Old Country Buffet in Pittsfield

Quality Comfort and Price

By: - Oct 07, 2014



For a casual lunch with the boys Old Country Buffet, 555 Hubbard Ave, Pittsfield, MA 01201 is a compelling destination.

In addition to a varied buffet it is a large and unrushed space. Nobody bothered us as we stayed from more than an hour of dining and intensive conversation.

After lunch the Pit Bulls compared notes on the experience.

Ramon At first I was impressed but I would not come back. It doesn’t leave a good taste. This is like a cafeteria. The salad was good as were the vegetables, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. The macaroni and cheese is salty and runny. Not a good cheese.

Cisco To me it’s the paradigm of American mac and cheese. It’s wonderfully generic.

Pancho I spent about 24 years of my life eating cafeteria food.

Ramon In England I did the same and wasn’t so critical.

Pancho In house, on the job dining, as opposed to my nice lunches outside. As cafeteria food it’s not bad. Here they have mesculun which you don’t usually get. The salad bar had many fresh options. Most places like this you just get iceberg lettuce. You know.

Ramon I really liked the pulled pork.

Pancho It was very well presented in its little copper cup. As was the pot roast. The bourbon chicken was so so. If you go to one of the Chinese buffets it’s going to be tastier.

Ramon I couldn’t finish it.

Pancho I even helped it with a little broth from the chicken soup. It was a good move.

Cisco It’s actually one of my favorite Berkshire destinations. The salad bar is terrific. So I always start with a nice large salad and oil and vinegar as dressing. I cheat a bit by going to the adjacent taco bar and adding fresh salsa to the salad. That gives it a bit of zing. Also black olives and a bit of jalapeno. So if you combine salad and taco bars you can have a wonderful dish.

I don’t always add the soup. It depends upon what’s offered. I like the cream of broccoli but their chicken soup is too generic and not home made.

My wife is very particular about food. She doesn’t mind coming because there are always so many options that it is always possible to enjoy a good meal. We tend to stay away from starches, pizza, pasta, mashed potato and fried food. Although I always include a chicken leg or breast.

Of course it’s cheap. With a drink we paid just $11 for lunch. That’s hard to beat given the quantity and variety. On days when I have lunch here that’s my main meal with something light for dinner.

Unfortunately this is a destination for the local jumbo population. It is discouraging to pass tables with children loading up on carbs and fried food. Or too many desserts. Places like this do not help America’s struggle with obesity.

If you choose well you can find healthy food and a sensible diet.

For dinner, which is more expensive, they add a carving station with roast beef, ham and steak. From time to time with a varied menu there are barbecued ribs.

Generic fresh food at an affordable price.

Pancho I would say it’s at the upper level of cafeteria food. At Jae’s Grill I paid $38 for my steak. They also have skirt steak which they call culotte steak for $16.

Ramon That’s all?

Pancho Guess what? They’re taking it off the menu because it doesn’t belong next to a porterhouse. They have to charge close to forty bucks for a steak.

So no, Country Buffet is not a destination for fine dining. But it's a great option for a varied and substantial cheap meal.

Too many Berkshire restaurants demand New York prices for food that mostly doesn't live up to those expectations. Day to day this is an affordable destination. Like in my New Yok years on most days I dined in the cafeteria but now and then sprung for something special. You don't pay forty bucks for a so so steak every day. But that's the Berkshires.