Are you feeling Lucky?


Gabe Calza-Everett

The Buffet

Chinese food is for me possibly the greatest of the comfort foods, which is a good thing if you live in Vermont. It’s almost a guarantee that any town of respectable size will have at least one Chinese eatery. Morrisville itself has just added one more to its roster of Oriental eateries, the Lucky Buffet.

Now the name of this establishment says it all. This is no subtly named hidden gem like the Single Pebble. This is no exotic flower, no delicate machine.

This is a bucket loader.

At $10 for the evening buffet, you are getting exactly what you pay for:  all the Chinese food you can eat, many choices and maybe a little something extra. I should have avoided the fried shrimp, which seemed to have it in for my digestive system.

At their prices I certainly will return, but I plan to stay away from the seafood.

The atmosphere of the Lucky Buffet will likely feel familiar: it looks like every other American Chinese restaurant –whitewashed walls, red booths, mysterious Mandarin lettering on the walls. This could very well be a Chinese restaurant in the DC area, or anywhere else in the U.S.

The most interesting feature is easily the four counters loaded with all different kinds of food. Featuring some 40 plus main dishes, including boneless ribs, General Tso’s chicken, beef lo mein, pot stickers, shrimp fried broccoli, sushi, breaded chicken, stuffed spinach, orange chicken, stuffed clams and Szechuan delight, there are plenty of options to choose from.

This of course is the biggest pro of going to a Chinese buffet; you will probably find your favorite dish there and if not there are plenty of others for consolation.

On the night I visited, the food quality was uneven. The stuffed mushrooms were either shriveled little prunes or giant water-bloated fungi of terrifying proportions. The coconut shrimp was heavy on sauce and cloyingly sweet. The pepper chicken was not bad, just a little chewy.

The rices, plain and mixed, were decent, hours old perhaps, but kept warm from the heat lamps overhead. The Egg Drop soup was nothing special, but at least a safe choice. Other soups included hot and sour and the old standby, wanton.

What stood out as the clear heavy-weight contender for best dish I sampled was the Crab Rangoon – at last a seafood dish that was safe to eat, except that it’s imitation crabmeat and the dish is about as Chinese as the cold pizza they have available.  Good though.

The Lucky Buffet serves white and red wine, Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Light and Heineken as well as the standard soft drinks.

A neat option for those on the run is the take-out; you can fill a styrofoam box at a reasonable $4.99 a pound.

The Lucky Buffet is perfect when if you’re out on the town, especially with friends and want to eat cheap. Or why not stop in and challenge each other to a eat off?

Opening at 10:30 a.m. and closing its doors at 9:30 p,m, Lucky Buffet is found at the Morrisville Plaza along with Peebles, Big Lots and several banks and drug stores.