As much as I actually enjoy the process of preparing meals for my family, particularly the daily dinner, sometimes the mood calls for the lot of us to go out and enjoy dinner prepared by someone else, with the favourite alternative being that of an all-you-can-eat-buffet. This is not because of the “all-you-can-eat” factor, but rather just because of the variety on offer, which means everyone can enjoy dinner together and yet we’re each helping ourselves to different foods — to each of our favourite foods.
It also makes for a nice change enjoying some food which was prepared by someone else, on more of a personal level, but what inevitably happens is that you tend to criticise the cooking a bit and iterate through the various considerations of just how you could have perhaps prepared a certain food better or in fact you find yourself wondering just what recipe they used to prepare a certain food in a certain way.
Some of the pitfalls of frequenting a buffet every now and again tend to show up along the way however, such as getting food which is not all that fresh, having to eat or leave on your plate some overcooked food or food which doesn’t quite taste the way your eyes suggested it would. There’s also the small matter of getting overwhelmed by all the choices and it happens even to those who regularly visit all-you-can-eat buffets. With all those choices you can find yourself overbalancing certain food types and ultimately not getting a healthy and nutritious helping of your dinner, or you might fill up a bit too much on a certain food type to find that you don’t have any space left to get a good chunk of that dessert you were keeping a keen eye on.
The trick to navigating your way through an all-you-eat-buffet resides in exercising a little patience. Wait until the top-pickings have indeed been picked off by other diners as this normally means you can benefit from what a lot of buffets unfortunately do, which is put the older food at the top so that it can be consumed first, with the fresher food lying in wait underneath.
If it comes to it you can even just help yourself to the deeper-lying food in the case of self-serving buffets, but not all buffets implement this practice of serving older food first. It is however somewhat of an industry standard which permeates even the restaurant industry, so it’s very likely that it occurs.
In addition to playing the waiting game to get your fill, always fill your plate up with less food than you think you’ll be satisfied with. You can always go back for seconds if you want, otherwise you run the risk of falling “victim” to what buffets are all about — creating the illusion that you’re going to fill up on more food than you usually do whereas you end up walking away not having eaten much because you’re overwhelmed by so many different choices.
The three-bites rule must come into effect, which simply states that you should put on your plate a portion of a certain food which amounts to three bites max.