Green Olive Buffet & Grill
Has anyone been? good? bad? ugly? Price?
I've been several times for lunch with co-workers. This is the one in Alexandria, in or near Hybla Valley; I don't know if there are others.
It's your basic Asian buffet restaurant. Lots of mostly (Americanized) Chinese dishes (General Tso's chicken, chicken with broccoli, dumplings, etc.), but also lots of "American" stuff like pizza, meatloaf, baked salmon, etc. There's a sushi bar, desserts, soups, etc. Unless you're the pickiest eater the world has ever seen, there's probably so much variety there than you will be able to sample more than one bite of everything.
I've never left there unsatisfied with my meal. Although I have not seen the kitchen, the dining area seems to be reasonably clean.
Price is reasonable, I think $8 or 9?
$14 for all-you-can-eat oysters and clams? I was hesitant too until I tried them. These were plump and briney, not iodiney and dessicated. Unfortunately, the staff piles them in the tray, so you can get bits of shell in the oyster. And these aren't so much shucked as opened (you still have to use a knife to separate oyster from shell). But for $14, I can live with that. The soups are good; ignore the sushi (unseasoned rice and the fish tastes like nothing). The rest is a mixed bag: if it comes fresh from the kitchen, the fried items can be good. They have a mongolian bbq setup where you fill a bowl with meat and veggetables, hand it to the cook, and he fries it up on a griddle for you. The American barbecue ribs are too sweet, but the Korean bbq ribs are pretty good. Between Great American Steak & Buffet and Old Country Buffet, Green Olive is the only one I'd consider returning to.
"Mixed bag" is a great description for this and many other Asian buffets. Each of them has some items well worth enjoying (well ... except one in Woodbridge which has no redeeming features at all) and other items you really should avoid.
Since I'm not an oyster fan, at Green Olive I've enjoyed one or two unusual items like the (increasingly popular) shrimp with coconut sauce, and dumplings with wrappers that look sort of like tapioca balls. I'm particularly fond of the seafood salad.
Warning! That rich dark-hued sauce in a bowl near the back grill? Not hoisin ... it's A-1 Sauce (why?)