How To Fill up a Buffet Plate

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

There is always a trick to everything, including how to fill your plate at a buffet. Gaze at the foods there, find out what you like and where it is placed on the buffet, and keep the desert for last, even though it looks the best.;)

Work in reverse. Smart buffet operators position the cheapest stuff (bread, pasta salad, last week's lettuce) at the front of the table so you'll fill up on it. That's why savvy chowhounds start loading from the back end.
Keep a low center of gravity. Remember your high school physics: Torque equals force times distance from the fulcrum - in this case, the plate center. Start by laying down a ballast of solid meat in the middle to prevent tipping. Reserve the outer rim for lighter fare.
Think vertically. Diners squander valuable real estate by spreading salad alongside the entree. Get over your irrational feelings about different foods touching - it goes on top.
Stick to flat or malleable foods. When stacked, meatballs and baked spuds behave like ball bearings. This can result in an embarrassing demo of kinetics. That's why God created Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes.
Flood-control your sauces. Gravies are prone to sloshing, so ladle the stuff behind a mashed-potato levee - and hope it holds. You can also create a mashed-potato volcano, creating bowl of gravy that doesn't run into your other selections.
Pocket the bread. Duh! That's what cargo pants are for.

* If you are trying to lose weight, you will probably want to avoid buffets.
* If you get stuck having to go to one as part of a lunch date or other obligation where you need to impress, do exactly the opposite of what is listed above.

* Keep in mind that the last step, "pocket the bread" is meant in terms of your convenience in minimizing trips between the table and the buffet. While it's unlikely that anything bad will happen if you take bread home with you, it may appear greedy and rude if you are in polite company.


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