Tell me about Golden Corral

bcla

On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
I know what it is, but I've never actually been to one. The big chain around here used to be Hometown Buffet, but one by one (along with sudden mass closures) . Hometown Buffet was operated by the same company as Old Country Buffet, and they used a variety of different brands. I remember seeing a pamphlet at one showing different locations/names within the same company. There are still (barely) a few left, but only in scattered locations.

The main buffets around here are often the iffy Asian buffets, although there are some upscale ones too. And those have issues staying open.

We're going to watch a drive-in movie and the theater is in the same town as the only (current) Golden Corral in the San Francisco Bay Area. I know there are differing views on the quality (I did a search on DIS), and there's no accounting for the differences in location. This one was previously a Hometown Buffet. Their weekend holiday prime rib sounds pretty interesting although I'm not sure how good it is.
 

Jimmy Mouse

My other car is the Monorail
Joined
Sep 3, 2017
Golden Corral can be hit or miss depending on the location. The one in our town has rave reviews because the owner cares. It's always packed and the food is always good. The steak is not the best quality but I swear they have the best fried chicken I have ever had! They also have a good selection of vegetables and a really good salad bar. Best part is their desserts. The have a bakery so the cake is really good. Especially the carrot cake!
 

mnrose

Queen of all she surveys
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Haven't been in one in over a decade. But let's just say NEVER again. The food is NOT high quality. Steam table garbage. Just my view. And, not even all that cheap. In my area, I can do better for freshly made items at other restaurants. I do not get why people go there.
 
  • luvsJack

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2007
    I have been to two different ones. One of the two, more than once.

    The one I have been to more than once is about an hour south and “on the way” to several of dd’s Choir competitions and concerts so that’s where the choir would stop. That one is pretty good. I don’t get the steak and the fried shrimp is basically frozen battered shrimp. But anything they actually make like the fried chicken, meatloaf, stew, etc is pretty good.

    The one I have only been to once is here in town. And I only went the once and it was terrible! Everything was bland or over cooked. It could possibly be better now, that was when it first opened but we haven’t had the urge to go again to be honest.

    If you have ever been to a Ryan’s, it’s about the same. I mean there is only so many different things you can put on a buffet. They do have a lot of options. And their salad bars are good.

    Desserts look a whole lot better than they are. Kids like the chocolate fountain and the cotton candy.
     

    SG131

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2017
    I’ve been to the one in my town twice once it was kind of ok the other time the food was horrible. Both times the steak was not good, so I wouldn’t go hoping to get prime rib. If you liked the hometown buffet though it might be worth giving it a try just to see if you enjoy it.
     

    PrincessShmoo

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009
    Golden Corral can be hit or miss depending on the location.
    I agree. I've been to 3 different ones. One - it was dirty (well, messy, and not cleaned up spills on the floor) and the food was really greasy.

    #2 been to twice, much cleaner, and better organized. Food was pretty basic, but good.

    #3 only been once, but it was spectacular. Not crowded; pleasant, eager to please employees, and the food was wonderfully tasty.
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    The good (non-Asian) buffets around here are really the tribal casino buffets. When I worked a short-term contract job in the Sacramento, I'd head out to Red Hawk Casino (near Placerville) maybe once a week for their $9.99 (with players card) dinner buffet. That was really good and they even had a wood-fired grill for their beef (tri-tip on weeknights). $12.99 on Sunday nights included prime-rib. That was everything (they didn't charge sales tax as a tribal property) and it included beverages.

    However, I'm just looking for something different. I also don't know what to expect in terms of management since they're few and far between around here.
     
  • Jimmy Mouse

    My other car is the Monorail
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    The good (non-Asian) buffets around here are really the tribal casino buffets. When I worked a short-term contract job in the Sacramento, I'd head out to Red Hawk Casino (near Placerville) maybe once a week for their $9.99 (with players card) dinner buffet. That was really good and they even had a wood-fired grill for their beef (tri-tip on weeknights). $12.99 on Sunday nights included prime-rib. That was everything (they didn't charge sales tax as a tribal property) and it included beverages.

    However, I'm just looking for something different. I also don't know what to expect in terms of management since they're few and far between around here.
    Just give it a try! Worse case you never go back. Best case you love it. Just like a lot of Disney restaurants, same place can be good or bad depending on the day you go.
     

    RedAngie

    80's New Wave Girl
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2015
    Haven't been in one in over a decade. But let's just say NEVER again. The food is NOT high quality. Steam table garbage. Just my view. And, not even all that cheap. In my area, I can do better for freshly made items at other restaurants. I do not get why people go there.
    It's relatively cheap and you can stuff your face. For some, that's the draw, no matter how low quality the food is.
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    It's relatively cheap and you can stuff your face. For some, that's the draw, no matter how low quality the food is.
    If it's low quality I figure we haven't spent too much and I'll just take it easy. At my advanced age I can't quite tackle a buffet like I used to in my 20s/30s.

    Now, I remember paying a steep price for some fancy Thanksgiving buffet and I tried to get my money's worth only to regret it the next day. But the food was quite good.
     

    MarcIsMe

    Not the Grand Poobah
    Joined
    Nov 30, 2017
    Agree on hit or miss. Quality of food is like many cafeterias. The one in our town used to be decent because owner was on site and kept food fresh and seasoned well. He sold it to run one closer to where he lived and the new owners ran it out of business within 3 months.
     
  • zoo2tycoon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2012
    Dislike intensely. Feeding trough of dirty people who take dirty plates (reuse) plates. Sharing serving utensils with people who probably don’t wash hands. People not using utensils (think hands). Saw a child drop a serving spoon on the floor, pick up and put back thinking nobody saw—about 13 or so (more than old enough to know better). As soon as she left I got up and took spoon to server explaining what happened and they cared less ( no not my kid I have boys and they know better). My in-laws always wanted to go there but finally decided they don’t want to- thankfully we have not been in 15 years at least but never ever again!

    Been to 3 locations in my state and similar clientele at all - I just think dirty for buffets. I know not all are but not a favorite.

    My experience but you might have a good one!
     

    sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    Why not check out the specific restaurant you want to know about on TripAdvisor? What the Golden Corral is like in Naples, Fl has little to do with the one in you want to go to in California.
     
    Joined
    Dec 16, 2004
    I hadn't thrown up in 17 years. We ate at GC. Later that day, I became very sick and my 17 years streak was broken. I think it might have been a coincidence, but you know how that goes. Even if there is no correlation, I can't bring myself to go back. My new streak was 10 years, and now I'm finishing year four of my current streak.
     

    Klayfish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2016
    I like them. Just went to one last week. I love buffets, so the style draws me. Is it 4 star top not food? No, but then again if you're looking for that for $10 or whatever it is they charge, you need to re-examine your expectations. It's fine food, on par with any WDW QS, or most fast food places.

    I've worked for an insurance company who wrote a very large book of business with Golden Corral, so I've seen "behind the scenes". Yeah, there are bad things I've seen, but they happen at high dollar restaurants too. Nothing scary really jumped out at me.
     

    ronandannette

    I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!
    Joined
    May 4, 2006
    It's relatively cheap and you can stuff your face. For some, that's the draw, no matter how low quality the food is.
    Ever been to Captain Kidd’s across from DLR? When the food is so bad even the cheapskates don’t go back for seconds, you know something’s really, really wrong. :rotfl2:
     

    Julie's Haircut

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2015
    The cold items are generally OK but the hot food is close to dismal. We ate there once about 10 years ago when a local one opened but haven't been back since.
     

    RamblingMad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2019
    It’s flu season. I don’t recommend going to buffets until it’s over.

    As for GC it’s not that good.
     


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