While these types of places might seem fiscally responsible to a certain degree, do they really confer all the benefits that one might want/hope that they do? I don't know that answer, and while I will still go to them on occasion, my stomach right now reminds me why these types of establishments are and should only be a sometimes thing. Back when I used to take advantage of the steak special at Pub Monday, I managed to make myself VERY ill by over eating the salad (part of the all you can eat sides). To this date I STILL don't partake in the awesome steak special anymore even though I really do like the constituent parts (steak cooked to order, garlic bread, and all you can eat sides (two types of salad, and two types of potatoes). I just don't want that stomach upset again.
Tonight I went for All You Can Eat Sushi at Sushi Garden. I still haven't tried all the All You Can Eat Sushi places in Edmonton, but Sushi Garden is certainly among my favourites. But this doesn't mean that I don't over do it on occasion. Tonight wasn't as bad as some past experiences, but my stomach is still overfull. Oh well. Someday I'll learn to pace myself properly and we won't all over order. We'll see about that. I do so love their tuna sashimi though! (other highlights included the udon and the ice cream)
And then there's other adventures in the recent past: the Mayfield Dinner Theatre for example (where I obviously want to try everything)… Or adventures at buffets in my youth (mediocre food but lots of it and the pickiest kids of us can eat what we want (ice cream! Pizza! etc.)… Or my favourite buffets in Vegas (Golden Nugget and Paris) versus the overrated ones (Bellagio, etc.)
What can I say? I want the right quality of food (good or better than good!), the right amount (enough such that I'm not still over hungry or hungry too soon after, but not over full), and the right service quality (good or better). I think what I've learned in my adulthood experiences is that while I'm GETTING better at estimating how much I should like to eat, I'm imperfect and still have much to learn… and that I want to try everything which is often unrealistic at a buffet type place.
So a buffet or all you can eat place is only really worth it to me if a) the food is good or better than good, b) I feel relaxed enough (no pressure) to not over order or overfill my plate (I'm probably the best at this when I don't expect to go back through the line at all at a special event actually — I've gotten rather good at just filling one plate and leaving it at that), c) Where the staff is friendly and able to refill drinks on a regular basis, replace things that need replacing, take new orders ets. without too much of a wait. The right balance of these things is worth it to me, I guess. But otherwise I should likely stay away… in my adult life I don't have the appetite I once did as a child or as a teen and I am hard pressed to remember that aspect about food volume. I'd much rather savour a tiny piece of good chocolate rather than gorge on poor quality sweets. I should remember this when it comes to main courses as well…
But I'm not deluded enough to think that I will ever be perfect in this regard. I do like good food and I just need to remember to consume it in reasonable quantities in the future, I think. Perhaps I should reread this blog posting before the next buffet or All You Can Eat event/restaurant I visit. Would it help? I'm not sure. As for if it's worth it? I'm entirely unsure at this point… mostly because my stomach remains overfull. Mmmm…. sushi.