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    « Not At All Rational | Main | Wordless Wednesday - Creative Friends »

    Yes, The Fact That "Golden" Is In The Name Did Factor Into This Decision

    I cook.  I cook a lot.  It's what I do.  I don't always enjoy it, but I do it.

    I cook because I can.  Seriously - I am not a terribly skilled person so the fact that I can put together a decent meal and end it with a yummy dessert gives a little thrill to my soul.  Birthday dinners for our family are nearly always eaten at home.  I make whatever the celebrant requests and then bake the home-made-from-scratch cake they like best.

    Unless it is Rich's birthday, then he requests his favorite dessert:  instant chocolate pudding poured into a store-bought graham cracker crust.

    I know.

    It's wrong on so many levels.  Can you believe we've lasted 19 years?

    For Faith's birthday this year though, she begged to go out to dinner.  I went back and forth and finally gave in - mostly because she had requested that I make store bought chicken nuggets and Kraft mac and cheese for her birthday dinner.  I don't know about you, but that menu doesn't really scream "Golden Birthday Celebration" to me.

    So out to dinner we went.  To the restaurant of Faith's choice.


    I'll be honest with y'all:  I was less than thrilled.

    I. Do. Not. Like. Buffet. Restaurants.

    At all.

    The food is pre-made and mediocre at best.

    The serving utensils have been touched by everyone and their grandma.  Literally.

    And do you know what everyone and their grandma touched just before they touched those serving utensils?  Neither do I.  Nor do I want to find out the hard way.

    Also?  Buffet restaurants are teeming with small children running willy nilly poking their fingers into different foods.  Oh yes they do.  I've seen them

    Folks, I work in an elementary school.  I do know what those children touched before they came in.  For instance, we have a kindergartner at school right now who is obsessed with licking himself.  His arms, his hands - anything his mouth can reach.  The areas his mouth can't reach he gets to by licking his hands, touching that area and then licking his hands again.

    No I am not kidding.  I wish I were, but I am not.

    So, do you want to follow that kid through a buffet line?

    I didn't think so.  But here's the thing - you'd never know that boy licks himself if you just happened upon him at your local restaurant.  He's awfully cute and has a terrific grin.  So you'd smile back at him and help him reach up to the buffet and hand him the spoon for the jell-o salad and then go about your business.  You'd never know that you now had The Licker's cooties all over your food and plate.

    But you would.


    It is a tremendous testament to my motherly love that we went to the Golden Corral for Faith's birthday.  It probably goes without saying that Rich is a fan of this restaurant.  Pre-made mediocre food is right up his alley.

    19 years people.  19 years.

    Rich and the kids were thrilled with the buffet.  Thrilled with their nasty, from-a-can chicken noodle soup.  Delighted with the re-heated mac and cheese.  They oohed and aahed over the popcorn shrimp and chicken nuggets that are the exact same thing you can get at the grocery store.  They went out of their minds over the little store bought mini pie crust filled with congealed lemon pudding.

    I ate the worst Chinese food I've had in a long time and a baked potato with limp broccoli and fake cheese sauce over the top.

    Confession:  I adore fake cheese sauce.

    Then we came home to a home made cake and not a soul got food poisoning or a cold so I guess all is well that ends well.

    And sometimes?

    Just occasionally?

    It's not all about me.


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    Reader Comments (25)

    What? It's not?

    I'm with you - buffets are definitely not my thing and now that I've read about the licker boy, I'll never see them the say way again. :)

    Ewww. Just ewww. I'm with you Mindee. Unless it's a buffet in Vegas because some of those are AMAZING.

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErin M.


    I am not a fan of the buffet line in a restaurant. At all. I too was a teacher. Enough said.

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

    I totally agree with you. Big buffet restaurants are not in my list of places to eat. There is just too much if the unknown. Unknown origin of the food, unknown numbers of people touching it, unknown people touching unknown other things before touching the unknown food, and the list could just go on. Being a teacher just makes this that much scarier. Congratulations on surviving the experience!

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLorrie

    I'm not a huge fan either, but based on your tweets, I was expecting roaches in the kung pow or something!

    I'm glad her golden birthday was so golden though! How fun!

    LOL I don't like buffets for a totally different reason....they cost too much for what I eat. Essentially I'm paying double what I would pay at another restaurant and I don't even get a take out box. Pshh on that!

    Our family went to a buffet quite a long time ago and my dad was in the restroom washing his hands when a man came out of one of the stalls and completely ignored the sinks to wash his hands. He went directly out to the buffet line. That completely ruined buffets for our families.

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatey

    Man, and to think before reading this post I didn't like buffet restaurants only because of the crappy food.

    But now I know the fear of the Licker.

    And it'll stick with me.

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan (Best of Fates)

    All I can say is Yuck!

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie B

    I agree with you 110%! BUT, my family LOVES buffets. Why? I still cannot figure it out. Oh, well. Like you said, sometimes it's not all about us.

    Pass a Happy Birthday along!

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthe domestic fringe

    Well. You can imagine what I think of buffet lines. :) I have done it a few times because I have family members who LOVE the buffet (the one featured in particular). It is not my thing. As you say...none of us has died, so I suppose we are building immunities.
    I'm going to pretend that I didn't read about Licker Boy. And go about my business. But, do you see why I have Christian and Eliana change as soon as we get in the door?! I cringe when they roll around on the floor before doing so. I'm not saying we have really clean floors (they are probably dirtier than the sidewalks)'s OUR dirt! :)

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

    P.S. I think you are a super sweet mom to humor her!! And Golden Corral is clever! :)

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

    buffets are easier to stomach for those of us who are non-germaphobes. we happily go through life picking up the licking boys germs and passing them on. i don't love the food at golden corral, but i do get a slightly giddy feeling when the ring the bell that there are hot rolls. hot. buttered. rolls. that can make even a germaphobe enjoy golden corral, right?

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermissy

    I am SO with you here. I could imagine the whole thing. Ew. I've only been to a few good buffets and they were little old country restaurants, not chain stores, and the food was like it came out of grandma's kitchen. Do they even exist anymore?

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermj

    19 years?
    19 years?
    Amazing. ;)

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Lumberjack's Wife

    Hee hee hee....ask anyone who works at a regular restaurant about what goes on behind the door you never see past and they will tell you that it's not THAT much better back there!!

    Oh, I miss friend okra!

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Musician's Wife

    Ok so my husband is a total food snob (apparently the opposite of your husband!) and when my cousin had her rehearsal dinner at Ryan's Steakhouse (same thing as Golden Corral) he was freaked out. "What? Seriously? ew!!"
    But then... he discovered those darn popcorn shrimp. And ate a truck load of them.
    Then the ice cream bar put him over the top. He was like a little kid. In fact I was concerned he might push a kid to the side to get to the mixins'.

    What do they put in that shrimp? Besides MSG...

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBreann

    We have one of those in my town. I've never been there. Probably won't ever go. I DID however, go to Pizza Ranch last night and ate buffet. YUM! :)

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather in ND

    True confession: I used to LOVE Golden Corral when I was like ten.

    Thankfully, I outgrew that.

    Marla @

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarla

    Middle class, Midwestern suburbanite latchkey kid that I am, I like industrial food, like in cafeterias and buffet restaurants. still, the buffets give me a wiggins. I cannot touch a spoon that seventy other people have handled, and then touch food with it. Nuh uh.

    As for the Licker, well... one time I went to pick up Jason from preschool, and he was actually walking in line with the other children. Unfortunately, he was trailing at the end of the line, leaning against the wall from his forehead to his knees, dragging his tongue along the wall as he walked.

    October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

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