THE OCEAN BUFFET — I love food, which means I am enamored with all-you-can-eat buffets. There are few things that speak to my soul, but an offer to eat as much as I please is one of those things.
High-class, low-class and everything in between is my jam when it comes to buffets. But when I am promised all I can eat, I expect to eat as much as I want until my heart begs for mercy. That's why one instance in high school haunts me to this day.
I was a junior, and some friends and I decided to hit up a little establishment some of you may remember called Tony Roma's. There aren't many left; in fact, when I googled it, the internet found two locations near me. One was at a mall, and the other an airport Hilton in Miami. I am in Salt Lake City, so they're a little tough to find these days.
Regardless, my friends and I went to the restaurant to enjoy their limited-time special: the Endless Slab. What is the Endless Slab? It was an all-you-can-eat ribs promo that we took full advantage of. They just kept bringing me baby-backs and finger wipes until I passed out in my booth.
But on this night, my group of friends and I were there for about 45 minutes when the manager came to our table and told us we would not be given any more ribs and asked us to leave. We weren't being rowdy or disturbing other patrons while we were there. We were well-behaved boys. The reasoning for kicking us out was because they said we had eaten so many ribs that they were down to a box left for the week.
It was only Tuesday.
me getting removed from the pizza buffet pic.twitter.com/0Hth31avdN— prison mike (@bodybycheezits) May 19, 2021
I understand you run a business, Mr. Roma, but don't tell me that slab is endless if I'm not ready to see the end. It broke my heart — not from cholesterol, but sadness. I never saw Tony Roma's in the same light. The next time I'm at the airport Hilton in Miami, I don't think I'll grab a meal at Mr. Roma's eatery.
That is why this video hits home for me.
A shark found the motherload — the end-all-be-all when it comes to all-you-can-eat fish — when it ended up on a fishing vessel. It probably thought it had died and gone to shark heaven. There were fish as far as the black eyes of a hungry shark could see.
This shark was enjoying the high life until two Tony Roma's waiters ... er, excuse me ... two fishermen pulled it away from its bounty. They picked up the shark and threw it back into the ocean.
I know that look the shark had. It was that look of disbelief and sadness. That look of fighting to get a few more bites before you were thrown out into the cold with a hurt that would never dull. A wound that would never heal. A belly that would never be filled.
Don't trust the label "all-you-can-eat," and don't trust the inviting scene of a ship deck full of fish.