I just got back from Old Country Buffet (“OLC”) in Watertown, Massachusetts and was not impressed. Normally I avoided OLC because of not-so-positive reports about the place from friends and online reviews, but my girlfriend and I got positive recommendation from her brother and sister-in-law who normally dine at upscale restaurants, so I figured if they’re raving about it, let’s check it out.
While the experience was not entirely unpleasant – it was underwhelming – it’s not one I’d be in a hurry to repeat. I wasn’t expecting Las Vegas buffet quality, but for $11.00 for one adult, the place is what it is. The dining area was designed for a "mass feeder" concept – we were all packed into the dining area with just enough space between tables to be –comfortable, i.e. not intruding on the other tables. The service was bare bones – you have to get everything for yourself – the staff were merely bussers who promptly cleared your table.
For me, the only highlight was the fried chicken, which in my opinion was close to being on par with Bob the Chefs’ “Glorifried Chicken.” The mac & cheese was too watery; the spinach soufflé too salty; from the carving station I had roast beef and turkey that I found to be moist, but it was borderline between moist/dry; the tops of dinner rolls appeared to be drowning in a butter wash, the stuffing appeared to have been made from torn not cubed pieces of bread that seemed to have been clumped together (in fact, parts of the stuffing had the crust attached); and finally the cube of cheesecake I had for dessert was too soft.
Would I go back? No. The overall food quality was mediocre and only one saving grace, i.e. the chicken, doesn’t justify a return trip.