How the All-You-Can-Eat Started
Two countries were the first to formalize the buffet concept – Sweden and France. The Swedish food spread came about in the 16th century, just plain bread and butter, intended to feed hungry out-of-towners who show up unexpectedly. Later in the 18th century, now called smörgåsbord, it expanded to include salted fish, eggs and boiled vegetables. And much later, the display grew to include cold cuts, warm entrees, salads, and finishing with dessert and coffee. The star of the food spread was, however, vodka. The Swedes brought the smorgasbord to America at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, later inspiring buffet-style restaurants in the 1950s. The French, though, were slightly refined, offering lavish buffet tables as a manner of entertaining rather than cooking.
In America, in the 1940s, the guy who started it all was an El Rancho hotel Las Vegas employee named Herb McDonald, who decided that eating a meal takes too much time away from gambling. So he decided to lay out a spread – a Swedish smörgåsbord open for 24 hours for the hungry gambler- patrons, keeping them inside and gambling as long as possible. The entire eating frenzy just cost a dollar then. It was an instant hit, but the hotel soon lost money over it. Nonetheless, the concept grew all over Vegas and later the whole US. Now all over the world, you’d find many chain and franchised restaurants, even independent and specialty eateries, serving buffet-style where patrons pay, serve themselves and eat inside the restaurant.
You will also find many Asian restaurants in the US that have set aside an Eat-All-You-Can segment service for diners; some restaurants are totally devoted to the concept. Korean eateries are popular with the American dining public, especially loving Korean barbecue and seafoods.
The Unlimited Love Affair with Lynnwood Korean BBQ
When in Lynnwood, look no further than Arirang BBQ and their perfectly marinated meats. Eat all the BBQ you can and their other hearty classics anytime in Lynnwood.