The original Thevictorian plan for Thanksgiving 2019 was taking The Pony to Golden Corral. We go there every visit (The Pony loves their rolls), and of course they would be having a special Thanksgiving buffet. My sister the ex-mayor's wife, once she heard of our upcoming trip to Oklahoma, recommended Cracker Barrel. I appreciate her input, but I am no fan of Cracker Barrel. I think I've been there twice, and the food tasted like it came out of cans.
Anyhoo...we drive right past Golden Corral in our 5-minute trip from lodging or casino to The Pony's apartment. We saw their banner on the end of the building, advertising their Thanksgiving buffet. Thanksgiving dawned cold and rainy. Hick's original idea to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial was replaced (by Hick) to a visit to a casino that we pass on the highway. He decreed that we would pop into the Golden Corral buffet around 1:00. I said it would be busy then. That's a nice round number, and time people would agree to meet for a feast. So he decided on 1:30.
Well. We got to the other casino, and up front, Hick asked what time we wanted to meet for the drive back. The Pony mentioned a time a half hour later than Hick's recommendation. Which put us getting back to the Golden Corral buffet at 2:00. I though that sounded reasonable.
Pulling into Golden Corral's full parking lot, we got lucky when a truck backed out of a space where we always park. There weren't many empty spaces. People were milling around the front door. The Pony and I groused that it looked too crowded. Hick declared that it was a big family group, on their way out. Once we walked through the windy drizzle to the door, we discovered MORE of that group just getting out of their cars, moseying up to their family unit. There must have been 50 people waiting outside.
Hick was very thirsty, he said. And impatient. But he thought we should wait for our Thanksgiving buffet. "The line will move fast. It's a buffet."
The Pony and I didn't think so. People would be going back for more. Plates might be an issue. Items would run out and bins need refilling. We might have to share a table with another group. We suggested another venue. It was The Pony who said, "McDonald's probably isn't busy."
"We are NOT having Thanksgiving dinner at McDonald's!" decreed Hick. Though not in his usual hateful way, out of deference to The Pony, so beloved and missed. Fact is, The Pony was coming down with a cold, had eaten a McDonald's sausage biscuit four hours previous, and said he wasn't all that hungry.
Anyhoo...Val saved the day by announcing: "I'm sure the casino buffet is serving Thanksgiving dinner. We're going there anyway."
Hick was amazed! "Yeah! They'll have Thanksgiving food. A buffet is a buffet. We'll go there!" Plus, it was only five minutes down the road.
We turned to walk back down the sidewalk to A-Cad. More of the family was trickling in. Hick and The Pony got off the sidewalk, into the wet grass. I hobbled along on the concrete, wanting to be surefooted. Of course a couple thirty-something family gals came at me, neither one of them willing to stop walking abreast (heh, heh, I said aBREAST) and let me pass. So I had to also step off in the grass to let them pass. No respect for the elderly these days!
On the drive, we discussed the fact that even if the line at the casino buffet was long, we could sit at the slots and get up when the crowd thinned out. No need to stand for 30 minutes, waiting for a table. Hick dropped us off and went to park. The Pony and I headed to the buffet entrance, where we discovered only three parties ahead of us! We sat down to wait for Hick, and jumped in line as soon as he got there.
Our wait was less than five minutes. We got a table at the head of the buffet. I had carved turkey, wild rice, mashed potatoes (more than a threadbare flannel quilt--I would term it more like grandma's feather bed), a broccoli/rice/cheese concoction that was my favorite of the selections, and some peel-and-eat shrimp. You know. The traditional Thanksgiving shrimp. Oh, and I also had a roll.
The Pony, being not very hungry, had turkey, mashed potatoes, wild rice, rolls with butter, and went back for some beef brisket and BBQ sauce. Hick had mostly the same, but without shrimp, and with a huge slice of ham about the size and thickness of a tablet. "He really carved me a big piece!" said Hick, eating every bite.
There was a whole island of desserts. I sampled several mini plates, including a lemon bar, pecan crumble bar, pumpkin bar, and strawberry shortcake. They were little. Like two bites apiece. Just the right amount for trying several items. The Pony had a ball of ice cream with sprinkles, and some flan. I've never had flan, so I tried a bite at his request. Not a fan of flan! Nope. Not the texture for me! Hick, who is not supposed to have desserts, had a ball of ice cream, a piece of chocolate cake, a piece of rainbow cake, and maybe apple pie. I'm not the food police. Again, I did not get a picture. Darn me! My phone was right there in my gambling purse.
Anyhoo...we had a great little waitress, whom Hick insisted upon handing the tip, rather than leave it on the table for a busboy to pocket or contribute to the tip pot. I hope she kept it for herself. She was friendly, not intrusive, kept the drinks coming and the plates going, and appeared when needed like Radar O'Reilly.
The best part of all? NO CLEANUP for Val! The worst part of all? The rolls were not up to The Pony's standards. He was okay with that.