Excerpt from The Buffet Notebooks

[Olive Garden, Rome, GA. July, 2017]


I’m not the person you want participating in an unlimited salad and breadsticks promotion. You WILL run low.

With a salad/breadstick buffet, I barely notice the breadsticks are even at the table. Like a long time ago when I went out to eat with my family and my older sister brought her friend Sonya. To family: “oh, you’re here?”

Humans should have a chip put in if they’ve ever been at a buffet for more than two hours and/or used the acronym ETA when asking a server about how long it would take for a certain tray to be refilled.


"Excuse me, what's the ETA on the hunan chicken?"


As soon as you walk in to the restaurant a buzzer goes off and you’re considered “high risk”.

Come on in, enjoy the buffet, but at some point we may have to pull the fire alarm or have the manager pose as a customer and fake a heart attack to get you out of here.

I’ve flagged down a server at a Mexican buffet and asked her to let me know when the new chicken wings would be out. A few minutes later, she was whistling and point-waving to the tray. She knew I needed those fresh chicken wings and the look in my eyes said “don’t tell them, tell me.”

If such a thing as a buffet-eating contest existed, I would’ve won about eight national titles by now. 

I’d be the Middlebury College hockey of buffets.