“A cold buffet lunch.” The people who’d add such a phrase to an invitation need to have a chit-chat with the OPI people (of “I’m with Brad” and “Got the Blues for Red” fame). Surely they can come to some agreement and settle on an alternative name for “cold buffet lunch” that doesn’t make you want to lose yours. “Tea” has been working for a couple hundred years or so, no?
I hate buffets, cold or otherwise. Buffets are brimmed with regret, disappointment, and fat. I shouldn’t have gone back for thirds. Forgetting germs, hygiene, and overall manners, we’re dealing with a trough here. Grazing livestock. “Slop” and “Staph” fight to come to mind first. Also, let’s just call a spade: I’m as indecisive as they come. So, I basically create an international tasting menu on a single plate. Indian, Chinese, American, Italian, French. I’m utterly gruesome, and when my children aren’t around, I begin with dessert.
I know enough to at least know to keep my back to the buffet. People eat twice as more if they’re seated facing the buffet. Or some such statistic. Gives new meaning to the phrase, “Put your back into it.” I also know to survey the buffet before rolling up my sleeves and getting to it. I won’t stand in line until I’ve properly scoped out the options. It’s what people on the thinner side of fat do.
ALL THAT ASIDE, is it just me or do you always leave stuffed but completely unsatisfied, somehow searching for other, wondering what you might have missed? Buffets feed the Jan Brady in all of us. We’re left to believe that the really savory moments are being had by everyone else.
Then there’s the issue of presentation, where, ultimately you have no one to blame but yourself when your plate resembles a molehill of intestines. Simply put, I’d much rather eat a beautifully adorned apple, cut with precision, paired with a confit, drizzled with a thoughtful reduction, served on a pool of puree than load up on comfort. Yes, I guess I am making the case for less is more. The one exception being a salad bar, especially at Whole Foods.
My practical and somewhat frugal husband—who prides himself on efficiency—however, might very well tread into the world of polygamy if laws suddenly change and we’re permitted to marry inanimate objects of desire. He lives for the buffet, overloading his plate with Fred Flintstone cuts of meat. Eye of Round, as he calls it. It’s easy to see where Eye of Round (aka Rump Steak) got its name. Round people always have their eye on it. Man, does my man love his buffet.
Even at weddings, as upscale as they come, I always prefer the passed Hors d’oeuvres to the “stations.” Unless the stations are strictly cocktail hour lure, fit with stone crabs, shellfish, and cheap caviar (I’m a sucker for toast points and crème fraiche). But for dinner, for cold lunch, and possibly even for a breakfast/brunch spread, I opt for the menu. But seeing as we’re headed to Vegas, I wonder if I can’t learn something from others. How do you buffet?