Mat and I always gripe about how Morgantown, for all its Chinese food places, has no decent buffet.  I mean, there are okay ones, like Great Chinese Buffet, at the Mountaineer Mall, and then there are “meh” places like Evergreen Buffet at The University Town Center.  Nothing we rave about, though.

Over by Ruby memorial, the Suncrest Towne Center was built (a new commercial development near the hospital, and currently houses a strip mall, a McDonalds, a Hilton, a Sonic, a HUGE Kroger, a bank, and a cardiology and oncology building, and plenty more is springing up). Mat and I took a walk to see if we could figure out what was going in the various lots.  We know a second Jimmy Johns is going in, then there is Carmona’s, Ledo Pizza, a US Cellular, a Korean nail place….and a Chinese buffet.  Jackpot!  It opened on the 16th.  We penciled it into our schedules, especially since they advertised in the Daily Athenaeum, the WVU student newspaper, that they would be knocking 15% off your total as a grand opening special.

So we pulled up on Thursday, and walked in.

Jesus, it’s pretty big, and very nice.  The interior is wider than it is long, with lines of booths and free-standing tables.  A woman greated us at a (rather ornate) podium, and asked if we would like a booth or a table.  We selected a booth, and she sat us.  Our server came over, took our drink orders, and off we went to the buffet.

Now, this place is not just a buffet.  No. 1 Chinese Buffet boasts six islands with about ten or twelve dishes per island.  They have a Mongolian grill, where you select your raw ingredients (veggies, meats) and add your sauce of choice, and the chef cooks it in front of you.  They also have a sushi bar, which is something I went nuts over.  I decided to try the buffet first.  I put some sesame chicken, some steamed edamame (nice!), some roasted duck, and some fried breaded shrimp on my plate.

I was not too impressed with the sesame chicken, it was far too sweet.  The edamame was tasty, the duck was okay (though that’s not their fault, I’m not much for duck), and the shrimp was good and crunchy.  Tasty so far!  I snuck a piece of coconut shrimp off Mat’s pate, and it was delicious!  Not too sweet, rather mild and milky with just the right amount of sweetness.

I hit the sushi bar next and loaded my plate up on the various rolls and sashimi.  I can say the sushi isn’t bad.  I mean, I wouldn’t come here JUST for the sushi, but it’s okay.  Some of the sushi, though, had sat out enough where the rice had gotten harder, and one piece of sashimi I had eaten was also dried like that.  The rest was pretty good, but I would rather get my sushi from Fujiyama or Hibachi.  Not bad, though.

I decided to visit the Mongolian grill next, because my favorite buffet in the world (Dynasty International Buffet, Cranberry PA) has an excellent Mongolian grill.  I like veggies, so I loaded my plate up with mushrooms, scallions, napa cabbage, snow peas, onions, etc.  I topped it off with a garlic sauce, and handed it to the cook.  He looked at the plate, remarked I must be a vegetarian!  He then asked if it was okay if he used butter, or if I would prefer vegetable oil.  He said he wasn’t sure if I was a vegan, but if I was he was more than happy to accommodate.  I was impressed!!  As a former vegetarian, I appreciate the question a lot.  I gave him the go-ahead for the butter, and he fried up my dish.  It was rather tasty too!

Best part?  The bill.  A lunch buffet for two, complete with a Mongolian grill and sushi bar, was about $15, BEFORE the 15% discount.

Mat and I discussed it, and overall, we gave No. 1 Super Chinese Buffet a solid B.  The sushi was okay, and their rice is left in the open in a tray rather than in a rice steamer, which is much better.  However the dishes were excellent and well cooked, and the excellent service at the Mongolian grill cannot be overlooked at all.  I want to go back today!!

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