Table of Plenty

searchWe have been lucky enough to enjoy food from different places around the world, primarily western Europe. I have waxed eloquently (or at least nauseatingly at length) at how astoundingly delicious the food is in Italy and France. I enjoyed me some yummy bratwurst in Germany and Austria as well.

But as you may already know, while the food in these countries is divine, the portions are CONSIDERABLY smaller than you would get in the United States. In particular, in France, you are liable to get a portion of chicken or veal or fish with a delicious sauce and a beautiful presentation, but it will be a noticeably small amount.

It’s always enough, however.

Now I am not here to play the snotty American and bash our food. I love traditional American cooking. But I am regularly astounded at the sheer amount of food we are served at restaurants.

Anyhoo, all this is to lead up to a confession. Bill and I went to the Golden Corralgolden corral 2 last Friday. We and several hundred others. It’s a popular place.

I’m not sure I have ever seen so much food offered in one spot in my life. For a mere $10.99, you can get almost any kind of traditional American cooking (and by American, I include wannabe Italian and Mexican), and LOTS OF IT.

Fried chicken, meatloaf, pot roast, roasted turkey, rigatoni, tamales, meatballs, steak, turnip greens, refried beans, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, cherry pie, pecan pie, carrot cake, ice cream, a chocolate fountain and a golden corralcaramel fountain. Oh, and sugar-free gelatin. (How did THAT make the cut?) I’m not even coming close to telling you everything from which we had to choose.

Our son Court went to Golden Corral’s first cousin Country Buffet a few months ago. I asked him how it was. “Lots of fairly average food,” was his response.

I, on the other hand, thought it to be lots of better-than-average food, and I didn’t have to prepare it myself. Honestly, some of the food choices were quite good. I liked, for example, the fried chicken.

On the other hand, some of the food choices were quite bad. So I guess that averages out to meet Court’s assessment.

There’s something insidious about all-you-can eat buffets. Let’s face it. $10.99 for a couple of pieces of fried chicken, some green beans, a helping of mashed potatoes and gravy, and a dinner roll would be a good buy. But for some reason, when you have put out, well, really ANY amount of money for a buffet, you feel compelled to eat a ridiculous amount.

And we did. Why-oh-why did I think I needed a second plate? Well, actually, that’s easy to answer. Because I could.  I think we can safely say we have officially crossed over to “elderly.”

As we left the restaurant – so miserably full – Bill noticed that the entrance consisted of one door but the exit consisted of two doors.

golden corral doors

“That’s because you’re twice the size when you leave,” Bill wryly pointed out.

Nana’s Notes: At Sunday’s Mass, our entrance hymn was “Table of Plenty.” It has been running through my brain ever since. I wake up at night to that song. I’m hoping by using it in my title, somehow that will give the tune permission to leave my head. Please God.

6 thoughts on “Table of Plenty

  1. Crossed over to the elderly?? No, that’s when the “second plate” you have is positioned in your mouth, and resides in a glass of water on your bedside table at night. Elderly is taking second and third helpings to fill the take-home plastic bags you carry in your purse for such occasions, along with the individual jelly packets. Elderly, finally, is getting dressed to the nines to enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffet because you know you’ll see your other elderly friends there. Trust me!

  2. I had an acquaintance that was near 90 years old when we met. He was small, maybe hit 100 pounds on the scales. Every time he and his wife were in Ft. Collins (they lived in Estes Park) they ate at Country Buffet. I asked him once why that was his fav restaurant. He replied, because I get two different kinds of pie for dessert!

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