It is a huge deal to stake your claim, being "The Best Buffet in The USA". It is an even bigger deal to live up to that claim. And yesterday, I wanted to find out for myself if they can get me convinced
We drove along Commercial Way in Spring Hill and saw the Golden Corral signage on the road. It was lunch hour, and I was starving! This was indeed a welcome sight.
As soon as we entered, the cashier greeted us. Time to show them the money before we start eating. It's good, I thought, to get it out of the way. So afterwards, we can just get down to business -- the eating business.
For a Sunday lunch of three adults and one child, and three drinks, this was our tab.
It remains to be seen if it was going to be worth the price.
These signages greeted us as we were being led to our table. It spoke to me like a challenge. I had to spend my time wisely while I was in here. With all those choices, I had to survey the field and see what they have for me.
The Buffet Stations
I liked what I saw. The interiors felt like fast food, but the food on display all looked yummy and appetizing. There were three buffet stations, a soup and salad station, a grill station on the center island, and a dessert station.
The Grill Station: The centerpiece of the buffet
The Sweet Tooth Station
Dieters will agree with me. It is so hard to eat healthy, when you have absolutely all the temptation right in front of you. And this was the situation I was in, when we dined at Golden Corral. When it claims it is the Best Buffet in the USA, it makes a good case for itself.
My Choice Picks
Like a disciplined buffet diner, I headed to the soup and salad station. As soon as I saw clam chowder, that was the smartest choice for a starter.
Golden Corral's Clam Chowder
No surprises here, creamy chowder, chewy clam bits, a siding of saltine crackers. They did good here.
Salads were next on my list. It gave a semblance of healthy eating, mixing greens with meat. So I decided on a steak and mushroom salad. Not once..
Salad greens, grilled onions and peppers, sauteed mushrooms, homemade potato chips and a yeast roll
Salad greens, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, seafood salad, and sirloin steak strips done medium
The veggies were fresh, the steak done the way I liked it. I was very satisfied with these.
And now... For the main event...
Comfort Food Plate at Golden Corral
Fried chicken wings, garlic parmesan shrimp skewers, sausage in peppers and onions, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn kernels and barbequed baked beans. This is happiness in a plate!
I made sure I had saved space for dessert.
Banana Pudding with Choco Chip Cookie, Strawberry and Fudge Bar Topping
I filled my dessert plate with banana pudding, and topped it with a choco chip cookie, a giant strawberry and a bar of fudge. It was a tad too sweet. Good thing I asked for black coffee to go with it. (It was included with the buffet, btw) That balanced everything out.
The Verdict: So, is it?
I was very pleased with the meal we had at Golden Corral. It was not the absolute best I have ever tried. Perhaps, if I ate in some more buffet restaurants around here, I would find some place better. But considering its price points, I'd compare it with the buffet places we have back in the Philippines. I would spend the same amount at Vikings, Dad's or Yakimix. Golden Corral concentrated on American cuisine, while all the previous ones I mentioned widened its range to several other cuisines. The dishes at GC were pleasing to the palate, and concentrated on comfort food. The offerings were very satisfying, and tasted very fresh.
The tipping point would be this though. And I know my young nephews would agree.
THEY HAVE A COTTON CANDY MACHINE.
Cotton candy FTW!
I don't know about being the best buffet in the USA. But with the cotton candy surprise? They just know what to dish out when the stakes are high! Thumbs up, Golden Corral.
5300 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606
P. S. This article originally appears in my blog, Chowpowwows, where chow is always on the lowdown.
Published by Michelle Africa