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Best All You Can Eat in DC/Nova/MD?

A month after Vegas, I'm wondering where our AYCE scene stands.

I'm a big fan of Mrs. K's Brunch, but unlike Texas, I can't think of too many in our area.

Asian?
Brunch?
BBQ?
Indian?

Everything counts if it's large amounts.

- WIA

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  1. Levi's does an all-you-can-eat soul food buffet for something like $17, but one plate's usually all I can handle. After that, I just kinda fall asleep.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monkeyrotica

      Ah, the AYCE calculus. If I don't eat at least 3 plates + dessert, I feel cheated.

      1. re: monkeyrotica

        i will second this, and i am a former eastern carolinian. its good bbq.

      2. If price is no object, the Colonnade (at the Fairmont in the West End) does a nice AYCE brunch.

        Matuba does AYCE rotary sushi.

        5 Replies
          1. re: WestIndianArchie

            I haven't been in a while, but as I recall the Colonnade had pretty much everything-- traditional "brunch" dishes of course, but also raw bar, lunch salads, asian dumplings, carving station, 2 dessert tables, etc. It was probably 8-10 tables worth of buffet, all nicely done, plus bottomless OJ and sparkling wine. Cost was something like $65.

            The Kennedy Center also does an AYCE brunch which, as I recall, is a little cheaper and not quite as good, but better than you might expect.

            1. re: Doh

              If you're driving, though, factor in the cost of parking -- Kennedy Center has an expensive garage. Plus their AYCE champagne brunch does not include refills on champagne, which they neglected to tell our table. Several of our group would not have asked for more had we known.

              1. re: weezycom

                weeyycom, have you been lately? I haven't had the AYCE brunch at the Kennedy Center in a couple of years. It used to be excellent. How is it now? Thanks.

          2. re: Doh

            I second the recommendation for the Fairmont's Colonnade AYCE brunch. They also do a chocolate brunch once a month too.

          3. Haven't been myself, but heard that Fogo do Choa (spelling?), has an AYCE lunch and dinner. Large amounts of various meats, salads, etc. FoiGras

            2 Replies
            1. re: FoiGras

              Yes, I was going to suggest one of the Brazilian steak places like Fogo de Chao or Texas de Brazil. The off-the-rack price runs in the $40-50 range, but if you get on their e-mail list, there are specials a few times a year that bring that down to $35 or so. Truly as much meat as you want, mostly beef but there's some chicken, turkey, pork, sausage, and I've heard rumors of salmon or swordfish though I don't subject myself to food abuse like this often enough to have experienced it myself. They tend toward the tougher cuts of beef, but it's all marinated, tender enough, and tasty by the time it gets to the plate. Plenty of variety in the veggie area at the huge salad and side bar.

              In order for this to be a good deal (at least for someone with a dining-out budget like mine) you really have to be prepared to eat all you can eat, and these days I fill up too quickly to feel like I've eaten $50 worth.

              You have been warned. <g>

              1. re: MikeR

                Agreed. I usually fast the night before I hit up FDC or TDB and do a weight work out the morning of.

            2. Mayuri in Reston for Indian.

              I forget the name of the place, but in Herndon, at Worldgate, was a place that did sushi for lunch pretty well.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Dennis S

                I quite enjoy the Delhi Club's (Clarendon) weekend lunch buffet. A nice selection (compared to other Indian buffets in the area) and quality is pretty good. I haven't been in a long while, but I think it still might be $10/person.

                1. re: Dennis S

                  I think the AYCE sushi place in Herndon is Matsutake. Their Ballston branch (maybe all branches) have AYCE for lunch.

                  Todai, in Fair Oaks Mall, does a decent job for AYCE sushi and other things. They also have pretty good desserts.

                  Also Minerva (several branches) for Indian. They also have Indian Chinese on the weekends.

                    1. re: WestIndianArchie

                      Never been to Masala Wok; but, from the description, I think it's the same type.

                  1. re: Dennis S

                    mayuri and minerva in herndon are excellent.
                    indian ocean (van ness) is pretty awesome and the owner is super-nice.

                    but heritage of india, wow. amazingly good lunch buffet. absurdly good, extensive choices, too.

                    1. re: kneelconqueso

                      kneel, have you been to mayuri lately? it has slidden down, down, down the hill -- and i was a huge cheerleader for them. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/639618

                      1. re: alkapal

                        i haven't been in awhile. i rarely work out in reston these days.

                        by the way, i am not sure i made it clear enough that the heritage restaurant i was speaking of is on connecticut ave, next to cafe citron in dupont. there are other heritages in the area, so its important to note that.

                        1. re: kneelconqueso

                          I haven't tried the AYCE lunch buffet at the Dupont Heritage India but have found there to be a big difference in the quality of the food (regular lunch & dinner menus) between the Dupont location and Glover Park. I much prefer the Glover Park Heritage India.

                  2. The {in English} unfortunately names Ill Mee in Annandale has super BBQ and kim chee on its AYCE. The sushi is pretty good Korean Style (more use of spicy sauces and such). You can also grab a bowl of soon du bu {soft tofu with kimchee and pork belly} or the bean paste stew in little cast iron pots that they cook and bring to your table bubbling & sputtering. They ahve goiod soups and Korean cold noodles. The cook food in the buffet ranges from forgettable to really bad for the most part, but the spicy tofu isn't bad and the sweet glazed pork ribs remind me of the overly decorated Chinese joints of my youger, much youger, days. Nice service at the table when they cook your meats. Cinnamon soup, sweet rice soup and soft serve ice cream for dessert as well. Int he shopping center on the southeast corner of Little River & John Marr.

                    Oe Gad Gib also on Little Rver Turnpike behing the Liberty Car Wash has AYCE Korean BBQ which is fine enough, but the better choice is AYCE Shabu Shabu. Lots of veggies, udon-like noodles, good sesame dipping sauce and as much beef as you care to swish. The ban chan are homey and delicious. If you care to kill off a few thousand brain cells, there is dong dong ju which is like moonshine crossed with rice porridge. $18.95 per person IIRC and really quite good.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: deangold

                      Forgot my favorite in Silver Spring: Gar e Kebab in Fenton or Wayne across fromt he parking structure. FOr 10 or 11, 4 or 5 really good hot sidhes, tandoori chicken of some sort, dahl, nice salad and 3 or 4 chutneys. Very nice people too! Naan and dessert included.

                      1. re: deangold

                        I'll second deangold's opinion. Fewer items than the typical Indian buffet, but the quality is top notch and the dishes go beyond the usual fare.

                    2. i'm going to fogo de chao for a birthday party on saturday. i've heard it's amazing. does anyone have opinions?

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: littlew1ng

                        Fogo De Chao is probably my favorite Brazilian churrascaria steakhouse in the area. The salad bar is very good with a good fresh variety. I find the meats to be much better here than Texas de Brazil but they do not have much Seafood. Chima and Texas de Brazil have more selections than Fogo, but i prefer Fogo's meats. I will say Chima does do a better beef rib than Fogo De Chao, but for the other meats....Fogo wins in my opinion.

                        1. re: AlexDer

                          what's the dress code like? i'm not really sure what to wear....if it's on the nicer side....and obviously it needs to be on the roomier side :-p

                          1. re: littlew1ng

                            For Lunch, I've seen people in there with shorts. I'm sure jeans are fine.

                            1. re: littlew1ng

                              Jeans and a polo shirt is fine and that is a minimum in my opinion as far as dress code goes. Its fairly casual but i wouldn't recommend going directly to there from the gym in your work out gear.

                          2. re: littlew1ng

                            so, can we talk about fogo's salad bar for a minute? Here's the dilemma — I'm a huge carnivore, meat fanatic, but have never been to a place like this so I don't know exactly how *amazing* the AYCE meat is that they serve. I know getting the salad bar knocks like $15 or so off your check, so if it's bountiful, fresh and delicious enough I could most likely just settle for lots of delicious vegetables....but if the meat is top-notch and worth the splurge I don't want to miss out either. Thoughts?

                            1. re: littlew1ng

                              If you like meat, it's hard to get a better selection and flavor for fifteen bucks. The problem (and maybe the plan) is that it's easy to fill up at the salad bar. You really need to go on an empty but not shrunken stomach to feel like you're taking advantage of a good situation. It's something that I do once or twice a year, not every week. I come out full and feeling that I got a good deal for my money. But I have only gone when I could take advantage of one of their discount offers, and I don't order alcohol and dessert, so I'm probably paying half what a "normal" big eater would pay.

                              1. re: MikeR

                                So you can get JUST the salad bar? Is it that great of a salad bar? How much does it end up costing? Is there any grilled chicken or meat like that on it?

                                1. re: Jacey

                                  Yes you can just get the salad bar. I feel the salad bar is very good. I can't remember the exact price of just the salad bar but i wanna say around $30 and full deal is about $47. The only chicken they offered from what i remember was a bacon wrapped chicken.

                          3. the best is texas de brazil. i've been to the one in fair oaks. their garlic sirolin is wonderful, and the salad bar is *so much more* than salad. beautiful!

                            during the week, we like raaga for indian. it's not "spicy" as some expect (it's not south indian, for the most part, despite a dal here and there, and usually two vegetarian dishes, as well as meat dishes) but very good quality.

                            1. Bombay Cafe in Fairfax. 5dollar buffet ALL DAY. 7 dollars on weekends. Best/Cheapest buffet in the region. It can be hit or miss, but usually the butter chicken is ridiculously good and the naan is fresh, they always have 3 chicken dishes and 3 vegetarian dishes + usual indian extras.

                              http://www.aaoji.com/fairfax/fairfax....

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Crocken

                                There's some place in Fairfax (or there was) along Main where 50 and 29 are the same road. It did Korean and sushi and was AYCE.

                                I went once a couple of years ago with a friend and liked it, but I hardly get down there anymore. Is that still there and if so, what's the name?

                                Thinking of this place, though, doesn't Hee Been have a buffet now, too?

                                1. re: Crocken

                                  how can anyone do a 5 dollar buffet?

                                  1. re: Crocken

                                    Oh, yeah. I've poked my nose in there a time or two when I've been to Batteries Plus in the same stirp. At the time, I think lunch was $7.95 or so and I wasn't hungry enough to eat that much. It was kind of late, too, about 2 PM, so the pans were pretty close to empty. This is food that's best when it's not been siting for a while. I'll have to give it a try while it's $5.

                                    It's a pretty dumpy looking place, which probably helps with the low price. It's good to hear that the food is decent.

                                  2. Besides Ghar-e-Kabab, which was mentioned in another post, the other three Indian buffets I like are Haandi (Bethesda), Spice x-ing (Rockville Town Center), and Woodlands (Langley Park). Spice x-ing is a steal--$7.95 on weekdays/$9.95 weekends--for food prepared by perhaps the best Indian chef in metro DC (Sudhir Seth). Haandi has a huge number of choices and the food is always well-prepared. Their always good butter chicken is a staple of the buffet. Woodlands has, IMO, the best South Indian veg in the area and their skills are well-represented in the buffet.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: JeffCraddock

                                      Spice x-ing has a wider selection with incredible dip and chutnies etc, much better than Ghar e Kabab, but I like the curries and cooked food better at Spice x-ing. So they comeout a bitof a wash except Gahr is on my way so it is my winner and if I am in Rockville Center, I go to Sichuan Pavillion over Spice X-ing.