Jumbo Buffetposted by : Jon Kroupa on 12/06/2010
Last week Justin and I went to a place called Jumbo Buffet, which is a Chinese buffet restaurant.
A little back story
As we were trolling down State Street I knew we were in the right area because we hit a section comprised mainly of Pawn Shops and out of business Pawn Shops. These are prime locations for food you wouldn't normally want to eat. Suddenly the great Jumbo Buffet signed loomed ahead of us and Justin exclaimed "We must try it."
It is always disappointing to pay $8.00 for a lunch you know is probably not going to be great. It is even more disappointing when your fears are realized almost immediately. Not a good sign when entering a huge place at 12:15pm to see only 1 other table with people at it. Those people must be from out of town.
Every Chinese buffet place in the valley has essentially the same spread. They all have Mongolian bbq, they all serve 8 different types of chicken, and they all serve the same sugar free chocolate pudding from a can. Before that day I thought there wasn't much difference to them, until I learned the variance is in the temperature. Everything at the buffet was room temperature; the hottest thing I got was a roll.
As you move through the rows of a Chinese buffet you get the popular chickens first, then the rice and wontons, the fish table, and eventually the dessert bar. The dessert bar will have a bunch of Chinese cookies which are terrible because they lack sugar and taste, and it will also have an ice cream machine.
Now normally an ice cream machine will have a thing of nuts, some hand crushed Oreos, and maybe a little syrup topping. Jumbo Buffet had a bowl of cheesy puffs and a bowl of animal crackers. Now I'm as experimental as the next guy (ie not all that experimental) but you have to draw a line somewhere. Justin and I half expected to also find some pretzels and saltine crackers to go along with these classic ice cream add-ins.
Now you might wonder why such strange choices for normal ice cream, therein lies the secret. The ice cream came out looking distinctly yellow and was very crystalline looking. I amused a tale in my head for an instant that maybe it was banana flavored. Turns out it was vanilla, but not the normal vanilla that everyone knows. When I say vanilla flavored I mean it tasted like someone had dumped a gallon of imitation vanilla into the machine with a bunch of ice and the tiniest amount of cream.
Given the shoddiness of the ice cream I can see how someone would rightfully assume that you could dump a bowl of just about anything next to the ice cream machine and it will improve the quality of the experience.
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