The Buffet Is Dead. Long Live the Buffet!

The Swedes Have the Smorgasbord; Americans, Vegas and Sizzler. Can All-You-Can-Eat Return Responsibly?

Growing up, few things loomed quite as large as a trip to the buffet. I say the buffet because the chafing dishes all blur together—part and parcel of one great, endless table; a physical manifestation of the infinite scroll before the infinite scroll had even been invented. To call it a meal would feel disingenuous; nothing short of “trip” captured the feeling of the experience, which stretched time and space and stomachs.

I’ve been thinking about buffets lately because, if you haven’t heard, they are back. The pandemic is far from …