- Food and Cooking
Golden Corral Quick Lunch
I Had the Combo ~ Food, Fellowship & Fun
Recently I was on a short business trip for supplies on a project I had to complete within a few weeks. My schedule was very tight and fitting in lunch would take some creativity.Being a bit rushed for time my husband and I decided it would be less expensive to eat at the Golden Corral Restaurant and get a full meal, than to eat at a fast food place (especially since we probably wouldn't stop for dinner). So we made our way through the traffic and into the full parking lot of the restaurant.
Even though it was busy, we did not have to wait for seating (unlike those who did by the time we finished). This would only be my third experience eating at this establishment, but what I found delightful and delicious was more than what I would put on my plate.
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Poll: Lunch Anyone?
Have you ever eaten at the Golden Corral?
First the Food
Golden Corral Menu
What are you in the mood for today?
The Cold Bar
If you are into all you can eat, buffet style dining, you will find a pretty good selection of foods at the Golden Corral. Their menu carries food for all ages and tastes. You may want to start with a salad by visiting the cold foods section. There you can select from several salads including Cajun potato salad, macaroni, chicken, seafood, tuna or carrot and raisin salads. Add white or dark meat cold turkey with your choice of 15 salad dressings, along with some fresh fruit and you have a hearty meal from the Cold Bar section of the restaurant.
For me I had the Cajun potato salad, peaches and some cantaloupe from the cold bar.
The Hot Bar
If you are hovering over the hot bar you will find most of the food. In the meat department there are between 15-20 items to select from depending on the day and time of day. You can have Asian Pork Roast, barbeque spare ribs, chicken tenders, chicken breast, pork chops, steak, meatloaf or smoked ham. Compliment your meat with any of the side dishes that include several kinds of potatoes, rice, noodles and even pizza or tacos.
Don't forget to eat your veggies. No excuse here. Choose from beans, peas, Brussels sprouts, corn, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini and a few more I'm sure I left out. I had the squash medley and zucchini.
Looking for a seafood menu? You'll find Pollock, shrimp, whitefish, salmon served in a variety of styles from Cajun to Kentucky.
Potato & Soup Bar
This is one section that I usually like to visit. I love a baked potato with butter, cheese sauce and broccoli. If soup is on your mind you may like to try the chicken gumbo, clam chowder, vegetable beef or the chili. They didn't have any soup without meat that day so I skipped this section of the restaurant altogether.
The Bakery Bar
Ok I have to admit, this is my favorite section. First of all they have fresh baked dinner rolls, corn muffins and corn bread. If I eat one of these I get full too fast, so I generally split a roll if I have one. Leave plenty of room for the dessert section of the bakery bar. The last time I ate at the Golden Corral I had a piece of chocolate cake. It was so good I wanted to try it again. Sadly it wasn't the same, but still good. I gave it to my husband and went in search of some apple pie that I had been wanting for a few days.If you aren't in the mood for cake or pie, there are several other things to have such as cookies, banana pudding, brownies, cinnamon rolls, key lime cheesecake, ice cream with toppings or their great fudge. For those who are looking for a sugar free diet, they don't have to pass up dessert. Golden Corral has pie, cheesecake, cookies, jello and cake that are sugar free.
No matter which foods you choose to eat, if you leave Golden Corral hungry it's not their fault.
There is also a limited breakfast menu on weekends available only until 11 am. The price? We ate for under $15.00 (not including the tip). Get there before 4 pm and you get a better deal (or stand behind a senior!)
Then the Fellowship
Friends I Never Met
People are wonderful, aren't they?
While my husband looked for a parking spot, I plopped myself down on the brick wall that surrounded a small flowed bed. As I waited a gust of wind blew my hair all over the place. Several people passed by and every one of them had something to say about the weather as if they needed to report to me before entering the building.
We entered the line where we had to pay and my husband was behind an older couple. I was off to the side. One by one the people were rung up, and just like the others, my husband received the senior discount. This was the beginning of my laughter over our "quick" lunch.
Instead of hunting for a table in the back of the room, I scouted for one near the food bars. This is something I have never done, but I wanted lunch to be quick. The fact that my husband's leg was really bothering him from a pulled muscle also played into my thinking.
Upfront and entertainment too, something I hadn't bargained for in my selection of tables. It was my husband's turn to go get his food, while I sat and waited for him at our table. His chair faced the wall and mine toward the aisle so I could watch for him.
As I sat and waited, a tall gentleman with a lovely bright colored dress and blue matching pumps walked by the table. His long flowing blonde wig was perfectly curled on the ends and he flung it over his shoulders to move it out of his way. He finished at the cold bar and moved toward his seat quietly greeting his friends as he went by them.
Miss Jolene was his name, and I thought to myself he was better dressed than most of the people there. When I noticed his feet I was a bit jealous that he could find shoes that fit him so well, when I have such a hard time finding any. By then my husband was back at the table.
Photo by Favored1
You can see how close I was to the food section. That's my husband's blue sleeve in the botton left hand corner next to the empty chair. I was seated directly across from my husband and had front row seats for entertainment that day. Take notice of the man in the white hat walking toward us.
The Geriatric Section
It was like having lunch with my Dad.
We ate our meals and my husband went back for some more meat. It was then that my eyes drifted to the table next to us with an older gentleman who was having lunch with his wife. (He's the man with the blue hat and shirt facing out in the above photo.) Before we talked I noticed the posture and interaction of the gentleman next to me with the servers. He looked and acted like my father talking to everyone who walked by him.
Our eyes made contact and before long he struck up a conversation. He began to share some details about how a bunch of his friends ate there a few times a week. Jolene was one he had mentioned. Then he spun around as if he was settling in for a long session of story telling.
"You see that man over there?" as he pointed behind me. "He's 100 years old!" I turned to look and was surprised at the man's agility and vitality. He is the man sitting down in this photo. If you noticed, he is also the one in the photo above, and the same man my husband just heard reaming out the chef before heading to the cold section of foods.
"Really?" I replied. Before I realized it I had asked him his age. The conversation went back and forth.
"On the 28th of this month I'll be 88 years old!" he boasted with pride.
"You look wonderful. Is this your wife?"
"Yes, we've been married 25 years."
"I've got you beat." I proclaimed, but once more he outwitted me.
"Well, I've been married 4 times!" I couldn't help but laugh.
Photo by Favored1
Meet John & Alicia
His name was John, and over the next 15 minutes I learned quite a bit about this young Golden Corral character and his wife Alicia who had her arm in a sling. Apparently she had fallen and broken her arm in Lowes and still had a few more weeks to be in a cast. Before the chat ended we were exchanging addresses and had an invite to their home. Alicia mentioned that her husband was in the habit of showing people through her home without a moment's notice.Once there was a couple outside their place looking at their home, and before she knew it John was giving them a full blown tour. Who were they? He didn't know, but they said they liked the house so he decided to show it to them. What a delightful and informative conversation we had with friends we never met!
Photo by Favored1
On to the Fun
Chocolate Rain! The Chocolate Wonder Fall
Golden Corral Chocolate Fountain: See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8tOoID7CXI
3-tier chocolate fountain offers a fun way to dip your favorite foods. Holds up to 4 pounds of melted chocolate (sold separately) Adjustable feet and bubble level for steady use on tables or countertops. Removable parts clean up easily by hand; UL-listed for indoor use only.
Come Thou Chocolate Fount!
But meeting new faces didn't stop there.
One thing I noticed when moving through the dessert bar section was the wonderful chocolate fountain. It can't be real we thought, and I couldn't figure out what it was for or if we are allowed to touch it. What I did know is that I wanted some.While I was eating I noticed people sticking something smack in the middle of it and pulling out these luscious looking treats covered with chocolate. "Don't you want to put your hand in it or even better, your tongue?" I asked my husband. "No." He was no help at all.
"I want to do that." I quickly informed him. So I waited for someone who I felt could help me and not make me look silly. There she was. My target was right before my eyes... nine year old Jaden!
Popping up from the table I swooped in on her and asked, "Would you mind if I took a picture of you doing that." She posed nicely for a few pictures as she dipped her fruit into the chocolate lava. Here was my chance, "How do you do that?" I asked my new colleague. (That's her demonstrating how to do it in the picture.) Without missing a beat my little friend explained the dipping rules and so I went into action, forging my way through the chocolate to make my strawberry masterpiece. More laughing began when I realized there was only one problem. I didn't bring a plate!
Photo by Favored1
Chocolate Fountains & Candy - Make your own chocolate treats at home with these fountains.
Liven up any party with these self serve chocolate fountains. You don't have to wait like I did to have your favorite foods dipped in chocolate. With the help of these top selling fountains you can create some of the best tasting desserts at home with family and friends.
Rich milk chocolate flavor specially designed for chocolate fountains & fondues .Can also be used for baking or candy making.Kosher Dairy (OK Kosher Certified) Made in the USA
Poll: The Wonderfall
Have you ever eaten from a chocolate fountain?
Cotton Candy Fun
The Cotton Candy Machine
COTTON CANDY at Golden Corral, See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5CZrRARyu8
Pink is Everywhere
One thing not on my agenda that day was looking for anything pink, but pink seemed to find me wherever I went.Lunch was about over when I saw the ladies behind the counter bring out something I haven't had in years. I must have one! Giant balls of cotton candy on a stick waiting for passers-bye to zoom in and grab one. Our new friends were leaving and our tip was already on the table. One by one the pink delights were disappearing. I had my eye on one, but didn't move fast enough. Drats, it was gone and only a puny one was left. Within a few minutes the section was refilled and I promptly dashed over for my last treat of the day.
The lines were now long as we made our way out the door. A gust of wind began stealing my cotton candy and unswirling it. A couple in the parking lot began to laugh along with my husband as we tried catching it in the wind. My huge ball of sugar was reduced to half its size. Serves me right doesn't it.
Photo by Favored1
Cotton Candy Machines & Kits
No need to wait for the circus or fair to come to town for this sweet treat. Invite the neighbors, have a kids party or just family fun night for a flavorful time making cotton candy. Choose from flavors such as vanilla, grape, orange or cherry. Kids can watch as the candy spins.
Poll: Cotton Candy Fan
Do you like cotton candy?
Poll: Is the Corral for you? - Would you take a risk at having fun and making new friends over some fancy food?
After this review, would you dine at the Golden Corral?
Was Golden Corral A Good Choice for Lunch?
Looking back we had a really nice, but quick lunch, in a family friendly atmosphere of the Golden Corral.
Would I go back. You bet, but next time I think I'll pass on the cotton candy!
Golden Corral Information
- Golden Corral Website
Restaurant location, coupons, menu and career opportunities.
- Golden Corral History
Wikipedia information on Golden Corral.
- Camp Corral
Camp for kids with disabled parents who are serving or have served in the military. There are 18 camps across America. See site map for the one nearest you.