Chinese Buffet Restaurants: An American Classic. By Tripler

I am totally serious with this one and I just need to get this off of my chest. Whoever came up with the idea of a Chinese Buffet Restaurant (or CBR) deserves a Nobel Prize. I love these places, and here’s why:

Ever wander into a Chinese Buffet Restaurant? The sights of cheery people conversing over fine exotic cuisine. The smells of General Tso’s Chicken, Sesame Beef, Pork Fried Rice, and all sorts of tasty treats mingling in the air. The simplicity of the silverware: one fork and one spoon, with a napkin folded over top so they don’t get dirty. Aw, it’s just great. And to think, one can experience this mystical place for the mere pittance of $5.95. Yes, my friend, all this can be yours.

And the experience in itself is a pleasure! You go to the Chinese Buffet Restaurant, and walk in the door. The head waiter shows you to your table, and just as you begin to take off your jacket, he asks you what you want to drink from a selection of Coke, Water, or watered down Iced Tea. You inform him of your choice and meander over to the buffet line. Delectable dining awaits as you pick up a gently warmed plate and peruse the feast lit up under a sneezeproof plexiglass shield. Oh, the bounty before you as you grab a serving ladle and drop a heapin’ helpin’ of Mushroom Chicken. Then you drop a few Sweet and Sour Dumplings onto your plate, and a few of those orange frilly-lookin’ things that you don’t recall ever seeing before.

Placing your cornucopia onto your platter, you head back to the table and begin mastricating the savory morsels. Oh, it just can’t be true - but it is! All this for only a few dollars. Simply amazing. You finish your meal and watery iced tea, and the kindly fellow brings you your tab and a little fortune cookie. Such helpful tips in the cookies too! Today’s was: "Life to you is a bold adventure. . ."
It sure is my friend, it sure is. . .

The inspiration of a lunch . . .

I’m now wiping Mtn dew off my monitor, and tears out of my eyes.

You, Almighty Tripler, have a way with words.

Thank you :slight_smile:

I have to get the Shakespearean dialoge between myself and a coworker yesterday. Talking about lunch:

Hark, what plate before me appears? Why it is Fries of the French! O loathed people, ye make such tasty potato snacks. . .

I’ll go find it. It was better that CBR

that would mke a SWEET sig line :slight_smile:

Oop, here it is in it’s original Technicolor glory:

“Success! Aaaah. Look ho! O what beautiful plate appears before me? Why Fries of the French! O loathed people, ye create such tasty potato snacks!”

AdNoc, if you want it as a sig, then I leave it for you. :slight_smile:
Unusually eloquent today.

As a devotee of the Almighty Buffet, may I offer a few more gems?

“Egg Drop or Hot and Sour Soup?”


I love them little steamed dumplings, eggrolls, crab rangoon, “Chinese” fried chicken wings, peapods with water chestnuts and ginger, stir fry tofu w/ black mushrooms…

Oh man you had to post this when I’m sooo hungry!

I have been patronizing the Thai buffets lately, mmm Curry;)

Oh, man, tell me about it! I’m starvin’, and I could definitely go for some Sesame Chicken.

I also like the Thai and Indian buffets. Mmmmmmm. We’ve got this one Chinese Buffet that has the Mongolian BBQ. I love that place!

They have the sign up:

“Choose your noodles, add your veggies, pick a sauce, your favorite meat. We cook for you!”

Is it dinner time yet?

Oh lord, Mongolian BBQ…I haven’t had that since I was in college, where it was a STAPLE. Mmmm. Now I want some. Dammit!

I just went last night to China Jade Mongolian BBQ. It was heavenly. I had all the cold shrimp I could bear to peel. Then I had hot and sour soup with all the yummy tofu chunks. Then on to the fried shrimp and crab ragoon. It was gooooood. Then to finish it off I did a mongolian BBQ with chicken, sesame oil, garlic sauce, those sprouty things, and noodles.

utter bliss…

Ah yes, the beloved Chinese Buffet Restaurants. The food is so delicious you always eat so much they have to wheel you out of the place on hand trucks. Damn, I am so hungry now!

Yeah, but it can go wrong. So very, very wrong…

Last year on our Americana Road Trip 2000, we stopped for dinner. Now, don’t get me wrong, nobody was expecting authentic Chinese food from a place in the parking lot of a Motel 6 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, but nobody was expecting our “Chinese” food to arrive at the table…


Granted, we didn’t order the buffet. Perhaps that’s where it all went awry.
Perhaps I should start a new thread: “Denny’s - utterly foul in Canada, but strangely edible in the U.S. Why?”

There are two (count 'em, two) good Chinese restaurants in the town where I work, pop. about 8500. And they really are good. I know, I used to live (and eat) in Seattle. (Too bad I couldn’t have said Hong Kong.)

My favorite is the dish with the long skinny green beans.

Now that I’ve totally pissed everyone off by making them hungry . . .
Is it not true that these Houses of Hunan are not a Godsend? Like, wow.
Still in awe of the Happy Panda. And oh how happy he is…

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I will not mince words. The Chinese Buffet Restaurant has saved my life. Yes, my friend, it’s value far exceeds its operating costs. Allow me to explain . . .

Upon return of a heavy night of high-falootin’ galavanting and raucous antics in the local watering holes, I regained a somewhat conscious awareness. I was curled up in my bed, still reeking of beer and the perfume of a young lass I don’t recall dancing with. However, I did find that I was extremely hungry. I arose from my drunken stupor to rummage through the kitchen, only to find that I had a half box of spaghetti, two cans of beans, a stale piece of bread, one stick of gum, and a toothbrush. My luck was out.

At 0200 in this town, most establishments are closed down for the eve. But, one supermarket in particular is open 24-7. So, I ambled into the shower and cleaned up as best I could, and dressed in halfway-respectable clothing for my condition. I then left my humble abode in search of the “Super-Market”. The cold air on my still damp skin had really kicked my ass into sobriety, and I began walking down the long hard path towards sustinence. I arrived at the “Super-Market” at the fine hour of 0230, only to find a simple notice: Closed for Repairs. Open at 7:00AM. Not so “Super”. O fate, how your black heart deals such devastating blows. . .

My fate had still yet to be determined. Was I to crumple down here, only to suffer from munchies and die in the cold? Or, was I to press on like the mighty John Wayne, on a quest for quiche? Remembering that I was nigh two blocks from my friend’s house, I decided to roll the dice of life: I pressed forward.

Nary a scant half-click down the road, I saw cars pulling into driveways, and the cacophonous laughter of chipper young people fresh from their nights on the town. I meandered down my path, and dare I believe my eyes? Why, it was a twenty-four hour Chinese Buffet Restaurant! Oh yes, my friend, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Long story short, a cheeky fellow showed me to my seat, and I made avail of the plethora of General Tso’s Chicken, my personal favorite. Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot impress upon you the importance of General Tso’s Chicken, at 0245 on a Sunday morning, still buzzing from the night’s activities. However, I did need rest. And once again like clockwork, my young guide to the Orient delivered the check and another sugary cookie with these wise words: "You can overcome adverse conditions with ease if you try."

Oh how true my friend, how so very true . . .

Patron of the Blessed New China Buffet.

There use to be this little chinese restaurant in the food court of our mall. We never went there, but it was around for years. So finally a few months ago, we stop in because Taco Bell’s line was too long. Huge servings, wide variety, and the best chinese food I’ve ever tasted. All for $3.95. So we went back the next itme we were in the food court, and they were closed. It was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen in my life…
They’ve since replaced it with another chinese place, but it’s not nearly as good. And they’re expensive. Grr.

What about the churrascurrias? (sp) The Brazilian restaurants where you take some stuff off steam tables, then waiters come around and carve meat off spits right onto your plate until you can’t eat any more? Remember a Christmas lunch last year, I didn’t eat anything until dinner the next day…I was SUCH a pig…mmmmm

Pammipoo – they’re just too cheap for their own good, aren’t they? I want to tell them, “for gosh sakes, raise your prices a bit, you’re worth it, we want you to stay open!”

When you get the bill, and you say to yourself, “Is that all?”, it’s a safe bet you won’t be eating there for long.

As someone who truly loves Chinese cuisine:

You have GOT to be kidding. Holding those places up as the salvation of penurious, starving, college kids is one thing. Claiming that they serve anything resembling good food is absurd.

$3.95?!? $3 freekin’ .95?

Yeesh. Here in The Frozen North, most of our Chinese Buffets cost around $10! (And we must have a dozen here in Fargo.) If they were $3.95, I wouldn’t eat anything else.

Although a few of them here often offer all-you-can-eat crab legs. You can’t go wrong with all-you-can-eat crab legs.

Dang it. Now I am all hungry. Time to go boil some raman noodles.


It makes me sad to say that there is no chinese buffet within twenty miles of where I live. Just thinking of a hot bowl of won ton soup followed by a big plate of lo mein, garlic pork, and beef with brocolli makes me want to go in the kitchen and dump the hot dogs in the trash and haul ass to the closest buffet.

But I won’t so hot dogs it will be. :frowning: