In my family, when it was your birthday you got to choose where to eat that night for a special birthday meal. My favourite place to go for years was 'Pancho's Mexican Buffet'
It was great. A huge buffet of burritos, tacos, flautas, salsa, tortillas and even homemade sopapillas! We went there so often we had our own waiter. His name was SK. We even exchanged Christmas cards between families for several years. But the best thing about Pancho's was that if it was your birthday, you got to pick out a piñata to take home! yup, a free birthday piñata! which got me thinking....
(I actually had several pinatas that looked just like this little burro!)
What ever happened to the good buffet? I suppose those have kind of gone out of style, giving way to the organic, whole food market stores. But I remember going to Furr's Buffet with my grandparents all the time when I was younger. Cafeteria style food, big plastic trays, ladies with hair nets dishing up smushy, over baked, greasy food. At the end of the line there was always some gelatine creation with fruit inside. Now you hardly see a buffet restaurant anymore. Sure there is the Pizza Hut buffet lunch, but that is hardly the same.
I read an article in some woman’s fashion magazine yesterday about the organic food craze. the author was a mother who was criticizing other mothers for being so crazy, over the top about vegan, pesticide free, gluten free organic food. She commented on how out of control nature the whole organic food industry has become. I say, well done. I agree. When did it become the 'norm' to eat only raw vegetables and free range chicken, looking down on those who don’t buy from the whole foods store? The definition of organic is "having carbon based molecules in the molecular structure" so technically everything living (or that was living at one point) is 'organic'. With that in mind, I think the buffet should attempt a rebound. Think about it, a buffet could accurately be advertised as organic!
I love buffets! You get exactly what you want, in the quantities that you want it. Its always disappointing when I go to a restaurant and the sides come out in such small portions when it was the side I really wanted in the first place! And what fancy restaurant do you know of that gives away free piñatas for someone’s birthday? Yes, buffets should come back in style, in a bit healthier way I will concede (less greasy perhaps) but they are a classic piece of food history and I hope they don’t disappear forever. Whoever decides to bring back Pancho's or Furr's should also bring back free piñatas! My birthday is in 28 days, so here’s hoping it happens soon!