Hi, I just moved to the South Boston area a few months ago. I was really surprised to see it come up on Chowhound!
I know a lot of people do not like buffet restaurants but a new one has opened in South Boston called Shan-Gri-La. They have Chinese, Japanese, and American food. I have eaten there a few times. I'm no sushi connoisseur, really not sure what everything I eat is and wouldn't know how to begin ordering off a menu but I have enjoyed what I've eaten from the sushi bar there. You can watch the chef preparing it and someone told me he will take special orders. The other food is really good and everyone I have talked to enjoyed it a lot. It's not a fancy restaurant but good for lunch. I've never been at dinner time.
Update on Shan-Gri-La......it is not good at all now. The last couple of times we were in there, the food was dried out and over cooked. They had gone to more American foods, like fried chicken livers, fried okra, macaroni and cheese, etc. and less Chinese and Japanese. We went in about 3:30 pm and they charged us the dinner prices but still had food out from lunch service. Needless to say, we won't go back there again.
I haven't eaten at Bistro 1888 and haven't heard any locals talking about it in the year+ we have lived here. The Magnolia Grill looks promising but I haven't been there yet. Smokin' Jakes BBQ is pretty good. I loved their Chipotle BBQ Burger with Bacon, Fried Green Tomato, Cheese, Slaw. Mi Carretta is a really good Mexican restaurant (love the guacomole made tableside) and all the locals talk about it.
I ate at Ernie's Restaurant one Friday evening for the all you can eat seafood. I wasn't impressed but it was pretty busy so guess others liked it. They did have oyster stew on the buffet which surprised me. Maybe I've lived a sheltered life but I don't recall ever seeing in on a menu in the past.
Just trying to give a little update for anyone that might end up over in our neck of the woods.
A few years ago, I was in South Boston, and my sister was in Martinsville. We met about half way in Danville, and ate at Joe and Mimmas. It was a good locally owned Italian eatery. However, It would require a drive of about a half hour to get there. The food was good, and not a chain restaurant.
•Joe and Mimma's Italian Restaurant and Pizza, Riverside Center, 3336 Riverside Drive, 434-799-5763;
Bistro 1888 is outstanding fine dining for dinner only. Ernie's and Four Oaks are also very nice.
Bistro 1888 @ 221 Main Street, South Boston, VA 434 - 572 - 1888.
Ernie's Restaurant @ 1010 John Randolph Boulevard, South Boston, VA 434 - 572 - 3423.
Four Oaks Restaurant and Lounge @ 1633 Seymour Drive, South Boston, VA 434 - 572 - 2066.