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"Slumming It": Chinese Buffets in New Jersey?

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#1 richardv

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 06:10 PM

A friend and co-worker of mine is very fond of all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets in NJ, but a lot of this may have to do with her three teenage sons (plus one daughter and one husband). It's a way for them to have enough different foods and not to go broke; apparently the husband eats only the raw seafood, the boys eat the meatier items, the daughter only the vegetable dishes, well you probably get the idea. They actually don't seem to love actual Chinese food that much and were not receptive to the description of the brunch at China 46, as much as they like finding the big, bountiful buffets.

And they seem to be pretty good at it. Their favorites are the "Century Buffet" just off of Rt. 3 in Clifton, the "Dynasty Buffet" in Saddle Brook, and the "Majestic Buffet" in Wayne which apparently just received some rave review in the Star Ledger or something.

I've tried these three, but for me this has to be on a night when I feel like "slumming it". The Clifton buffet was small and claustrophobic, with nothing exceptional. The Dynasty Buffet had an excellent Peking Duck, although when I attempted to eat my body-weight in it they didn't seem all that pleased; but, they also had an endless amount of ginger-and-scallion Blue Crabs (Chinatown Style) the night that I went, and I certainly had my money's worth. The Majestic Buffet was the largest, and the only one that seemed truly dirty - at least the restaurant was; we picked at the food (it was late and there was nowhere else to go) and we were quite happy that there were no ill-effects. They had a large offering of 'dim sum-like' dumplings - siu mai that were coarser and cruder than the real thing, har gao that were just not bad at all, actually, bbq pork buns, and a few other things that were eminently edible.

So, I'd like to show-off to my friend and be able to tell her about any other buffets that eGullet members may know. If you do know any in northern NJ, please post !!!

How she found these, I don't know. Do you all know any others ???

#2 rooftop1000

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 07:00 PM

buffet 23...on rt 23n wayne
very well lit.....
sushi, king crab legs, grill stations, fresh made hot sugared donuts great vegetables skip the Costco desserts get the soft serve :blink:
The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers
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#3 Curlz

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 08:23 AM

It's not Chinese, but you should definitely check out Minado! You can read about it here...
"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

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#4 finker99

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 08:24 AM

I enjoy a good chinese buffet every once in a while and for the record NEVER EVER EVER EVER GO TO BON BUFFET in Lodi by the car wash. It tops the SYSCO truck drivers' list of places to never eat. nuf said

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#5 Wanimoon

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 09:03 AM

International Buffet in Bergenfield

#6 Jason Perlow

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 09:16 AM

International Buffet in Bergenfield

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Really? I've walked in there several times and have walked out, not being very impressed with the offerings in the steam tables.
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#7 Wanimoon

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 09:28 AM

International Buffet in Bergenfield

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Really? I've walked in there several times and have walked out, not being very impressed with the offerings in the steam tables.

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I'm definitely not saying it's the best, but I think they have really good sushi and a good variety of food for the price and the location. I also like the buffet place in Saddle Brook, but most of the time i don't feel like driving 20 minutes for a buffet and it's also always packed!!! Some people I know have said they think the saddle brook buffet is salty, but i didn't think so. :biggrin:

#8 richardv

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 10:21 AM

International Buffet in Bergenfield

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Really? I've walked in there several times and have walked out, not being very impressed with the offerings in the steam tables.

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Are there any that you stay and eat at? Any with particular draws of that you like for any reason?

#9 Jason Perlow

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 10:26 AM

International Buffet in Bergenfield

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Really? I've walked in there several times and have walked out, not being very impressed with the offerings in the steam tables.

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Are there any that you stay and eat at? Any with particular draws of that you like for any reason?

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The only one I go to is China 46's Dim Sum Brunch on Sundays.

Victor Sassoon, eGullet Society member and reviewer for the Bergen Record, recently wrote a short peice about it:

China 46 in the Bergen Record

China 46 (eG Forums, with photos)

When I was working up in the Ramsey/Mahwah area I went to the one up on Rt. 17, but I forgot its name. It wasn't bad, but then again it wasn't great either.
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#10 Wanimoon

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 10:48 AM

International Buffet in Bergenfield

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Really? I've walked in there several times and have walked out, not being very impressed with the offerings in the steam tables.

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Are there any that you stay and eat at? Any with particular draws of that you like for any reason?

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The only one I go to is China 46's Dim Sum Brunch on Sundays.

Victor Sassoon, eGullet Society member and reviewer for the Bergen Record, recently wrote a short peice about it:

China 46 in the Bergen Record

China 46 (eG Forums, with photos)

When I was working up in the Ramsey/Mahwah area I went to the one up on Rt. 17, but I forgot its name. It wasn't bad, but then again it wasn't great either.

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I think that one is call Grand Buffet or something like that.

#11 waves2ya

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 12:19 PM

My kids are nutz for the brunch at C46 - the foods' over the top delicious - yet your buds discount the place...?

It's easy to find bad, cheap food - why even discuss it...?

Look, if all they've done is 'read/heard a description' they ought to give China 46 on Sundays a try.
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#12 richardv

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 12:52 PM

Look, if all they've done is 'read/heard a description' they ought to give China 46 on Sundays a try.

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We're really not talking the same language here. China 46's Sunday brunch doesn't have a salad bar, or veal parm or pasta, or peel-and-eat shrimp with coctail sauce.

When I told her that we had tried one of her places and made a very happy meal out of ginger-scallion Blue Crabs, Peking Duck, and a chinese green vegetable, she actually said "they have those things?"

And so based on the family dining stories I hear, I really don't think China 46 is for them. Not the least of which is that they need a place for dinners, and a place that will fill up the teenage boys at night. Now, if they lived in Las Vegas, I think they'd be in heaven.

As for me, I definitely agree with the statement somewhere here that "now and then the good Chinese buffet has its place", and while I walk out of many of them, I'm still intrigued by them. And for the idea of eating a variety of things and picking "one last taste... make that two" of something that was good, I can get into them now and then. I did call it "slumming it" when I started the thread, you know, and that has its place. After all the Per Se and Babbo dinners, slumming it sometimes hits the spot, especially if you're not sure what you want to eat, and the grazing fills you up. And so when this particular friend tells me of her latest finds, I file them away check them out when I'm in the area.

Incidentally, are there non-Chinese buffets in Jersey, like you find in the south? (I may be thinking heavily of Orlando.) I'm sure she would love those, but I've never heard her mention them at all, and I've never seen any either.

#13 zhelder

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 01:09 PM

I love Majestic Buffet. It's my new favorite, even though it's a bit more expensive than the others. Others that I know of:

Bon Buffet in Maywood - The original "all inclusive" buffet in the area. They used to be great, but they've gone dowhill in recent years. Still one of the better places. (Edit: Just saw Fink's post on Bon Buffet. I agree they've gone way downhill but I still thin they're OK. )

Pu Pu Inn in Elmwood Park - The original Chinese buffet, they've been around forever. Very limited selection, no desserts or anything like that, but very cheap $4.95 for lunch, $6.50 for dinner. The prices haven't changed since I was a kid (going back to the early 80s, when my mother discovered the place. )

Grand Buffet in Ramsey - Very good buffet, but I like Majestic better.

Dynasty Buffet in Saddle Brook - Been here a few times. Decent food, but the place always seems to be insanely busy.

Green's Court in Little Falls: So-so. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

There's a huge buffet in West Orange in the Essex Green shopping center which is very popular also, but the name escapes me. They're very good too.

Edited by zhelder, 12 April 2005 - 01:12 PM.


#14 Jason Perlow

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 01:12 PM

Now if the guys from East Buffet in Flushing would do one in Bergen County, we'd really have something.
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#15 mizducky

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 01:21 PM

Another vote for the Grand Buffet on Rte. 17 in Ramsey. When I was back east visiting family a couple of years ago, several of them recommended this joint, which was just a mile or two away from my motel. I thought it was pretty decent for a buffet-style Chinese restaurant. Busy on a weeknight, but not obnoxiously zoo-y.

#16 ejebud

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 01:29 PM

I can't believe no one has listed the Royal Buffet Rt 10 West in east Hanover. The dishes were similar to Majestic but I found them to be much more flavorful at Royal. Just my $.02
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#17 Jason Perlow

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 01:32 PM

I can't believe no one has listed the Royal Buffet Rt 10 West in east Hanover.  The dishes were similar to Majestic but I found them to be much more flavorful at Royal.  Just my $.02

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Yes, I remember this place when we lived there back in 2000. Rachel and I went there a number of times, it wasn't bad.
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#18 Curlz

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 01:35 PM

Saffron, Saffron, SAFFRON. East Hanover. Best Indian buffet I've seen...for $9.95pp!!
Link is here.
"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

#19 coughy

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 02:02 PM

JP Lees in Millburn is Mongolian Barbeque but also have a Chinese buffet. I always say it is quantity over quality but the food is decent and the place is clean. The Mongolian side is actually good because you put your own meal together. Price is about $14 pp.

#20 rooftop1000

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 02:03 PM

For a non chinese buffet there is a place around the corner from me called Town Tavern its only open thursday friday saturday they have a real menu but why bother.
Just get the seafood lovers ...or loveboat or something 23.95 walk past the salad bar (just kidding) to the chilled king crab claws and shrimp and clams...1st plate, then hit the steamed crab legs fried shrimp steam clams stuffed clams 2nd plate, you could just keep repeating this or move on to carved prime rib, ham or turkey then there is the regular hot buffet stuff, ribletts pasta vegetables meatballs 'taters.
but leave room for 2 plates of above average commercial desserts and they have a full bar

town tavern
macopin rd
west milford

edit to add
they have a private room here which we had for a club Christmas dinner for 30, great for that type of event everyone found something they liked ...like the family in the original post

Edited by rooftop1000, 12 April 2005 - 02:15 PM.

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers
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#21 legendarystarbolt

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Posted 13 April 2005 - 04:34 PM

The Green Jade on Franklin Ave. in Nutley. It's pretty much the only place I go for Chinese.

#22 nizza

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Posted 13 April 2005 - 05:11 PM

I'll second the Green Jade. The food there is really good and they do have other selections other than chinese.

#23 NJ2FLA

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Posted 13 April 2005 - 06:30 PM

Addressing a post earlier:

In West Orange in the Essex Green shopping center the Buffet is called "The Essex Grand Buffet." His prices are 9.95 for a weeknight dinner and a bit more on Friday and Saturday nights. I am good friends with the owner Kevin.

The Majestic Buffet by Willowbrook is owned by Kevin's uncle who used to be partners with him at the EGB (above). His name is David. I am not impressed too much with the food and the decor of the old Chuck - E- Cheese. I think the waitresses look like flight attendants and they are way too pricey for that area.

There was a buffet on Rt 10 East Hanover in a strip mall, may have been the one mentioned but that has closed. It is across the street from McDonald's and Bill & Harry. I think half of it is now a Nextel store.

I was in the Buffet on 17 in maybe Ramsey and we saw a cockroach run across the floor. So much for that place. That one is also in a strip mall on the south side of Rt 17.

Kevin's family also owns a buffet in Mt. Olive in the ITC. It's by the Sam's Club store on the lower level. It's smaller but decent.

Re: Pu Pu in I remember going to the one they had on Broad Street in Bloomfield, there was also one on Rt. 46 in Totowa (Little Falls) behind the Pizza Hut. The one in Bloomfield was called Bo Bo Inn and the one in Totowa was called PuPu as well. A smaller buffet in the back with a window to the kitchen and the window would open up and the guy would dump out whatever into the appropriate container on the buffet. Where in Elmwood park as I would definitely go check it out?

I think the buffet in Clifton by the Costco is nasty. We weren't impressed maybe it was the clientèle.

Greens Court on Rt 46 is alright. I like the peanut butter chicken. I also have a card for 10% which is nice.

The buffet on Valley Road and Hamburg Tpk in Wayne is decent. I meet my mother there for lunch sometimes as she works across the street. The name and ownership has changed a few times.

#24 Randi

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Posted 13 April 2005 - 07:19 PM

I agree that the peanut butter chicken at Green's Court on 46 in Totowa is great. They have a handful of other decent dishes too. And for an additional $1 you can get a plate of snow crab legs (used to be included in the buffet).

I have been going to Quing Feng in Linden lately since their food is also decent and the 9.95 price includes the crab legs. I usually eat plate after plate of the crab, and nibble on some other items. Once you figure out the decent items (they too have a really good peanut butter chicken) the fact that the rest are pretty sucky doesn't seem to matter.

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#25 finker99

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 01:11 PM

I love Majestic Buffet. It's my new favorite, even though it's a bit more expensive than the others. Others that I know of:

Bon Buffet in Maywood - The original "all inclusive" buffet in the area. They used to be great, but they've gone dowhill in recent years. Still one of the better places. (Edit: Just saw Fink's post on Bon Buffet. I agree they've gone way downhill but I still thin they're OK. )

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the quality may be ok, but delivery drivers see a lot of kitchens and I had three tell me they would never eat there based on the sanitation.
The best part of the Guiniea Pig? The Cheeks! Definately the cheeks!!

#26 TMus1111

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 03:24 PM

Richardv,

You posted:

"Incidentally, are there non-Chinese buffets in Jersey, like you find in the south? (I may be thinking heavily of Orlando.) I'm sure she would love those, but I've never heard her mention them at all, and I've never seen any either"

You are probably talking about places like th Golden Corral - they have a lot of them in the South although my favorite is in Burlington, North Carolina. Most of the ones in the South have steak buffets. I don't know of anyplace in Jersey that has a steak buffet like a Golden Corral but Jersey does have very similar buffets. Not exactly in the areas you mentioned, but there is one on Route 22 in Blue Star Shopping Center in Watchung, Old Country Buffet I think. There is also an Old Country on Route 35, not sure of the town but its near Sayerville or Old Bridge, and there is also one on Route 1 near Edison, New Brunswick area.

#27 titmfatied

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 04:20 PM

The Old Country buffet on 35 mentioned is located on Rt 9 South just after Ernston Rd.
It's approximately 5 miles after the bridge when heading south.

#28 SueWho321

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 02:55 PM

replying to an earlier post...

You mean a steak buffet like Ponderosa?

#29 richardv

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 07:48 AM

I don't know, because I've never seen or been to a Ponderosa. I peeked at a Sizzler once out of curiosity because I walked by it, and I certainly would never eat there myself! Is Ponderosa different? Is it the case that there's an extended salad bar buffet that accompanies whatever meal you buy?

Many (many) years ago while in Orlando, I found the dining just dismal - in those days, what was local "upscale" cuisine was just horrible. One night in desperation I gave up (even though I was on an expense account) and went to the Golden Corral right near my hotel, and they were having prime rib that night that was perfectly good, and of course, there was a lot of green salad from the salad bar, and although I didn't eat most of what they offered on the buffet, I actually had one of the best meals I had had in Orlando at that point, although I've never been to a Golden Corral since.

And also many years ago, in Mobile, Alabama, they insisted that I try a place called Barnhills Buffet, which is now a regional chain, I see. The food quality there was actually very good, and again though I didn't eat most of the things, between the baked catfish and the salad, I had a better meal than most others I had been finding.

So those were the kind of places I was asking about.

Edited by richardv, 27 April 2005 - 07:49 AM.


#30 all-u-care-2

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 09:15 PM

While we're on this, and since I was just in Jersey City and Bayonne recently, what can any of you tell me about the following:

Fun Buffet on 440 near the former Roosevelt Stadium (now the Kevork Hovnanian development Society Hill)
Jersey Buffet at the Martin Luther King Plaza (right next to the light rail)
King Plaza Buffet on the JC/Union City border
and, is or isn't there a storefront buffet in Bayonne somewhere?

Edited by all-u-care-2, 28 April 2005 - 09:17 PM.

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