East Meets Southeast Louisiana

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All you can eat, or all they can bare?

A story that made the rounds through the Associated Press yesterday concerning a Chinese buffet restaurant, a 265-pound Houma resident and a potential lawsuit certainly made stimulating dinner conversation later in the evening.

You can read the whole tale here, but the gist of it goes like this: a man with a very "hearty" appetite becomes a regular at a buffet restaurant, drawn by its "all you can eat" concept, and proceeds to do just that while also eating much more of the higher cost seafood items than the restaurant managers can bare to witness. Dining room drama ensues, offense is taken, discrimination is claimed and the story makes the papers all over the place because, well, there's something grossly fascinating about an appetite that can inspire such contretemps.

One could chalk this up as a cautionary tale for restaurant managers or another exhibit in the growing case for the deterioration of civil society. Perhaps most of all though, it underscores why we'll keep seeing more and increasingly explicit rules posted at such eating emporiums. In addition to being reminded to always use a new plate when approaching the buffet or to refrain from snatching food items from the steam trays with our hands, you can expect to see more notices from managers treading the fine line between all you can eat and all the restaurant can afford to let you swallow.

-Ian McNulty

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