October 7, 2010

Asian Buffet in Pekin

By Eric Shangraw

October 7, 2010 Updated Oct 7, 2010 at 9:00 PM CDT

A Pekin restaurant is offering about a hundred different items to sample for lunch or dinner.

It is a menu selection from the far east.

Eric Shangraw is at the Asian Buffet in this week's You Gotta Eat.

Asian Buffet is the new kid on the block in Pekin. The exterior is nothing to brag about, but inside is a clean intricately detailed decor. Redwood imported from China lines the walls. Between booths are glass barriers featuring complex cork carvings; they are scenes from the far east.

The atmosphere is friendly and bright. And the most important element; the food choices, are amazing.

There's about a hundred items at any one time.

"It is pretty good. They got good variety on their desserts," said customer Tracy Powell.

"For me personally, it is a good place because I am diabetic. And I can be really picky about the things that I eat and still enjoy the meal," said customer Barb Tracek.

"They also have American choices which makes it more interesting. And better. Because then if your husband doesn't like Chinese food he can find something to eat, too," said customer Tina Cox.

The Asian Buffet is another creation by restaurant veteran Lewis Liu. He has a store in Macomb and another in Canton.

In the back kitchen is a small cavalry of cooks keeping the buffet stocked with fresh Mongolian beef and pork chops.

Photographer Warren Brinegar and I started with some Sushi. Buffets are great for experimenting with raw fish. Simply because you can go get pizza and potatoes at the next station if turns your stomach. I've always loved Sushi and went for more. Warren, not so much.

Our second trip included more traditional Black Pepper Chicken, Fried Rice, and Vegetable Lo Mein. The food was fresh. The selections; endless.

There is Korean, Ti, Chinese and Japanese cuisine to covet. Even crawdads. I needed a refresher lesson on how to eat the little guy.

Lewis gave me a quick lesson on ripping off the tail and finding the meat. A delicious delicacy.

With drinks our lunch bill for two $15.99. This culinary postcard from the orient lets you eat until your ready to bust without breaking the bank. Asian Buffet is open seven days a week starting at 11 each morning in Pekin. They're restaurant in Canton is on Main Street opening a half hour earlier.

Asian Buffet
2129 Court Street
Open 7 Days a Week

Asian Buffet
370 N. Main St.
Open 7 Days a Week

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