The Darke Files: KFC Buffet

I’ve been a fan of the Trashford Files because I to enjoy eating food that is horrible. In fact I will vehemently admit that I take pleasure out of it – my taste buds are wired so that the last unadulterated tomato, grown glistening on the vine, natural, pure and ripe was like a flavorless mound. I’ve forced friends into late night visits to White Castle and Rally’s – benefits afforded by my residence within the Buckeye State. For the past 7 years though, I have been blessed to live near the golden demographic for fast food. Those people who represent all niches that the fast food companies desire. I’ve seen new foods early, I’ve seen foods that never were introduced to the greater world. And being on the cusp of the midwest proper I’ve seen restaurants pander to worlds exotic for I live in The Darke County (Ohio).

A man haunted by his past that is a compilation of future visions.

Hoping to pledge my allegiance to the Trashford Files brand I set off to examine the KFC Buffet for myself. No, it is not the most exotic food but this exists as the four leaf clover within the bed of fast food. A twist on the fried chicken franchise that the Trashford Boys themselves visited. Really my hope is to load up on fried chicken and macaroni and cheese till I no longer feel good while taking photos. We shall see what happens.

Copernicus, in her natural habitat.

It was a rainy drive as I took Copernicus, the vehicle surrendered by my sister since she’s at college and I presumably have places to go. As I sit out in the car trying to get a reasonable photo of the store through wet windows, part of me jokingly wonders whether or not the lord god almighty is crying for me because Jesus and I are pretty tight and I’ve preached once or twice.

Framed using my “let’s not get kicked out camera ability”

$9 was my ticket into the center of food – which includes a small drink though part of me is bothered by the selection of food offered and the service to get the food was fast enough. Ultimately average looking brunette cashier took my money after serving the semi obese couple with a baby in front of me. I judged them laughing at how they’d choose to come here for food. I’m better than them though. I’m here on a mission.

Death. And two varieties of gravy.

As for the buffet, it’s all on two steam tables with a center where they distribute the trays and clean plates and unfortunately there is nary a cheese’d macaroni to be seen. Instead the first table seems to be some assortment of loosely defined salads – macaroni salad, potato, cole’d slaw. I decided to go safe for my first plate though and headed to the warmer table and assembled my platter.

Godspeed horrible foodstuffs

Plate 1 contents:

1 Extra crispy leg and wing

1 liver, fried

1 gizzard, fried

1 scoop mashed potato with brown gravy

1 scoop green beans

1 biscuit with honey sauce

1 glass of Dr. Pepper


The Extra Crispy chicken was a requirement. As the poet of our day and age Adam WarRock posits “How you like your chicken (girl)?” The only true response is Extra Crispy.

Without the fried skin is not the entire journey pointless.  And the chicken held up to the standard, though there was a sign asking people to not take too many legs. Since I ventured in at 11 am the chicken was solid, crunchy and salty and ultimately lacking much redeeming value.

The liver and gizzards were honest accidents. They were covered with translucent lids and I took them before seeing the labels (they were the only labeled items). I’m not a particular fan of either meat but they’d touched my plate and as the woman who had given it to me said “Remember to join the clean plate club.” I downed them though they lacked much flavor even for deep fried junk meat.

I made the brown gravy note on the potatoes because it was stored next to a white and black speckled gravy, more presumably “country style.” The potatoes were their common bland self powered only by the aforementioned gravy.

The green beans, the only cooked vegetable offered besides corn (what am I, a chicken?, also these “potatoes” don’t count as a vegetable), are standard though they did seem to be lacking the bacon. They weren’t bad though.

And for the biscuit, it was warm but there didn’t seem to be any butter or even butter paste so I went with honey that was in a non-surprisingly sticky container. It was decent.

And I limited myself to a single cup of Dr. Pepper.

I’d miss that tiny plate.

Total consumption time: 5 minutes, 50 seconds.

The blob that is dessert?

With plate two I decided to try something different, though I did not get a new tiny plate.

Plate 2 contents:

1 regular wing

1 grilled leg

1 scoop of chicken and noodles

1 biscuit with butter paste

1 accidentally large scoop of pudding pie

1 glass of Dr. Pepper

I decided to venture from the EXTRA CRISPY chicken with my second plate. The regular wing was decent though bland. The grilled leg though stood as a disturbing testament to what science should not attempt. It seemed more like a loosely flavored layer of wax paper around the chicken. But I finished it.

The chicken and noodles were salty but not horrible. The noodles had a nice amount of heft to them – they seemed real and the shredded chicken worked well. These are on the regular menu and while they weren’t the best if you needed some chicken and noodles you could do worse.

The butter paste was disturbing and the now cooled biscuit did little to melt it. But I finished it. For the club.

The pudding pie was my attempt to get something dessert like. I like to do that on the second plate since out her in the Midwest we get a large number of potlucks. And the pie mound was bland. Not even sweet, not even sickeningly sweet. It simply was. And due to the spoon having on such a large mound already I took at least twice as much as I wanted. It remained till when I tossed my plate and the matronly woman who took the plate was unable to stop me before I tossed it into the trash. She reminded me of the clean plate club and the old people who had begun to enter the restaurant began to stare at me.

And I needed a second drink to finish this plate but I did not get one.

This plate was not clean enough.

Final time. 6 minutes, 8 seconds.


Here now the hunger has vanished completely replaced with some delirium. I have entered into the country gravy pact and so I seek close my contract with plate three.

black eye gravy… grave eye

Plate 3 contents:

1 extra crispy thigh

1 mysterious triangle with country gravy

1 scoop of mashed potatoes with country gravy

1 biscuit with country gravy

1 glass of Doctor Pepper

The white country gravy spoke to me, called out from afar and I sought to appease the voice.  Pile me on your food. You can join the clean plate club Lucas. Take some chicken too. What is KFC without chicken. I sat and struggled with the food. The restaurant was filled with others and as I’d lift my camera for photos they judged me. A baby watched me eat, watched my struggle and it still does. I.. might ask it to look away but these people are part of a club. The couple with the child had left. They’d had clean plates. I needed to join the club. I needed acceptance into this club.

The thigh was drier, the time in the cooling tray has stolen the moisture and it lacked the crunch. I’d wanted another leg but that was not what the family wanted for me. I put it to the side for later.

The triangle was… unremarkable. I thought it might be something venerable and edible but it was dark inside. Like some samosa of the soul. I could not figure it out. Was it a liver patty? Was it dark meat compressed? Was it representative of my individuality. Was it my actual individuality. Was I made to destroy this to join the family.  The gravy did little.

The gravy did little for everything. I sit here trying to finish my food. Trying to solve the puzzle of what god leaves a man here. What man desires acceptance, no longer from his heroes, his writing inspiration but from those who he once laughed at.

I can go no further

I tried to get up once, to throw my plate and return home. I had work to do. Work that would free me from Darke County but the club stopped me. The tables are filled now and as I type this, as I hit send, I fear I may never escape. May my God protect me. May he love me. May he accept me as I am. Extra Crispy.

Luke Herr

Luke is a writer and an aspiring professional comic writer who is also the editor in chief of Nerdcenaries. He currently is working on a graphic novel called Prison Spaceship.