July 28, 2006

Waiter! There's A Llama In My Soup!

It isn't often that I disagree with James Lileks' sentiments, but I part company with him on the subject of breakfast buffets:

I went down to the Holiday Inn restaurant to meet Dad and Doris. We were handed menus, a superfluity the waitresses cheerfully offer up with full knowledge you’ll have the buffet. Why wouldn’t you? There are few words in the English language that have the plain poetic appeal of Breakfast Buffet; you imagine the spoils of Croesus, from eggs to pancakes to pans of bangers, rashers unnumbered of bacon, rolls and fruit, and a man in a ceremonial hat at the end of the line carving off hanks of hog. And you can go back.

Personally, I loathe buffets, breakfast or otherwise. To me, they say nothing so much as, "Food's over there. You want it? Go get it yourself." Sure, the spread can be impressive and you can load up a second time (not that you really need to), but this doesn't take away from my conviction that they exist primarily so that the staff doesn't have to bother so much with individual service, that they're really for the restaurant's convenience, not mine.

I've had to do an awful lot of travelling for work this year, so I've had plenty of opportunities to face hotel breakfasts. And more than once I've seen a look of shock flit across a waitress's face when I've said no, I want to look at the menu, please. Once I sit down in a restaurant, I want to remain sitting. Especially first thing in the morning when I've already used up practically all of my auxiliary power just staggering into the place to begin with.

Posted by Robert at July 28, 2006 08:18 AM | TrackBack

Nah. I'm with Lileks on this one.

Posted by: The Colossus at July 28, 2006 08:52 AM

My ideal breakfast is the Sunday morning buffet at the local Golden Corral with an unobtrusive but conscientious waitress and the morning paper.

Posted by: LMC at July 28, 2006 08:57 AM


Math never was my strong suit.

Posted by: phin at July 28, 2006 09:00 AM

Oh, I know I'm in the minority on this one.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at July 28, 2006 09:56 AM

I'll have to join you in that minority then. I dislike buffets in general, but breakfast buffets particularly. Nothing is more disgusting than scrambled eggs over sterno, picked over pork wilting in fat, and rapidly-going-stale bagels and/or biscuits. Bleh.

Posted by: beth at July 28, 2006 11:05 AM

Believe it or not, I'm with Robbo on this---just bring me the two eggs scrambled with toast and homefries, and keep the unsweetened ice-tea coming!

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at July 28, 2006 11:15 AM

I loves me some breakfast buffet.

Posted by: jen at July 28, 2006 12:45 PM