Eating out on Thanksgiving -- a holiday usually reserved for family dinners -- might seem a little untraditional. But plenty of local residents were ready to let someone else carve the turkey for them. And a few local restaurants were more than ready to oblige.
“I wasn’t sure how many people knew we were open,” said Rodney Roberson, general manager.
But in anticipation of a large crowd he decided to set a Sunday schedule on the traditional family holiday. That means 13 people in the kitchen, two managers and about 18 others working in the dishroom, salad bar and other places throughout the buffet-style restaurant, which just opened a few weeks ago.
The Golden Corral branch’s food wholesaler sent some turkeys ahead of time, and Roberson also ordered 800 pounds of turkey and extra cranberry sauce, ham, stuffing and especially sweet potatoes. People love Golden Corral’seet potato casserole, Roberson said. They also have regular baked sweet potatoes.
“Hopefully we bought enough to last until 6:00,” Roberson said. The restaurant opened at 10:30 a.m.
Lester Boling and his wife, Becky, were among the first in line Thanksgiving morning. They said they didn’t have family coming over and going out to eat is cheaper. Becky wasn’t entirely convinced the motives of her husband of 35 years were completely pure, however.
“He didn’t want me to cook,” she said jokingly.
Others said eating at a Golden Corral is a Thanksgiving tradition. Still others wanted to try out what they heard was the best buffet in town.
But at least one man was simply looking for a place to eat and was unprepared for -- and unhappy about -- the great mass of people.
“I didn’t think there’d be such a (huge) crowd,” Hubert Gilbert said from the back of the line. “Cracker Barrel’s the same way.”
Star staff writer Jason Bacaj: 256-235-3546