The Steaks are High When It’s All You Can Eat

After polling my coworker’s suggestions, I was ready to spend money on the exact opposite of free food. More specifically, I was ready to drop twenty-something dollars on the gluttonous meat-orgy known as all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ.

There are no tricks in all you can eat Korean BBQ. Well, except sometimes, with the meat. Seriously, choose a decent restaurant. Our choice of Manna Korean BBQ in Convoy revealed no food secrets, thankfully.

But between cooking and ordering and waving over a waitress for more, the strategy behind a Korean meat buffet is to eat your money’s worth.

As an avid buffet-fearer, I did not feel ready to ingest $20 worth of meat and pickles. My friends obviously did not feel the same way. One had been fasting for a full day. Another had a bottomless pit for a stomach. And yet another was male.

Ten plates of meat later, it was obvious who had won the game of eating your money’s worth. I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t me. I clutching my stomach in between delicate sips of barley tea, recoiling in horror as my friends contemplated ordering their 11th plate of meat.

As we bemoaned the state of our stomachs (#firstworldproblems), my friends and I reflected on lessons learned from that night:

First, red meat is the most expensive thing on the menu — don’t go too heavy on the chicken. If you want your money’s worth, order expensive cuts like sirloin steak and pork belly.

Second, that being said, the included side dishes are usually phenomenal. Try the egg custard, try the tofu stew, but remember to not fill up on rice.
 
Third, don’t try to screw with the restaurant. They have clearly seen every trick in the book and their rules are clearly laid on their menu. Stocking your meat freezer at home by ordering extra take-home plates of meat will land you a fat surcharge. Everybody at your table has to order the same option — all meat or the pricier seafood version — in case the splurger with the shrimp shares.

Fourth, don’t wear clothes that are too restrictive. That’s pretty much a given for any buffet, and unless you want to make a show of loosening your belt one notch, stick to the elastic waistband. Jackets can also be used to hide burgeoning food babies.
 
These lessons are secondary to the actual experience of all you can eat Korean BBQ. I may have spent an excessive amount of time there worrying about actually eating $20 worth of food (I probably didn’t), but in the end, being there with good company, good food and endless amounts of meat and pickles was worth any price. Kind of.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2320
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2320
$500
Contributed
Our Goal