Please enjoy another guest post from Jimmy Dean Hoffa.
All You Can Eat Kentucky Fried Chicken. Everyone from the Coachella Valley has seen the sign on the 10 Freeway near Banning and Beaumont as we headed out for or came back from doing something fun in a real city for the weekend. (Does anyone know where Beaumont ends and Banning begins BTW? It’s like one town full of gas stations and fast food split into two names to try and fool us for some reason.) And while we pass by the amazing and hilarious sign advertising “Buffet/Drive Thru” on the way to or from our destination outside the Valley, we’ve all thought about going in there one day and maybe kid ourselves about making plans to eventually do it. We ask ourselves questions like:
- What does an AYCE KFC buffet look like?
- Does it all still tastes as good?
- How much fried chicken could I eat… really?
- How much fried chicken SHOULD I eat… really?
- Is it worth it? I mean that’s not a lot of money, but still… it IS AYCE.
- Is it worth it? I mean, that’s a lot of time sitting on the toilet, but still… it IS AYCE.
- And most importantly – Do they have Extra Tasty Crispy or is it Original recipe only?
Well, as many of you ponder what it’s like, make rationalizations and continue to fool yourselves into thinking you’ll go there the next time you escape the heat or boredom of this town, I dared to live the dream. I ate at the KFC buffet and have survived to tell you about it.
But first, let’s establish something important.
FRIED 👏 CHICKEN 👏 IS 👏 THE 👏 BEST 👏 FOOD 👏 EVER 👏 INVENTED 👏
Every culture on the planet has a version of fried chicken and they are all delicious and the best thing that culture has ever produce culinarily. There is something magical about fried chicken that will make a Vegan break their oath when confronted with the aroma of 11 herbs and spices. If you’re not on board with the previous statement, then you need to drastically rethink your palate and reason for living.
It is also important we briefly touch upon Buffet Theory – which is the study of hypothetical models of strategic interaction between one eating at a buffet and the food they are eating. In short; buffets give you unlimited access to food, but the selections don’t tastes as good as an entree you could order. The experience of eating becomes more enjoyable as one consumes more while the satisfaction from the food itself stagnates the more one eats. It’s a quandary only Tony Stark could truly understand.
Which is why the AYCE KFC buffet is so intriguing to so many. It’s a paradox. Can delicious fried chicken ever NOT be delicious? Is there too much of a good thing? Will gorging oneself to point of illness on divinely battered, seasoned, crispy, juicy poultry drive one to no longer seek out such culinary feasts of plenty in the future? The answer my friends… is NO.
Eating all the KFC you could want cannot ever possibly go wrong. It’s like if Icarus had wings of asbestos. You can touch the sun and fall gracefully back to the earth and then go back up for seconds or thirds. The drumsticks there are just as good as coming out of the bucket – if not better. Now, you will have to make certain concessions, but the CHICKEN, the glorious fried chicken is heavenly.
What’s wrong with the place? Just a glance on their Yelp page reveals the trials and tribulations fraught with any buffet – much less one located in Banning/Beaumont. There is a bit of a mess in some of the bins for sides, but it doesn’t really matter – as we’re all here for the chicken.
And we are ALL here for the chicken. Just because most of you still reading this have never gone, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty there to dine until their pacemakers won’t let them continue. Just picture in your mind the type of person willing to spend a few hours inside an AYCE KFC in Banning/Beaumont. Got that picture? They are there and they brought their hungry cousins.
If you are a picky chicken eater and only eat the Extra Tasty Crispy breasts (Yes, ETC is there BTW) I wish you good luck. Everyone else loves that piece too, and they are sitting with plates in hand waiting to strike when the next batch hits the troth . If you don’t care what part of the bird and what style (there is tons of Original Recipe) then you will easily find yourself sated.
All the sides are there en masse, but biscuits get ransacked quickly. You’ll also see a bevy of non-standard KFC sides for your enjoyment and dessert. No, not the bundt cakes they give you for “free” when you spend $XX or order online. No, they have… bread pudding. And they provide an extra large serving spoon in the tray so you can really slop it onto your plate.
And as you eat and eat and eventually find yourself a greasy, glistening mess of a person that may now have more chicken DNA flowing through their system than human genetic code, you know it was worth it and you wish you had made the trip sooner. The next time you venture West the KFC won’t just be a stop along the way getting out of town, it is the reason for going.