I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Welcome to the Offal Buffet!

There have been a proliferation of buffets lately, all-you-can-eat situations that encourage both the thrifty and the gluttonous.

As a representative of both camps, I feel qualified to speak on the subject.

I remember my first buffet line like it was a meal ago – Shakey’s Pizza. Remember Shakey’s? The player piano? The guy who sometimes showed up with a banjo? I’m pretty sure it was a nation-wide chain. The very idea of a chow line of different pizzas, an incredibly pedestrian iceberg lettuce salad and tubs and tubs of what was surely canned pudding – I was floored. Absolutely floored. Of course, I was maybe six at the time and easily floor-able. All that, for the low price of just something-ninety-nine?! Would I like a another plate?

Yes, please!

The new all-you-can-eat joint around here is Cici’s, a carbohydrate hootenanny of pizza, elbow macaroni, cinnamon rolls and the obligatory iceberg lettuce salad.

All for $2.99 a head.

Hard to believe, isn’t it?

And yet prices just keep dropping! Why, just the other day, over at the strip mall, another all-you-can-eat buffet opened up.

Or perhaps I just imagined it.

What if – and bear with me now – what if you openly acknowledged that the baked goods, pre-oven firing, might’ve had a couple of bugs in the flour? What if you freely admitted that the meats could, perhaps, be referred to as “a selection domestically and/or ferally raised and radial-flattened”?

That is, what if it offered only the freshest of woodland creature vs. automotive calamities? What if your advertising campaign played upon the regional food availabilities?

You can’t get the armadillo in Wisconsin, and the loon in South Carolina is bound to be stringy.

Think of the profit margin! Think of the overhead!

Think of only 99 cents per person!

Granted it wouldn’t look like much, but hey!

What do you want for 99 cents a person?

41 comments:

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I've been to Cici's once. I'm pretty sure they serve roadkill pizzas.

Under the Influence said...

My dad calls these buffet places "the hog trough". I guess they remind him of his childhood on the farm, feeding the animals.

darsden said...

gotta watch them buffets them seniors out there will run your ass over, butt in front of you..guess they think the food will run out or they will before getting there. I try to stay away from them myself.. I always get kinda sick after them for some reason..I think it is probably the can chocolate pudding!

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

We have a place called Wood Grill Buffet out here that is really very good. Wide selection, good food, reasonable prices.

Of course, the average customer weighs 400 pounds, but you can't have everything. Well, I guess THEY can . . .

powdergirl said...

I certainly prefer my woodland creatures fresh.

@eloh said...

After a long days work, my youngest son and I walked into our local Chinese Buffet. We were rushed at by the owner who told us to go away and come back at 5 no wait 530.
I was six foot and relatively slender, but the boy was 6'4 and every bit 280.

Most people would have been (?) we just laughed and showed back up at 530...to a very full buffet, and congenial service.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

We go to Hometown Buffet and yes, am aware that they may well be carving up roadkill...like a cow mowed down by an RV!

Billy said...

What a bunch of self righteous a-holes most of you are.

People go to buffets for different reasons, not just to gorge on food. I take my family to CiCi's often for multiple reasons.

A. The cost. Try feeding a family of 4 for $20 anywhere or even at home for that matter, you just cannot do it.

B. Choice. You have many option from pizza, pasta, salad, and soup. With each member of the family liking something different, each family member gets what they want.

C. Quality. I have talked to the local owner and he gave me a tour of his place, along with my kids. I thought for sure I would see frozen pizza and cheese. All of the dough was made fresh and there wasn't even a freezer in the store. He said all the veggies are delivered fresh every few days.

D. Over-eating is choice. You can over-eat at home, at a fine dining place, or at a buffet.

DouglasDyer said...

Mr. Billy has put me in a reflective mood. I no longer feel like making fun of poor-quality, low-dollar buffets. I feel like making fun of him. Of course we were all just having a laugh at a well-known budget chain eatery but Mr. Grouchy seems to have left his sense of humor in his other pants. Speaking of in your pants, have you heard about the correlation between a man's sense of humor and the size of his...no, I don't want to be hurtful. Especially to a man who needs bifocals to pee. That's how we self righteous A-holes roll.

Eskimo Bob said...

Eskimo Bob Here - Kiss the Ring.

Pearl, I think you're on to something here. $0.99 buffets? We can use brown colored water for soy sauce; day old thrown out KFC chicken (just stand at the dumpster at KFC at 11:30 PM and ask for the chicken before they throw it away - did it all the time in MN and it's free) - We can then replicate that with various other restaurant chains and have a full buffet for our customers!

Billy said...

I guess you must find it funny to make fun of people. Small things amuse small minds.

Leave it to a small minded person like yourself to turn this into a penis size issue.

Pearl said...

Yikes! I've been waiting for over a year to get flamed and it's the 99 cent buffet that does it?

Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

Pearl said...

p.s. I know for a fact that I can feed a family of four under $20...

Billy said...

For $20 will each family member get exactly what they like?

Can you get a salad, can dad get BBq pizza, can the kids get exactly what they like? Can you do that for under $20?

The Jules said...

I was thinking of opening a road-kill based restaurant.

I reckon it would get quite a high Michelin rating.

Pearl said...

No, Billy. Dinner at my house isn't getting exactly what you want, everyone getting a different meal. It's about me preparing a good meal. My opinion here -- anyone's opinion here -- is not likely to cause anyone/any business harm. You've clearly gotten the wrong impression of both my blog and the people who read my blog.

The Jules, I am so sorry that I did not think of that first. :-)

ICKY said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Madame DeFarge said...

I loathe these buffet things, as it's a dreadful display of conspicuous overconsumption. And the food is rarely that good. If, however, it was unlimited ice cream, I'd be happy.

Billy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
powdergirl said...

Gawd! Pearl!
You gotcher self a live one! I am so green with envy. Funny how the kvetchers are always anon. or private profile, hey? And they take so much TROUBLE to itemize their grievances. It's touching when you think about it : )

And I still like my wild life served fresh 'catch o' the day' style, no tire marks, and with a blackberry margarita.

L'ing my ass off over here.

Eskimo Bob said...

Pearl -

I know that you're really Billy.

The Retired One said...

Yikes Pearl, stop starting wars, will 'ya?
I do agree that if you go into a typical restaurant you see less obese people than at a buffet.
I don't know why it is, but it is.

I don't know about the quality of either, but its America....go eat where you want everyone..and quit fighting for goodness sake!

ICKY said...

Billy...your like a fart in the wind.
You come in here unannounced, offend some people, make others laugh, then *poof* you'll be gone.

Eric said...

I'm not sure how Cici's can possible survive on such razor thin margins. It must cost $0.30 per person just to run enough air conditioning in the restaurant... Could it be possible that it's a nefarious front for the mob and money laundering? lol

Billy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ICKY said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Billy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ICKY said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Douglas said...

I doubt roadkill is the answer to low costs for a buffet restaurant. Unless you can find some way to herd the wildlife onto the roadways nearby. Leaving it up to the critters themselves won't result in enough supply. Pity... armadillo is pretty good, I am told, especially with fava beans and a nice chianti.

And Billy? If you really do have a life, why are you out there living it?

ICKY said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SparkleFarkle said...

***singing all jingle-y*** You'll have fun at Shakey's, also pizzaaaaa! I remember Shakey's, alright! I can't help but think of Ed Norton everytime I do. The last time I visited a Shakey's was when my then boyfriend-husband and I were double dating with his high school friend, Brownie, and my crazy best chum, Shelley (Timeline: mid-70s?). Shelley was cuckoo and always on the prowl for good, clean fun. So, we're waiting for our pizza and an older guy, who Vaguely (with a capital "V") looks like Art Carney, walks in. A screaming and hooting Shelley takes center stage, clamoring around the "actor," trying to get his autograph because she is "his BIGGEST fan"! Needless to say, she got all four of us kicked out (They sent us packing with an impromptu carry-out order, thank God, because the "eats" there were always great!), but a good time was had by almost all ("Art" was mortified.), cuz ***resumes singing*** You'll have fun at Shakey's, also pizzaaaaa!

Ann's Rants said...

I shoulda had a V8.

In-di-ges-tion.

This post is summoning all sorts of 70s commercials in my mind.

Jeanne said...

Mostly, just not to be sprayed with Raid while I'm eating....

Jeanne said...

Just went back and read the comments -- good grief! I did a buffet posting on Monday (that was the Raid reference) and all remained calm.

You have a gift, Pearlie-girl!

Fragrant Liar said...

Think I just turned raw vegan. Thanks. :)

Kavi said...

Buffets are cost effective and provide a great deal of variety. But for people like me who are perpetual diet breakers...buffets and spreads are one more excuse !

:)

@eloh said...

I know you are old hat at this Pearl and know what's best, but I didn't have time to read before I had to hit the hay. Got up at one all excited to read and it's been deleted. poo

I wish people would have disscussions in the comments section, but civilized ones, I think that would take blogging to it's height.

troutay said...

We call those places "Pig Out Palaces".

Just the thought of eating there makes me queezy.

a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! said...

shakeys! and standing at the window watching them toss the dough!

god i'm old.

:)

Not The Rockefellers said...

Pearl!
Jeezum crackers!
I go to the beach for the day and it gets a little exciting around here!

Sizzzzzzzzzzzler!

Do you remember Sizzler?

Growing up we used to think that was heaven on earth!

We were never allowed soda at home...so we used to binge on the bottomless cups!

Peace -Rene

Peace - Rene

Warty Mammal said...

Bwahahaha!

What a great concept! Seriously, how does Cici's make a profit?