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Golden Corral’s spacious buffet area with its multiple food islands allow many people to load their plates at the same time without getting in one another’s way.

 

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Remember that as you head up to the buffet station at the new Golden Corral at 211 W. Prien Lake Road.

We're talking about eating mega-quantities of the restaurant's delicious food. Knowing you can pay one price and eat as much as you want can affect perfectly rational people in strange ways. It's easy to overindulge. I know because I did exactly that on a recent visit.

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My plate: Fried shrimp, fried okra, fried chicken, spinach, broccoli and a biscuit. Dessert came later.

Take the fried chicken (which I did). I had already loaded my plate at the buffet when I saw people standing in line before a gigantic empty bowl. That's when a man came out of the kitchen with a huge platter of freshly fried chicken and began loading up the bowl.

"Y'all better get some fast. It goes quick," he said.

And so we all did. It was like being at a Black Friday sale. I wasn't about to miss out on something everyone was wanting so badly. Did I need that chicken in addition to everything else on my plate? No. Did I eat it? Yes. Was it good? It was. And I was quite full after eating it.

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My husband’s plate: A mini burger from the build-a-burger station, chicken tenders, cheese grits, French-fried potatoes and fried fish.

But of course, that wasn't enough. While I was checking out the buffet I had seen some pretty decadent-looking brownies over by the chocolate dipping fountain that I couldn't stop thinking about. I went back up and got one, and while I was at it, I added a piece of fudge and a chocolate chip cookie to my plate, too. Same thing. Didn't need it. Ate it all anyway, and yes, it was good.

So, my advice is to keep your head about you going in. Don't succumb to the desire to eat everything in sight. Remember, Golden Corral isn't leaving town. You can always visit another day and do it again.

Do be aware that Golden Corral is quite the hot spot right now. My husband and I had attempted to eat here once before, but a long line of people was spilling outside the building so we didn't stay.

The line was still out the door when we went for lunch Friday, but we decided to go in anyway. For the record, the line moves quickly. We were in and out in an hour so don't let the line scare you away.

If you've never been, here's how it works: There are two doors to get in. Go in the one closest to Interstate I-210. If you go in the one closest to W. Prien Lake Road, you'll mess up the flow of the line if there are a lot of people.

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Golden Corral now open at 211 W. Prien Lake Road.

Next, you'll order, pay and find a seat. Your drinks will be brought to your table. Then it's time to head to the massive buffet, where lots of good food awaits.

Golden Corral has put quite a bit of thought into their buffet pricing. How much you pay depends on whether it's breakfast (available only on weekends), lunch or dinner and how old you are. The adult lunch buffet costs $8.99. Seniors 60 and older get an 80-cent discount. Kids 3 and under eat free. Things cost slightly more at night.

If seniors really want to be thrifty, they can go 2-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and hit the senior early bird special and pay only $7.79. Teens, and kids 4-8 and 9-12 have their own pricing, too. It sounds complicated but a big sign over the counter where orders are placed spells it all out.

So go and enjoy yourself in moderation — if you are able.

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