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So, did you get into the Mandarin?

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Thursday, July 02, 2009 | 1 comments
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free dinner at the Mandarin All-You-Can_Eat BuffetYesterday was the free dinner at the Mandarin All-You-Can_Eat Buffet.
Did you get in? How long did you wait?

We drove by about 12:30 PM and the line was all the way down the street and doubled back on itself three times in the field. So we kept going and spent the afternoon down by the lake, where they had bands, rides and booths for Canada Day. We got lots of freebies at the booths!

About 5PM, Rob wanted to try again, so we went back to the Mandarin. The line was much shorter now! We brought folding lawn chairs and I brought an umbrella. Rob ran into one of his friend's at work, who was standing in line within 10 feet of the door, and she said she has been there since 11 AM - waiting 6 hours!

So we took our place at the end of the line, and already they were saying that there was a good chance we would not get in. We decided to take our chances. The people around us were pleasant, we shared our chairs and chatted. The time passed pretty quickly considering.

At 6:30 PM, they told us to go home, that most people would not get in before the last seating at 8:30 PM. A large number of people left, but we found ourselves immediately behind the cut-off point - so we thought we would stick it out, in case we could get in before the last seating time arrived. Several people behind us stayed too.

By 7:30, there were only 60 people left, and by 8:00, only about 25 - and only a few of us in line behind the cut-off point. We were sure we could get in!

What was holding up the line was that once people got in the door, they were not leaving. They stayed for over an hour and kept going back to the buffet to get more food. To be fair, it would have been better to only allow one go-round the buffet, eat and then leave. The other thing holding up the line was that the manager said no one was leaving tips, and so his employees were slow to bus the tables.

And the final thing that prevented us from getting in, is that people kept coming and budding into the line near the beginning. If that had not been allowed, we would have made it through the doors in time.

At 8:30, the last of the line went inside, there were only 4 of us left in line - and they wouldn't let us in! It was the risk we took in waiting, and we accepted it, no hard feelings. But the girl waiting with us was pregnant, and asked if she could at least go the the bathroom, after waiting in line for 3.5 hours? Unfortunately the washrooms were on the other side of the buffet - so she had to walk all the way past the food - two times - to get to the washroom and back outside. Cruel, inhumane! LOL

We offered her & her husband a ride home, since they had walked there - and then Rob and I went to Wendy's for dinner. I hada baked potato and Rob had a burger and chili. Not quite up to the Mandarin buffet, but boy, were we hungry!

So, did you get in? Share your Mandarin Buffet story!

Long lineups for free food
Mandarin restaurant hosted a free buffet granting all-you-can-eat to anyone with Canadian citizenship. So popular was the Mandarin's meal giveaway that two hours before its Yonge St.-Eglinton Ave. restaurant opened at noon, a lineup of 800 people stretched around the block.

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About Catherine: I have been writing frugal tips since 1982, when I was a young divorced mom of two - for my baby product company, Born to Love. I am now mom to three sons, who are all grown up - and re-married to a wonderful man. We have rescued two little dogs, Denny and Dexter - and Bella, the cat.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I went to the mandarin in Hamilton. there was this cute cute asian girl working. I totally went to the bathroom and rubbed one out.
    it was awesome.
    I also didnt wash my hands wen leaving the bathroom, Hehehe.
    to hear more funny stories and places i've masturbated, email me at sjcbraxton@hotmail.com

    Tah Tah!

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