I’ve never written a restaurant review before, but I feel compelled to do so now. The food was great; the service was friendly.
But most importantly: the restaurant — Buffet Royale, a family-owned chain of four restaurants in Edmonton and Sherwood Park — was courageous.
You’ll recall that they agreed to host the northern Alberta book launch for my latest best-selling book called China Virus: How Justin Trudeau’s Pro-Communist Ideology is Putting Canadians in Danger.
It was a popular event, and was quickly sold out — we had to limit it to 144 people in the restaurant, to comply with pandemic rules. But a few days before the event, the Calgary consulate of the People’s Republic of China started whipping up Communist Party loyalists to harass the restaurant.
Soon, Communist activists started calling and e-mailing the restaurant with threats — and one of them even offered the restaurant a $3,000 bribe to cancel our event!
Instead, Buffet Royale stood firm. And even when a handful of Communist Party activists showed up outside, Buffet Royale kept their promise to hold the book launch.
That should be normal — but it’s all too rare these days. Cancel culture and “deplatforming” have become commonplace. Businesses cave in to the mob out of fear. But Buffet Royale did not yield.
If you haven’t seen a short video we made that day, click here.
Look, I don’t know the political ideology of the restaurant owners. I never asked.
They’re in the restaurant business, not the political business. They’ll feed anyone who’s hungry — right wingers, left wingers, and even Communists (probably). That’s how it ought to be.
And for standing firm and keeping their promise to us, that alone make me give them “two thumbs up”.
But seriously, it was a great restaurant.
Here’s a quick review:
I got to the restaurant early that day, so we had lunch. It was a huge buffet, with close to 100 items. They had in place an innovative system to deal with pandemic rules — every time you used a pair of tongs or a serving spoon, you put it in a little bin to be washed afterwards. So you never used a serving utensil that someone else had touched.
It obviously involved a ton of dishwashing, but it was super-hygienic. And sort of fun!
The food itself was great — really healthy salads, yummy Chinese food, house specialties like a side of roast beef carved to order, and a ton of desserts.
They had a taco bar and lots of desserts — I promise I only had the fresh fruit!
I spent dinnertime wandering around to tables talking with people and signing books. But late that night before heading home, I had the best item on the menu (in my opinion): a huge, brontosaurus-sized beef rib.
It truly was an excellent restaurant, priced reasonably and so fresh. But the fact that they stood up for my freedom of the press and our freedom of association — and withstood threats from the world’s largest dictatorship — made everything taste a little bit better!
There are four Buffet Royale locations in Edmonton and Sherwood Park. You can find the one near to you by clicking here. I’m going to make a point of eating there whenever I’m back in Edmonton.
I’m not being paid to write this review. I’m doing it out of gratitude to them for standing up to the mob.
And I’m doing it because it was the best meal I’ve had in months. (Except for when I visit my mom.)