Thursday, September 25, 2008

Worst Buffet EVER!

All true friends of mine know that I have a penchant for all-you-can-eat restaurants. Yesterday, I was pleased to learn that two of my co-workers (Scott & Jeff) planned to go to a pizza buffet for lunch. Gliner and I immediately hopped on board. When we arrived at Sahara Pizza I was a bit skeptical as only one person was eating at the height of lunch hour. When I saw the “buffet” I was less than impressed. The equivalent of half of a pizza pie stood before us: two slices of “meat lovers,” two slices of mushroom/olive, and two slices of “veggie.” And keep in mind that in this region pizza slices are tiny, meaning that three slices are the equivalent of a standard New York slice. There was also a bowl of grease-covered garlic knots and a baked linguini Alfredo. There were also four plates (one for each of us) that could barely hold teacups due to their miniscule size, let alone slices of pizza. Immediately I concluded that this was the WORST BUFFET EVER.

This assumption was quickly proven correct when a trip to the “salad bar” revealed that the lettuce was gone and other essentials were running in the single digits (three cherry tomatoes, a handful of olives, two pickles, etc)…

Since Scott and Jeff are kindly Pacific Northwesterners, they asked the mustached dude at the counter to cook us a Hawaiaan pizza...after some fuss the man agreed. It then turned out that the lone man eating at the restaurant was the chef, operating incognito of course. Looking upset that he had to cook during prime lunch hour, he lethargically headed into the kitchen.

When I asked for an additional meat lovers pie, I was told that this pie was already available – and if 1/8 of a pie is a full pie, then it was. I immediately devoured one slice of this variety and Gliner devoured the other. Then there was none available but the mustached Lord of the Buffet wouldn’t budge. I also asked for some additional pasta. Rather than comply with my request, the “chef” scraped the nasty remnants of the Alfredo dish onto a dirty plate. What was presented to me as pasta looked more like pickled herring. We watched El Chefarino as he SLOWLY made our Hawaiaan pie…this took ten minutes to make, and an additional ten minutes in the oven, followed by an additional five minutes just sitting there in the kitchen waiting for someone to cut…

(Gotta love the Pacific Northwest’s unhealthy obsession with open kitchens…nothing slips past the watchful customer eye in this neck of the woods.)

At this point, even the nice folks I was with were PISSED OFF. Being non-New Yorkers, they went back to the car, as we’d already overextended our 30-minute lunch break. Just as the others were exiting, I felt compelled to steal the remaining two slices of pizza just so I could check them at the restaurant’s exterior window in protest. As I barehanded the slices, the Mr. Mustache said, “Have a good day.” This was the perfect opportunity to inform the mustached counterman/manager that this was “the worst buffet ever.” He asked me why and I told him that the lack of food was the primary reason. He then asked why I didn’t eat any salad (yes, this man was trying to choose what foods I would eat at the buffet…). I informed him that the lack of lettuce was a primary culprit. I then informed him that he had permanently lost our business and the business of anyone who ever came in contact with in the Tri-Cities. I asked for our money back, citing the menu that read, “If you are unsatisfied, we will give you your money back.” He counter-offered a pizza that was already in the oven…Due to my lack of time I took his offer and provided my co-workers with a late-afternoon snack. I wish I could bash this establishment on Yelp or Citysearch, but the Tri-Cities haven’t yet reached that level of technological aptitude.

Note: This blog post will be forwarded to the parent company as Sahara Pizza is a chain in the Pacific Northwest.

1 comment:

Ben Rozenberg said...

That's why, if at all possible, I avoid buffets.