Old Country Buffet Review

OCB

Well, the time has finally come, our first official buffet review is in the books.  The Buffet Men battled through their hangovers to venture to the Old Country Buffet located at the Meadow Glen Mall in Medford.  Each Buffet Man will write an individual review and a score out 5 possible forks.  We take into account several factors when evaluating a buffet but write our review based on three categories- Food Quality, Atmosphere, and Value. The reviews will be compiled here and scores averaged out to give a final score. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the review!


Bob’s Review:

Food Quality

If you’re looking for great variety you have come to the right place, unfortunately it comes at the cost of low quality food.  Some of the highlights include the orange chicken and chocolate pudding.  An ICEE machine was a nice touch in the beverage selection.  I tried to get a taste of as many items as possible but there really wasn’t anything that gave me the temptation to go back for seconds.  I wouldn’t say that any of the food I tried was actually disgusting but it certainly wasn’t good either, everything was just “blah”.

Atmosphere

Atmosphere

View from our table

This was my first experience with Old Country Buffet and there is not many positive things to be said of the atmosphere.  My first impression was that I was in a nursing home dining hall.  Located inside the depressing Meadow Glen Mall, the restaurant looks as if they built it in the early 80’s and have not made any renovations since.  It would also appear that they are still using the same cheap plates and silverware as the day they opened.  The silver lining in this is that the very diverse Sunday afternoon crowd makes for some great people watching.

Value

The price we paid is not represented in the quality of the food.  I spit out my coffee and I wasn’t even drinking any when the guy at the register told me the total came to $15.  We were charged the dinner rate even though we were there at noon and were also charged a $2.50 beverage charge.  They offer special times and days where you can enjoy the all you can eat experience for as little as $5.99, this seems much more in the price I would expect to pay for their food.

Overall Experience: 1.5 Forks

All in all, I do not think that I will ever be returning to the Old Country Buffet in my lifetime.  The food sat like a brick in my stomach and I left unsatisfied with the newfound urge to lay down the rest of the day.  Overall, I believe there are a lot of better ways that I could have spent $15 on a Sunday afternoon.


Rocket’s review:

Food Quality

When I first laid eyes on the buffet display, I was grossed out. Nothing looked appealing and it smelled similar to a hospital/nursing home. Granted our entire group was rocking a hangover, but nobody was really excited to try anything. A good buffet should have one or two items that immediately grab your attention and make you think to yourself… “I have to try that”. The pizza looked worse than the Central Elementary School lunch lady’s pizza- yeah that bad.

After looking at the food and regretting coming to this establishment, I saw the ICEE machine. Slurpees are awesome and they had 3 flavors- Cherry, Coke and Blue Raspberry. I’m a blue raspberry guy so naturally I was delighted. To be honest, I was not in buffet shape, I had eaten McDonald’s the night before, and as we all know, a late night McD’s trip is not the best pregame to an all you can eat buffet. Overall, the food was nothing to write home about but it was edible.

Atmosphere

The scene of people eating at the restaurant is really hard to describe but to summarize it was pretty much a special education classroom mixed with a nursing home dining hall and had some foreigners thrown in. The Buffet Men are open to all lifestyles so we did not judge and assumed everyone was there to enjoy the buffet. The Christmas music playing provided great background music. The staff was very friendly and nice.

Value

Not good, overpriced given the low quality of food. Nothing was memorable. First off, a drink is not included in the price of admission. Who goes to a buffet and doesn’t get a drink? Exactly.

The dessert station was the only good thing, but there are better options out there to pursue. Personally, for $15 I would rather eat at the Target food court. This place was definitely not worth the price of admission. The meat carving station was not even staffed.

Overall Experience: 1 Fork

This place sucks, it’s in the poorest mall in America- The Meadow Glen Mall in Medford, MA. The price was $15, way too much for a sub par buffet. I know for a fact I will not be eating here again and I suggest you take my advice and do the same. If we were rating our regret of eating here, mine would be 5 forks.


Nemes’s Review:

Food Quality

I will start with the good, the chocolate pudding.

All smiles from the Buffet Men

All smiles from the Buffet Men

Now for the bad-everything else. The best way to put it is that the food was edible and I ate it because I was hungry. When I saw the mashed potatoes, gravy, and fried chicken I immediately went for that because I feel that those are three foods that are hard to do wrong. Boy was I wrong. The gravy tasted as if it was sitting there since July 4th.

I next went for the mac and cheese, orange chicken, French fries, and chicken fried steak. The mac and cheese wasn’t horrible but I am pretty sure they took the nacho cheese from the taco station and poured it on some overcooked noodles. The orange chicken was edible and the breading was nice so if you really need to eat at OCB the orange chicken is the route I would go for sustenance. The French fries had zero seasoning and were not crispy. I am pretty sure they had been sitting out there for well over a week. The chicken fried steak was a breaded hamburger that I believe was defrosted this morning and cooked for 2 minutes in the microwave on high.

Now to the dessert, in my mind it is hard to do desert wrong and that is the case with OCB. Disclaimer: I am a huge pudding guy so I loved it. The soft serve ice cream was good but it’s hard to fuck up sugar and water.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere was sad, the fact that people look forward to going to OCB on Sundays is the most depressing thing I’ve experienced in a while. I am certain there were people eating with poop in their pants and I am sure that fellow buffet man Russell will elaborate on that.

I am a huge people watcher so the entertainment factor here is worth at least half a fork.

As for the décor, it is in need of a major update. Just because it is in the poorest mall in America doesn’t mean it needs to look like the poorest buffet in America. The carpets are in need of an update and it wouldn’t kill them to get some lighting in there to bring the energy in the place up. If you are going to go you need to go with friends so you have someone to talk to otherwise the atmosphere can really be a downer due to the depressing clientele and the overall lack of energy in the buffet at all times.

Value

$15 is a hell of a lot to pay for the buffet. And in all honesty it is probably driving away lots of business. Based on the clientele if they lowered the price to $10 they would bring in a lot more business. But that is not the point, the food itself is what sets the price point and this food does not warrant a $15 price. The worst part is that the drink is not built into the buffet order, they charge an extra $2.50 for the drink. I ate my fill but I felt horrible after and did not feel that I ate $15 worth of food.

Overall Experience: 1 Fork

Overall I give it 1 fork, this fork is based on the quality of the pudding and the people watching capabilities. If you don’t go at peak hours you will not get the people watching so you need to take that into account. Other than that I have nothing else nice to say so I won’t say anything at all.


Russell’s Review:

Food Quality

I’m going to start with the disclaimer that I was about as hungover as humanly possible. I believed for most of the morning that my life was coming to an end. Had it ended I would never have made it to Old Country Buffet which would have been a blessing. The food looked about as unappealing as you could possibly imagine. However being a professional I put together a small plate. The Orange Chicken (at least thats how it was labeled) was solid. Other than that everything else grossed me out. The layout reminds you of a hospital cafeteria. However the hospital cafeteria most likely has better food.

Atmosphere

So within minutes of walking into the buffet you realize the clientele that Old Country Buffet attracts. Full care Nursing Home patients are high on that list. The group of people a few tables over was legit people that have lost all motor function. The smell emanating from that group was unbearable. I started taking different paths to get to the food because it wasnt worth walking past them. The Old Country Buffet that we went to was located in the Meadow Glen Mall. Its a rather depressing location and doesn’t look like its ever seen a renovation. As a positive it was nice that they played some christmas tunes as light background music.

Value

At Old Country Buffet you pay before you you really get to see a lot of the food. Basically its a trap. Im pretty sure we got hosed on the price considering our receipt said dinner buffet even though we were there before noon. The next question they ask you at the front is if you would also like a drink. Which is an extra $2.50 .Who the hell is gonna go to a buffet and skip out on the drink? It’s an absurd pricing policy. The total bill came to 15 and change. Just an outrageous price for the food quality. There was a carving station set up which was something that i would have loved to take advantage of. However there wasn’t someone at the station so it was either start carving my own food which I’m sure would have been frowned or just not get any. I decided the ham wasn’t worth getting kicked out of Old Country Buffet for.

Overall Experience: 1 Fork

Way overpriced. Bad food. I loved the people that were around us. Gave me some great laughs just taking in all the other tables and thinking that these people go to Old Country Buffet with some regularity. I can sum this up quick. I would never return to Old Country Buffet under my own free will. I hope if I’m ever a vegetable I’m not put into of the homes that frequents the establishment for their day trips. I’ll give this place 1 fork, just based on how much I laughed at the other tables and their pudding shooters also deserve a shout out as they were quite good. But if you fuck up pudding you have bigger issues on your hands.


Lopz’s Review:

Food Quality

I came into this experience with a massive hangover. Since it was my birthday the night before, I was being fed shot after shot. My plan of attack was to go straight to the fried foods thinking that it would be tough to fuck up fried foods, but I greatly underestimated how bad OCB could be. The fried chicken was bad. I made the rookie mistake of observing the chicken before I ate it and it looked like the chicken had a tumor. The fries were not crispy at all, had no salt. The mashed potatoes were alright I guess, but I mean they’re mashed potatoes whatever. The pizza stunk, the meat sauce stunk, everything stunk.

Dessert wasn’t as torturous as the actual dinner. They had a fudge cake that looked like it wasn’t cooked at all but it was fine. The donuts were donuts. The pudding was pudding. I tried this lemon scone thing and it was really horrible. Overall really bad food. Like worse than hospital cafeteria type food. My hangover was 100% worse after eating which doesn’t usually happen. They didn’t even have gatorade or powerade fuck that.

The donuts were donuts

-Michael LoPilato

Atmosphere

Front ViewCrazy atmosphere. So many weird people there. We had kids just throwing food on the ground, probably doing it purposely because their parents brought them to this place of all places. Why would anyone ever wake up on a Sunday and say “lets go to old country buffet”? I don’t get it. Of course we were there doing Gods work and bringing you the best reviews for buffets so we had an excuse. No other person has an excuse. There were a lot of old people eating their shitty turkey dinner with looks of total depression on their faces. I tried to get some kielbasa but there was a fat lady just standing in front of it staring out into space. I had no idea what was going on so I just walked away. Of course we had some good laughs, mostly at other peoples expenses so it wasn’t totally unenjoyable.

Value

Horrible value. You’re basically paying $15 to eat shit. I think a homeless person would probably go without food before going to eat this crap. I unknowingly tried to steal a coupon booklet, I thought it was free but it was 5 dollars. The dude didn’t let me take it but he said there were a lot of good deals so you guys can keep that in mind I guess.

Overall Experience: 0.5 Forks

I give it half a fork. Just one half of a fork because it at least had food. I’d give a buffet zero forks if I walked in and there was nothing to eat. So OCB has that going for them at least.


Dan’s Review:

Food Quality

I’m not going to beat around the bush here; the food was horrific.   I left an all you can eat buffet hungry because I refused to eat any more of the food.  As I searched for my meal I noticed that there was a large variety of food.  Nothing looked appetizing.  I spot the pizza and thought that was a safe choice.  I step up to the pizza, conveniently located next to what was only described as “fish” on an upside down magnet, and notice the pizza is just resting on the counter.  No pan.  No plate.  Just counter.  The pizza was worse than what you buy in the frozen section at the grocery store.  There was a good half an inch of dough with very little sauce and very little cheese.  I might have well been eating just a piece of bread.

Next I grab some mac and cheese and some orange chicken.  I stare down at the mac and cheese and the best word to describe it was crusty.  A thick layer of dried up, burnt cheese was coated over the top of the macaroni like it had been sitting there since ‘nam.  I was starving and had to eat so in order to convince myself that the mac and cheese was edible I had to stir it around to disguise the coating and in doing so the mac and cheese turned out to be more like a soup.

There was a carving station that had roast beast, turkey, and ham.  Each bite of the ham was even more nauseating than the first.

The orange chicken…not bad.  It was the only thing I was able to get a second helping of.  As for everything else, the first bite I took was disgusting and I took a second bite just to give the dish a fair chance; a second bite that I always regretted.  I look over at Russell and see that he is raising his forkfuls high and carefully inspected every bite he is about to take.  I see Lopes stirring a dessert substance that can only be described as chocolate diarrhea.  This is the moment I gave up on eating any more at this god-awful place and could not wait to go home and eat something else.

Atmosphere

The one good thing I have to say about the atmosphere is that everyone who was there seemed to really enjoy being there.  I do not know how.  After walking around a few laps there were areas of the restaurant I learned to avoid.  I love seafood but the stench that was wafting around the “fish” area lingers with you long after you leave has the same effect as ipecac.

The bathrooms were revolting.  As I walk in there are ear-piercing screams coming from a toddler as his dad is trying to wash his hands.  I later found out that this is because there was no hot water and the water that came out was straight from the arctic.  The floors were soaked and slippery.  The urinal and one toilet were out of order with trash bags covering them and the one stall that was left had a lock that barely worked.  There was a sign on the door leaving the bathroom that listed all of the restaurants that are owned by the same company as old country buffet.  I made a mental note to never go to those.

Value

For an all you can eat buffet the price appears to be reasonable,  $15.49 but after taking the next few steps I quickly realized that this was well over priced.  Looking at the receipt time-stamped 11:59 AM we were charged for a dinner price.  I did not eat enough food to warrant that price, as the food was not edible nor is dinner ever served in the AM.  To top it all of there was a surcharge for a drink although there were very limited options.  I beamed it for the drinks, as it was a hungover Sunday I prayed for Gatorade. No go.  I thought there would be juice.  No go.  Water? From the tap, and based on the aura of the restaurant, I wouldn’t trust it.

Overall Experience: 0.5 Forks

I can easily say that this was the worst restaurant I have ever been in leading me to give the Old Country Buffet of Medford ½ Fork.


Final Verdict: 1 Fork

Forks (1:5)

Thats all folks, an average of just under 1 measly Fork.  The only way to go is up from here so be sure to stay tuned.  Please be sure to vote and decide where we head to next week, polls close Wednesday night.

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