May 3, 2007 admin

Things I Saw at the China Buffet

Okay, nothing says unintentional humor like a trip to a Chinese buffet.  Always guaranteed to see something.  Usually, it’s jheri curls and things like that.  Nothing says “ha!” like a curl.
So today, we saw the following…
1.  A slew of poorly dressed children.
It’s bad enough the kids are being taught gluttony in it’s best/worst form.  But to force them to do so in shorts so loud that I almost took a cameraphone shot of a 6 year-old?  Or the lil sucker in the orange t-shirt and red shorts?  That’s foul, man.  Just foul.
2.  A 6-foot tall woman with a mullet.
You read that right.
3.  The oddest couple.
A fortysomething white man in a Hawaiian shirt and the black woman wearing a way too tight shirt, way too tight way too shorts, and some contacts that didn’t even pretend to be a potentially natural eye color for her.  At first, we wondered if he was her p.o.  Then we realized he was her date.  Hey man, nothing says classy date like the buffet!  That’s why I take my girlfriend there all the time.  Plus, they take coupons.
4.  The demanding couple.
I’m not sure, but i think I heard two sizable ladies ask the folks at the buffet to give them chairs they could put right up to the buffet tables.  Okay, they really just asked for a booth closer to the buffet.  But how funny would it have been had they asked to sit right up near all that Asian goodness?  That would be funnier than the time the Seuss got kicked out of Cici’s for getting more than his $4 worth.
5.  A previous classic from the buffet.
First time we went, a lady asked what I wanted to drink.  I said “Coke.”  Her response?  “Sweet tea?”  Something told me to just take the tea.  Good thing I did, too.  Next time I went, I found out the “Coke” was actually Pepsi.  Lesson to all of you restaurant owners–this is the South.  We drink Coke.  We call every drink “Coke.”  Every vending machine is a “Coke machine.”  Give us Coke.  That’s what we do.  That’s how we do.  And we’re offended by anything else.
6.  A buffet observation.
Is it just me, or are black people entranced by shrimp in a way that others aren’t?  I feel some obligation when I’m at the buffet to eat as many shrimp as I possibly can, as if I’m getting over by eating all that shrimp.  It’s not good shrimp.  It’s just shrimp.  But I do love me some scrimp.  And if it’s all I can eat, I’m gonna eat all I can stand.  Or at least all I can stand while still having room for some red Jell-O.  My affection for Jell-O is pretty strong, I must say.
Man, I wish the buffet was open 24 hours.  I’d be in that piece right now.  Seriously, could you imagine the late night crowd at the Chinese buffet?  It would make the old IHOP on Courtland in Atlanta look like the dining hall at a country club.  If you don’t know about that IHOP, just ask somebody from Atlanta or anyone that went to an AUC school.  I assure you they have a story.
Yeah, I really should be asleep.  ‘Til tomorrow…

Comments (33)

  1. JFreak

    I’m sure that Cici’s story is worth hearing.
    Who doesn’t love a good story about someone getting kicked out of a resturant?

  2. Rex

    Chinese food in the South, huh? Uh huh… yeah… I can just imagine (shivers).
    That’s like eating Mexican, Cajun or Soul food in Hawaii (we’ve had, or have, all three out here). It’s as bad as it sounds.

  3. jaypee

    I have to get my Chinese Buffet fix every couple of months for the scrimps, crab legs (wouldn’t you say us black folks have an obsession with crab legs as well?), and unintentional humor.
    I swear on a stack of bibles I saw this this lady (who was a plate of Kung Pao chicken away from 400 pounds) put her drawn butter in a water glass, then take said glass and pour the butter over not only her crab legs, but every other damn thing on her plate. I almost peed my pants from laughing so hard.

  4. Kirk

    I generally avoid buffets or any restaurant where the clientele is a bigger source of concern for the health dept. than the kitchen.

  5. ETS

    Phoenix has THE NICEST Chinese buffets. I swear everytime I go to one – about once a month – I always feel underdressed in my jeans and t-shirt.

  6. I’m white, and I always eat as many buffet shrimp as humanly possible. My friend used to stuff the crab legs from buffets out in his pockets. Seafood consumption (however mediocre it is) gives you the impression that you’re an incredible deal. And if you’re not going there with the idea of getting the best deal possible, you might as well avoid the line and get takeout.

  7. Stephanie E.

    Your story about Coke reminds me of an incident in Philly when one of my friends asked the waitress what kind of cheese they had. She got this look on her face that was a combination of being both perplexed and pissed off, and replied, “Cheese? It’s just cheese! What do you mean what kind of cheese? It’s the white kind.” Ever since, I make the joke that in Philly there’s only one kind of cheese (white American if you must know, the kind that goes on hoagies, which in Jersey we call subs.)
    Anyhow, I’m a fan of the Chinese Buffet, or any buffet for that matter, as well as anything that stays open 24 hours – you might be on to something there Bo.
    There’s a whole bit in the movie “Go” about the dangers of buffet shrimp.

  8. Don

    Somebody HAS to tell the local Coca-Cola Bottling company to hire a hispanic salesperson. El Rodeo…Pepsi. Torero’s…Pepsi. I’m sick and tired of it. I know they only serve Pepsi products. I’ve known it now for years but I order Coke and have my son order Sprite every time just so they have to say, “Pepsi?” or “Sierra Mist?”.

  9. I’m afraid of rhe Chinese buffets here in Atlanta. OK, maybe just that one on Fulton Industrial.
    Dining in the south “Coke” and sweet tea are the two things that you should always be able to get — ALWAYS! It should be like some unwritten law.

  10. i’m with tiffany…i can’t do chinese buffets here in the atl. they never look quite up to code.
    i’m a pepsi drinker so i don’t feel your pain at all…

  11. eauhellzgnaw

    I never got how Coke = any soda. Seems
    impractical given the different types of soda. Do people say, “gimme an orange coke” when they want orange soda?
    Still, I’d rather “coke” than “pop.”
    Nice insight on black folks and shrimp/crab legs.

  12. jaypee

    Coke = any soda is a southern thing. Hell, it’s the drink that built Atlanta.
    Proper usage: if someone asks you what kind of coke you want, you would respond with the type of beverage (orange, sprite, dr. pepper, etc…).

  13. eauhellzgnaw

    Right, but when coke is also a specific type of soda, it makes things unnecessarily confusing (to the uninitiated).
    I didn’t grow up in the South, but my folks are Southern. They use “coke” to mean “cola,” which makes more sense to me. And oddly, my dad refers to all burger places as “McDonald’s.”

  14. Man, I went on a basketball trip to Troy, Alabama and there were more Chinese buffets in that tiny town than people. Down here in Orlando they’re every few blocks at worst, more than one on a corner sometimes.
    Not sure if ya’ll have something similar, but we’ve got Crazy Buffet and Todai which are “high end” buffets. Real sushi being made all the time, hibachi and then some goodish chinese buffet.
    Problem is you want to eat to maximize value, but if you ever found out what it costs to run a place like that, you’d be there for days on end.
    Can’t stop, won’t stop, crab leg food poisoning, uh uh.

  15. Dave

    Sorry to disappoint, but Pepsi was invented in NC. Coke might be the standard in every other southern state but not here. Even the Chinese folks conform to the standard. If you want Coke, you have to go to a national chain.

  16. Left Coast Vic

    Quick question: What shrimp are better? The general run of the mill Chinese buffay shrimp or the “Endless Shrimp” you get from Red Lobster.
    Unfortunately, I have consumed both and put a hurtin’ on each respective institution. I got to go with the Chinese shrimp because they usually got that spicy mustard and cocktail sauce.
    Any thoughts?

  17. The chinese buffet is the winner. Red Lobster does win over Sizzler, whose scrimp have a certain geological quality.
    When I was little, I begged my parents to take me to the Sizzler for the all you can eat shrimp because the commercials made them look so good.
    My brother called them “all you can eat rocks.”
    He was right.

  18. jaypee

    But what Chinese buffet has those cheddar biscuits? Granted, that’s the only reason I’ll go to the Lobster these days.
    Still, I’ll give the nod to the Chinese buffet.

  19. Rex

    For the sake of keeping score. Growing up in Louisiana, Coke = a general term for carbonated beverages. When I moved to Oklahoma, people laughed at me until I conformed and started calling it “Pop;” only to have more ridicule and shame when I moved to Hawaii, and had many a store clerk give me a puzzled look when I’d ask what aisle the pop was in, until they realized what I meant and said, “Oh, you mean ‘soda?'”

  20. williethepimp

    The coke thing is also confusing becuase of all these new flavor spin-offs. It started with cherry, which is straight. Then they added the vanilla which is aight. Now they have lemon, lime, raspberry, etc… I think we go for the scrimps and crab (in shell) in the chinese places because they seem less likely to be something else. I’ve yet to see imitation crab legs. Those little fried balls of meat in brown sauce could be any animal. Maybe even a pet a you loved.

  21. Tiffany

    Rex-love dim sum but the MSG makes my head hurt. Back to subject, I grew up Seventh-Day Adventist, which means shrimp was a BIG no-no (along with some of my other current favorites such as crab, lobster and more). (I must be making up for lost time.) I’m at this meeting where they have fried shrimp on the salad buffet before every lunch and dinner. I figure I’m winning if my plate looks like I have slightly more green stuff than shrimp!

  22. Don

    Best dum sum in Durham is down Guess Road in a house with a name I can’t remember. Really good. And back to Dave…yes, Pepsi is the taste born in the Carolinas, and I am from North Carolina, but it is a crappy taste and nobody I know likes it.

  23. Dave

    You think it’s bad to only have Pepsi at the buffet, try being a bartender and finding out that your ownership took a deal and swithced from Coke to Pepsi products. It was nice making an actual 7&7 but Pepsi is the worst mixer ever. I never had so many drinks get sent back in my life.

  24. 24 hour buffet is the funniest idea I have ever heard. You know there would be some truly fat person in there that would just never leave. In Chicago I tend to hit the Indian Buffets rather than the Chinese because it is more delicious and less nasty.

  25. ETS

    Bo –
    My wife, my in-laws went to a Sizzler in northern Arizona earlier this week. The wife and I were HYPE because like you and your brother, we enjoyed Sizzler as kids. This was the first time I’d been in one in at least 10 years. I could tell by the picture of the shrimp that my teeth were not up to that kind of challenge. I just got a steak … which was actually better than I remembered.

  26. Kirk

    Sizzler is just a half step above the Golden Corral, which is a quarter step above starvation.

  27. My sister once referred to the GC as “all you can eat school food.” That’s as accurate as it gets. The folks that work at my gym talk about how they get a discount–two trips through for $5. When I was in school, a tray at school cost $1.35. What discount are them cats talkin ’bout?

  28. My girl recently got mad that I wanted my birthday dinner at GC.
    Angry fiance’ versus dem’ hot buttered rolls? You know who won that round.

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