Chow, Baby: Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Slotted spoon in one hand, warm plate in the other, Chow, Baby suddenly realized the true reason it doesnít like buffet dining: No doggie bags. No midnight-snacking on leftovers, no interesting breakfast. At a buffet, one meal is all you get out of a meal.

Knowing it would be supping at Sesame Grill, 3980 Boat Club Rd in Lake Worth, Chow, Baby deliberately hadnít eaten since 4 p.m. So it had plenty of tummy room for egg rolls, potstickers, crab Rangoon, sushi rolls, fried rice, chicken dishes, beef dishes, vegetables, pork dishes, and shrimp in lobster sauce. The weird thing about Sesame Grill is that except for having to get up so many times to visit the steam tables, Chow, Baby felt like it was in a regular old Chinese restaurant. The food is a cut above traditional buffets; with relatively few selections for the number of tables ó and this place was packed; itís clearly a Lake Worth hot spot ó dish turnover was high, with fresh trays brought out constantly. Two staffers were permanently assigned to stirring. Another stood behind the sushi and sashimi trays, responsible for un-Saran-wrapping the fresh fish whenever a diner looked interested and then wrapping them back up again. The dining rooms are stocked with servers; Chow, Baby never had to wait for a water refill or an ice-cold Tsing-Tao.

With good food at reasonable prices ($5.95 lunch, $9.95 dinner), Chow, Baby didnít mind leaving empty-handed (except for the blackberry cobbler it palmed, but that didnít really work out). Nothing for breakfast the next morning but the memories, but they were good ones.

Pig in a Poke

Facing an empty fridge the next a.m., Chow, Baby gratefully recalled a favorite tipsterís recommendation of the poached eggs at Baconís, 737 Grapevine Hwy in Hurst. Best heís had since ďa scuzzy diner in Philadelphia,Ē Marty wrote, which certainly impressed Chow, Baby. Marty-the-purist likes his poached soft, dropped on white buttered toast. More-is-better Chow, Baby was dreaming of eggs benedict ó until it whiffed Baconís yummy aroma of honey-glazed ham. Chow, Baby would need more of this pig than a toppingís worth.

In many ways Baconís is your typical strip-mall breakfast/lunch spot, with eggs and pancakes served all day (that is, until 2 pm) and weekday lunch specials of meat and two veggies ($5.95), with chicken-fried steak as an option every day, natch. What really makes Baconís sizzle are the homemade muffins (supposedly low-fat, but you canít tell from the taste) and the glazed-in-house ham and turkey breast, made into salads and sandwiches or, with a dayís notice, sold whole by the pound.

Chow, Baby didnít care for its companionís ham and cheese omelet ($6.50), a little drier and crispier than Chow, Baby likes its eggs. But Chow, Babyís own grilled ham and cheese on sourdough ($5.25) was perfect, with the oozing provolone and sharp cheddar a perfect match for the sweet ham. Best of all, this proud owner of a nine-pound spiral-sliced ham ($49) now wonít have to worry about breakfast for days.

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