What is it called when you can’t find anyone to interview, and you feel like you are bugging people if you ask more than once? Whatever that social disorder is, I have it. If I could get into the psychology of it for a second, I’d say that it is because I know One Dish isn’t that big a deal. So, I’m going to try to stop getting bent out of shape about not getting posts up and just doing this when the spirit moves me, and nothing moves my spirit like a trip to Atlantic City! (The fact that I have not written anything here for a month doesn’t stop me from maintaining my title as Segue King.) Specifically, I like to go to buffets in Atlantic City.
When I am on a bus home to New York at 6 am on a Monday morning, I look at the people around me and see shame. Shame that they lost this month’s rent, shame that they cheated on their wives or husbands. My shame is that I yelled at a buffet worker because she informed me that the soft-serve ice cream machine was broken. We all have our crosses to bear. Mine just happens to come with sprinkles.
On this particular trip to Atlantic City, I went to the Borgata Buffet with a few friends. (Full Disclosure: This was the SECOND buffet we visited on this particular day). The Borgata, for those of you unfamiliar, is the “cool” casino in AC, which means you might hear an Interpol song where the usual Alan Jackson might be. The buffet at The Borgata is substantial, but not obscene. By that I mean it isn’t the size of a hockey rink. Let’s take a look at what we are dealing with. Below you will see a classic “early” plate:
This is a good establishment plate. I saw the sushi bar first, and that is ALWAYS hit or miss at a buffet. I tend to trust the seafood at Atlantic City, as there are some unbelievable markets close by. This particular roll was great, and offered a solid starting point. The pizza, I will admit was a mistake. One of my dining partners, an established buffet veteran, warned me that it wouldn’t be good. That wise sage of a man was correct.
One element of the buffet experience that I enjoy is the sampling of side dishes. I wouldn’t want to eat a ton pearl onions or string beans, but at the buffet I can grab a single tablespoon and feel good about it. Well…Maybe not “good”. There isn’t a lot of feeling good at a buffet.
Next up the Meat Plate. What are we looking at here? Well, you have the classic buffet staple Prime Rib covered by a Roasted Duck Leg. Then those two mighty elements are covered in Mussels. That’s right…the Trifecta! A walker, a flyer, and a swimmer! Do mussels swim? Do they flap their shells? I certainly hope so. Again, i pared this with the small portions of vegetables so I don’t feel like a complete monster. (Full Disclosure: I felt like a monster then, and I feel like one now looking at this picture:
OK! That dark moment is over and now we hit our stride. This is really the ideal buffet plate below. You have your Prime Rib (again), a Scallop and Shrimp Pot Pie, a Glazed Chicken Cutlet with a few perfect sides. I am now getting misty looking at this. I truly wonder if anyone could top this plate. I don’t think they could. Maybe a plate of gold bricks with a side of wishes. Behold:
Below we have a classic “late plate”. The pastas at a buffet always look so good, but you know you can’t eat them early or you will kill the meal. So you save them for this plate and eat a taste of each. We have a few heavy hitters like Sweet Potato with Marshmallows, Lobster Ravioli, and our old friend Shrimp Pot Pie. (Full Disclosure: I got that 2nd Pot Pie for a friend. That friend was me.)
Now we move onto dessert. This is chance to cap off the meal with something sweet and delightful. Ideally, you want something that puts a small period at the end of the sentence. That is why I only opted for 6 desserts:
Now, a quiz for you to take at home:
1) Did I feel like shit for 3 days after this meal?
2) Did I do a rough calorie calculation in my notebook and then burn the notebook?
3) Did I consider taking a few cookies with me when we left?
The answer to all three is BARF!