The experience

So it was another evening solo with the kids for dinner.  The wife would be eating prime steak at Three Forks.  I figured we’d stay close and make it quick.  We are rapidly running out of those kind of choices.  The last few months of this are going to be difficult.  In any event, I just started driving, as I do many an evening for the blog these days.  Mina said she wanted Chinese.  I recalled some buffet in a strip mall and figured why not.  So we pulled in to eat at Happy Chinese Super Buffet.  I already knew this would not compare to what the wife was eating.

As I got out of the car, I realized I had not even made an attempt to remember the camera this evening.  Nor did I have my phone.  So no pictures for the evening.  That did free up my hands to bring in the mass of toys the kids decided they would bring.  Mina had her pack of toys and Benji had to bring in his toy truck he calls “Snort” from his favorite book, Are You My Mommy?

We went inside and the place was huge!  And there was only a couple other people in the place.  I hoped that was not a bad sign.  We were immediately seated and the waitress grabbed out drink orders as well.  I was going to leave the kids at the table but Mina wanted to come so Benji, of course, did to.

Mina immediately opted for the ribs and they both wanted noodles.  Looking around, I wanted some fresh food.  Half the dishes, the sauce had evaporated to a nearly solid state.  I picked around the choices for anything that looked reasonably fresh and we went back to the table.

I picked through parts of my first plate.  A couple things were decent.  Mina seemed to be doing OK with the ribs except she said some of it was “hard”.  Nasty.  But apparently it tasted OK because she just switched ribs and kept going.  Benji wasn’t all that interested in his food.  He did nibble on some noodles.

I spotted the food getting refilled, so I took the chance on a second round to try some of the fresh dishes.  It looked better but I quickly found out the couple items on my first plate were still the only thing I felt like eating.  I decided we’d just skip ahead to dessert and call it a night on this one.  Wasn’t worth the calories.

Before I executed Plan B, I tried to get the kids to eat a bit more.  Instead, Benji started playing peek-a-boo with lady eating next to us.  Mina was chuckling and not eating either.  It was cute, but also made it clear there would be no food being eaten so I scooped them up to get dessert.

Mina and Benji were excited about that plan.  Mina choose some orange jello.  Benji decided he wanted jello too but I got him red.  I grabbed some tapioca and some of those Chinese donuts from the buffet.  Definitely the best part of the meal.  And it was definitely time to go.  I’d be drooling when Grace mentions the steak she ate later.

The food

Eh.  I would have given it even lower had they not refreshed the food.  It was about the beginning of dinner and there were very few customers so I can see why they waited but it didn’t help to have some dried out food items on the buffet.

We pretty much sampled most of the items that looked good.  Mina seemed to enjoy their ribs.  I am not certain what it was floating in but it made them taste boiled to me.  The schezuan shrimp was very spicy which was a plus, but the shrimp were not very good.  I liked the pork with plum sauce.  Tasted more like pork sauteed with onions which was fine by me.  That and the lo mien were the two things that I filled up on.  The rest was sub par except for their Chinese sugar donuts they serve at all these places.  Those are always good.  Not sure how one could mess that up.

If someone was hell bent on eating here, I would go, but I wouldn’t choose to go back on my own, so I leave them with 2 stars.  It was borderline 1 star.

The service

Buffet so the only thing I was counting on was beverage refills and plate clearing.  She did a fine job a both.  No complaints.

The kids

Its a typical Americanized Chinese buffet, so if you kids can deal at one they can deal at them all.  Huge and empty so I doubt you will have any issues.

Total Cost: $15

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