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"Slumming It": Chinese Buffets in New Jersey?


richardv
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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 ???

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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

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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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

"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."

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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

Fink

The best part of the Guiniea Pig? The Cheeks! Definately the cheeks!!

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International Buffet in Bergenfield

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

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:

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International Buffet in Bergenfield

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

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

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International Buffet in Bergenfield

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

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

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.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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International Buffet in Bergenfield

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

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

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.

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

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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.

~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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

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.

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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 (log)
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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.

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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

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.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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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."

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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.

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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 (log)

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

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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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.

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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.

Quing Feng Chinese Restaurant

25 W ELIZABETH AVE (at Wood Avenue)

LINDEN, NJ

07036-4223

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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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. )

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!!

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      Unfortunately, both seem to have been a little hard of hearing. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked why the Chinese changed the name of their capital from Peking to Beijing. In fact, the name didn’t change at all. It had always been pronounced with /b/ rather than /p/ and /ʤ/ rather than /k/. The only thing which changed was the writing system.

      In 1958, China adopted Pinyin as the standard romanization, not to help dumb foreigners like me, but to help lower China’s historically high illiteracy rate. It worked very well indeed, Today, it is used in primary schools and in some shop or road signs etc., although street signs seldom, if ever, include the necessary tone markers without which it isn't very helpful.
       

      A local shopping mall. The correct pinyin (with tone markers) is 'dōng dū bǎi huò'.
       
      But pinyin's main use today is as the most popular input system for writing Chinese characters on computers and cell-phones. I use it in this way every day, as do most people. It is simpler and more accurate than older romanizations. I learned it in one afternoon.  I doubt anyone could have done that with Wade-Giles.
       
      Pinyin has been recognised for over 30 years as the official romanization by the International Standards Organization (ISO), the United Nations and, believe it or not, The United States of America, along with many others. Despite this recognition, old romanizations linger on, especially in America. Very few people in China know any other than pinyin. 四川 is  'sì chuān' in pinyin.
    • By liuzhou
      An eG member recently asked me by private message about mushrooms in China, so I thought I'd share some information here.

      This is what available in the markets and supermarkets in the winter months - i.e now. I'll update as the year goes by.
       
      FRESH FUNGI
       
      December sees the arrival of what most westerners deem to be the standard mushroom – the button mushroom (小蘑菇 xiǎo mó gū). Unlike in the west where they are available year round, here they only appear when in season, which is now. The season is relatively short, so I get stuck in.
       

       
      The standard mushroom for the locals is the one known in the west by its Japanese name, shiitake. They are available year round in the dried form, but for much of the year as fresh mushrooms. Known in Chinese as 香菇 (xiāng gū), which literally means “tasty mushroom”, these meaty babies are used in many dishes ranging from stir fries to hot pots.
       

       
      Second most common are the many varieties of oyster mushroom. The name comes from the majority of the species’ supposed resemblance to oysters, but as we are about to see the resemblance ain’t necessarily so.
       

       
      The picture above is of the common oyster mushroom, but the local shops aren’t common, so they have a couple of other similar but different varieties.
       
      Pleurotus geesteranus, 秀珍菇 (xiù zhēn gū) (below) are a particularly delicate version of the oyster mushroom family and usually used in soups and hot pots.
       

       
      凤尾菇 (fèng wěi gū), literally “Phoenix tail mushroom”, is a more robust, meaty variety which is more suitable for stir frying.
       

       
      Another member of the pleurotus family bears little resemblance to its cousins and even less to an oyster. This is pleurotus eryngii, known variously as king oyster mushroom, king trumpet mushroom or French horn mushroom or, in Chinese 杏鲍菇 (xìng bào gū). It is considerably larger and has little flavour or aroma when raw. When cooked, it develops typical mushroom flavours. This is one for longer cooking in hot pots or stews.
       

       
      One of my favourites, certainly for appearance are the clusters of shimeji mushrooms. Sometimes known in English as “brown beech mushrooms’ and in Chinese as 真姬菇 zhēn jī gū or 玉皇菇 yù huáng gū, these mushrooms should not be eaten raw as they have an unpleasantly bitter taste. This, however, largely disappears when they are cooked. They are used in stir fries and with seafood. Also, they can be used in soups and stews. When cooked alone, shimeji mushrooms can be sautéed whole, including the stem or stalk. There is also a white variety which is sometimes called 白玉 菇 bái yù gū.
       

       

       
      Next up we have the needle mushrooms. Known in Japanese as enoki, these are tiny headed, long stemmed mushrooms which come in two varieties – gold (金針菇 jīn zhēn gū) and silver (银针菇 yín zhēn gū)). They are very delicate, both in appearance and taste, and are usually added to hot pots.
       

       

       
      Then we have these fellows – tea tree mushrooms (茶树菇 chá shù gū). These I like. They take a bit of cooking as the stems are quite tough, so they are mainly used in stews and soups. But their meaty texture and distinct taste is excellent. These are also available dried.
       

       
      Then there are the delightfully named 鸡腿菇 jī tuǐ gū or “chicken leg mushrooms”. These are known in English as "shaggy ink caps". Only the very young, still white mushrooms are eaten, as mature specimens have a tendency to auto-deliquesce very rapidly, turning to black ‘ink’, hence the English name.
       

       
      Not in season now, but while I’m here, let me mention a couple of other mushrooms often found in the supermarkets. First, straw mushrooms (草菇 cǎo gū). Usually only found canned in western countries, they are available here fresh in the summer months. These are another favourite – usually braised with soy sauce – delicious! When out of season, they are also available canned here.
       

       
      Then there are the curiously named Pig Stomach Mushrooms (猪肚菇 zhū dù gū, Infundibulicybe gibba. These are another favourite. They make a lovely mushroom omelette. Also, a summer find.
       

       
      And finally, not a mushroom, but certainly a fungus and available fresh is the wood ear (木耳 mù ěr). It tastes of almost nothing, but is prized in Chinese cuisine for its crunchy texture. More usually sold dried, it is available fresh in the supermarkets now.
       

       
      Please note that where I have given Chinese names, these are the names most commonly around this part of China, but many variations do exist.
       
      Coming up next - the dried varieties available.
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