The holidays mean that we all get the chance to loosen our belts and indulge in the fruits of the season. A wonderful place to take full advantage of these “cheat weeks” is at a fresh, locally-sourced seafood buffet. While some can be less-than-desirable, with food from frozen and questionable sourcing, if you can find one that takes pride in their fare, you’re in for a real treat.

Because the price-point of seafood buffets tends to be higher than your average American cuisine buffet, you’re going to want to be sure that you get the most bang for your buck. That starts with skipping the stuff that you get anywhere. Move past the breads, rolls, and starchy selections. While tasty when served along steak or chicken, these carb-packed treats will fill you up very quickly. Save them for last, when you’re sure that you’ve tasted all of the bounty of the ocean that you’re interested in.

Don’t be afraid to be adventurous. Seafood buffets have dozens of proteins and preparations that you’re going to want to try. Take the plunge! From Ahi to Mahi-Mahi, you’ve got the chance to flesh out your seafood palette. Taking the opportunity to discover what you like when it comes to seafood means that you’ll have a much easier time selecting cuisine in other seafood eateries.¬†While the shrimp and salmon may look delicious, they’re pretty standard offerings at any restaurant worth its salt. Try something new and discover your preferences.

Finally, don’t skip out on the scampis and soups. It can be tempting to stick to mainly proteins, but fresh vegetables and pastas pair well with seafood and create new, tantalizing tastes. While a filet of swordfish is delicious, a helping of crab salad can be just as hearty and tasty. Don’t be afraid to sample a little of everything before settling on your favorites at your local seafood buffet.