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#foodbeast Adventures Cravings Culture Features FOODBEAST Restaurants

Behind The Scenes of One of America’s Top Buffets

Buffets often get a bad rap. I get it. For the most part, the concept plays to the strength of only quantity. Trays of food sit endlessly under heat lamps, scorching whatever little life it had away. Each batch of it made it large quantities that give more room for error. They earned this rep. But thanks to a select few standouts clustered in Las Vegas, namely The Buffet at the Wynn Resort & Casino, folks can experience a glorious meal in all you can eat form.

The latest episode of Taste the Details has me right in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip to go behind the scenes of one of not only the city’s, but also the country’s, top buffets. Whether it be That Drunken Noodles or Southern-style fried chicken or hand-rolled sushi using real crab meat, The Buffet does it all superbly. Sure, the quantity factor comes into play big time given the amount of patrons that come in, yet the remarkable feat here is how quality is not sacrificed one bit.

So trust that I’ll have plates stacked of the same dish just on the fact that its lowkey better than restaurant quality. And in a town where I’ll more than likely need to stress eat to soothe the sting of all the money I lost in the casino, that’s crucial.

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Features Restaurants

Buffet Owner Answers All The Buffet Questions Folks Have Been Dying To Ask

The majority of us have visited a buffet at some point in our lives. As soon we’re seated, we sprint to the smorgasbord and pile our plates with mounds and mounds of food. Sitting there, shoveling food into our mouths, a bevy of buffet questions come to mind.

What’s the best thing to get? Is the seafood really fresh? Why are the desserts so tiny?

In a recent Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, an owner operator of a large independent all-you-can-eat concept in the United States answered a ton of questions the Internet had been dying to know about the buffet industry.

Some of the questions include topics such as foods to avoid, nightmarish customers, and what happens to leftovers after the doors close for the evening.

Check out some of the highlights from the session below. Perhaps you’ll find your own buffet questions answered.


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Man, makes me rethink my entire buffet-eating strategy.

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#foodbeast Adventures Brand Cravings Culture FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss News Nightlife Restaurants SPONSORED Video What's New

Going In: We Conquered One Of Las Vegas’ Most Extravagant Buffets


A weekend on the Las Vegas strip can be both exhilarating and exhausting, and when you’re time is limited, it’s almost necessary to do as much as possible before the weekend comes to a close. Well, why not save the best for last?

After a long night of clubbing, spending a few too many hours at the pool, or the craps table, take a moment to recharge at one of Las Vegas’s most extravagant buffets. Located in Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino, Bacchanal has the most illustrious offerings the strip has to offer.

Equipped with nine different show kitchens throughout the restaurant, Bacchanal serves more than 500 different dishes daily. This buffet caters to any palate, and was the perfect place for the FOODBEAST Family to Go In on every single thing we could get our hands on.

 

From the freshly made sushi bar, to the hand scooped gelato station, the possibilities inside Bacchanal are seemingly endless — just like the menu. With made to order stations like omelette and prime rib, to the extraordinary variety of fresh seafood, Bacchanal Buffet made this episode of Going In one of the most spectacular and belt-loosening experiences of our fam’s entire Vegas trip.   

From the culinary decadence, to the modern and luxurious decor, Bacchanal has it all — especially if your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
Created in partnership with Caesars Entertainment

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Features Restaurants

Buffet Workers And Patrons Recall The Biggest Displays Of Gluttony They’ve Ever Seen

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People are known to go ham when it comes to all-you-can-eat buffets and restaurants. I mean, that’s the point right? You roll in with your family and friends and go to town on as much grub as you can before your body tells you to shut it down and go home.

But have you ever wondered how far some people go when the option of endless food is placed before them?

A question was extended to buffet employees and patrons regarding what was the most gluttonous thing they’ve seen. As with everything you read on the Internet, especially Reddit, make sure to take these tales with a grain of salt.

In the meantime, we’re gonna cruise through Yelp and see what buffets we can hit up for lunch. Wonder if Hometown Buffet is still around?


A night at Sizzler’s

Once I went with my mom’s then-boyfriend to Sizzler’s. He got the steak and all-you-can-eat shrimp. He was crazy high, and had the munchies. After the seventh refill of shrimp, the manager came to our table, and said if we left now he would refund his dinner.

I was so embarrased.


He did this every day

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Old Country Buffet. I saw a guy eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He just rested, read the newspaper, and wouldn’t leave the fucking booth. He was there for 7 hours. He did this every day. He was probably 400 lbs.


The Innovator

Not an employee but I had the honor of sitting across the table from a friend who pulled this one. First he went up and got a huge plate of crab legs and a bowl of clarified butter. Then made a second trip for prime rib. 2 huge slices. He sat there and cracked all the crab legs into the bowl of butter. Then dumped it onto the first piece of prime rib, slapped the second piece on top and ate the first breadless sandwich I had ever seen.


Mongolian feast

Not a restaurant worker but a patron at Mongolian BBQ in Lansing, MI, a few years back. I saw a family of about seven, all heavy set over 300 pounds each eat six plates and the waitress that was assigned to their table told me that they ate three before I got there.


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Respect

Chinese tourists in gambling cities go truly Olympic on casino buffets. It doesn’t even make me mad; it borders on the superhuman how much food a tour bus parked in Reno will put away. I’m certain that at least one species of crab has gone completely extinct because of the seafood buffet at the Atlantis meeting with twenty camera-toting slot junkies from Hong Kong.

No disrespect intended towards Chinese tourists, of course. They’re a very important gear in the ever-turning machinery of the gambling community.


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He died right there

A couple of years ago we had this small “soul food” all you can eat buffet: The Southern Smoke House. Decent place, always smelled like a sweaty ham, though, and served RC Cola. Some guy came in, ate till he would pass out wake up and start it all over again. Guy had a heart attack and died right there in booth.


Can’t stop the beet

Saw a guy eat the entire bin of pickled beets off an Asian buffet in Lakewood, CO. Huge mound, like 5 inches tall of beets.


The brûlée vacuum

I was at the buffet at The Bellagio in Las Vegas.

An extremely obese man was sitting at a table by himself and not eating.

Until the kitchen staff refilled the the rack of creme brulee. The obese guy immediately got up, grabbed a tray and proceeded to take every single bowl in the rack. Once back at his table, he ate one after another like he was a vacuum. I am guessing he consumed at least 50 of them in less than five minutes.


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The difference between Americans and Canadians

I’m from Canada and made a visit to Texas. There I noticed something I’ve never seen before. The real tangible difference between Americans and Canadians.

I went to a Chinese buffet near Houston. Sitting down I noticed to my right a couple eating full plates filled with crawfish.

They must have had three full plates stacked underneath the ones they were currently working on.

I decided to watch and see how much crawfish they could manage and if they could stand up and go for more. They found a good solution, their kids were at the serving area carying more crawfish to their table.

Half an hour later they must have eaten 10 pounds of crawfish between them.

No Chinese food, no… Only plates and plates of crawfish served by their kids.


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No pizza for you

I witnessed this at a pizza buffet.

Group of five guys in their late teens/early 20s sat right by the buffet and would dump entire pizzas onto their plates as soon as the pizzas came out. They also cleaned out the dessert bar and emptied the ice maker.

After 45 minutes of this, and having had no chance of getting to the pizza before they did, I asked for a refund and left. The staff wasn’t doing anything to stop these pigs.


Prime Rib & Seafood Night

I work at a small town buffet. Saturday nights is prime rib and seafood (shrimp). We have a regular that eats on average 6-7 lbs of prime rib and 2 lbs of shrimp.


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“Gotta live with your mistakes…”

We went to a breakfast buffet for my birthday at The Machine Shed in Des Moines, Iowa. I highly recommend it btw, great food. My friend got a Belgian waffle and started putting what he thought was whipped cream on them. I look at him and say “Dude, that’s whipped butter.” He gets this concerned look on his face and says “Oh…well gotta live with your mistakes.” He proceeds to eat a Belgian waffle with 6 spoonfuls of whipped butter on it.

Another friend took the entire pan of Crab Rangoons when it was brought out at our local Chinese buffet. But he’s a monster tipper so the owners only got mildly annoyed.


The Twilight Hour

As a customer, watching my nephew throw a fit in the middle of a buffet because he thought he could show up at the tail end of lunch and stay through dinner and not have to pay for the dinner portion.


“Just leave already”

I had an ex who got totally shit faced and then went to Sizzler’s with friends for all-you-can-eat shrimp years ago. He ate nine plates of shrimp before the manager came and offered him a $20 gift card to just leave already. He was a super loud, happy, cheeky drunk, and was clapping and cheering loudly for himself with each plate of shrimp he finished.


bacon-stk-2016-oct-01The Bacon Bandita

Used to work at an upscale buffet Sunday mornings at a golf course. We had a “bacon bandita” who would come and stuff trays full of bacon in her purse wrapped in one thin napkin.


Poor server never had a CHANCE

Sat a table away from a family of three with a clear view of their food. This is a pretty nice place (white tablecloth, $75-100 per person) The lady was heavier, but not quite grotesque, and the son was a pretty normal-looking teenager.

The father, or eldest male at the table was this gargantuan, lumbering, slightly British humanoid. Probably 450 lbs at 6’5″ and, I’m not shitting you, I could HEAR his salivary glands kick into gear when they put the bread down. The poor server never had a CHANCE. Immediately upon placing the bread on the table, Gargantos shot his hand into the folded linen and put the entire loaf on his appetizer plate and requested another loaf… and a Coke.

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Now, this bread is damn good. I can understand the enthusiasm. But HEARING this man’s breathing rate change (from around 12-15 feet away) and listening to his voice start quivering like he was trying to hold off an impending orgasm alerted me that we’d have to keep notes on this encounter.

The server was also ours, and impressively, we never lacked for attention, though that may be because of what must have been 60 trips to the table nearby. We were able to ask at the end of the meal what the counts were for bread and Cokes.

Gargantos alone had put down 11 loaves, a total of 18 loaves to the table. Around 10 ramekins of butter, and 20!!!! Cokes.

This fucker had an entire four-course meal IN ADDITION to that nonsense. And this food is RICH food.

By my calculations, I put him at nearly 7000 calories before factoring in his goddamn dinner.

That poor server…


Stories have been edited for spelling and flow.

Categories
Cravings

Man Tests The Limits of ‘All You Can Eat’ Buffets And The Results Are Hilarious

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One does not simply enter a buffet restaurant and binge without a plan. As one bold “all you can eat” enthusiast reveals, getting the most out of a buffet can require a great deal of skill and methodology.

In an article for Vice, Oobah Butler shared how he “beat the system” by employing four cons he devised himself. He went to four London restaurants and tested his individual tactics on each of them, leading to hilariously satisfying results.

His first stop was Nando’s in Brixton where he used a receipt from a meal he had the day before which included a bottomless drink. Bringing an empty bottle, he walked straight up to the establishment’s soda machine and got his fill.

“I stop nervously to take a sip of out of my two liter bottle. No cold hand on the shoulder, no rushing manager, not even a glance: Nobody gives a shit,” he wrote.

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“So I carry on for a few minutes, sipping and filling until eventually leaving absolutely gobsmacked (literally, my teeth are aching).”

After hydrating himself with enough beverage, Butler marked his “bottomless drink” con as a success.

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Day two of his mission landed him at at a Chinese buffet in Camberwell. With a new plan of eating all of his entire day’s meals in the eatery, he brought along his laptop so he could work in between.

The place was packed with customers and he blended easily into the crowd by filling up his plate. As planned, he stayed for lunch and dinner as people came and went, even falling asleep at one point before dinner.

“The place empties and fills again, hours pass, Years & Years play on the sound system, and still none of the staff say a word to me,” he recalled.

Butler chalked up another success after enjoying three full meals for just $10.

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For his third outing, Butler, in full business attire and with a briefcase in hand, went to an establishment serving several types of pizza and pasta. Told he could not bring home any of the food, he went on to sneak out a case full of pizza slices.

“Like an Andy Dufresne captivated by greed instead of freedom, with every plate I took from the buffet, I’d eat one and covertly slip three or four into my foil-lined case,” he wrote.

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Spending just $11 for a caseload of pizza was another victory for Butler.

His last con was also his most daring one: with his friend Gavin Sparks dressed and made up to look like him as an accomplice, he went to Jimmy’s in Wimbledon to do the old “switcheroo.” He detailed the plan for his biggest ruse:

“Sparks strolls into Jimmy’s at 5:55 PM, he orders a buffet and a Cobra beer. After enjoying their worldwide scope of world class cuisine until his appetite is quenched and drinking exactly half of the beer, he will send a text to me. I will then ring him.”

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After his friend pretended to answer the call and managed to escape the staffers’ sight, he traded places with Sparks and continued the order with his own fill.

“Taking his seat at the same table on the left-hand side of the restaurant, I will take a sip of Cobra and fill my boots. At precisely 6:56 PM, I will ask for the bill and pay for exactly one buffet and one beer,” he wrote.

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While he didn’t exactly reveal if the plan went without a hitch, there is a fair chance that the duo pulled it off as evidenced by the photos he shared after.

After gaining a total of 5 lbs exploiting all-you-can-eat restaurants, he figured that there was indeed no limit on what one can achieve if enough effort is put into it.

“All You Can Eat is liberty and love; it may well be the most open-minded, independent, and emancipating culture that exists in 21st-century Britain,“ he concluded.

Written by Ryan General, NextShark || h/t Vice

Categories
Restaurants

HomeTown Buffet Just Filed For Bankruptcy

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HomeTown Buffet’s parent company, Ovation Brands Inc, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday morning. Reuters reports that this will be the second filing made by Ovation in the last four years, one made in 2008 and another in 2012.

Originally known as Buffets Inc, the company had a slew of buffet chains under its belt. This included Old Country Buffet, Fire Mountain, Tahoe Joe’s, Ryan’s and HomeTown Buffet.

The company currently operates about 328 restaurants in the US.

According to the documents filed in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas, up to $50 million in assets and $100 million in liabilities was listed by the chains.

If you’re looking to hit one of these restaurants up for nostalgia’s sake, better hurry.

Photo: HomeTown Buffet

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Hit-Or-Miss

KFC To Open All-You-Can-Eat Buffet In Japan

You’re in Osaka, Japan, you’ve got 16 bucks (or 1,971 yen) to your name, and you’re hungry enough to eat someone’s shoes. So what do you do? Go to the KFC all-you-can-eat buffet of course!

The world-renowned fried chicken company will be opening a new location on November 19th that will provide enthusiastic eaters with a full 90 minutes to eat as much of the colonel’s food as possible. The new restaurant will be located at the Expo City entertainment complex in the heart of Osaka.

The choice of location has a particularly interesting background, as it is the same exact place that KFC opened its doors for the first time in Japan in 1970.

Guests of the new buffet will have their choice of over 60 different menu options, including many of the dessert items normally offered. Additionally, Colonel Sanders’ actual suit will be on display for customers to gawk at while they shovel warm macaroni and cheese into their mouths. Does it get any better than that?

Image Source: Alagad Ng Sining, R&L Foods

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

This Escaped Monkey Does Not Care About Your Bills, Will Eat All Your Mail

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After a long day at work, all you probably want to do is go home, kick off your shoes and relax. What if, however, you came home and found a monkey going through your mail like a Vegas buffet?

The Town Talk reports that a Florida monkey escaped from its owner’s home in Sanford. Upon his freedom, Zeke the Monkey decided he was hungry and went straight for the nearest supply of food: the neighbors’ mail.

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Yep, when Sanford police arrived at the scene, they discovered Zeke sitting atop of a mailbox chowing down on mail.

As a distraction, probably because mortgages and bills are depressingly dry, the officers gave Zeke a bottle of water to drink from.

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When the officers tried to catch him, however, Zeke jumped onto the squad car and pulled some molding off the roof of the vehicle. Sounds like a pretty fun afternoon for the Sanford P.D.

The monkey was finally apprehended when the owner returned home.

Photo: Sanford Police Department