Tuesday, June 16, 2015

French Fry Diary 673: Ichiban Buffet

Recently some old friends and The Bride and I got together at a new buffet where the old Old Country Buffet in Cherry Hill used to be - the Ichiban Buffet. In Japanese, 'ichiban' means 'number one' or 'first,' but I think in this case, I think they're just being hopeful, as this was less than satisfying.

I'm not a big fan of buffets to begin with. I dislike the idea of not knowing who has been touching my food, maybe multiple times, for who knows how long, perhaps getting it on their plate, then changing their mind and putting it back. It's just not sanitary, no matter how many employees and cooks are watching to make sure that kind of shenanigans doesn't happen.

This buffet was $16.00 per person, and they seemed to have a good variety, as well as (boo) Pepsi products. One big highlight was the 'donuts,' or more accurately the little chunks of fried and sugared dough, but I was disappointed at there being no soft ice cream, usually a buffet staple. I was a bit irritated by this seemingly professional place in all other effects having the ingredients of the trays written on signs below in Magic Marker. Tacky.

But of course, I wasn't there for the signage, or the donuts, or even the ice cream, I was there for, among other things, the French fries. They were only warm, probably baked frozen seasoned fries, seasoned to the point of being as dark golden brown as the sweet and sour chicken, whose sauce was great on the fries. The mashed potatoes only okay, and I didn't see any onion rings.

There was one puzzle I couldn't figure out. Why won't they trust us with knives? We can cut our own meat at the serving station, dish our own hard ice cream, but they won't trust us with knives at our seats unless we flag someone down and ask for one? Weird. I probably won't be coming back, the company was excellent though.

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