard most buffet’s put all their filling foods at the start, where you grab your plate, in an effort to fool you into only having one or two plates?
Is it considered a faux pas to take all the good parts out of certain dishes (ie- take all the meat from a dish, or take all the noodles)?
How many plates should you go up for? Does it depend on if you’re on a date, or some other social outgoing?
Is it OK to fill one plate with just one type of food?
How should one prepare for an all-you-can-eat buffet? Should you avoid eating any previous meals in preparation?
Is there a buffet tier list (both in types of restaurant, and the dishes themselves?)
What do you do when somebody slow is in front of you?
What are acceptable ways of getting delicious food to take home for the inevitable late night cravings?
Is it acceptable to butt in front of kids or push them aside as I have been doing, when their parents aren’t around?

Here’s my thoughts

  1. People going to a buffet and getting a salad: WTF? Why are you wasting precious stomach space on stuff that tastes like cardboard that you can make just as easily at home?
  2. People that eat food off the buffet that doesn’t tie in with the theme of the buffet. Pizza and ice cream at a Chinese buffet? Are you joking me?
  3. People that see a high demand item, and take the whole thing. This happened to me once, where some guy took an entire slab of prime rib when I was next in line for it. I almost had a court case pending on me.
  4. Unless there’s an assembly line style, and it’s roped off, if someone’s taking too long, I jump ahead of them. Usually, I’m not getting what they’re taking too long with, and I can just go ahead and get what I want unimpeded. I don’t know if that’s rude or not, but I don’t care.

Best “buffet” I’ve had is here in China. It’s a Japanese buffet, but you don’t even have to get up to get more. You just place orders with the server, and they bring it to you, and it’s all cooked fresh to order. On top of that, the taste was incredible. The downside is the price is expensive even in western terms…$30+ for one person. But I can eat a lot when it comes to buffets, so I can pack in that amount of food. Plus, they have free all-you-can-eat desserts, including Hagen Daas ice cream.

Eating food that you haven’t cooked yourself? A concept I’m not familiar with but at EVO I go ham (not literally…that would be sinful) on the gourmet buffet at the Wyn, never really had a strategy.

The 3 hotels I stayed in at Spain had ridiculous breakfast buffets. No theme, just great food (except for the sushi which was meh quality and I only tried it to see what sushi at 8:30AM tasted like). My strategy there was to separate flavor profile for example: Eggs and toast on one plate (there was a plate of roasted garlic oh man mashing that shit and spreading it on the bread before putting it through the broiler=heaven) then fruit and muffins on a second plate, seafood paella and smoked salmon on a third plate, and the cheeses on a fourth plate.

@missingperson the few times I’ve ate at a buffet I always got some veggies because #1 although I have the body of a 12 year old prepubescent girl I eat like a 500 lb man with a black hole for a stomach and #2 it’s important to eat veggies whenever consuming large amounts of meat.

#2…why the fuck do you guys care who eats what where? Sure it may not be logical to most of us, but it’s their money let others waste theirs however, they want unless it is somehow negatively impacting your dining experience.

#3 Sure it’s a dick move to take a large amount of a high demand item, but as someone who cuts in line at a buffet, you have no right to complain. If someone did take an obnoxiously long time putting the food on their plate like more than a minute or two I would tap them on the shoulder and tell them I’m going ahead of them at least.

@Soviet WTF do you mean is it “OK” to fill your plate with one type of food? What weak shit is that! It’s your fucking plate you paid for, make a troll thread about it for all I care.

As far as acceptability with taking food from the buffet…well IMO a little bit is okay. At one of the hotels my family and I were at in Spain I took 2 muffins in my backpack as we left and the maitre D gave me the stink eye than tapped my shoulder and said “today it’s okay but tomorrow no”…and I just rolled my eyes at him. The hotel was charging $800 a night and I get shit for taking 2 fucking muffins? GTFO!..the next 3 days I took 2 muffins in my backpack in clear view of the same maitre d while smiling.

It sucks that there’s no really good buffets near me. There used to be a pretty good Chinese one (Pretty good because it wasn’t horrible like the others) and they went downhill this year. The food tastes like it was left out over night and the Pepsi has way too much seltzer. The only other buffet that could be considered good is an Old Country Buffet. That’s it.

I’ll answer your shit:

1: Sometimes. When I’m in the mood, sometimes I have a weird craving for french fries. But usually I would just grab a handful or one slice to satisfy the urge.
2: Never heard of that, it depends on the buffet.
3: I don’t believe so.
4/5/6: I aim for 4 and end at 3 usually. I mix and match. And it depends, I might have breakfast but the buffet is usually my lunch and dinner.
7: I’d love to go to a nice Sushi buffet. I fucking love Sushi (Sushi is godtier easily, REAL Sushi made by Japanese dudes). I don’t know why but Chinese dudes just cannot make good Sushi.
8: Eh, try and get something else while they futz around. Depends if there’s a line.
9: Years ago, what I would do is go to a buffet near a shopping plaza and I’d come in with a shopping bag with just a little thing in there like a book. And I filled the bag with ziplock bags and I would try to get as much shit as I could.
10: Always.

Chinese food is typically fried. People keep forgetting this is a large country, akin to America, where only a small proportion of the country live on the coast, and have access to fresh seafood, and even fewer know how to prepare it raw properly. Also Japan had more influence from China than the other way around.

Whereas in Japan in Korea, they’re smaller countries with more coastal areas. Getting fresh seafood is not a problem for the majority of the country, plus both countries influenced each other in some way or the other. These two countries have the best sushi, bar none.

My wife is Korean, but her Sushi is top notch, best I’ve eaten. She also used to work at a sushi restaurant in Honolulu, so she knows her stuff.

That makes sense. Now I know why the upper class supermarket I sometimes go to has awesome Sushi.

I went to this one place with godlike mushrooms, and I took an entire plate of just the mushrooms back to my table. Got a ton of weird looks from the waiters.

I got a friend of mine, and whenever she goes for all you can eat wings, she has a purse she just lines with plastic and dumps wings in there. Then goes home with like 5 lbs of wings.

  1. It’s mostly for children. French fries and pizza are “go to” items for parents who just want to appease their kids
  2. This is fact. Also, most filler food is also considered to be either a basic part of the meal (rice in an asian buffet) or an appetizer (salad, bread). So it’s both economical for the restaurant to put them first as well as not breaking certain routine that the vast majority of people expect when it comes to courses.
  3. Eh, not really. It’s the same concept as putting the filler items first. Take what you want. Any good buffet runner is going to know to fill a tray when the good stuff is gone and just combine the new and old trays.
  4. It does not matter, unless going and getting food is taking away from some social reason you are out to eat.
  5. Yes. That is part of the point of a buffet.
  6. Do not prep. It’s just a meal. You’ll probably end up eating less than if you just ordered a meal somewhere. Sure you’ll think that you ate a ton but that is just because you ate almost instantly. Whereas in a normal restaurant you wait for eat course. If you want a bang for your buck, grab half a plate and wait like 5 minutes after you finish it to grab another half a plate.
  7. IDK
  8. Do whatever you would do if someone was slowing you down in an aisle at walmart. It’s a buffet. EAT PAY LEAVE.
  9. Ask your server or the person at the register. Or be a dick and wrap whatever in a napkin and put it in your cargo shorts pockets/purse.
  10. Yes. They won’t notice or care. If they are to young to be by themselves without an adult they won’t notice. Otherwise, they won’t care.

Proper Buffet Etiquette. By Manx, Esq.

  1. Drive your SUV to the buffet. If you do not have an SUV, then just order a pizza. You do not belong at a buffet.
  2. The quadrants of your meal tray are as such: Top left: drink, Center: entree, Top Right: Dessert, Bottom Right: roll/bread. Bottom Left is an optional holding spot for that bowl you always get that you don’t know what to do with.
  3. I usually put macaroni & cheese in that bowl.
  4. Plate dimensions are finite on all axis except for the Z-axis, making it perfectly acceptable (and often nessescary) to pile food as high as possible.
  5. As you eat, lean back in your chair and rub your ample belly. If your belly is lacking in size, then go back for seconds.
  6. When you go back, be sure to take your sweet-loving time in front of the other diners who haven’t gotten their first plate yet. The anticipation will be sure to make them enjoy their meal all the more.
  7. If you have children, be sure to let them run wild, serve themselves and make a disgusting mess at the table. Children enjoy freedom!
  8. Talk loudly and be sure to display which portion of food you chose by talking while chewing.

That’s all I got for now. I’ma go to Golden Corral for research. :tup:

Why ain’t you marry this girl yet?

Yeah I always look at the stuff like pizza and fries at a chinese buffet as something for the picky eaters who tagged along with friends and family.

My question would be what’s the best way to prep and get the most out of the buffet? Should I starve myself the whole day or eat a light meal about 3 or 4 hours before going?

I know when I’ve went to that japanese buffet over here, I’ve barely eaten at all beforehand. I’m paying $30 for dinner, so I better justify it.

At Chinese buffets, why starve yourself? $8 for light food? You’re going to be hungry again just going up for your next plate.

For places like Ryan’s and Golden Corral, you better eat a light lunch. No breakfast if you’re going for lunch.

There is a sushi place that I like to go to right off campus that has all you can eat for $22. You’re restricted to one roll and 5 pieces for each order and can’t order a new round until you finish your current one, but you basically have the entire sushi menu at your disposal. Whenever I go with my friends or girlfirend I make sure to eat practically nothing the entire day, staving off hunger with water.

They always try and offer you distraction appetizers like fried rice, miso, ginger dressing salad, etc. I usually go with the ginger dressing salad cause I love that dressing, and it takes up little to no space in your stomach. But their fried rice is amazing and always a temptation, especially after you’ve starved yourself the whole day just to gorge yourself on sushi.

Also, my girl’s family is Chinese and she’s a petite little thing. It always amazes me how much sushi she can put away. How do Asians do that? It defies the laws of physics that someone so tiny can eat so much. They’re always breaking records eating hotdogs and stuff too.

So far my personal sushi record has been 4 orders. That’s 4 rolls and 20 pieces of sushi, and I thought I was going to die. Rice expanding in your stomach sucks.

I usually don’t go to buffets until they have a special item. While I like the food they normally have, there are only certain things that I can truly pig out on to justify the higher than normal price. This is usually fresh seafood or Prime Rib, Slow Cooked Brisket and Ribs. I tend to fill up fast, but with shrimp, scallops, lobster or crab, my stomach just finds a way.

There’s a Chinese Buffet near me that serves all you can eat Snow Crab legs along side their normal buffet from 12-5pm for $15 a person.

The crab makes up the bulk of the meal. Then I take the best parts of your typical Americanized Chinese Restaurant menu. I take some fried shrimp, spareribs, general tso’s, bourbon chicken, a couple of egg rolls(they’re always small at buffets). I don’t mess with rice, lo mein etc. I like that stuff, but at a buffet it’s filler.

Also, I don’t recommend places like Ce-Ce’s Pizza Buffet. I went there for a friends kid birthday party. It’s shit tier. $5 all-you-can-eat toast, ketchup and government cheese.

if youre going to a buffet for the purpose of how much can you eat you are doing it wrong

I go to buffets so I can pile together a plate that I normally wouldnt be able to, like sesame chicken and spaghetti or some shit

Do you guys fast before then or not eat breakfast at all?

When you have special items for the night like crab legs, you must be already waiting for the fresh batch to come out, otherwise you’re fucked and will just get dinky parts with little meat. The first 2-3 people there will clean out that batch of all the good parts guaranteed.

My strategy is to put my fingers in everything.

Fat fucks

I eat relatively slowly, so I’m not a fan of buffets. It doesn’t work well to get up for a second plate when everyone else has finished two or three and is ready to leave, so the whole thing is basically a bad value proposition.

All I know about tier list is that lo mein is at the bottom. Fresh lo mein can be delicious, but buffet lo mein is always dried out and nasty.

If the kid is well-behaved then you shouldn’t push him out of the way just so you can stuff your face sooner. But if the kid is being a little snot then feel free to shove him around; maybe it’ll learn him.

When I go to a buffet I don’t eat a ton of stuff and I don’t skip meals that I would normally have.

I use a buffet to try stuff in small portions I didn’t try before and to eat stuff I like that I normally don’t because the girls I know don’t know how to make it.

I don’t care if kids skip me, but for lobster there was a small limit on how much you can take and this whale took two plates and took everything and then I waited for 30 minutes for more to come and then this whale came back and tried to use her weight to knock me away. I gave that 600lb bitch the ElderChokeSlam and walked away like a boss.