“Offensive, disgusting, noxious, harmful or injurious to health.”

This past week, I tried really hard to plan out our dinners to improve our quality of eating and to save money. Today for some reason, we decided to go out to eat.

Actually, I know the reason: the SO neglected to take out the red sauce and gnocchi to thaw… it’s his ONLY job! Rawr… end rant.

Anyway, there is a serious lack of good eateries in our town. Despite it being a College Town (which you would think would be filled with neat little restaurants that you can’t find anywhere else like a normal college town), our town is well-known for the plethora of chain restaurants and franchises. You want six different kinds of Mexican fast food? You got it. Fancy fried chicken and want at least three different places to choose from? College Town is the place for you! But some kind of organic mom-and-pop bistro or cozy pub with two dozen draft beers? Not so much.

Today, the SO and I decided to try Furr’s which is in the next town over from College Town. It’s a buffet chain that is local to the Southern Great Plains/Southwestern States. As a kid, I wasn’t much of a buffet-goer and I don’t think the SO had EVER been to a buffet, so we approached it as an experience unique to this area of the United States. Cruelly, we giggled at the prospect of counting how many fatties we would see and knew to set our standards pretty low. However, nothing could prepare us for what we were about to experience.

The restaurant itself was pretty new and clean. I was put off immediately at the price: just under $10 for an adult and an additional $1.89 for sodas! I know it’s been a while since I’ve been to a buffet, but somehow, that seems somewhat unreasonable. Every buffet I have ever been to included drinks in the price of the dinner… sodas are a major money-maker for any eating establishment as they cost pennies to make and are sold for almost $2.

There are two general options you have when choosing what to eat at Furr’s: fried and steamed. Their menu is extensive and they do grill sirloin steaks to order, but that does not make up for items such as steamed cabbage (uh, yuck) and steamed broccoli, the latter of which is steamed beyond recognition until all its nutritional value is lost. Predominantly featured is its fried menu: chicken fried chicken, chicken fried steak, fried coconut chicken tenders, citrus-fried chicken, Southern fried catfish, fried okra… the list goes on. Even when doused with cream gravy, my piece of chicken fried chicken was so dry it was nearly inedible.

I fully intended to get a salad to balance out the junk I was going to eat. There were two separate salad bars offered: the traditional lettuce-type bar with a Caesar salad and a dozen trimmings, and a bar with fruit and pasta-type salads. I grabbed some Caesar salad and was disappointed: it had a more than average amount of wilted and dead lettuce and the dressing offered as pretty flavorless. I didn’t bother to choose from the other salad bar which included things like pineapple lime delight (which looked something like my grandma’s ambrosia salad only not), fresh fruit salad with Sierra Mist (what?), broccoli and raisin salad, and something called “health slaw”.

To top it off, I got a piece of their pumpkin spice cake which was pretty tasty except for its conspicuous lack of pumpkin flavor (and I KNOW what pumpkin tastes like) and the SO got an ice cream cone where the cone was the best part of the dessert.

The food at buffets are generally bad. I accept that. But the worst thing that I walked away with (other than the smell of the food on my hands) was a feeling of general sadness from its patron. Sure, there were plenty of fatties- granted, I’m a fatty too but these people were at least 50% larger than I am- but I walked past a large woman who had two full plates of food in front of her as did her large tablemates. To think that people find nothing wrong with eating this food tears me up inside. I know not everyone is able to afford good food (and I’m not going to get into that debate here), but it sickens me to think that these people might not ever know the goodness of fresh vegetables and unprocessed, unfried entrees and they’re okay with that. I don’t always eat perfectly, but I know that my digestive system will make me pay for the dinner I ate today. The restaurant patrons just looked sad and withdrawn, as if the food they were eating was sucking the life out of them.

We will never eat at Furr’s again. I regret it, especially since the SO forked out more than $20 for it. Some people would say “well, at least we tried it” and unfortunately, I can say I did, too.

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