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March 11, 2014
Lying in wait for you on nefarious cruise ships.
Ambushing you in Europe with smörgåsbords in Sweden, MooMoo in Russia, Big Lukes in England.
Trapping you in South America, with names like Rodizio or El Gaucho.
The All You Can Eat Buffet.
Wherever you find them, the strategy is the same.
Avoid them at all costs.
But we know that's impossible.
First, let's lay blame to the person who came up with the idea.
Herb Macdonald, a Las Vegas hotel manager, in 1946, while working late at the El Rancho Vegas, MacDonald innocently brought some cheese and cold cuts from the kitchen and laid them out on the bar to make a sandwich.
Gamblers walking by said they were hungry, and the buffet was born. From the modest 'chuckwagon' buffet that cost $1.25, the buffet evolved with the Strip itself.
William Pearson, in his 1965 novel, The Muses of Ruin:
"We marvel at the Great Pyramids, but they were built over decades; the midnight buffet is built daily. Crushed-ice castles and grottoes chill the shrimp and lobster. Sculptured aspic is scrolled with Paisley arabesques. Laid out with reverent artistry: hors d'oeuvres, relish, salads, and sauces; crab, herring oyster, sturgeon and octopus."
So how do mere mortals resist?
Go for the good stuff first. Do not load up on carbs.
If it's a breakfast buffet, don't even think about that bagel and cream cheese. Go straight for the smoked fish.
For dinner, realize soups, breads, pastas and rice are simply roadblocks intended to fill you up and save the restaurant money.
The ham, beef, chicken and lobster will likely be tucked away in a far corner someplace, but that's your first target. A simple "No thank you," will suffice when the devious attendant attempts to push some mashed potatoes on you.
Your beverage of choice? Nothing. Or maybe a little water. Liquids take up space that could be put to better use.
Recovery? Resist the urge to sleep.
Resist to urge to blame yourself.
Or to blame me.
Try to stay up for at least three hours to allow your upper digestive system time to process your meal.
We have much to digest.
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