Friday, February 5, 2010

Old Country Buffet

So we're not really buffet people. You might have guessed that, based on how I haven't reviewed one until now. In Florida, you're forced to have Chinese buffet because there's not good dim sum restaurants in most of the state (if you actually know of ANY dim sum place in FL, let us know!), but otherwise we don't have buffet much there, either.

This is with the exception of Golden Corral, which is pretty good most of the time. Anyway, there's this place called Old Country Buffet (same company as Ryan's) that we pass all the time. It's probably about three miles from our apartment, maybe even less. We finally decided to go this past Sunday, since we worked most of the day and needed a break.

I didn't care for the beginning part... you don't have an option not to pay for a soft drink or hot beverage since it's included in the price. Nobody shows you to a seat. There are no trays in the place, so you are limited to just one plate at a time. But you do get a green slip of paper to "hold your table" while your group is up at the buffet.

Overall, there's not a lot of selection. Hot, carved meats included turkey breast, roast beef, ham, and pork ribs. The ham was a little fatty, but good. Ribs were dry. Starch sides included creamy but bland mashed potatoes, rice, very good macaroni and cheese, and blase penne alfredo. The fried chicken had delicious skin but was too greasy on the inside. The taco bar has simple options, nothing fancy. No refried beans option. The salad bar was boring, and the pre-made salad options were scarce. Potato salad was mustardy yet strange. The seafood salad was shells with mayo... I had a tiny piece of krab in a large scoop of salad. The rolls were delicious. We didn't try the pizza or the spaghetti... nor the french fries or corn-on-the-cob. Jonathan thought the green beans were average. Corn chowder and chicken noodle soup were the soups of the day, but we didn't try either. There was rotisserie chicken, baked fish, and some good fried butterfly shrimp.

Jonathan went with the lemon meringue pie (pretty good), the fudge (good), and vanilla frozen yogurt with chocolate chips (good). I had a great brownie, rubbery hot sundae cake, a hard snickerdoodle, a non-descriptive sugar-free chocolate chip cookie, and some great chocolate mousse (but don't eat the crust). The apple crisp was sticky and rind-y. The white chocolate caramel and french vanilla cappuccinos were out of order, so I had a very good hot chocolate with dessert, and Jonathan had decent coffee.

Final thoughts: it took us twenty minutes to find water. We both ended up with Sprite on round 1 because there's only one small spigot for water, and the container probably holds less than three gallons. It's a pricey buffet, as over $12/person. Nothing was notable enough to go back for seconds on. We even got a buy-one-get-one coupon for another time, but I doubt we'll use it, except maybe for a breakfast. Stay away.

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