Best Of 2006

Most Surprisingly Good Buffet: Golden Corral

Most of us go to buffets to, let’s face it, gorge. No matter how much we lecture ourselves not to overindulge, we still do. And most of the time, it’s not because the food is good; we just get caught up in this get-your-money’s-worth frenzy of gluttonous shoveling. Same goes for Golden Corral, but the big difference with this down-home place is that it’s the food that actually keeps pulling us back to the line. The restaurant serves the usual hearty American standards — meatloaf, pot roast, burgers, all kinds of chicken, ribs, pulled pork, along with potatoes, vegetables and other basics — and it’s all uniformly good in that no-frills, home-cookin’ kind of way. Really, surprisingly, good. Oh, and don’t forget this, which may be easier said than done: Leave room for dessert. Various area locations, www.goldencorral.net.