Since I added the tagline “Seeing the country 1 Chinese buffet at a time” to this blog, I should probably mention the buffets I’ve visited periodically. For my stints at the sugar beet harvest in Stephen MN, the nearest decent buffets are in Grand Forks ND. For the first 2 years, our ‘go to’ spot was Great Wall Buffet on Gateway Dr. Yes, I said ‘our’. There are several of us who really enjoy buffets and almost always combine a lunch with a regular shopping trip. Anyway, Great Wall is a decent buffet. Rather limited selection of dishes but we weren’t really expecting much here. At one point, I checked YELP and found another buffet in town but it had even worse reviews.
Well, this year we decided to check out the other place, Panda Buffet on south Columbia Rd. What a welcome surprise. Much greater selection of standard buffet items, Mongolian grill, and dessert. (There’s a reason I didn’t mention salad bar – what a waste when you’re paying for a buffet!) They had chocolate cream pie in a dessert case. This place was actually crowded! We even noted numerous Asians paying to eat there. Is it the perfect Chinese buffet? No. Here are a few things I noticed. This is the first Chinese buffet I’ve visited that does NOT have chicken on a stick. If you want to eat something off a stick they have decent shishkebab with beef, onion and green bell pepper. There is one waitress who isn’t very attentive. If you need a drink refill or plates cleared, don’t be bashful. Flag her down. The hard floor areas can get very slick after a few spills. I saw one lady go from carpet to hard floor and land flat on her ass.
So, what was the deal with YELP? Well, I looked at the reviews again and spotted a link to view ‘filtered’ reviews. Apparently they employ some type of algorithm to keep pumpers and bashers off the main page. I couldn’t see any indication in the filtered reviews that they were bogus. So, I’ll know to look a little harder the next time.