Sunday, January 26, 2020
A Starless Review of the Buffet in the Gambling City on the River
After cashing in my big lottery winner on Wednesday, Hick and I stopped by our old favorite casino for lunch. Uh huh. Lunch. I didn't have a monetary food comp like usual, but I had a free buffet comp. Hick always gets a free buffet comp. So rather than pay to eat a burger (gotta save that scratcher money), we decided to try the buffet for the very first time. I’m sure glad I did not pay for that! It was not very good. Golden Corral is 10X better.
The best thing I had was the Orange Chicken. It must have been crack, soaked in MSG, dusted with chicken flavor powder, and coated with a sugary glaze. Nom Nom! Unfortunately, the “fried” rice that accompanied it looked and tasted like white rice soaked in vegetable oil and stirred with a scrambled egg. Totally bland. It might have better been used to feed a sick pet.
The Beef and Broccoli was a close second, but I only had a taste. A guy darted in from my left shoulder as I was going down the line, and scooped out almost all the beef. The one piece I had was tender and tasty, as was the broccoli.
The roasted chicken was dry. The skin around my slice was colored as if it was truly roasted skin. But the texture was like that tape Walmart uses to hold multiple items together, like stacking bowls with lids. I was unable to cut through the skin, so peeled it off like the red casing on a slice of bologna.
I just said NO to the Fried Cod. It looked like it was made from pressed pieces of fish flakes, every piece the same size and shape, deep-fried like a McDonald's hash brown, only about 1/3 the thickness. The baked cod farther down the line looked mushy, so it also got left behind.
Of course I had a fried-chicken thigh. Good thing that's my favorite piece, because I didn't see any others. I was sadly disappointed to discover that the crispy-looking skin was rubbery. It was uncuttable. There was a tiny crunch from the coating, if you could get a piece sawed off to eat it. Here's the thing. I like to pick up my fried chicken to eat it. I think it's finger food. It's not like I'd pick up a ribeye, or a slab of meat loaf, or chicken parm. I'm civilized. I just think fried chicken should be eaten with the hands, and not sawed-at awkwardly. However...I could not bite through that skin! I had to eat like some fancy-pants socialite! Who would probably not stoop to fried chicken anyway. The chicken itself was moist, and had a good taste, if you could get it into your mouth.
My third favorite was a dessert. Not sure what it was. It looked like chocolate mousse in a foil cup, with a dab of whipped cream and some crumbs on top. It was smooth and chocolatey, but the sprinkles were disconcerting. They were like round, fat, solid, rice krispies. Not nuts. An awkward crunch that I could have done without. Oh, and I had to eat it with a fork, because there were no spoons. Only knives and forks provided in a rolled-up napkin. I could have gotten a black plastic spoon at the ice cream station, had I known beforehand.
The dessert section was a few cookies, something like chocolate mousse in a foil cup (pick of the litter), about 3 kinds of ice cream you had to ask for dipping, cherry pie, and chocolate cake. Unlike the pretty but tasteless cake we get out at the Riverwind buffet in Norman, Oklahoma, this one tasted pretty good. It was sliced in a small square, as if out of a one-layer rectangular cake pan. It tasted like something a 10-year-old girl might have made from a box, to take as cupcakes to her FALL FESTIVAL party at school. It was the fourth-best item on my plate. Of course, the rubbery-skinned fried chicken thigh, and the slice of dried-out roasted chicken didn’t bring their A-game to the competition.
Hick sat down with a plate of peel-and-eat shrimp, and popped a whole one in his mouth. Of course I watched to see what would happen. He spit it out.
"Did you forget to peel your shrimp?"
"No. I can usually bite it off in my mouth."
YUCK! I'm so glad that I don't eat shrimp with Hick on a regular basis. He also had some peas that looked way over-cooked. They were dimpled and gray. Hick also had the fried cod, and only took one bite. I forget the other stuff he had on his plate. He did have a slice of cherry pie, and some mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Neither of us partook of the sandwich station at the end. Are you freakin' kidding me? I can make a sandwich AT HOME! Besides, the little bit of shaved ham and maybe turkey laying on the wooden paddles would barely have satisfy ONE of us!
We both agreed that we would never PAY to eat there again, and it would be iffy should we both have a FREE offer again. I'd say that we did not get the $13.95 ($15.95 with drink) value out of our FREE lunch buffet.
I regret that I did not take any pictures. It wasn't good enough to brag about, and not bad enough (I'm lookin' at YOU, tiny condiment cup of side-order slaw) to shame the buffet.
Of course there was a weirdo component to my lunch adventure! We had just sat down with our plates, and unwrapped our knives and forks, when a mob came pouring out of a separate room. I swear, it was like the running of the bulls at Pamplona! You'd have thought those people were risking life and limb for GOOD food. Sadly, they were not.
I told Hick I was glad we'd decided to meet for lunch at 11:50, rather than noon. Because I had my plate, and no intention of making another trip to the buffet. Hick tried, with limited success. He was actually going to try the Orange Chicken, on my recommendation, but the herd of locusts had picked most stations clean.
We didn't go hungry, but we were not exactly sated. It's kind of like if you had the chance to eat all you wanted at a school cafeteria. You discover that you don't want all that much.