Day Two arrived as surely as the sun ominously glares in anticipation of eventually consuming our measly planet, which meant it was BUFFET DAY AND ALSO CREAM PUFF DAY!
It would’ve been too easy for there to have been cream puffs at our buffet of choice, so we preemptively decided to get one elsewhere. As much as AK is wont to get down with some frozen cream puffs out of a bucket from the freezer aisle, SP knew better. Bravo Bakery on Grand Avenue in St. Paul happens to specialize in cream puffs, so the decision was made.
Bravo Bakery has been around for about 10 years and, aside from the cream puffs, specializes in various cakes. Here is the best excerpt from their website’s FAQ:
Q: Does Bravo Bakery have any gluten-free items?
Q: Does Bravo Bakery have any sugar free items?
Cream puffs are usually an excuse to shove a bunch of whipped cream in your face, but at Bravo there’s a lot more to it than that. The pastry itself has to be right, cream aside, and this one is. Many cream puffs are more like a cream sandwich in a tough doughy shell — Bravo’s is flaky, delicate, not overly sweet, and the consistency of the cream is neither too thin nor Oreo creme-like. All in all, good stuff. Happy Cream Puff Day to us!
The best buffet we could think of was the one at the Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, MN. It’s the closest we’ve got in the area to the sort of buffet you’d find in a non-shady hotel/casino on the Las Vegas strip, and it’s chock full of options. They organize the buffet into “international” sections, which basically boils down to Asian, Hispanic, Italian, American comfort, and vaguely Scandinavian.
Best of all, the food at the Mystic Lake Buffet doesn’t make you feel super gross. Perhaps this is a good a time as any to acknowledge that, yes, as people who are aiming to lose weight, buffets are VERY difficult. But, an important thing that we’ve learned throughout our respective journeys thus far is that there is no need to deprive oneself or avoid things like the plague. There are choices to be made, and exercising control can be as simple as asking yourself, “Is this crappy piece of dry Hometown Buffet pizza worthy of me?”
If you’re going to make the decision to brave a buffet, as a responsible adult, that’s okay. If you lost control for a bit and you’re on your 7th plate all of the sudden, that’s okay too — as long as you know what you did and can take responsibility for it. Where there is awareness, there is often also success, and beating yourself up for some of your less-than-brilliant decisions isn’t going to undo what happened. For SP and AK, one of the more important tools for awareness is food tracking. It allows us the thought process of: “Did I maybe eat too much this time? Yes. But do I know exactly what I ate? Yes. Was it delicious? Oh hell yes. Will it undo some of my hard work? Potentially. Will a decision like this be worth it to me next time?” and there’s the setup for improvement. But, in the meantime:
Oh yeah, and here’s some of what we had:
The dessert bar was far too lovely not to include some shots of what was available.
And much more.
Merry Buffet Day to all, and to all a good night!