Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Fenton, Mo.
Culver’s is a predominately Midwestern chain. It started as a single restaurant in Sauk City Wisconsin in the mid-80’s. It’s expansion was slow at first, but it now claims over 400 locations reaching to Texas and Arizona. Sorry Maryland, there’s no plan to head that direction anytime soon, you're stuck with your puny crab shacks.
The Place:
It’s a burger/sandwich/ice cream affair similar in offerings, but bigger and a tiny bit more upscale than Ginny’s and Rich’s (recently reviewed).
This was Angel’s choice. She was certain we, or at least she, had been there before, I certainly couldn’t recall it. At least not this location, I seldom go past Gravois Bluffs on Highway 141, there’s just no need to. This place was almost in Valley Park, a neighboring town which I only hear about from news reports about spring flooding. Nearly every Fenton restaurant we’ve reviewed is located in or around the enormous (1.5 million square feet) shopping area. 
The first thing I noticed as we pulled into the parking lot was that it was right next door to a Burger King. The second thing I noticed was that the drive-thru and lot for the BK was nearly empty, whereas Culvers was packed. Nearly every space was taken, and inside the tables were at least 90% occupied.
I’d previewed the menu and didn’t need a lot of time to make up my mind. When I told Adam what I was going to get, he exclaimed ‘aww, shoot!’ in reply, meaning he had initially chosen the same thing. In the spirit of accommodating you, the fans, he decided on something else instead so we wouldn’t be reporting on just a single offering.
The overhead menu was expansive, it also sported the chain’s iconic blue and white theme. Most of the stores are white with a blue roof and the walls inside are white with blue trim. There were a few posters and signs used for modest decoration on the walls, mostly touting Wisconsin in one way or another. Even when Wisconsin does blow it’s horn, it’s really not all that loud.

The Food:
 I ordered the Bacon Deluxe Butter Burger combo, with crinkle fries. Adam opted for the Buffalo Chicken Wings and fries, and Angel went for the Prime Rib Dip sandwich plus fries. We were handed our plastic number tag and drink cups. We filled ‘em with tea, sweet tea and Pepsi. Next to the tea dispenser was a covered condiment tub containing lemon wedges, I partook, but only because it was covered. I’ve heard somewhere that exposed lemons in eateries are magnets for diseases and bacteria, maybe even deadly ones. Why take a chance?
We found a booth and settled in. The place was crawling, but mostly with families. Unlike the more famous burger chains, there were not any loose bands of teenagers milling about, the patronage here was more mature and responsible. This was punctuated by the single flat screen TV tuned to CNN.
One non-Vietnamese lady struggled to find room to situate her brood of kids, five preteen Vietnamese girls. Non-Vietnamese dad helped as well by staying out of the way,  in the shadows, until they were all situated. I don't blame him, getting involved with any of that would be like pushing the first domino in a crying, squealing chain.
A young man in company colors weaved carefully and respectfully between the tables, bussing and sweeping dutifully as he went. Abandoned tables turned over pretty quickly due to his efforts.
I sipped my lemon’d tea, I knew the tea would be fresh since the dispenser was replaced just before I got to it. Fresh indeed, but not all that flavorful.
Bacon Deluxe Burger
The food arrived in just a few minutes. Served in ‘baskets’. Actually they were served in cardboard trays folded to mimic the plastic baskets used in other burger places. The meals were complete and quite tasty looking. We dealt them out and dug in.
I know the trick of a ‘Buttery Burger’, it’s the bun. I do the same thing when I grill burgers at home. I butter the buns and toast them on the grill. It’s amazing how much better this make a simple burger. Oh yeah, we pronounce it ‘butt-ree’, ‘not butter-y’ because butt-ree sounds funnier.

 The cheese on mine was real cheddar, as advertised, Culver’s (from Wisconsin) is proud of their cheeses.
The crinkle fries were about a minute of frying short of where I would have taken them, but they at least weren’t starchy. I would have preferred more crunch. The burger included lettuce, tomato and red onion, and was constructed with a satisfying amount of each.
Adam looked baffled at his chicken nuggets. “That doesn’t look like buffalo.” He remarked. Indeed they didn’t. We first assumed that he had been given the standard chicken nuggets rather than the buffalo since buffalo chicken usually has a caramelized sticky sauce, these did not, just breading. He didn’t want to make a fuss so he said it didn’t really matter and started eating them. He did say later in that the breading was a little spicy, though not quite to the expected level. (Afterward I checked and found this on Culver’s web site: “The secret to our spicy Buffalo Chicken Tenders is in the seasoned breading”)
Prime Rib Dip
So if you are expecting Hooter’s-style messy chicken, you’ll probably be a little disappointed.
I asked Angel how she liked her Prime-dip, all I got was ‘Yum’ as she tore into it. Later she added that the meat was more flavorful than the Au Jus (gesundheit!) provided. "Saltier than a burger." She added. I tried a scrap, I agreed. It would have been too salty for me.
In all we were quite satisfied. Was it better than the neighboring Burger King? I’m not sure. Burger to burger, both are quite good. Culver’s has a significant upper hand though with the ice cream selections. Adam and Angel indulged, She ordered a root beer float, he, a ‘concrete mixer’ a thick shake infused with brownie or cookie crumbs. They seemed quite pleased with their choices.
Maybe I was expecting more, but that isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the meal. The burger was quite good, the fries could have used a little more attention. Adam was a bit disappointed with the lack of heat on his chicken. But there was nothing bad about any of it. The price was slightly higher, in all about four more bucks, than very similar fare at Ginny’s. The whole deal was still under $30. BK may have been a bit cheaper, but the ice cream offerings simply are not available there. This place was much, much more crowded and busy than the neighboring BK, so that should tell you something. Given the choice I’d certainly pick Culver’s between the two, but next to a Ginny’s? I’m not so sure.

Comments from some of my Facebook friends:

Tyler wrote: "The last time I went years ago they had a really good pork tenderloin sandwich."

 Michele wrote: "my favorite fast food!"

Kathy wrote: "Love their burgers, and fries, and onion rings....Jack likes their ice cream!"

Angel wrote: "You can be such an idiot!"

From the staff and management of Eat and Critique, Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Culver's on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Golden Corral

6110 S Lindbergh Blvd
St Louis, MO
Angel was hungry. She’d recently had a disappointing chicken meal at a McDonalds and was furious that her taste buds have become more refined over the last two years, since we started this quest. It used to be she’d just order something at McDonalds, eat it and not think much about it. No more. Now she actually tastes the slop and finds it wanting. It was Adam’s week to choose, Angel had hinted (which is allowed) Golden Corral, he went with it. So at the appointed time we saddled up (get it? Golden Corral - saddled up?) and made the drive to Lindbergh Ave. What with the stupid, recent time change it was still early, about 5:15 PM when we got there, but already dark. 
The Place:
This place is large and usually crowded. This night was no exception. Available parking was sporadic and limited, very, very busy.
We went in and stood in line behind a large group for several minutes before they told us they weren’t actually in line, they were still waiting for more people. So we went around, ordered our drinks, Tea, Diet Pepsi and something called ‘Pepsi Max’*, and paid $42.87 for the three buffets. There were actually two lines, each one about ten people deep, and at the end of the lines were poles with entry ropes keeping us from going into the hectic dining area. At the end of our line was a husky, purple-shirted lady with a 2-way radio. She called in on it what was needed, party of three or eight, etc. and eventually got a call back. She would then open up the rope and send the appropriate matching party through.
It reminded me of those Sci-Fi movies where the earth is being evacuated and the scared and tense families lean into the ropes waiting for their names to be called for the last escape pod out. One wrong move and you’ll end up with a stampede.
Also on hand was an off-duty deputy, just standing by. Yeah it was that busy, like an arena event.
It actually didn’t take very long. The floor crew seemed adept at turning over tables quickly. We were shuffled to a four-seater in the back. I opted for the side that looked toward the buffet line, which had the disadvantage of sitting partially in the aisle. Angel and Adam sat opposite. They got a punier view but more legroom without the risk of being tripped over. We didn’t sit, we just put down our tray and credentials and dived into the mass of trough grazers.
The Food:
I was not as hungry as Angel. I’d had a pulled pork sandwich and some cheese crackers for a rather late lunch. But that’s one of the nice things about a buffet, you can eat a little or a lot, same price. I decided to small-sample a wide variety. My first round I sampled, about a tablespoon each, meat loaf, fried shrimp, mashed potatoes, 1 sesame chicken chunk, three small strips of Bourbon St. Chicken, macaroni, linguine with scampi sauce, a fist-sized yeast roll, a cheese and garlic biscuit, a teaspoon of stuffing, and lo and behold, Italian Sausage and sauerkraut. Yes fans, finally some sauerkraut!
I had to struggle with the linguine, knowing almost immediately that I was going to have an issue with it. Pasta is simple, but fickle. It doesn’t sit very long very well. I could tell from the exercise of trying to fork out only a small portion that this batch was sticky, rubbery and had been left out too long. I headed back to the table with noodles dangling from my plate.
Angel and Adam were already digging in. Angel had waited in line for a medium steak. It was apparently worth the wait, she shared a piece with Adam. He agreed that it was really good. Her plate also contained more vegetables than mine. I don’t know why.
I tested the linguine, just as I had suspected, it was cold and reverting back to its natural, hard, rubbery state. That was too bad since I hadn’t been able to separate it much and it covered a significant portion of my plate. I piled it aside as best I could. The sesame chicken was sweet, but had a bit more heat than I was ready for. Okay, but only in small amounts. The Bourbon St. chicken was a hit. It had a subtle, smoky flavor and was charred on the edges, not too dry. The mashed potatoes were fine, but not very lumpy, the stuffing was pretty good, the shrimp was shrimp, the meat loaf was fine at first. The biscuit was too hard, the roll too soft.
“My mom loves the rolls here.” Angel said. I did not reply since I’ve never had a lot of success saying anything about her mom. She always takes it wrong.  In this case I would have, could have, said something about her mom being a truly wonderful lady, but not necessarily a reliable source of information as to what constitutes good food. I couldn’t think of a way to say that without it sounding like criticism. So I said nothing. I may have made a facial expression or a grunting noise, but not voluntarily. I got the harsh glare anyhow.
 The meatloaf was, as I said, good at first. When I got down to the bottom of it, I ran into a wall. A wall of burnt meat. Since I had plenty more to eat I just pushed the charred loaf into the growing landfill along with the pasta.
The kraut was fine, just like mom used to open a can and boil. They seemed to know the trick of drizzling a little sugar on it as well.
Adam and Angel finished quickly and made their second round. I poked through the little I had left and took notice of another family. Mom, dad, teenage daughter, and two younger girls, grade-school age. There was nothing unusual or freakish about the family itself, it was their food that grabbed my attention. The teen was pulling pink strands from a full stick of cotton candy. I shuddered at the thought of that much sugar.
I didn’t know how long they’d been there, how many nutritious rounds there may have been, but all I saw on the table were desserts. The little girls were sucking on chocolate ice cream cones, the dad was sitting behind a plated tart of some kind. Mom returned to the table with a plate full of strawberries, all chocolate covered from the Corral's much ballyhooed 'Chocolate Wonderfall' fountain. She passed those around to her flock of princesses. Dad seemed amused, I suppose since the dentist’s bill hadn’t arrived yet.
Over the course of the next half hour the girls had even more ice cream, more strawberries and a second round of cotton candy. Angel told me to stop judging them. Too late.
My first plate was about half full of tried and rejected samples, I really hadn’t eaten all that much. My second round consisted only of a small baked potato with toppings, and some more bourbon street chicken. Adam had picked up some of the sesame chicken, tasted it, thought about it and said “I think they used orange zest.” Which shocked Angel because she thought he'd said “I think it’s possessed.” After we finally straightened her out we settled into dessert choices. After watching the sugared up family I knew I didn’t want something that severe. Angel told me again to stop staring at them. The teen girl was picking her teeth with one of the strawberry’s skewers. How can you not watch that?
Between us we had brownies, fudge (not my choice) and primarily, for me, banana pudding. I had to mine for the pudding, there was so much whipped cream on it that I had to tunnel under it to get to the pudding part. I don’t care for whipped cream on food, though I hear, just hear mind you, that it’s not so bad on strippers.
The fudge was decent, but way too rich. The brownies, not bad at all.

          Sure, there were things that weren’t perfect, or even particularly well made. Don’t get the wrong idea though. The major selling point of a good buffet is that you can create your own meal. If tonight’s meatloaf wasn’t ideal, then just go for something else. If you get a bad meal at Golden Corral it’s ultimately your own fault. There’s plenty there to choose from, as big a variety as you’ll find anywhere on the planet. Angel couldn’t say enough about the steak, Adam loves the place in general, and I’ve never left hungry. On this night I deliberately sampled more than I was actually desired due to my ongoing effort to better inform you, the fans.  I strongly recommend that you sample first, then go in for the kill. Also be certain to overeat. It’s a buffet, there’s no reward or discount for being gastronomically frugal.  It is also possible to construct a balanced, nutritional meal that does not exceed whatever diet plan you may subscribe to. Yes, you theoretically can have a balanced meal there, not that there is any actual evidence that this has ever been attempted.
Strongly recommended!


*Pepsi Max. A Pepsi product that contains no sugar but contains twice the caffeine of regular Pepsi. When you just want a sodium-fueled, pulse-blasting buzz, but not the calories.

Golden Corral Restaurant and Buffet on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rich’s Frozen Custard & Diner

144 7th St
Hillsboro, MO 63050

My choice, we should have gone sooner being as it is one of the few eateries in Hillsboro. For most of that time I wasn’t aware of it at all, then, seeing the bold signage, assumed it was an ice cream joint. I only recently discovered that it was more. Much like Ginny’s from a few weeks ago, it serves frozen treats AND it makes burgers and sandwiches. 
It was a surprise to note that it was located on 7th street, I wasn’t aware that Hillsboro had that many streets, I’m still not convinced. I could see it from highway 21 though, so it didn’t really matter which street it was actually on.
The Place:
We think it used to be a hardware store. The building has two levels, the lower of which houses an auto parts place. We entered the upper level, and found ourselves in a bright, clean, high ceilinged dining area. There was much more room than the dozen or so tables took up, and with the high ceiling made it feel a little odd, like those enormous handicap-accessible stalls in public restrooms. It was very echo-y. On the walls were canvases with patterned paintings, a style with which I wasn’t familiar. The walls were painted, a blue and orange sherbet theme. The tile floor was white and the place lit up pretty bright.

The tables and chairs were mostly wood, in two or more styles and shades. There was one larger table surrounded by low-end metal chairs.
All the extra space in the room took away any notion of coziness, it felt more like a church basement than an eatery.
A large menu hung on the wall, two actually. One listed the frozen treats, the other, the meal offerings.  Behind the counter stood various ice cream machines and dispensers, out of sight was the grill. We read over the offerings and stepped up to order.  I called mine out first as Angel, ahead of me at the counter, had stalled out and was apparently changing her mind.
The Food:
I asked for the bacon-cheddar double burger, with fries and tea. Behind the lady at the counter was a tall dispenser bearing the name ‘Luzianne’. I was optimistic about this place already. Angel finally sorted herself out and asked for the special, a cod sandwich with fries and a Diet Coke. Adam chose the crispy chicken sandwich, fries, and a Coke. Our drinks were served in Styrofoam cups, I took this to mean that Rich’s was not a friend of the planet.
We took seats among the half dozen or so other patrons. Angel and Adam pulled out their cell phones. Angel was banking or checking emails and Adam was playing some sort of game. I took out my phone and slid my finger across the screen a few times, Adam told me to stop it.
You see I don’t have a touch screen on my phone, or any entertainment apps, or a data plan, it’s a telephone. I can and do take lousy pictures with it, but I’m not interested or heavily invested in mobile technology. I don’t even like talking on a phone.
The wait for the food was a bit longer than seemed necessary, though I didn’t actually time it. The tea was quite good though.
They finally brought it out, everything served in plastic baskets. The fries were crinkle-style, more points for that. There was no lettuce, tomato or onion on my burger, just the meat and melted cheese. I couldn’t recall if LTO were even an option. Standard mustard and ketchup bottles were already on the table. I shook up the mustard to avoid the musquirt. (That clear-ish liquid that comes out ahead of the mustard from a squeeze bottle. ‘Musquirt’ is an official sniglet.)  I did the same with the ketchup, even though there is no name for that.
The burger was rough edged, like at Ginny’s, indicative of having once been in a ball then flattened on the grill with a spatula. Angel’s cod turned out to be a standard-issue fish patty, square and slightly smaller than the bun. She assembled everything and finally bit in, I was getting anxious to deliver the comedy I’d been working on.
She seemed satisfied, so I asked her how it was. “Pretty good.” She said. I was ready, I made sure Adam was listening as well. In family comedy, timing is everything.

“So, can I have a taste of your cod-piece?” I delivered in a professional deadpan. Adam choked a snicker, she just looked at me like she does when she thinks I’ve said something hilarious and clever, though it’s the same look she gives me when I gravely disappoint her.
The fries were good, the burger was too, but a little on the dry side. A tomato slice would have made it better.
The buns became a matter of discussion. They were more dense and heavier than store-bought generic buns, I didn’t mind it at all but Angel wasn’t real happy about it. Part of the problem being that the bun was bigger than the fish. She even went so far as to blaspheme: “I prefer McDonalds’ fish sandwich.”
As for Adam’s Chicken: “It was good.”  I didn’t have a crowbar handy to pry out more detail, so that’s all he offered about the meal.
It didn’t take long to eat everything, at least for Angel and Adam. They were not encumbered with the task of taking notes, pictures and creating top-notch comedy on the fly. The meals were not heavy, so I knew they would be getting ice cream.
At least Angel did, Adam wasn’t in the mood.
She ordered a 'JL Werner'. Vanilla Ice cream, a banana, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. I asked her to find out who ‘J.L. Werner' was.  She was reluctant at first, she doesn’t like striking up casual conversations with strangers any more than I do. I heard her ask though, hard to miss since the acoustics of the place are like those of an empty gymnasium. The lady behind the counter said she had no idea. Poor staff training. For all I know, J.L. Werner is a serial thug of some kind. I wouldn’t want to eat something named after a creep or felon.
She ate her treat out of the Styrofoam, earth-hating bowl, and seemed to enjoy it, even though the inevitable desperate chill set in about halfway through.  Angel's a bit of a reptile when it comes to body temperature regulation..

Well, it was okay. It certainly wasn’t bad. It was however, a bit lacking. The ambiance was off, as I’ve mentioned. That big, wide, near-empty space made it a bit uninviting and public. The food was okay, but lacked zing. The buns were perhaps a bit too heavy, at least for the small fish portion, and the burger was on the dry side. The bill came to twenty five and change  and a couple bucks more for the ice cream, comparable to Ginny’s.
A couple of things will make me go back though. Primarily location, location, location. That and fact that Rich’s offers free Wi-Fi. That means if on a Saturday I need to download something large, I can just pop in there, eat me a burger and have some tea without having to go to Festus, or the McDonalds in Hillsboro.  At home, our internet comes from outer space via satellite technology and is limited to a puny amount of megabytes per day with a significant penalty for going over that limit. So occasionally, for software updates and actual interesting media downloads, I usually take my netbook to a library. Libraries don’t serve burgers, even slightly dry ones, or Luzianne tea.
I like everything at Ginny’s better, but it’s about fifteen more miles or so up the road, and I’m not even sure Ginny has Wi-Fi.

Afterward we drove over to the NEW Dollar General location. The biggest department store in Hillsboro just got bigger. We stopped in an bought some snacks and a small Christmas tree. One of those new-fangled ones that already has lights on it. Angel wouldn't let me buy a karaoke machine though.

Rich's Frozen Custard on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

China Buffet

3833 Lemay Ferry Rd.
St. Louis Mo.

 Angel’s choice, you just don’t dare get between Angel and her occasional, well documented hankering for Chinese. The Festus buffet joint is fine, but only that. There’s a couple of better places up the road. One stands out, the China Buffet on Lemay Ferry Road in South County. (South County refers to South St. Louis County, just across the Merrimac River from Jefferson County)
‘Lemay Ferry’ obviously refers to a water crossing, in this case a very old one. In the early - middle bits of the 19th century Jean Baptiste Gamache ran a ferry across the Merrimac in an area known as Flamm City, (I’m not making this up) and later sold it to Jacque LeMais, also an industrious fellow of French ancestry. There’s a lot of French names in the area. Jacque moved the ferry up the river a bit and renamed it to an Americanized version of his own name, Lemay. (Similarly there are several familes in the region that started as Courtouise or Courtois and ended up as Courtway.)
The Place:

An unremarkable strip mall building in an unremarkable strip mall, this one anchored by a large K-Mart store.  Parking aplenty, even on a Saturday evening, because K-Mart just isn’t the big draw it once was.
The inside wasn’t fancy, just a lot of tables and serving lines fronted by a modest, utilitarian counter. Most, if not all the staff appeared to be Asian, probably Chinese, though not necessarily. A hostess approached us immediately and asked the only things she needed to for the entire evening, “How many?” and “to drink?” This was asked and answered before we even made it to the table, “Three, tea, tea, Pepsi.” No need to even sit down, beeline to the buffet lines.
The buffet lines were bigger and better stocked than most of the other local Chinese buffets. In the past Angel had noted that the offerings at CB were fresher than the others as well. One thing is for certain, there’s plenty of variety. Six or seven kinds of chicken, three or four of pork, as well as a few beef. Then there’s also fish, shrimp and mussels (snot on the half shell). Also the expected pot stickers, egg rolls and rangoons. There’s also an American section, macaroni, fried chicken, potatoes, etc.  A treat here is the egg foo yung (literally ‘lotus egg’). It’s like an omelette, eggs fried with ingredients, meat and veggies, in any combination that suits the cook. I’m not sure what exactly CB puts in theirs, but it’s good. The chicken is mostly strips or chunks, fried then glazed with sauces. The names are not always helpful, Mandarin, garlic, spicy, sesame, etc. So you take a couple of chunks of each to find the one that works. In this case, they were all good, only the ‘spicy’ had noticeable pepper-heat, and even it was not overpowering. The sesame was good, but it is so sweet that it can saturate the taste buds. On my first plate I had the chickens, some noodles, and some fried rice. I like my own fried rice better, but this wasn’t too bad. I also grabbed four ‘garlic shrimp’ non-breaded, steamed.
Angel’s plate looked different, it had green things on it. Green beans and broccoli. She praised the chicken on a stick, proclaiming it to be very tender. Our experience is that chick on a stick tends to be dry and chewy, too long over the heat. On my second trip I grabbed some and had to agree, this was quite good. Angel also claimed that the beef and broccoli was very good, though I couldn’t agree at all since it had broccoli in it. Adam’s plate was less diverse, chicken, plain white rice mostly, but he seemed quite pleased. Angel had an egg roll, I find eggrolls too filling for a buffet, so I didn’t have one. The rangoons were crispy and not too heavy. I’m reluctant to call them crab rangoons, since I could not actually detect any crab, or even krab. I don’t mind this. Often when I make rangoons at home it’s cream-cheese only and they are quite satisfying.
On the negative side, CB didn’t offer any wontons. Lots of places don’t, I don’t know why. Also the shrimp, though well cooked and seasoned, were not shelled properly and I spent a few minutes behind a napkin, digging shrimp-carcass-shrapnel out of my teeth. Another gripe, though a very common offense; The sweet and sour chicken. All the other chicken types are chunks or strips, only lightly breaded and then fried and glazed with a sauce. The  S/S is different. It is heavily breaded in a pancake-like batter so the result is what looks like miniature corn dogs. The S/S sauce is not that different from the other sauces, but is served separately. Maybe it’s a please-the-kids thing. When I make S/S I use the same method for breading (if at all) the chicken as I do for cashew-style, teriyaki or even barbecue. The chicken’s the same, only the sauce varies. If the meat is tender and the sauces are tasty, there’s simply no need to burden it with a heavy breading. (end of rant)
Our second plates were all modest, doubled up with the famous Chinese dessert, bananas in red sauce.
Upon sitting down with round two, the neighboring table was offered to two ladies in Halloween costumes (I assumed) One was dressed as a French maid, the other in an unwieldy bumblebee suit. Immediately The  Blind Melon song ‘No Rain’, in particular, the video for the song, popped into my head. (Things popped into my head for the French maid outfit as well, but prudence demands that I not elaborate.)
The bee-girl in the  Blind Melon video has nothing to do with the song really, it’s just a chubby young girl twirling around and tap dancing in a bumblebee suit for no particular reason.
Partial lyrics:
All I can say is that my life is pretty plain
I like watching the puddles gather rain

And all I can do is just pour some tea for two
And speak my point of view
But it's not sane, it's not sane.

In the 1992 video, the bee is played by Heather Deloach, who is now, at 28, pursuing an acting career and has appeared in bit parts on ‘ER’, ‘Reno 911’, and in the movie ‘Balls of Fury’.
I mentioned this to Angel and Adam, as the evening’s culture lesson, adding the bittersweet recollection about the first time I heard the song.  I really liked it, so I looked up the band on the interwebs and found out the lead singer, Shannon Hoon, had died of an overdose not long after (1995) the song and video became a hit.
No, I’m not a big music fan, you know this, but the music I do like I tend to know a lot about. Ask me about ABBA sometime, you’ll be mighty impressed.
As we wrapped up, a small male child leaned over the half-wall that separated our table from a row of others. I found this very rude in itself but then he exacerbated the interruption with spitty gun noises, then he started stomping and yelping. I can’t blame the restaurant for this, but it was very off-putting.
The staff was prompt, courteous and efficient. Our drinks were always filled in time, the old plates were whisked away quickly, the check and fortune cookies delivered promptly. The food, with only the meager exceptions I mentioned, was all quite good; fresh ingredients, well prepared and plentiful. The bill came in under thirty-three dollars, about average for a Chinese buffet.
I can only compare CB to other area buffets. The best Chinese food in the universe, by far, is to be found in Springfield Mo.  Do not try to debate me on this. The best buffets in the greater St. Louis area (and it gets even worse the further east you go. Hear that Southern Maryland?) pale in comparison to the average place in Springfield. However Springfield is nearly two hundred miles away from our humble abode and is not exactly convenient. Angel grew up there, I spent seventeen years of handsome adulthood there, and we know a thing or two about Chinese food as it should be prepared.
But for what it is, China Buffet is about as good as it gets here at the home of the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. (Go Cards!)

China Buffet St Louis on Urbanspoon