Have you ever forgot why you went to a place, decided to go, and shortly after you arrive remember why you stopped going? We stopped going to China One Buffet a while ago. In Big Rapids there are three places to get “Chinese food;” China One Buffet, New China, and our house. I cannot sell food, thus traffic here is non-existent. New China, the last time we went in had mold or some other growth hanging from the ceiling over the food prep and the food was lackluster. China One Buffet…
I remembered why I stopped going; I can make every single “dish” on the buffet and make each one better. Nothing says, buffet Chinese food when you know they fried a shit ton of chicken. To make each dish complete, stir fry a vegetable or two, add previously fried chicken, and toss with sauce made separately. Each sauce has the same base with one or two ingredients different to change color or add spice. Then creatively name all of the “dishes.” Serve.
I get it, most people who enter the restaurant have no clue about Chinese Food other than what they eat there or at other American Chinese restaurants. Given the seemingly captive audience of Big Rapids, China One sees no reason to up their game. The people are happy shoveling the “food” into their mouths and the owners are happy to shovel the cash into the bank account.
Ever had wet sushi? No, that is not a new kind of sushi. It is a flaw in the making of the sushi rice. A flaw that should not be allowed to see the light of day. When wet sushi happens here, it becomes a test batch used to try out “exotic” ingredient combinations-also not meant to see the light of day. Yet, there was an entire display of wet sushi complete with a carrot roll. Yep, a roll with carrot as the main ingredient. You may try one if you wish, but there is a reason why carrot is not the main ingredient.
Barb remembered two things, she stopped going because of the food and the people (I agree with her on the people) and that while she thought she missed her old social work job, after today she remembered why she does not. We were the smallest customers in the restaurant, other than the new born who kept staring at me. Wondering if I would take it with us to escape the horrors, possibly. The thing that set Barb off down memory lane was the odor of cheap cigarettes. Make that bargain basement cigarettes. People who she used to work with smoked cigarettes of that nature. She forgot how much that odor made her nauseous and with that nausea came back all of the memories of the job that were not rainbows and unicorns. Have no fear, Barb will remain a pharmacist.
The thing I did not understand was, the buffet was not going anywhere. I did not see the wait staff pushing the buffet around the restaurant in a game of keep away from the customers. Further, the kitchen staff was continually filling and refilling stations. Thus, why did everyone and I do mean everyone feel the need to stack a plate two feet high with a variety of food? Does having a variety of food congealing together on the plate improve the flavor? I don’t and won’t know, I put one or two things on a plate, eat and go back. I do not use a fork and spoon to shovel masses of unrelated items into my maw. Watching humans eat is gross at times. This was one of those times and another reminder why we stopped going.
In the end, for 21.88 we had food-just food-but more importantly we remembered why we stopped going, why I should cook at home, why Barb will not be a social work, and why humans around a buffet can be gross. That alone was worth the price.