774 Truman Blvd.
Crystal City, Mo.
The Place, The Food, Summary:
Sometimes the weekend sneaks up on us and we find ourselves unprepared. This past weekend was that exactly. None of us had given the task much thought. This is a bad situation in our house since between the three of us, there are no type-A decision makers. Or type B, or maybe even C or D. Getting any of us to come up with something on our own that we confidently think will appeal to everyone else is nothing short of miraculous.
There are a couple of places that require no thought at all and will usually be agreed upon quickly. Oriental Buffet is one of those places.
We've been there several times, so I'll keep this short.
It has two things going for it right out of the gate. First it's a buffet, everybody gets something they like. Secondly, it's nearby. There are bigger and/or better buffets, but none anywhere near as close.
So we drove there, went in, ordered our drinks, tea, Diet Coke and Coke, and headed for the lines.
I didn't have to sample things, I know what is good and not so good here. So I plopped down some noodles, a couple of the chickens, General Tsao and black pepper style, some pepper beef, a rangoon, some shrimp and a pot sticker.
Angel had some seafood, an egg roll and some mushrooms, rice and some kind of chicken. Adam went for the standard, white rice and sweet/sour chicken.
Two fails in front of me. The tea, probably the worst in town and the pot sticker. This is not a news flash, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before. This time the dumplings were rubbery, like ill-prepared calamari.
Most of the rest of the stuff was pretty good. Not great, fantastic or phenomenal, just pretty good.
We all finished round one about the same time, I thought about seconds, didn't want much, so I decided just to hit the dessert line. I got what I usually get, the bananas and red sauce over some banana pudding. It was fine, though since I've backed off sugar consumption lately it tasted good but it unsettled my tummy and my general outlook on life, which probably reflects in the darker - ho-hum tone of this review . Not the food's fault per se, it's my stupid changing (deliberately) metabolism that is growing increasingly intolerant of sugar and a few other things. So it's not really a bad thing either.
'Or-Buff' is fine. Since it is a buffet it's hard to complain since everybody tailors their own plates and portions. Something doesn't win you over, you just skip it and get something else. This makes buffets very hard to rate against other places, so I can only compare it to other buffets. Of all the buffets in the greater St. Louis Metro region, Oriental Buffet in Crystal City is certainly one of them.
Thirty four dollars and change, for those of you keeping score.