Buffets are popular for a reason: they offer a great variety of foods in unlimited quantities for a fair price. What are the caveats here, you might ask? Literally none. The only thing crucial now is that you find a good one in your area or near the location where you stay during a vacation. However, maximizing your pleasure (or not ruining it) might take effort. Let’s look at some of the tips and rules for eating at a buffet and learn how to get the most out of it.
Preparation is Key
Getting yourself ready to have an ordinary meal might seem out of place. But we suggest you don’t treat it like yet another lunch. Visiting a buffet is like going to an amusement park: the excitement of various rides can overwhelm you, thus leaving you thirsty for more yet wanting nothing at all. To ensure you’re ready for an all-you-can-eat experience, stay adequately hydrated and have a snack an hour or so before the visit. This will ensure that your mind is clear and your body is adjusted to what’s to come.
If possible, look at the location’s menu online before you go. Usually, you can find it on the location’s official website/social media pages or listicles, like this one about the best Atlantic City buffets. This can help you figure out what you want to try first. Checking restaurant reviews can tell you which dishes are up to high standards and which should be avoided at all costs. And there will be some to give a miss, no doubt.
Take a Look Around
Rushing into things is never a good idea, and buffet meals are no exception to the rule. Once you’re there, circle and check what is on offer at the moment. Chances are, you won’t notice some of the dishes right away and will fill up on something much less exciting. If a buffet has a specialty (like seafood or home-style foods), you might want to stick around a bit longer to see every special dish on the menu, as the dishes are permanently on rotation, and some take longer to cook than others.
Fewer Carbs, More Proteins
Chow mein and fried rice taste good and get you stuffed pretty fast. This is exactly what buffet operators want to happen, so let’s subvert their expectations and act like major-league eaters. Go for high protein options, namely meats, seafood, and fish. Besides being good for you, these will fill you not as quickly and bring better value for the price. Leave spaghetti and taters for your home-cooked dinners and quick breaks. Doesn’t it seem silly to eat egg salad when crab legs and brisket are right there next to it? Unless that is your favorite dish. Then go for it! By the way, sodas are a big no-no since sugary drinks, contrary to what fast food adepts might say, are not a good match for solid foods.
After all, the most important thing is having fun at a buffet. Try new dishes, have a good serving of your favorite ones, and always remember that everyone has a separate stomach for dessert!
What are your favorite buffets?
This guest article was contributed by iGamingNJ.
Marilyn is a freelance writer covering the food and drink scene of South Jersey. You can find more of her writing on Philly Grub and NewsBreak.