Let's make a hierarchy of dining buffets and rate them according to how often you should never eat there.
Asian Buffet: "Bucket-o-nasty"
Asian buffets all have the same smell. You walk in the door and you're greeted by that musky, gross smell, but kind of get over it because you're overwhelmed by all the oriental decor... and the fish pond located near the hostess table.
Every Asian buffet is exactly the same.
Fact: There is a massive box of whole sale cabbage rotting in the back of every kitchen.
Fact: The chef chopping the beef for your favorite broccoli and beef concoction is smoking a cigarette and has not tapped off the half inch of ash dangling off the end of the butt.
Official Rating: Somewhere between eating heat lamp sushi and pouring orange chicken into your pockets for later.
American Buffet: "Take all twelve of your kids here after church"
Think Golden Corral. Think Hometown Buffet. This is the classic American experience. Hit up all the stations. Grab your salad. Pile on the chocolate pudding. Don't forget to get three too many buttery rolls. Get stuck in line waiting for more pepperoni pizza. Kids are running around and parents don't care. This is their time to relax. I loved places like this growing up... until I saw a kid literally lick the soft serve ice cream nossel clean... then I wanted to die... and go home.
Official Rating: One star... out of about 514 stars. It's only acceptable to go here if you have twelve kids, want to relax and don't care about the cleanliness or quality of food.
Italian Buffet: "I don't exist because I'm better than China... and America"
I've never heard of an Italian all you can eat buffet. If I had, I like to imagine I'd be greeted by an attractive gentleman who has an incredibly enticing accent. Also, he is a mama's boy. Also he knows how to cook. Also, he lives in the Italian countryside. The food at this place is so delicious they literally have to wheel you out of the restaurant in a wheel barrow. You've had your fair share of red wine and homemade ravioli and you're being carried out by the man of your dreams. (If you're a guy, you can just replace my "attractive gentleman" with a nice Italian girl who is strong enough to carry you out to your car.... but she probably has a unibrow... sorry.)
Official Rating: Too good to be true... so it's not.