Getting creative with garlic croutons and bacon

Bloody Mary Buffet at 8 oz. Burger Bar

Generally, I'm not a big buffet fan. But it's not the heart-crippling calorie count involved in consuming massive quantities of deep-fried animal flesh that turns me off. Really, I just can't accept serving myself in a restaurant. Whatever the deal, I paid for a waitress. Where's my waitress?

There is, however, one major exception to my general dislike for self-service dining scenarios: the booze buffet. That, my friends, is innovation. No more weak-ass pours, no more fancy bullshit. And most recently, I was won over by the weekly Sunday Bloody Sunday alcoholic free-for-all at 8 oz. Burger Bar.

The scene plays out like this ... Show up with a $20 bill and swap it for a VIP wristband that entitles you to bottomless Bloody Marys. Within minutes, the waiter will bring a vodka pitcher to the table before pointing you and your boozing buddies toward a DIY drink station where the mixings and fixings await. There's the Tabasco Bloody Mary mix. (It's a buffet. You gotta expect ready-made mixer.) You'll also find fresh-ground pepper, Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire sauce, some liquid smoke, and Jane's Krazy Mixed-Up salt, among others. Then, you've got the garnishes, like jalapenos, cocktail onions, chopped hardboiled egg, cherry tomatoes, capers, pickles, and sliced almonds. 

So you are your own bartender ... Get buzzed, go loco.

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