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  #1  
Old May 6th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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Default Buffet Behavior

I'm not a fan of buffets because I think they encourage gluttony. There's nothing wrong with eating for the pleasure of eating, but I think buffets provide a built-in pressure to get one's money's worth, which often means eating BEYOND the point of pleasure to the point of misery. Eating until I was miserable was fun when I was a kid, but I'm not a kid anymore.

On the other hand, I like the variety of a buffet, and I enjoy the opportunity to go back for more of something that turned me on. A few years ago, my new year's resolution was to revisit all the foods I thought I didn't like (seafood among them!), and the buffets I attended that year really helped with this goal. One wonderful result was the discovery that I loved sushi. Thanks, surfingfarmboy!

So buffets have their definite pluses, even though I try to avoid them when I can. Deciding ahead of time that I will behave in a manner that will help me to have a nice dinner and to enjoy my meal, rather than to try and get my money's worth, helps a great deal. Unfortunately, this means frowns of disapproval from my sister and my other food-loving friends.

I love a good potato salad. I love steamed rice. I love roasted potatoes. I love mashed potatoes. If these things are in the buffet, and they always are, I'm going to put them on my plate. I don't care if it means fewer crab legs (which I never get anyway, because I hate messy food) or less sushi. I could load my plate up with the expensive stuff, but I'm not going to enjoy that stuff if there aren't some good, starchy things to eat it with.

I don't save room for dessert because the dessert is never as good as the other stuff. The one exception to this is if I'm dining at the Koolau Golf Club and their wonderful chocolate bread pudding is offered. In this case, I'll usually have some of that to start the meal.

I do skip the salad, almost always. Even the best salad line is only slightly better than the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday, and I just don't get excited about greens the way I get excited about a good potato.

If the carving line features a roast, I'll usually skip it. If it features prime rib, I just might skip the other entrees in favor of more prime rib. If the carving line features a roast pig, I'll almost surely skip the other entrees, but how often do you see that? Only at huge outdoor parties, I'm afraid.

And I drink lots of water. Wherever my sister is, she's clucking her disapproval at me right now.

So what are you like in the buffet line?
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  #2  
Old May 6th, 2008, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

I'm definitely a get-your-moneys-worth person. Growing up, my family very rarely went to restaurants in general, so when we went to the buffet, it was each as much as you possibly could because this is going to last you a few months at least (not as far as actually being full, but as far as eating at a restaurant.. if that makes sense). That being said, I'm more of a try-as-many-different-things-as-possible person rather than eat-as-much-as-you-can.

Of course, this is something I developed with my mother and her side of the family. My father and his family are a bit more.. proper? Last time I went to a buffet with my father, he actually scolded me for trying to go back for a third plate. But there were other tables I hadn't sampled from yet!
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Old May 6th, 2008, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
On the other hand, I like the variety of a buffet, and I enjoy the opportunity to go back for more of something that turned me on. A few years ago, my new year's resolution was to revisit all the foods I thought I didn't like (seafood among them!), and the buffets I attended that year really helped with this goal. One wonderful result was the discovery that I loved sushi. Thanks, surfingfarmboy!

So what are you like in the buffet line?
Aww gee, Mitchell...you're welcome! I hope you and I can get together again later this year during my (mostly) annual trip home and maybe visit another buffet in the Honolulu metro area, or perhaps, once again, visit the seafood buffet you're thinking of. Truth be known, though it's not a buffet, I'd really like to go kaukau with you at Anna Miller's sometime...for the desserts. Really! I don't have anything else in mind!

As for me in a buffet line? Let's just say the owners of any buffet I visit are probably not in danger of losing money off of my chosen selections. I'm kind of a picky eater.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:52 PM
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Default Outta My Wayyyyyyy

Koolau has a buffet?! If so, I must go!
Where else has good buffet?

Most buffets are at best, but if I stumble across one where there is lot's of killer grinds, well, there better be a floor available for me to roll around and cry on til there's room for 4ths, or at least dessert.

I try and keep my stomach small so it doesn't take much to get satisfied, but if I got my gut, they'll rue the day I show up.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

I'm not really a fan of buffets as I more often than not serve up my own meals every day. When I dine out I lean toward prima dona mode and want to be served. That said, there are a couple of buffets I can't say no to. Todai's is one of 'em...thanks to Surfingfarmboy! And, now I'm within walking distance of the place. Let's do it again!

Another reason I shy away from buffets is that I can't eat enough to justify the price. I just plain, ol' run outta room! Stuffing myself isn't an option. No room=no room!!! I do, however, love sampling various foods. Like you, Scriv, I tend to stay away from the salad line but for a different reason. I make a big, green salad almost every day at home. It's not a treat at a buffet.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

Never met a buffet I didn't like. Guarantee I'm going for the seafood, especially the poke and crab, if it's there. 5 plates, and 3 desserts everytime. Skipping the roast and prime rib. Skipping the taters usually. Any pasta salad is yummy. And don't forget the champagne if it's a holiday brunch.

Roll me outta here. I'm full.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

In the interest of my waistline and general health, I will not make a second trip to the buffet line. It's one time through and I take what I want. That's it.

Another technique I sometimes use is to use the large plate for veggies and salads and the salad plate for entrees. Depends on the buffet offerings.

I remember when Kengo's (Restaurant Row) got into a beef with the Noga brothers. Niko, Al, Pete, and others raided the King Crab legs, forsaking the rest of the entree offerings.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

i try to steer away from buffets especially in vegas. what's up with people always getting sick over there? some people swear by them. i get kinda grossed out when i find the serving utensils/tongs in the food after people have just touched them. but then again, this behavior isn't unique to buffets.

today manolo interviewed the chef and owner of the poke stop who was wearing gloves (big deal!). apparently, it was hot in the kitchen and he wiped the sweat from his brows then continued to cook. often times handling the food. i don't think he realized that he had done this.

bad behavior = bad sanitation = sore stomach

all that aside, the last buffet i went to was at the chinese restaurant in the mccully shopping center (fook yuen?). not bad for $9.95. it included roast duck and pigs' feet (i didn't eat the feet). what i enjoyed the most was the almond float dessert. mom loved that, too.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by timkona View Post
Never met a buffet I didn't like. Guarantee I'm going for the seafood, especially the poke and crab, if it's there. 5 plates, and 3 desserts everytime. Skipping the roast and prime rib.
Man, I can totally picture this. Tim, I'd love to see you TRY to find five plates' worth of stuff to eat at Chan's. I'd pick up the check just to watch.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

I suspect most people who know me knows that I am heavy eater but I don't frequent buffets all that often, maybe about 4 times a year or so assuming no special occasion, in which case that number gets to be higher.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

Careful Scriv.....I'm remarkably UNpicky when it comes to food. If somebody is eating something, there is a great chance I'm also gonna like it.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Whitfield View Post
Koolau has a buffet?! If so, I must go!
Where else has good buffet?
Koolau doesn't have a regular buffet, but if you go there for catered functions, check the dessert table first to see if they've got the chocolate bread pudding. Most of the food there's great, actually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfingfarmboy View Post
Truth be known, though it's not a buffet, I'd really like to go kaukau with you at Anna Miller's sometime...for the desserts. Really! I don't have anything else in mind!
I suddenly have a craving for pancakes.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

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Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
I suddenly have a craving for pancakes.
Yeah. Warm, soft, bountiful pancakes.

Wait. What were we talking about again?

I'm with you on buffets, scriv. I get funny looks for picking up rice, but dammit, I need my rice. I don't care if {x} is the cheapest sushi fish... it's the one I want to eat! My objective is to enjoy the breadth of choice and indulging in too much of a thing or two, not to "beat the house" by going after big ticket items.

And yeah, unless it's king crab, little crab legs are barely worth the effort to get through.

Still, I always thought it made sense the way buffets in Japan had time limits, and that's a practice I see is more and more common in the U.S. There are diners just like Homer Simpson out there...
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

Buffets are part of our local culture, and I am guilty of all things mentioned here whether it be over-stuffing, planned strategies and just plain ol' pigging out. I'm not bragging, just being brutally honest.

Growing up it was a treat for us to dine out, and many times it probably seemed more economical to eat at a buffet, especially since my immediate family ranged between 6 - 10 depending on who needed a place to live.

Today, I'll try a buffet especially if it's Japanese or seafood, but I don't know what came over me when I decided to eat at that new Chinese restaurant at Westridge Shopping Center. I am much more picky, and practical these days.

Salad, I'll skip.

Seafood a must, but not if I have to wrestle with crab fingers legs.

Ushio-Tei at the Ihilani for Japanese, Sheraton Waikiki or Princess Kaiulani for lobster, and the Father's Day buffet at the Halekulani Hotel has roasted pig are my recommendations.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 03:30 AM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

I have a love-hate relationship with buffets. I retain a fondness for them, left over from the days when I had a metabolism that wouldn't quit and could eat all the fatty junk I wanted. As long as I had enough hot sauce to mask the blandness that seems to characterize many buffets, I was happy. Like other people, I'd deliberately eat very little all day to maximize my buffet food intake. I would also always wear special long shirts to cover the zipper of my jeans so that I could unbutton and make more room as needed.

Now, especially after dating a food "snob," I've come to appreciate more fresh, carefully crafted meals and simple, subtle flavors. I also know too much about heart disease and cholesterol to truly enjoy buffet food anymore. All I can think about as the food slides down my gullet is how bad it is for me. And like many others, I'm aware that due to my attempts at portion control, my appetite no longer justifies the price I pay for buffet food. I'm more the deliberately-order-a-meal-so-that-I-have-leftovers-to-enjoy-the-next-day type. Then there's my pickiness and the fact that I don't eat four-legged animals. Sometimes that seriously limits my food choices at a buffet, depending on what kind of buffet it is.

I'm also quite freaked about about the unknown hygiene habits and potentially bad buffet food-handling etiquette, which can result who knows what kind of germs/body fluids in those massive food containers.

I pretty much only go to the Pyramids lunch buffet these days. Once a year I might splurge for a brunch buffet at one of the Waikiki hotels, just so I can enjoy the view and remind myself that I live in Hawaii, but that's about it.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 03:58 AM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

There is a method to the madness of buffets.

I like to go for the desserts first to fill me up fast with small portions loaded with calories.

Then I hit the prime rib and a potato as the appetite killer.

A salad of fruit and poke rounds out my meal.

If I still have room for more I then hit the main buffet line for whatever my appetite can handle (usually small portions of chicken or the mahi).

When I attack buffets that way, I tend to eat less and get to sample the desserts. Typically you do the normal routine and eat dessert last. By the time you get to that moment, the good stuff is usually gone and you end up eating those small squares of fudge with macadamia nuts sprinkled on top.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 05:38 AM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

We don't have buffets over here....but if we did, I'd wear a muumuu and pig out and thoroughly enjoy myself.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

When I was younger....much younger, buffets were my favorite. It bordered on gluttony on my part. I always got my money's worth and more.

Today, I am much more selective. The idea of a buffet, the idea of excess, is not where I am coming from today. In general, I find that the food is not as good, the food tends to be cold, and the utensils dropped into the food turns my stomach. On the plus side, I do like to sample foods I may not order off a menu. So I only visit a buffet maybe twice a year and I am very particular about which one I visit.

My favorite buffet in the world right now is at the Cabo del Sol Golf Clubhouse in Los Cabos, Mexico. Unlimited lobster, shrimp, scallops, lemon grass chicken, several fish selections including dorado and cabrilla (mahi mahi and sea bass), prime rib, Mexican specialties, and for desert unlimited Haagen Dazs sundaes with three flavors and all the condiments. What makes it really special is California champagne, killer view on the Sea of Cortez, and the Smooth Brothers playing light acoustical jazz - Bosa Nova, standards, and oldies from the 50's and 60's. All this for $39.00. Eating in Mexico is a leisurely affair. We have sat in the restarant for 5 hours listening to the music, chatting with friends,........and grazing.

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Old May 7th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

Here's what I do when it's a crowded Buffet, like on Mother's Day. I start with dessert. It is usually "untouched" and I can get what I want first. I know it's strange, but that way I don't fill up on it because I'm saving room for the "main meal" ,but not too full for the sweets.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

The way I look at, as long as you don't WASTE food by grabbing more than you can eat, that's all that matters.

I'm sure nothing drives buffet restaurant managers more crazy then seeing plates of uneaten food being thrown away. More so than someone there pigging out.

But that can sometimes be unavoidable when you grab something to try, and end up not liking it. I'll usually do my best to finish it, but if it's absolutely horrible, I won't force myself to.

Most "normal" folks who go to buffets, at least in my observation, eat only until their content and full, and not there stuffing themselves silly like they're at a Nathan's Hot Dog competition.

There are times though, like once when we were at Makino Chaya, a group of what looked like college football players there, and you should have seen the plates they were bringing back to the table. We're talking MOUNTAINS of food that could be measured in POUNDS, not ounces.

It would be funny to see a buffet restaurant charge people by their body weight (and actually use a scale to check!): 0-100 lbs. - $10/person; 101-150 lbs. - $15/person; 150-200 lbs. - $20, 201 lbs. and above - $30.

I have a small stomach capacity, so whatever room that's there, I skip the starches (except for Nigiri Sushi of course!), and save room for the good stuff like the Shrimp Tempura, Sashimi, Poke and Teppanyaki steak.

As for the utensils and germs issue, I just try not to think about it.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

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[...]
As for the utensils and germs issue, I just try not to think about it.
The way I see it, the dining public is at the mercy of every restaurant. In addition to the staff's germs and whatever else an angry employee might add, buffets expose food to the public's germs. Did anyone see the magazine show's (20/20, Dateline...can't remember which one) expose, with hidden camera, of what can go on in the kitchen? Disgusting.

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Old May 7th, 2008, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

Oooh, all this buffet talk....right now I'm really missing the Flamingo Chuckwagon. I thought they had the best fried chicken.

Wife and I eat to get our money's worth, but not by bulk. We go for the expensive stuff. Wife for seafood and I for the prime rib. These past years, I've been able to forego rice, so I can simply eat all meat and some veggies. I still like my rice, but it's just not as important in a meal anymore, even at home.

Eh, Scriv, the Willows buffet always has roast pork, or more like suckling pig, at their carving table along with the prime rib.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

I like to try things I would not usually order and hit a few favorites. I have watched others get the dessert first and hoard it at the table, then hurry back to fill the entree plate. I go straight for the entrees and have some fruit for dessert, maybe a little piece of leftover cake (it's usualy gone by the time I get there...better for me, but that's why the hoarding, I guess...gotta watch for new dessert to come out!)

I have been to Todai's outside of Washington DC with family twice now, and I felt we ate our money's worth and I enjoyed it. I also felt it was cleaner than most buffets. I want to try Anna Miller's...drive by it frequently.

But anytime we eat out I always remember my microbiology professor's discussions. It is a miracle that people do not get sick more often, no matter if you eat at a buffet or at any restaurant. I do believe in the idea that if you eat out often you are not as susceptible to low levels of bacteria. So if you eat out rarely you have not been "inoculated" as well, so are more prone to illness. (Scratch that idea for immune-challenged individuals.)

So even the greasiest greasy-spoons have their place. Time to eat out!!
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Old May 7th, 2008, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

I LOVE buffets! What can I say, I LOVE to eat!

I judge them on whether they have oysters (as you can see from the thread I just posted) - I cannot stand CHANs, didn't really like Todai and was unimpressed at Tsukijis.

My usual spot is Makino Chaya - the one at Aloha Tower coz it's close to work. We used to go to the one at Pearl City (before Aloha Tower opened) and I gotta admit, I liked it better when they had menu options as well. You could order oysters and lamb chops (and I always did) but I guess they just stick to what's on the buffet now.

Oh sorry, this thread is about buffet behavior, right? OK, so I pig out on the seafood, meats, some veggies (definitely potatos in any form, baked, mashed, french fried) and I never bother with dessert. I usually don't have any room for it anyway!
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Old May 7th, 2008, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: Buffet Behavior

Of all the types of buffets, the ones I cannot seem to chow down on are the chinese buffets. After a while all that oil kinda gets to me.

Funny though after leaving within five minutes you feel hungry again and you end up heading for McDonalds and hit the dollar menu.
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