The Other Restaurant Row
South shore eateries, markets help make a neighborhood
China Garden Super Buffet1717 S. Pleasant Valley #280, 385-858
Monday-Friday, 11am-10pm; Saturday, noon-10pm; Sunday, noon-9pm
China Garden has the most sumptuous (and most expensive) buffet on the E. Riverside strip. The space is bright and open, and the service punctual. The buffet sells for $5.75 for lunch during the week ($6.50 weekend) and at night for $7.99. For that, one gets a large selection of salad items to begin the meal, including boiled shrimp, sushi, kim chee, fresh fruits, and desserts.
Treats such as spicy crawfish and green mussels were in evidence on our visit one weekend day. General Tso's chicken, chicken with black bean sauce, pork chops with garlic sauce, and fried beef dumplings sucked us in for repeated visits to the heavily laden bar. There is a standard Chinese menu for those that choose to order from the menu or to go, and the buffet can be purchased to go as well.
Signs outside promised karaoke being available for parties, and it occurred to us that a Chinese buffet with sing-along might make for an interesting get together. If you don't mind springing for a few extra bucks, China Garden will provide a large selection, complete with seafood items that seldom appear at other buffets.