okiebp wrote: Ugh, I can't believe people actually pay to eat there.
granted, you can't mess up Salad... but dang, that place has the worst food.
OK, now you've gone too far. I have to rise in defense of Old Country Buffet and my people (their rubenesque patrons.)
I'm not going to argue with your taste buds, if cafeteria style, industrial grade food is too gauche for your refined palette, that's understandable. But you can't compare the food at a buffet serving a thousand people a day with a made-to-order restaraunt.
OCB does about as good of a job as is humanly possible with a buffet format. They're obviously run with the efficiency of a navy seal operation. The salad bar is kept fresh and full. Their meats are decent. They have good breakfasts. Some of their hot dish type stuff stinks, but then again they have some winners, like cajun dishes. The key to a good buffet is that they have to have steady customers so the food keeps being put out fresh, and OCB is the king of volume.
A fair comparison is with, say, the Ponderosa, where you can really learn about bad food. (I guess the Ponderosa went out of business?) Or try out any hospital cafeteria. Buffets are operating on a slim profit margin. The Old Country Buffet corporation actually went into bankruptcy a year ago, but have survived a reorganization.