Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Milk at a Buffet

No matter if it's the Firelight Buffet at Sam's Town, Feast Buffet at Palace Station (Only that one time. It was awful enough to never want to go again), the International Buffet at Terrible's, or any other buffet I haven't been to yet in Las Vegas or Henderson, my drink order is the same: Milk. Always milk.

(There have been only two exceptions. Milk didn't seem appropriate at the pricey, utterly luxurious Wicked Spoon buffet at the Cosmopolitan, and I wanted to see how their iced tea was. Iced tea can tell a lot about a restaurant or a buffet, and they did it right at Wicked Spoon. Conversely, the iced tea at the Wild West Buffet at Arizona Charlie's on Boulder Highway tastes like it was brewed in a urinal, and the buffet was just as bad, only the pork stuffing coming through unscathed).

I love milk, especially Shamrock Farms' 2% Reduced Fat, surprisingly over anything my local Anderson Dairy offers, all of which tastes like water, except for their chocolate milk. Even their own 2% Reduced Fat milk is nothing more than white water. But I don't have milk all that often. For my cereal, I use Silk Soymilk. It holds longer than milk, which is convenient since I usually only have it once a day.

But at a buffet, it has to be milk for me. It's my tribute to Archie Goodwin, able legman and housemate to the sizable seventh-of-a-ton person that is Nero Wolfe in Rex Stout's series of novels. Goodwin loves milk. At any opportunity, even while on a case, he has it. It's one of his defining characteristics, besides his occasional frustration with what he sees as Wolfe's obstinacy, but is really Wolfe pursuing an avenue of thought that Goodwin hadn't considered yet, which may well be the one that keeps them in the black, and Wolfe in orchids and gourmet food, and certainly Goodwin in milk.

Since Wolfe never leaves their New York City brownstone, and never willingly when he's forced to, it's up to Goodwin to pursue what's on Wolfe's mind in a case, to interview witnesses, to catch the suspects that Wolfe deems are the suspects they want. And then when it almost seems hopeless, Wolfe has the solution.

I like this duo. I like their interplay, I like that when Archie is frustrated with Wolfe, there's still respect there. And I so love Wolfe's well-thought out reasoning that shows why he's a genius at solving cases. A buffet is a bounty of food, just like Wolfe solving the latest case produces a bounty of cash for the expensive running of his household. Therefore, milk at a buffet seems appropriate for me, not least because it brings Archie Goodwin there with me, and reminds me of that brownstone and the many happy times I've spent there so far and the times still to come.