Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Great China Buffet

Date: January 8, 2010
Time: Approx. 11:45am
Location: Lincoln, NE
Restaurant: Great China Buffet
Overall Rating: 3

Egg Roll:
Food Quality: 3.5
Price: 3.5
Atmosphere: 3.5
Service: 3

For my first Chinese food adventure of the year, I went to lunch with co-workers at the Great China Buffet, across from Gateway Mall on O Street. Every once in a while we have to remind ourselves why it is not a good idea to eat at a buffet for lunch: Food Coma = Nap at Desk = Low Productivity. This was our first reminder of the year. I think I’ll be good until at least February.

Needless to say, with this being a buffet I stuffed a lot of variety into the visit and if you are looking for variety, this is the place to go! They have Chinese and American food, including a salad bar and sushi! I’ll start from the beginning. Don’t waste your time on the Spicy Chicken, unless you don’t like spice at all. The name is deceiving and it needed more flavor. The Vegetable Lo Mien is always a good safety dish, an American favorite. It’s hard to mess this one up and I’d say theirs was right on par. The General Tao’s Chicken was excellent! Just the right amount of breading and flavor, not too spicy (and I'm a spice wuss). The Egg Drop Soup had green onions. It was about average, nothing surprising. The Pork Egg Roll was very disappointing. It tasted so processed that I couldn’t even cover the taste all that much with soy sauce. Since we’re going that direction, the Cashew Chicken was heartbreaking too. It had no flavor and only carrots and celery as vegetables. My two favorite dishes were real downers. Last item on the first round, the Pepper Shrimp was mild, yet interesting. It was lightly breaded with just a hint of pepper. Very nice.

Round two showed a bit more promise. The Spring Roll was the saving grace for the “roll” family. It had a thin wrap filled with cabbage. Small but delicious. The Crab Rangoon was awesome with a light outer shell and plenty of flavorful stuffing. It was almost small enough to be bite sized, which is not common in American Chinese restaurants (or any American restaurant). The Sesame Chicken was just as to be expected. Sweet and tasty! Lastly, the Sushi. I tried four different pieces. I swear one was stuffed with just shredded cheese and sour cream. How much more American can you get than that! None were un-edible, but none had that much flavor either. Tasted like I was just dipping sticky rice in soy sauce.

For the lunch buffet, the price was $7, including tax and a refillable drink. Not bad considering how much variety they have and the fact that you can eat as much as you want. With it being a buffet, the service is hard to judge. They were prompt in clearing our plates and that’s about all we had for service. The atmosphere is pleasant - soft music in the background, plenty of light from large windows, an ample amount of Chinese d├ęcor, and from what I could tell it was very clean. A good choice if you’re looking to overstuff at lunch in a hurry!

Fortune: “Your love light shines on another”.