Tuesday, July 19, 2011

French Fry Diary 247: Golden Corral

As a rule, I am not fond of buffets. They are either very good, or very very bad. There is the whole idea of several people possibly touching your food before you get it. And yes, I know, food is always touched before you get it - but you don't see it, and it's not other customers touching it. I know, I'm on the brink of OCD here, but the same-spoon-for-everything thing gets me too.

And then we come to Golden Corral, and hope that the above does not apply. Those of us in the area who regularly use Route 73 have watched this particular Golden Corral in West Berlin be built and gave anxiously awaited its opening. First of all, it's hard to miss, as the sign is gigantic, and can be seen for miles.

The buzz has been very good from friends and family about the restaurant and the food, but things being what they are it took a while to get there. A lazy afternoon with the in-laws and the promise of baby back ribs, and we were off to Golden Corral. Sadly, since the visit, we've heard that quality has gone downhill in the short time they've been there. To make matters worse, the baby back ribs we all saw on TV ads, was a special that had ended. No baby back ribs at all.

For a late Saturday afternoon they were packed but we were greeted by the friendly and helpful waitress Julia. The picky eater then trekked to the buffet to see what they have to offer. I ended up with a very tender steak cooked on a grill, a cheese garlic biscuit that looked just like the bread things at Red Lobster (not the same taste but still quite good), and something called "Steakhouse French Fries."

These were standard steak fries, probably frozen and baked, but hot and very good. With those kind of fries and this kind of place - hot is important. Also available were mashed potatoes, baked potatoes (sweet and regular), and tempura onion rings.

They had a lot here to choose from, almost everything except baby back ribs and chocolate soft serve. Still, it was quite good, and despite my initial OCD fears, it turns out the buzz was right. Golden Corral was pretty good, and so were the fries.

Postscript: Golden Corral makes up got its buffet reputation in the restroom department. No operational stalls in the men's room and no toilet paper in the ladies' room. I guess we won't be back. I can make steak fries at home.

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Ray Cornwall said...

Fun fact: Baby back ribs used to be considered unfit for human consumption and used for animal food until restaurants like Chili's starting marketing them and pushing them as "good ribs", I'll take St. Louis ribs any day over a measly baby back rib.

Glenn Walker said...

Don't put all the blame on Chili's. Baby Back Ribs were also big two to three decades ago at Charlie Browns and Rib-It as well.