You've probably heard of, or been to, Golden Corral. It's a chain of inexpensive all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants that are short on frills but offer fairly decent food. We visit only occasionally because like many restaurants of their kind, they are loud, crowded, and teeming with kids, and to be honest, with Lynnafred now in her early 20s we've more or less outgrown the genre.
While they do have their shortcomings, Golden Corral does do a bunch of things very well - better even than some more expensive places.
- Their spare ribs are very good - big, meaty St. Louis-style ribs, tender and crispy from the grill, with just the right amount of tasty barbecue sauce.
- Top sirloin steak is always on the menu, and while that isn't at the level of porterhouse or NY strip, it's decent quality and they cut it an inch or so thick. The guys at the grill station are friendly and pleasant, and will cook your steak exactly to order. You want the living hell cooked out of it? No problem. You want it barely seared, red and bloody inside? No problem there, either.
- Golden Corral's yeast bread rolls are heavenly - soft and pillowy and always warm from the oven. You have no idea how hard it is for me - keeping an eye on the carbs - to resist eating a plate of those delicious bastards.
- When their fried chicken is good, it's awesome. Sometimes they cook it a little too long, though, and it gets a little dried out, especially the wings.
- Their panko fried shrimp are fantastic.
- The black pepper flounder (fish fillets breaded in a heavily-black pepper-seasoned crumb coating) is totally aces.
- The servers - who lift empty plates from the tables and offer free drink refills as they flit from table to table - are always friendly and kind despite being subjected to some really rude, demanding, and douchey customers.
- Their baked desserts are excellent, and as far as I know, they're all made in-house. Try their brownies, they're like fudgy squares of heaven.
What are the not-so-good things? Well, there's the crowds of rude, demanding and douchey customers for one thing. The food stations sometimes get longish lines. And there always seem to be kids running around underfoot.
|The Seafood Newburg.|
Oh, yeah...and don't get the seafood newburg. It wasn't spoiled or anything...it was just nasty.