If you’ve tread any of my posts, you know I am anything but a food snob. I have no problem admitting I enjoy a good Asian buffet. Hell, I enjoy a MEDIOCRE Asian buffet. When it comes to BAD Asian buffets, I draw the line (and that Nasty Buffet on City Line in Bala Cynwyd qualifies as a BAD one.)
I was up in the Northeast today (my saxophone technician is up there) and I have to take the Adams Avenue exit to get to his shop. I have passed by the Pan Asian Buffet many times, and figured today would be my last drive-by. In the same strip mall, there is a Pho 75 and a Cafe Saigon (bahn-mi etc.) It’s always good to see an Asian population in the area. Upon entering, I was even more pleased to see about 3/4 of the patrons were Asian.
Honestly, most of the dishes here are standard Cantonese fare (Sweet and Sour Chicken / Pepper Steak) which I skipped. I did notice that they had pork tripe, chicken and pig feet, and a number of other atypical offerings that don’t typically show up in a Westernized joint.
As I got there at dead noon, the sushi station was filled out splendidly. I could not fit a single example of each on one plate (and keep it photogenic) so I had to go back and grab a few stragglers on my “appetizer” course. Fortunately, I am not a sushi snob. Though I DO appreciate a Jason’s Toridasu, Woo Jung, BlueFin or Ooka, I also appreciate shoving as much of the stuff down my gullet as I please without hearing cash registers ring with each morsel. The sushi chef was rolling as I picked, but I noticed during the course of my meal that he was not replenishing, for example, the nigiri or other more complex pieces. They were fresh enough and certainly well-constructed. I especially liked the unagi (eel.)
In addition to the sushi station there was a combo hibachi / soup guy where you pick your ingredients (like a Mongolian BBQ) and he either cooks your selections up on the flattop (or for soup takes it to a back room and nukes it before pouring one of three broths into the bowl.) It was OK, but microwaved round steak is not a good texture. By the time I got halfway through the soup I was stuffed. They had the typical desserts (some nice fruits like fresh citrus and kiwi) and scoop-your-own Turkey Hill ice cream.
After tax, this cost $11.10 so IMO, a pretty decent deal. Dinner is slightly more, but I do avoid ANY buffet that serves crab legs, because that seems to bring out the worst in people. This was a 20 minute drive from my house.. about the same as the further reaches of Ardmore. I will go back again. I have to pick up my saxophone anyway.