The September 10, 2010 grand opening of the Golden Corral Buffet and Grill in Hesperia, CA signals a change for southern California diners.Â
Golden Corral Corporation, of Raleigh, NC, operates nearly 500 steak and buffet restaurants, with only four in California. That number became five with the opening of the Golden Corral located at the I-15 and Main Street exit in Hesperia. It is the only franchise to serve the southern California basin. The next closest Golden Corral is nearly 200 miles to the south in El Centro, nearly 400 miles to the north in Tracy, or nearly 300 miles to the east in Kingman, AZ, and for southern California residents who have enjoyed Golden Corral dining elsewhere, this new restaurant is more than welcome.
Las Vegas Buffets or Sunday Dinner?
When buffet is mentioned, it's natural to think of those legendary
Las Vegas spreads rich with unusual dishes and glitzy atmospheres. But,
that's not Golden Corral, a place where its core is honest food and friendly
surroundings. Golden Corral is where you get a made-from-scratch Sunday
dinner with the family seven days a week.
California cuisine is known for its use of local ingredients, minimally
prepared and in small portions. It's a way of eating that suits the California
lifestyle. But California is a state of transplants and deeply rooted family units.
For those people, memories of abundant Sunday dinners with the family are
strong, and at Golden Corral, that memory is fed and fed well. That's not to
say that one can't eat light and fresh if they so choose, for the menu offers
something to satisfy every palate.
For a change of pace, it's really nice to go to a restaurant where fried chicken tastes as if it was just snatched from grandma's favorite china platter or where pot roast has been cooked for nearly 12 hours to create a dish so tender and flavorful it seems to melt on your tongue.
From breads to desserts to salads, soups, vegetables, and entrees, Golden Corral makes it from scratch, and it tastes like it. Homespun flavors that transport you to another time and place bring plain old hearty goodness to the table.
Golden Corrals Are Not Created Equal
Because Golden Corrals are chain restaurants, it's easy
to assume they are all alike. But while there are national standards
mandated by the corporation, each restaurant is only as good as
its franchisee owner and its bevy of chefs. Fortunately for southern
California diners, the new Hesperia Golden Corral is blessed with
the best of both.
That the restaurant opened to heavy crowds but didn't buckle
under the pressure in its opening weekend is a testament to
great management. That the food comes out fresh, well seasoned,
and hot or cold as called for, is a testament to great cooks. That
every table is attentively attended to shows the quality of the
Golden Corral Breakthrough
Co-owners John Sanchez and Johnny Rojo worked for six years to bring their Golden Corral to southern California. Both men are personable, highly qualified, experienced and committed to the success of their restaurant, and it shows.
When I asked John Sanchez what he hoped to accomplish by breaking new ground with the Hesperia Golden Corral, he responded, Our vision is to be the restaurant of first choice. Every time you think about going out to dinner, we want you to think Golden Corral. We will be relentless in delivering great food served in a family-friendly atmosphere. And the positive working environment we provide for our staff gives guests an even more enjoyable dining experience. When the employees are happy, guests are even happier.
It is that all-encompassing philosophy that will hold the restaurant in good stead as it settles in. Maintaining high standards is crucial to success, and this Golden Corral is off to a solid start in that regard.
Buffet Dining on the High Desert
Golden Corral may not be the only buffet choice in southern
California, but it may be the best. Here are some of the reasons why:
It doesn't resort to prefab, non-fresh foods as some rival buffet
It serves grilled-in-front-of-you steaks, chops, burgers and ribs.
It delivers the same quality and abundance whether it's
lunch, dinner, or weekend breakfast.
Southern cooked dishes, ethnic foods, and old-fashioned
American staples means there's something for everyone.
It's very reasonably priced. You won't have to crack the
piggy bank wide open to enjoy a meal.
Golden Corral guests interviewed for this article had traveled from all over southern California. Some drove more than an hour and a half to eat at the new buffet and grill. They left happy and every person queried said they would definitely return. When asked why they chose to try the new restaurant, the most common one-word responses were flavor and price.
Golden Corral Buffet and Grill Information
address: 12845 Main Street, Hesperia, CA 92345
breakfast hours: 7:30am 11:00am Saturday and Sunday
lunch hours: 11:00am to 4:00pm Monday - Saturday
dinner hours: 4:00pm 9:00pm Monday Saturday & 11:00am to 9:00pm on Sunday
steak is served for dinner and all day Sunday
lunch and breakfast is $7.99 - dinner is 10.99 unlimited drinks are $1.89
children and seniors discounts
private meeting room
Golden Corral’s all-you-can-eat bounty may not be an every day choice, but it’s nice to know it can be a choice when desired. Finally, for southern Californians, one of the best Golden Corrals in the country is now close enough to taste.