A suburban Salt Lake City couple on the Atkins Diet
have a beef with a local restaurant after being booted from the buffet for eating too much meat. Isabelle Leota, 29, and her husband Sui Amaama, 26, both on the no-carb diet, were dining Tuesday at a Chuck-A-Rama in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville when the manager cut them off because they'd eaten too much roast beef.
"It's so embarrassing actually," said Leota. "We went in to have dinner, we were under the impression Chuck-A-Rama was an all-you-can-eat establishment."
Not so, said Jack Johanson, the restaurant chain's district manager. "We've never claimed to be an all-you-can-eat establishment," said Johanson. "Our understanding is a buffet is just a style of eating."
The last two paragraphs present the most interesting tidbits in this piece. Leota assumed--as did I--that buffet in the restaurant sense means 'all you can eat'. After reading the restaurant manager's "redefining" of the term to suit his side of the argument I was ready to knock him for being a weaseler. However, nowhere in the OED is the 'all you can eat' sense given. All of the relevant buffet definitions in the OED refer to eating off a bar or side-board, or as Johanson says above, "[buffet as] a style of eating."
Thus, while I still think common usage of the term buffet is more in favor of the 'all you can eat' sense of the Leotas, I guess I have to give the Clintonian restaurant manager a pass...this time.
I post this story as the first official nomination for the Clintonian Word Abuse Award.