Posted by: classyjacksonville | July 3, 2009

Golden Corral

When I consider America and its culture and contributions to the world, I like to think about those things that are quintessentially American. You really can’t get more American than baseball, McDonalds, big cars, light beer, Chuck Taylor’s, peanut butter, blue jeans and freedom. However, there is one place that is so quintessentially American that you would be hard pressed to find something like it in another country, the all you can eat buffet. Classy Jacksonville, an all American city, has its own all you can eat buffet, Golden Corral, which lies smack dead in the center of all that is classy Jacksonville, near the intersection of Highway 17 and Western Boulevard. Golden Corral is a true American experience, and one that is not to be missed by those who are interested in the true classy Jacksonville.

After passing Radio the Jacksonville Ninja at the corner of 17 and Western, and almost getting sideswiped by a new Ford Mustang running a red light, you pull into the parking lot of Golden Corral after having contended with payday traffic at Wal-Mart. The exterior décor of Golden Corral looks like that of a single story ranch house, the type most Americans aspire to own one day. Going through the entrance there is a sort of cattle corral guiding the herd of dinners up to the register where they receive their drinks and plates and pay for the all you can eat experience. After paying at the register, you are released into a dinning room that appears like a cafeteria, but which is truly an egalitarian experience. The tables are set close to each other, allowing you to easily talk to your fellow man and experience all sorts of cultures you would not normally see.

The food is also set out like a cafeteria, wilting under heat lamps and with spoons or ladles allowing you take as much or as little as you would like of the food. The food is about what one would expect, neither spectacular nor repulsive. There were a few things I was disappointed with, such as the pulled pork which tasted like gelatinous fat doused in ketchup, and the dinner rolls which tasted like doughy air balls smothered in hydrogenated vegetable oils. However, the candied yams were quite delicious and the pot roast was edible. However the piece de resistance was the bread pudding, which was truly a divinely inspired creation, heaps of white bread covered with copious amounts of sugar.

About halfway through the meal I began to feel uncontrollably nauseous. I noticed that most of the dinners had a minimum weight of 230 pounds, that beyond going for seconds, they got up for thirds and fourths of food before loading their plate up with sweets from the dessert bar. But what really did it for me was when I saw a large woman wearing bright pink shorts that showed far too much leg and a skin tight t-shirt that was adorned with sparkles and sequins walking through the restaurant. My appetite suddenly disappeared and I was about to get up and storm away. I then later saw a man wearing a stained white wife beater and a baseball cap out from which a long braided piece of hair was descending all the way down to his buttocks. And there were the obese small children, and seniors counting out medication on their tables. By the end of the meal, the nausea was too much, and I ran out of there as fast as I possibly could.

In terms of calorie to dollar ratio at a restaurant, no other place in Classy Jacksonville can measure up to Golden Corral. And for a truly voyeuristic journey into American culture and ambience, no other place can compare to the Golden Corral. However, I wouldn’t recommend going there more than once. But if you do go, you will still feel full more than 16 hours later.



  1. Great post!

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