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TheGoldenChow t1_jdtnt92 wrote

Finally, a question for my undervalued expertise!

Long time Pondo fan here. I'm not sure that's something to be admitting out loud these days, but one of my first jobs was at one and back then it was a decent place to grab an average steak and buffet. It has retained a soft spot in my Midwestern heart ever since.

It has changed through the years but there has been a drastic and unfortunate downturn in the already mediocre quality ever since the pandemic. We ate at the Butler location in December for the first time since covid hit and I doubt we'll go back. It wasn't a horror story or anything--the place was clean enough and they kept the food fresh--but the quality was just awful.

Most foods were bewilderingly bland. The buffet chicken wings, for example, were the most tasteless wings we have ever eaten. The desserts were the same. My partner's go to entree, the sirloin tips, used to come in with a decent amount of sirloin tip chunks, lots of onion slices and whole sauteed mushrooms. This time it was a far smaller amount of lesser quality meat with just a few onion slivers and sliced mushroom bits.

So no, it isn't a death trap or health hazard, but just a huge letdown. It's like having a craving for grandma's homemade mashed potatoes you remember from your childhood and ending up with Aldi instant potato flakes made with tap water.


44problems t1_jdv7dt1 wrote

I feel this any time I try a chain that I have some fond memories of from the 90s. The food is mediocre, the service inadequate, the prices are high.


sr214 t1_jdx3m92 wrote

Our taste buds grow up.


44problems t1_jdxb1x4 wrote

I do wonder that for Long John Silver's. I used to love their food when I was younger. Now it just tastes like oil, no matter whether I'm eating fish, chicken, fries, or shrimp.

Though so many have closed, maybe it's not my personal taste but everyone's tastes that have moved on.


Substantial_Name595 OP t1_jdvnhhd wrote

Holy CRAP this is a let down, but thank you for the information, I won’t be wasting my time. Texas De Brazil or Grand Concourse will do for a buffet 😂


CARLEtheCamry t1_jdvogan wrote

> Grand Concourse

Will underwhelm as well (went for the first time last year). Just my opinion but there have been previous posts about it and this sub generally agrees with the sentiment.

Go with Texas De Brazil. I'm going to check out Fogo de Chao next month.


Substantial_Name595 OP t1_jdxb1q5 wrote

I’m surprised the GC underwhelmed, especially at $42 per person!

Texas De Brazil is def the pick, and Fogo De Chao is excellent!


margeryofyork t1_jdya8xw wrote

Fogo de chao was delicious. We went during restaurant week and it didn’t disappoint


IClight69 t1_jdzo5my wrote

Concourse is so gnarly. Rad setting but def massive dumps of garnished out of temp hospital food.


SnooDonuts4137 t1_jdw0g00 wrote

I share your sentiment. Whenever I visit a chain restaurant that used to be fantastic, I'm always disappointed with the quality. I used to think that it was due to my age and not realizing how subpar the food was when I was younger. However, I now believe that the pandemic and the passage of time have undoubtedly diminished the quality of food in restaurants overall. Additionally, I don't think it was ever as excellent as I remember because, at the age of 12, I didn't have any point of comparison to compare it against a genuinely great restaurant.


cmatthews11 t1_jdwo2i6 wrote

It was my first W2 job in the late 90s early 00s, and as much as I have horror stories from working there, I did always enjoy the food. That said, haven't eaten at any of them since I quit in high school.