Looking for Central Florida buffets
- Bob Mervine Sep 3, 2006 04:09 PM
I'm looking for Central Florida-specific buffet restaurants. Not just all-you-can-eat or family Asian, either.
And just because a restaurant is named after Jimmy Buffet doesn't count . . .
My definition of a buffet is somewhat, uh -- flexible -- as you'll see from those I've tracked down so far.
Any that I've missed? Perhaps your favorite.
This is complicated by the fact that personally I cannot, for the most part, tolerate buffet-style dining of any kind.
In addition, many of my formative years were spent eating and regularly viewing what went on in the kitchen of Malcolm's Hungry Bear restaurant on Colonial Drive (next door to the old Dancing Waters restaurant).
Remember the famous "Mustgo Stew"? Should've gone yesterday, but must go today. The meatballs? The clam chowder, flavored by the single live clam who was tethered but allowed to swim, and sweat, in the pot to add clamflavor?
I'm confined to Orange , Seminole, Lake and Osceola County for this one.
I appreciate any additions (or comments) on these locations.
* La Coquina at Hyatt Grand Cypress
* Atlantis at Renaissance SeaWorld (not sure still doing Sunday buffet)
* Mission Inn Sunday Brunch (Howey-in-the-Hills)
* House Of Blues Gospel Brunch (Downtown Disney)
* Crazy Buffet, Altamonte
* Texas de Brazil, International Drive
* Chan's in Orlando for dim sum
* Disney Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom), Cape May (Yacht & Beach) and Boma @ Animal Kingdom Lodge
* Boston Lobster Feast, I-Drive
* Buddy Freddy's, several locations
* Holiday House, Lee Road
* Bill Wong's, I-Drive
I've listed Buddy Freddy's, and I want a national chain or two. Bob Evan's is on the short list, but I'm also looking at Barnhill's
I don't have a small family-run Asian buffet, and would solicit any such restaurants that Chowhounds have had good luck with on an ongoing basis. They need to be reasonably clean, serve fresh food that is frequently replenished, much of it Asian, and be inexpensive.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Bob, my roommates and I have all had very good experiences at China Jade on Colonial Drive, behind the Toys R Us and next to Fashion Square Mall. It isn't nearly as good as Crazy Buffet for fanciness or depth of selection, but I think the actual Chinese food is better (as opposed to the sushi at Crazy Buffet, which blows away any other all-you-can-eat buffet sushi I've ever had).
New China Buffet is on West Colonial Drive just west of Hiawassee (Home Depot Shopping Center) and is a decent buffet with loads of selections including a Mongolian BBQ. It's been there about three years and is pretty good.
Also, Renaissance SeaWorld is my favorite buffet. Our family has been meeting there for Christmas for about 15 years (even when it was Stouffer Orlando) and have never found one we like as much. Just the sushi, crab, shrimp, and mussels are enough reason to go! (Last time I went was New Years 2006; I sure hope it's still around!)
I don't have anything great for you, but The Grove in downtown Winter Garden has an extraordinarily popular lunch buffet--fried fish, mac' and cheese, macaroni salad, etc. It's about $6.95 and people are lined up out the door every day during the lunch hour.
At lunchtime, a lot of the Indian places have buffets. Memories of India and Clay Oven did at one time and still may.
Neither of those are strictly buffet restaurants, I know. Still thinking ...
I'm usually not keen on Indian lunch buffets, but down here in Broward I've had good luck with ones that lean toward South India. There's a South Indian vegetarian place that just opened down here but also has a location in Orlando, called Woodlands. The one here was startlingly good for a $6.95 lunch buffet; not sure whether the Orlando one does a buffet. Dosas, iddly, etc., very different from the Mughal stuff at most Indian places in the US.
They've got a website. http://www.woodlands-usa.com/
I've done the breakfast character buffet at Cape May Cafe at Beach Club. (I think the better restaurants, like the Steakhouse and the Galley, are next door at the Yacht Club. Always had fantastic meals there.) It's, well. . .a Disney character buffet. Mickey-shaped waffles, eggs, breakfast meat, 1 carving station, lots of kid-friendly items you normally wouldn't see at breakfast, like mac n cheese, chicken fingers and pizza. Plus normal stuff like fruit and cereal.
Overall response: Eh. Not a destination, unless the bambini want to see Mickey and you don't want to pay the $60 cover charge for park dining.