Let’s review Golden Corral.
The all-you-can-eat buffet chain that was founded in North Carolina serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner via one of the biggest buffet stations in town. While there used to be two locations, we are now down to one at Maple & Ridge. It’s been close to four years when I last dropped by, and figured now was a good time to revisit and see if they’ve taken that time to improve.
The buffet costs anywhere $11.99 to $16.49 for adults, depending on what day of the week or time you stop by.
If you’ve ever been to Furr’s, Ryan’s, Hometown Buffet, or even the recently closed Ourrs, you probably have an idea of what to expect. Golden Corral is the last of the all day American buffet options in town. And anybody old enough to stop by Furr’s, Ryan’s, or Hometown Buffet was most likely at Golden Corral when I stopped by. It wasn’t exactly a busy place for the under 40 and 50 crowd.
I went right around 11 a.m. so there was a brunch mix of breakfast staples along with chicken, tacos, salads, pizza, burgers, desserts and more. Here’s a brief sample of what they had:
I tried a bit of everything, and Golden Corral met my expectations… albeit low expectations.
One section had a yellow caution sign that I ignored. Next time, I’ll listen.
Let’s start with the burger and pasta. The noodles had a yellow discoloration to them, as if they had been sitting out for an hour. They probably were, and tasted like it too. The burger was drier than the Play-Doh burgers my daughter makes me at home. So far, we weren’t off to a good start.
Next, I had a taco and rice. The beef was suspicious. There was a hardened brown layer of what looked like dry refried beans. I mixed it up and found some grease with some ground beef mixed in. There was a bit of reluctance as I filled my taco with ground beef. Even more reluctance as I took my first bite. Not good, but better than the burger so it was a positive.
The best part of my meal was probably the pork and rice, mashed potatoes and piece of fried chicken. While it wasn’t spectacular, it was like going to vote and choosing the least of 1,000 evils from all the options at Golden Corral. I’ll say the mashed potatoes and gravy had a very gritty and chalky aftertaste as if it wasn’t mixed all the way. There was a powdery texture that made me consider snorting it in hopes of mentally transporting me to another restaurant.
For dessert, I tried the carrot cake and well… after two bites, I got up and left.
I probably won’t go back for another 5-10 years.
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