Time to say your farewell to that ever controversial plantation. I'm talking about the Souplantation. How in the ever living fuck they were allowed to have that name after the history that we have in our country, I don't know. Well, at least not in the south. Because no fucking company would be dumb as bricks to call themselves that in any place that is remotely in the south. No, they were called Sweet Tomatoes outside of southern California, and the chain of all-you-can-eat buffet-style restaurants roamed the vast fields. The first Souplantation opened in 1978 in San Diego, California, where the company was headquartered.
But guess what, they're done. How the fuck do you think a buffet style place can survive in a post-covid19 world. They really can't. In fact, say goodbye to any sort of buffet style place. Hometown Buffet. All the Vegas buffets. They're dead in the water. No one is going to trust them, nor is the company going to run that risk of liability on that shit. I mean, would you? On top of that, the FDA was all not having that shiiiiiii.
The FDA had previously put out recommendations that included discontinuing self-serve stations, like self-serve beverages in fast food, but they specifically talked about salad bars and buffets,” said John Haywood, CEO of Garden Fresh. “The regulations are understandable, but unfortunately, it makes it very difficult to reopen. And I’m not sure the health departments are ever going to allow it.
“We could’ve overcome any other obstacle, and we’ve worked for eight weeks to overcome these intermittent financial challenges but it doesn’t work if we are not allowed to continue our model.”
So basically, the time of the self serve buffet are over. I mean, there's ways to get around it. Make it actual stations where you hand your plate over and someone at the place responsibly puts food on it, but that seems like it defeats the whole purpose of a buffet. A place were irresponsibility is key! How else am I going to drench my three leaves of a salad with ranch and blue cheese dressing? These things are a must. Or how else will I put a ton of one item on my plate far more than I'm even able to reasonably tackle. These things are what defeat you at your core. That attempt to make some sort of huge food record, only to face the grim reality that you aren't hardcore enough to eat this food.
But there's other aspects. Apparently Souplantation was the home for a lot of the youth to go, who didn't have much income, but could survive with so many soup options while hanging out with friends. Where will those LatinX folks go? And yes, I used that sarcastically, because while I respect all sorts of gender nonbinary pronouns, I can't fucking get behind Latinx. That is a dumb fucking title and it's made worse because it's not like you even say the X as exis, you say it in stupid American. It's like the most fucked up "woke" word possible and let's just stop using it.
Back to the youth who grew up going there as their version of Denny's. Only, I have to say, it's better because at least with that it's a buffet and you aren't wasting some waitstaff's time by not ordering anything but coffee. You already paid for your flat fee of lukewarm corn chowder. No one gives a fuck if you're just wasting space at a table.
Souplantation didn't try to go for the PPP loans because, well, they're a chain of 97 locations. An on top of that, it would just be putting a bandaid on a gashing wound. I kind of admire that about them. They didn't fuck around and grasp at straws. They saw the future and the writing on the wall. That buffet style service is pretty much an after thought. And even though five months ago these owners didn't know that the en was going to come so soon, they faced it with bravery and without fear enough to the point that they faced that execution saying nothing more than "bring it on".
I mean, when you think about it, you going to a buffet style salad and soup place was also staring the firing squad straight in the eyes and risking stomach issues and a long visit to the bathroom later that evening like a fucking man. Seriously, who ate at these places and didn't have a stomach that was made out of fucking iron and steel. Because luke warm soup that who knows how long has been sitting there or who knows what little kid before you put their hands straight into that pitri dish of potential contamination. I mean, for reals, that's some nerves and fortitidue when you factor everything.
I wonder what Sizzler is going to do now? I mean, without that salad bar, you're just paying for a really crappy made plastic bag cooked steak. The all you can eat salad bar was what made that place. And when I think about it, it's really sad that a whole generation will grow up without the pleasure of putting way too many options on your plate and then immediately regretting all the life choices you just made. I'm serious, this was a lesson in life that needs to happen. Sure, all the items look so tempting on their own, but if you pile them up on a single plate you'll get some dessert options covered with salad dressing and your side salad is going to just be a complete mess.. Look, this is like taking an accounting class in highschool. The life lesson that even though you want everything, you often have to make a solid choice between what you really want and what you just sort of want. And if you don't make that choice and stick to it, then you're going to make a bloody mess of your plate and feel the pain in your stomach later.
It's the hard lessons and one more teacher of said knocks will no longer be around to give your stomach the cold shit talking it needs to see if it's man enough to handle this shit. Sometimes literally.
Anyhow, goodbye Souplantation, fucking seriously, how did you get away with that name for so goddamn long? That just doesn't seem right.