I'm not a fan of either, but have eaten in both. Must admit it's been quite some time for Golden Corral, and closer to decades for Ponderosa. :redface:
Golden Corral totally depends upon the location. There is one near Vineland (the approach to Premium Outlets) near Bahama Breeze... not far from DTD... that one is do-able.
Ponderosa, well can't say much to recommend that. Had a family member who worked there in high school and that about did it for me. The vast majority of their offerings are reconstituted products. They also get very low health department ratings often.
Sweet Tomatoes can be decent, again depending upon which one you choose.
Seriously? The only buffets that I think are safe enough to patronize are those at WDW. They keep the temperatures right, and keep them clean both in front of the house and in the back. That is NOT the case with the majority of others.
We went to a Christmas buffet at a major Orlando area hotel one year. The entire buffet (extensive, with what would have been lovely selections) sat at room temperature and was horrible. The staff forgot to light the sterno, and to place the ice (for the cold dishes). NOT a good experience.