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Buffets and salad bars

Tamandua

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Have buffets and salad bars returned to Florida? Anyone have any good recommendations near the parks or in the Orlando area?
 

Bullseye1967

Premium Member
Have buffets and salad bars returned to Florida? Anyone have any good recommendations near the parks or in the Orlando area?
I was surprised that Golden Corral and Cici's are both open here now as is a Ponderosa. I didn't even know they still existed. My wife and I are down here on week 3 of maybe 4 or 5 week vacation. Feel free to message me directly for any questions or ask on this this thread because it is really hit or miss down here right now. I am surprised every day by what I see or just don't see when you think you would. We went down 192 last night and saw 3 sit down chain restaurants with their parking lots absolutely packed, but any we have eaten in have been totally empty. That was only 4 miles from where we are staying..
 

Tamandua

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I was surprised that Golden Corral and Cici's are both open here now as is a Ponderosa. I didn't even know they still existed. My wife and I are down here on week 3 of maybe 4 or 5 week vacation. Feel free to message me directly for any questions or ask on this this thread because it is really hit or miss down here right now. I am surprised every day by what I see or just don't see when you think you would. We went down 192 last night and saw 3 sit down chain restaurants with their parking lots absolutely packed, but any we have eaten in have been totally empty. That was only 4 miles from where we are staying..
I'm just glad to hear that things are open. Here in California we haven't been able to eat indoors for a long time. We haven't even had outdoor dining for a few months. I'm half expecting my wife to get a taste of normal life and want to move to Florida after our trip. I miss being able to go to a salad bar and get exactly what I want. Is there anything similar to souplantation/sweet tomatoes there that's open?
 

TamaraQT

Member
I was surprised that Golden Corral and Cici's are both open here now as is a Ponderosa. I didn't even know they still existed. My wife and I are down here on week 3 of maybe 4 or 5 week vacation. Feel free to message me directly for any questions or ask on this this thread because it is really hit or miss down here right now. I am surprised every day by what I see or just don't see when you think you would. We went down 192 last night and saw 3 sit down chain restaurants with their parking lots absolutely packed, but any we have eaten in have been totally empty. That was only 4 miles from where we are staying..
Did you go inside the Golden Corral? I am wondering how they are keeping the buffets safe. Is the staff serving the guests? I assume they are no longer allowing guests to serve themselves anymore. I plan to come down in August for 4 weeks. Golden Corral is a family favorite. The hot foods aren't bad. Breakfast at GC is one of our favorites. Where else can you get a Cooked to order steak and omelets for that price? I am hoping the vaccines will be the saving grace to get things back to normal by then. Do you mind if I ask where you are staying. I assume you are at a timeshare/private home community, but I could be wrong. I appreciate you willing to help and share information with those of us who are extremely curious and have lots of questions.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
Did you go inside the Golden Corral? I am wondering how they are keeping the buffets safe. Is the staff serving the guests? I assume they are no longer allowing guests to serve themselves anymore. I plan to come down in August for 4 weeks. Golden Corral is a family favorite. The hot foods aren't bad. Breakfast at GC is one of our favorites. Where else can you get a Cooked to order steak and omelets for that price? I am hoping the vaccines will be the saving grace to get things back to normal by then. Do you mind if I ask where you are staying. I assume you are at a timeshare/private home community, but I could be wrong. I appreciate you willing to help and share information with those of us who are extremely curious and have lots of questions.
The nice cost savings Golden Corral customers know is get there at 1030am pay breakfast price, nibble on a few breakfast items and then at 11am the lunch items come out. The people that come in at 11am and later will pay the lunch price.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
Did you go inside the Golden Corral? I am wondering how they are keeping the buffets safe. Is the staff serving the guests? I assume they are no longer allowing guests to serve themselves anymore. I plan to come down in August for 4 weeks. Golden Corral is a family favorite. The hot foods aren't bad. Breakfast at GC is one of our favorites. Where else can you get a Cooked to order steak and omelets for that price? I am hoping the vaccines will be the saving grace to get things back to normal by then. Do you mind if I ask where you are staying. I assume you are at a timeshare/private home community, but I could be wrong. I appreciate you willing to help and share information with those of us who are extremely curious and have lots of questions.

I can't speak for those places but I did see a video of someone going to a buffet and they had the disposable gloves on the line that people used to grab the utensils and served themselves. I am more worried about people breathing on everything. Yuck.
 

Bullseye1967

Premium Member
Did you go inside the Golden Corral? I am wondering how they are keeping the buffets safe. Is the staff serving the guests? I assume they are no longer allowing guests to serve themselves anymore. I plan to come down in August for 4 weeks. Golden Corral is a family favorite. The hot foods aren't bad. Breakfast at GC is one of our favorites. Where else can you get a Cooked to order steak and omelets for that price? I am hoping the vaccines will be the saving grace to get things back to normal by then. Do you mind if I ask where you are staying. I assume you are at a timeshare/private home community, but I could be wrong. I appreciate you willing to help and share information with those of us who are extremely curious and have lots of questions.
We did not go in to any buffet. They just have big "We are open" banners on the front of the restaurants. We are not interested in going to any buffet style restaurant in the near future. I am just not comfortable no matter how they have them set up. I did see that the Crystal Palace at MK has reopened as a non buffet restaurant. It actually looks like a decent deal.
 

TamaraQT

Member
I can't speak for those places but I did see a video of someone going to a buffet and they had the disposable gloves on the line that people used to grab the utensils and served themselves. I am more worried about people breathing on everything. Yuck.
I assumed they put up plexiglass so the food is no longer out in the open as it used to be.
 

TamaraQT

Member
We did not go in to any buffet. They just have big "We are open" banners on the front of the restaurants. We are not interested in going to any buffet style restaurant in the near future. I am just not comfortable no matter how they have them set up. I did see that the Crystal Palace at MK has reopened as a non buffet restaurant. It actually looks like a decent deal.
So Crystal Palace is ok since it's Disney? Maybe Golden Corral adopted the same setup as Crystal Palace. If you didn't go in, then you don't know. The way I see it, there is no way to do a buffet safely except if they set up cafeteria style behind plexiglass and have the staff make and serve your platter for you. It's really not that difficult. Also, a buffet has an open kitchen concept. Which in my opinion is easier to see what is going on as far as food safety. You could go to the fanciest restaurant on earth. If you can't see what is going on in the kitchen, you can't just assume food is being handled safely. Far as you know, they can drop your steak on the floor, rinse it off and warm it back up and serve it to you. Tell me if you would know the difference. At Golden Corral, you see them cooking the food. If something is dropped, there is no way they can hide it from you with the open concept kitchen area.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I assumed they put up plexiglass so the food is no longer out in the open as it used to be.

No clue, I just read someone's report on it on another social media site. Said they went to a local buffet and they had disposable gloves for people to use. You can't really cove the whole thing with plexi since you still have to grab and stock the buffet. Maybe with everyone wearing masks, they are not too concerned with it. IDK
 

Figgy1

Premium Member
So Crystal Palace is ok since it's Disney? Maybe Golden Corral adopted the same setup as Crystal Palace. If you didn't go in, then you don't know. The way I see it, there is no way to do a buffet safely except if they set up cafeteria style behind plexiglass and have the staff make and serve your platter for you. It's really not that difficult. Also, a buffet has an open kitchen concept. Which in my opinion is easier to see what is going on as far as food safety. You could go to the fanciest restaurant on earth. If you can't see what is going on in the kitchen, you can't just assume food is being handled safely. Far as you know, they can drop your steak on the floor, rinse it off and warm it back up and serve it to you. Tell me if you would know the difference. At Golden Corral, you see them cooking the food. If something is dropped, there is no way they can hide it from you with the open concept kitchen area.
CP is now a table service not buffet
 

some other guy

Active Member
Can't speak for the Goldens down in the tourist drags but the one towards the north end of the Orlando sprawl around 434 and 436 is working basically like a normal Golden Corral.
Get up, get your stuff. There's disposable gloves to handle the scoops and stuff.
 

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