Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Sunday, September 5, 2004


The San Jose Mercury New has a great article about Asian buffet restaurants. Some choice bits:

While much of Silicon Valley’s restaurant business remains flat, all-you-can-eat is making a comeback. But it isn’t the Midwestern farmhands’ smorgasbord that was popular 40 years ago.

Now, diners are lining up for unlimited sushi, Korean barbecued ribs and Chinese steamed mussels at a growing number of all-you-can-eat Asian buffets in the South Bay.

Three months ago, the former Marie Callender’s on San Jose’s Winchester Boulevard became Crazy Buffet. Some of the pie-plate knickknacks remain, like artifacts of a bygone era, but now five rows of buffet tables groan with tuna rolls, fresh shrimp and pot stickers, 150 items in all.

With 180 items, the more glitzy Super Buffet, which opened about the same time near the Garden City Casino on Saratoga Avenue, claims to be the largest all-you-can-eat buffet in the Bay Area.

“This food is as American as pizza and hamburgers,” said Larry Moskowitz, vice president of strategic marketing services for New York-based Kang and Lee, the largest ad agency specializing in the Asian-American market.

How do today’s all-you-can-eat buffets make money? Volume, of course, and drinks, and customers like Almaden Valley resident Tania Nordby, who eats at another of the new buffets, the Sushi Factory, three times a week.

“If it’s just me, I probably don’t get my money’s worth, but when I bring my 15-year-old son, he eats enough for both of us,” said Nordby.

Zach Crawford, a 30-year-old print shop manager, also dines at the Sushi Factory two or three times a week.

“I weigh 390 pounds, and this is the only sushi place I’ve ever left full,” said Crawford.

With sake, Crawford’s dinner tab usually runs about $30 — far less than he’d spend at a traditional sushi restaurant for the same amount of food.

It’s gold I tell you! Gold!

posted by neil at 11:27 pm
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