Two weeks ago, a shining light guided me through my three midterms, two papers, and one project. That sliver of hope and motivation to keep going was spring break, a glorious week of vacation where that overflowing pile of homework no longer exists in student’s minds. After digging up bathing suits and packing enough sunscreen to last the next three years, I couldn’t wait to visit my grandparents, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy a week of free meals, of course. However, nothing could prepare me for the nightly all-you-can eat buffet dinner, my best friend and worst enemy. With enough food to feed a small country, and a wide array of options that pleases everyone, the Boca West Country Club does not mess around. With its salad bar, pasta corner, carving station, and more, it may seem like buffets can only be a positive dinner experience. However, it’s important to remember that with all-you-can eat comes with hazards as well. Here are four things to keep in mind while walking around the buffet with your family, dangers that go unnoticed as we scarf down our seventh plate of food.
Don’t Eat the Bread.
Even when the family chooses to eat buffet style, a basket of bread is brought to the middle of the table. Although you may be used to having a slice of bread before a normal dinner, there’s no room in your stomach for a pre-appetizer snack. This is the big leagues, and although it’s tempting to reach your hand in and have a buttery baguette, its not worth filling up before the main event! To avoid having the three bread rolls that take away your appetite, politely tell the waiter it won’t be necessary and walk away before it's too late. Instead, take some time to carefully survey the buffet options and keep your eye on the prize.
Portion Control No Longer Exists.
Hungry for the typical appetizer, main course, and one dessert option? Forget it. Why limit yourself when when you can have lobster, crab, oysters, shrimp, muscles, and steak all in one sitting! Without the traditional three course meal ordered off a menu, it’s impossible to avoid getting up from your table for that fifth plate of food before dessert time. There are no restrictions to say you've had enough food, and who wants to stop eating voluntarily?! Tip: fill your plate to the top one or two times, and then wait 20 minutes to see if you're truly hungry before going up for your third. Chances are, you're probably full!
I Just Want A Taste: A Slippery Slope.
Just because there are hundreds of options available, doesn’t mean you need to taste every single one! Try and treat the buffet as a normal dinner experience. If you want to try everything and take advantage of the many dinner options, make sure it’s JUST a taste and not another meal-sized portion! Often, people over-do it and want “just a taste” of 15 different options, which adds up to more food than another full course. To avoid this, instead of going up yourself, ask a family member or friend to put "a taste" of that extra meal on their plate for you!
How Much Dessert is Enough Dessert?
Ahhh, the chocolate fountain. The ice cream booth. The cupcakes, the cookies, and more cheesecakes options then one can even imagine. It's every child's paradise in the dessert room, and honestly, every adult's too. It's a happy place, where every sugary treat sounds too good to pass up. However, if you don’t want a stomach ache for the next three days, be strong and pick one dessert to stick with! Go around the entire route, debate the options, and see which dessert you just can’t live without. Fruit is safe, but you will survive without four cookies, two slices of cake, and chocolate ice cream on your plate, I promise!