Dude Food: Furr's Fresh Buffet

Furr's Fresh Buffet
1540 Eastgate Drive

A couple weeks ago a family member informed me of the decision to forgo the traditional home cooked Thanksgiving meal in favor of eating out. Several reasons were cited, including--but not limited to--old age, convenience, disparate meat/vegetable preferences among family members and of course, holiday stress.

"Fine with me," I said, thinking naturally of the many press
releases I'd received from local restaurants offering prettified holiday grub. But then my family hit me with a bomb--"We're going to Furr's!"


I dutifully loaded my mother into the car and set out to meet the clan at the chain's new location in Garland. As one family member put it (several times): "Get cafeteria out of your head. Furr's is totally different now."

Considering how much I hate waiting in lines that don't have brisket or pulled pork at the end of them, I was somewhat relieved by this, thinking perhaps the chain had decided to go in a Black-Eyed Pea direction--home-style food without the whole lunchroom tray rigmarole. But I pulled into the parking lot to find a line of people stretching out the door and down the sidewalk, the last of them standing under a neon sign blaring the bad news: "Furr's Fresh Buffet".

Fuckin' A.

Now don't get me wrong, buffets can be dude heaven. For example, I spent many a night in college at Mr. Gatti's, and I'm certainly no stranger to the Baghdad-after-a-food-fight décor of a CiCi's. There's nothing like mounds of sausage and bacon at an Interstate breakfast buffet. Hell, I think Shoney's was even my favorite restaurant when I was 8.

That being said, Furr's Fresh Buffet was a total beating. Instead of one buffet table, there were like, thirty, all filled with the standard cafeteria fare, from baked cod to meatloaf to the guy in the hairnet carving the roast beef. Turkey would have been the obvious choice here, but I've seen shorter lines for the Texas Giant, so I went with the chicken-fried chicken. Honestly, the jalapeno cornbread was probably the best thing I ate, at least partially because it was easy to find on return trips.

It was the old Furr's, for the most part--the only difference being a pay first policy. At least it afforded some good people watching: masses of ugly children, a multitude of long, flowing Mexi-mullets, plenty of morbidly obese and the requisite classic cafeteria characters, including "Old Guy with Heavily Shellacked Late-Period Elvis Hair," "Guy Who Yells at Children like Bootcamp Sergeant" and "Guy Who Stares Off into Space and Chews Weird."

Honestly, if the place served beer I'd pay double just to sit there and watch.

To be fair, though, I'm sure many will remember me as "Guy Who Covered Hot Brownie in Foot Tall Pile of Soft Serve and Half Pound of Reese's Pieces."

Dude Factor: 2, or" Bea Arthur", on a scale of 1 ("Charles Nelson Reilly") to 10 ("Wilford Brimley")

--Noah Bailey

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