July 2, 2009

Grand Village Buffet

By Eric Shangraw

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM CDT

An East Peoria restaurant promises you will never leave hungry.
Eric Shangraw brings his old side–kick out of retirement for a trip to Grandvillage Buffet.

A trip to Grandvillage Buffet is a multi cultural culinary adventure.

"It is different traditions and it is has so many things I like," said customer Libby Lindsey.

The diversity in the buffet line is of course trumped by some more simple concepts more comparable with eating at a trough.

"You can eat until you pop! And it is good food. –Really, good food," said customer Gayle Miner.

"It is the best Chinese in town," said customer Barb Staton.

The master behind the buffet line is usually at the buffet line. Each hour, owner Sam Mach is measuring the temperature of each selection. His quality control is some of what make's Granvillage Buffet so great.

"We have to make sure every item is hot enough. I stir it up. I keep it fresh all the time. (How many items do you have?) From dessert bar all the way over, more than 100 items," said Mach.

Rural Food Critic Don Washburn and I grabbed a hot plate and went straight to the sushi bar to tell the fish how we operate in any Chinese buffet.

If they have good sushi, I think that's where you go first. Because that's where you get more bang for the buck.

"If they new how much sushi and shrimp I ate, they would charge me double," said Dubbs.

The salmon, eel and seaweed make for a delicacy for those who like sushi. It like a lot of wasabee mixed with soy sauce in each bite. Wasabee is an instant way to clear your sinuses.
It also make your eyes water.

After my sushi appetizer it was time for seconds.
Another adventure awaits you at the Stir Fry Station.

"Pick whatever vegetables you like. Put it in one of those bowls. Then mark on the paper what meat you want and what sauces. I always pick two sauces, the name and table number and they'll bring it to your table," said one customer offering me instruction.

After handing your bowl to the kitchen, it goes in a hot wok. These items are first bowled, then her meat and sauce selections are added, and its all cooked off fresh in a matter of minutes.
The result is fresh stir fry.
But if Chinese or Japanese cuisine is not for your pallet, there is the more traditional U–S items.

Barbecue chicken, meatloaf, barbecue ribs, steak–kebobs, pan fried potatoes, salmon filet, and pork chops. They have all the American food as well.

Back at our table Dubbs is picking apart barbecue shrimp on a stick.
After his third helping, he declares he's on a diet, and not going for desert.
I go for the shinny cake, strawberry flavored cream pie and a splat of chocolate ice cream.
Before 3:30 in the afternoon, a trip through the buffet line is $7.59 per adult.
Two hungry mouths are fed with tax for $16.39.
And at the Grandvillage Buffet, you won't be hungry again, until the next day.
.The Grandvillage Buffet is open seven days a week starting at 11 each morning.
It is on Camp Street just off of Route 116 in East Peoria.
After 3:30, it is $10.95 for a trip through the gigantic buffet line.

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