Cold food for your cold cash at Lucky Buffet

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Everyone’s been there before. It’s noon. Your stomach is rumbling, and there’s no leftovers in the fridge or burgers to thaw, and your buddies want to get lunch. Pulling your wallet from your back pocket you find a lone ten dollar bill. Holding the bill in your hand you stop and think; there’s no way you can tame the grumbling beast that is your stomach with this chump change. But that’s when you remember you’re wrong.

Few things are more traditional and symbolic than going out and sharing a meal with others. These days though, few things are more expensive. But anyone simultaneously hungry and strapped for cash should fear not, and simply remember three words; Lucky Buffet. Modestly located in the Morrisville plaza next to the TD Bank, Lucky Buffet is open for lunch and dinner, and is as inexpensive as a buffet can get, without any egregious consequences. A visit for lunch time will only run you $6.95, and dinner just a few dollars more.

When I walked into Lucky Buffet, it was reminiscent of essentially every modern Chinese restaurant I have ever visited, complete with pale, white walls and dark wooden tables, to fake plants in small bowls of pebbles; and don’t forget the cliché statues of an overzealously smiling Buddha and terracotta soldiers.

No sooner than I had turned to slide into the booth, a server had taken our drink orders and I was back up again to hit the buffet. In the back of the long, narrow room sits four bars with around 10 different selections apiece, ranging from average Chinese restaurant dishes such as General Tso’s Chicken, fried rice, and spring rolls, to more out of the ordinary, like Pineapple chicken or even small slices of pizza. I started off with General Tso’s Chicken, and as a whole was not disappointed, but not quite impressed.

The taste of the meat was perfectly sweet, but the texture was less than superb. Overall, I would still dub it one of the better dishes. Next I moved on to the boneless pork strips, and of all the meat I tried, it was my favorite. Although a little tough, the pork wasn’t dry and still managed to retain its natural flavor inside all the extra seasoning. After the pork, I hopped over to the pineapple chicken, which, to my concern, tasted more like pineapples than chicken. This I blame on the sauce being far too potent for the chicken, and after wasting little time with it, moved on. Other items such as the spring rolls and rice were mediocre at best, which surprised me, not by contrast to the outstanding taste of other items, but because rice and spring rolls never struck me as complex dishes. Another common dish that I felt was sub-par was the chicken and broccoli, with the chicken being tough and the broccoli undercooked. I will admit that I rarely tempt fate with seafood dishes like shrimp or crab at any all-you-can-eat style buffet, however, my roommate and dining companion dove straight into the crab rangoon, claiming it as his favorite dish. He also noted interest in the fried rice, saying it was cooked to perfection. After a few shared dishes, he finished his meal with a fried doughnut covered in powder sugar. The doughnuts were flaky on the outside and fluffy on the inside – the perfect fried treat to end the meal. This was partially an ode to the doughnut and partially because the rest of the dessert options were of the stereotypically unexciting manner that most buffet desserts fall under.

Overall, the meal was exactly what I expected to get when I saw the price, with one large catch: Almost every one of the items listed above, with a few exceptions, were lukewarm or outright cold. In addition to this, some of the buffet dishes sat almost or completely empty for a significant amount of time before being replenished, even though the buffet was moderately busy for a weekend lunch. Regardless, Lucky Buffet lives up to the legacy of buffet’s everywhere: If you and your friends are hungry, and you want the most bang for your buck, look no further, but don’t get your hopes too high.