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TLO Restaurant Review: Feast Buffet

After closing rather abruptly amidst numerous non-food-related controversies, the former “Vegas-style” buffet Fuze has reopened under the more apropos moniker of Feast to an apparently starving public. While I never personally got the chance to sample the former’s culinary wares, it was a name that was brought up on more than one occasion in the comments, repeatedly suggesting that I give the place the ol’ Fowler try or die.

With already plenty of hullabaloo surrounding the opening of Feast by an oddly excited local media, it was no surprise that when I went there for a late lunch on Sunday the joint was practically overflowing with complacent humanity, welcomed with a line that was almost out the door. If I didn’t know any better—and I do—I’d say this was probably the most popular dining-out option in the Big Town this past weekend.

Located at 6513 Northwest Expressway, the inside of Feast is a darkened smorgasbord of overabundant melancholy; when you do catch shadowed glimpses of the seated patron’s faces, no one seemed really happy to be there as they dutifully placed grey clumps of food in their lipless mouths with blank 1000-yard stares, the forced specter of a seconds and thirds and possibly even fourths looming in the darkness of the badly-lit dining room.

The barely legal foodstuffs at Feast aren’t much better and seem to inspire a special kind of blasé “eating just for eating’s sake” atmosphere that is barely sentient even for Warr Acres’ famed Buffet Row; featuring entrées and dishes from across a flattened globe, to pile up an adult’s plate ($12.99) is like an around the world celebration in absolute mediocrity; a passionless, flavorless global tour where quantity is king and the slightest hint of quality doesn’t come in to play at any time.

I started my sojourn at their Mexican station, where the tamales were a pale, wet corn mush and the enchiladas of indiscriminate origin a salt-driven bad joke; the hard-shell tacos were decent, as were the soft- tacos with fajita meat and grilled vegetables—it’s thankfully hard for even Feast to joder that up—but it was the limp finish with flautas chewier than rubber Green Cards and with about half the flavor that made me, as a Latino, feel like I should personally make my way around to every single table and personally apologize on behalf of todo de la Raza.

For my next plate, I took in the sights and smells of Italy in what amounted to a dirty bootful of pasta and pizza that made me long erotically for the remnants of a Cici’s bus-cart at closing time. From the cheese-like ravioli that came out of a pack of Topps baseball cards from 1974 to the spackle-like alfredo sauce that managed to film over and dullfully glisten with a careless amore as soon as it hit my lips, mamma mia, here I throw a plate away again.

Tired of making America plate again, the less said about items that represented this country the better, especially when deciding between a ten-minute wait for a desperately unloved and wholly unwanted pregnancy of a hamburger or an emotionless selection of fried chicken coated with the colonel’s seven herbs and spices—if those seven herbs and spices were sadness, depression, abasement, despondency, dejection, woefulness and blue funk.

Seriously: every drumstick should come with a free copy of the Smiths’ Meat is Murder.

As for the final dietary big boss, that leaves us with the largest section of eats on the buffet, a wide variety of delights and delicacies from our neighbors in the Far East. One bite of the comedically soggy (microwavable?) eggrolls and the neglectfully pasty crab rangoon, however, is gastric proof they should’ve gone even farther. As I sat there, forcing myself like some sort of emotionless android hellbent of world consumption, attempting to force down the brick-like sesame chicken and the ruefully zestless orange chicken, I just had to finally stop and push my plate to the side and step away from the tables, cashing out from the Metro’s idea of a Vegas-style buffet both morally and physically and with a newfound appreciation for Reno.

Without a need or even a want for dessert, I gathered my remaining hunger pangs and started my purpose-driven walk of shame right out of this global trough of the damned. As I felt the particularly unpleasant aftertaste of cabbage settle in my throat, I reckoned out-loud to no one in particular that Feast is an international house of barely digestible inferiority that makes me long for the subtle highs and pristine lows of the nearest Golden Corral. Ring the bell and pass the yeast rolls, holmes. ¡No cómpralo ya!


Bring back Sirloin Stockade! Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler.

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