Welcome once again Teens to the celebration of National Buffet Month! As you remember this Holiday was traced back to the Neanderthals (people as would be seen on popular television such as the Flintstones or Two and a Half Men) who would prepare for winter buy gorging on buffet style feasts. And of course, the holiday is popular today because of white guilt of Thanksgiving for Native Americans who traded the United States of America for Poggs. So please enjoy National Buffet Month rather than celebrating the racist Thanksgiving that kills Syrian Refugees and electrocutes them to death (National Buffet Month would never do that) *Only Thanksgiving would do that.
This year we travel to one of Rochester’s most historic buffets, The Olde Country Buffet on West Ridge Rd. Located in the Toys r Us Plaza which holds many a fond memory for this reporter. Once upon a time a movie theater existed in this plaza and I recall seeing the first Home Alone film there and my poor father being afraid to return home from work due to the fact that I (a horrible child) may have been inspired to set traps for him. Little has changed since my last visit to the Olde Country Buffet since my last visit over a decade ago, the same long hallway at the entrance remains for the anticipated ‘long line of customers’ that never seem to arrive. Due to the large budget and payment Insomniac reporters receive (not Ricky Rotten) I was able to hold a contest for a guest to eat dinner at the grand buffet. Of course my goth friend Nik Radar won the contest, congratulations!
We sat down and my mind was flooded with memories as before mentioned the OCB has not changed at all since my childhood. Local rock star James Von Sinn went directly to the meat section and seemed severely perplexed that you could ‘take any food you want’ There was an extremely charming man slicing meat for the entertainment and nourishment of the diner. He recommended not eating too much meat so you could better enjoy the ice cream with sprinkles on top. He then commented (not once but several times) to go home and have a ‘cold one for him’ perhaps he was a recovering alcoholic? Perhaps he was an ‘active’ alcoholic? We may never know but I’d imagine he would only visit the finest of alcoholic saloons in Greece, NY. Did I mention once as a pre teen I saw the Undertaker, Kane and Paul Bearer in the buffet? Chowin down, ‘yum yum yum’ said the Undertaker. (see artists interpretation below)
Long ago I remember the Olde Country Buffet smoking lounge which was beautifully sectioned off with fake house windows. My father noted as a foul mouthed old woman shoved her family into the area due to her need to constantly smoke “If I ever get that bad, shoot me.” Thanks for the memories OCB
My appetite wasn’t on par for the occasion due to being severely ill for several weeks but every item of food looked so appetizing like a frozen TV dinner box, yet my stomach churned and my throat rejected most of the delicacies. On my first plate I had a salty piece of fried chicken, it was hard with little meat and many bones (just how I like it) also a very pink slice of Roast beef and mac &Cheese which is one of the few items they have improved since my last visit.
Marykate and I ventured to the salad and Mexico bar and made what has been my favorite/best salad I’ve ever eaten . It had cottage cheese, bacon bits, ketchup, croutons, red peppers and olives on it. My memory cringed at the thought of their ‘mustardy tasting’ ranch dressing so I cautiously dipped my index finger into the pot of dressing before slopping it onto my salad. They got rid of the mustard taste! It was my former biggest complaint about this place! And they fixed it! As before mentioned it was a great salad. But that Mexican junk was goofy. Slimey meat swimming in slime to put into a tiny taco shell? It was a mess, it tasted very weird and it made me feel sick. As I arrived back to the table I noticed the waitress had removed our used plates and the RATFINK was missing! I scrambled all over the place looking for that creepy dirty lil bugger but he was GONE! I asked the waitress and peered into her dirty plate bins. I don’t believe English was her first language, hopefully she was a Syrian refugee right? She was smart and she said the RatFink was on top of the lamp at my table! I accused prankster Von Sinn of the deed but it was the indignant Nik Radar who had no appreciation for winning a contest that had hid the RatFink. A truly terrible man for sure.
We went up for a third round of yummies and I picked up a pot pie in a ceramic dish, it was the best item according to Marykate who admitted this place was better than Golden Corral (where a man was shot). The dessert round was just as pleasurable as the meat slicing man (drunk) had promised. The cheesecake retained it’s 1990’s recipe and met the nostalgic need for eating sugary Crisco. Also the rumors of ‘Slurppee bear’ making an appearance were un-true. I drove by years ago and SAW slurpee bear standing out front yet his was no where to be found. An Icee machine had been installed in the beverage area yet only the red Icee flavor worked, (Nik Radar enjoyed it) Did I mention the Ice Cream machine explodes when you push out the ice cream POW!! Another great part of the buffet experience is that they will announce birthdays over the loudspeaker which sounded like a pa system at a demolition derby. My lil brother would be embarrassed every visit as a child when I would announce his birthday, Nik Radar was the opposite of embarrassed when his name was announced. Everyday is a new experience, Try to learn something everyday: Today I learned about the ‘Meat-Bag’
As I left with my loved ones I muttered over and over how much hatred I had for National Buffet month. Over all yes this is the Best Buffet in town, and yes I also understand why the Henrietta and Irondequoit locations were forced to close down. As we drove the transient Nik Radar back to his home the smell of the ‘Meat-Bag’ further nauseated us as Sinn slept like a baby in the back seat. Is this what my life has become?