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Is it okay to graze off your plate while in the buffet line?

You're walking around the buffet filling your plate. You're in line waiting for a slice of prime rib and you're hungry so you grab a potato wedge off your plate and start eating. If the line is long maybe you grab another.

Is grazing okay or should you wait until you get back to the table?

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    1. re: ferret

      I'm putting my money on the former.

      1. re: ferret

        Either, but in this case Indian casino. ;-)

        1. re: Jpan99

          I managed a buffet at an Indian casino. I wouldn't eat there.

        2. re: ferret

          Very important point - because it's going to depend on where the buffet is, what food is being served, who's company your with, and what food item you're popping in your mouth.

          If for whatever reason a business meeting happens to be happening at any kind of buffet (Golden Corral to White House) - no. If you're at a hotel that has a breakfast buffet, graze away - particularly if it's in the assistance of deciding whether to get more of an item or not. If I'm at a Holiday Inn breakfast buffet and the choice is to get one piece of pineapple, go to my table - try it, and then go back and get more if it's good enough (or just get a full serving and not eat it if it's bad) - graze away.

          Know your audience, know your setting, use your judgment.

        3. No. Unless you are literally a starving refugee at a UN dining tent in the middle of nowhere, you should be able to wait to eat until you get back to your table. Worse would be grazing from *my* plate. :)

          1. How could anyone object to your discreetly popping a little potato wedge into your mouth? I wouldn't suggest taking a fork and starting your meal, but a little bite to while away the waiting time seems innocent enough. You'd want to make sure it's small because the laws of the universe will ensure that someone important starts a conversation with you in line just as you begin to chew.

            1. IMHO, grazing within reasonable limits is fine.

              1. I think you ought to be able to wait until you get back to the table. If the prime rib station is your last stop and you absolutely can't wait then I reluctantly guess so. But if you still have more stops to make at a self serve buffet, you'll be putting your greasy fingers(remember, napkins are back at the table ) on the serving spoons and if I'm behind you I won't be happy. Unless you try to discreetly wipe them off on your shirt or pants in which case I'll notice that too.

                6 Replies
                  1. re: miss_belle

                    BTW...I usually hold the plate in my left and take with my right....If my fingers have a little food on them, I normally place them between my thighs, squeeze and pull out my fingers nice and clean...ready to go!

                    1. re: PHREDDY

                      so you have food and grease stains on your thighs.......

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Yep! only if I am wearing short shorts! but with long pants I make sure they are dark!Nobody really sees it, because they are focused on me eating with my fingers in the buffet line!

                        1. re: PHREDDY

                          I like that you have special clothes for a buffet. Quite ingenious!