Thursday, September 25, 2003

China Hing

On the far west side of Athens, just outside the perimeter and next to the hull of what was once Wal-Mart sits a small Chinese buffet called China Hing. I went this past Friday in the middle of the afternoon, knowing the food would be less fresh at that hour than it would have been closer to noon, but I figured I could get a feel for the place anway.

Upon getting there and beginning my meal I wished I had come at a better time but I was there, I was committed and I was eating. China Hing actually has a good variety of items. The buffet isn't as huge as the one at nearby China Star but I couldn't think of anything that was obviously missing. One big advantage is that at China Hing, unlike at China Star, snow crab legs are available at all hours every day, thus making the $8.50 daytime price reasonable. They have crawfish, too, though I didn't try any this time. To find crawfish at a buffet anywhere around here is hard to do.

Overall it was good and filling. I can't really write a better review here now because I was also underslept and feeling funny going into the experience, so I'd like to go again, when the food is fresher, and have a more complete and satisfying dining experience.

Friday, September 19, 2003


I figure I might as well touch on Ryan's Steakhouse and its MegaBar while I'm thinking about it. As a chain buffet it's not really the kind of place SoBuff means to focus on but it is something you can always expect to be about the same anywhere you go. It's always there and it's always on the road, like so many other familiar franchises.

I tend to go on the spur of the moment sometimes, myself, especially during the daytime when it's even cheaper. Once in a while it's worth it to go when they're slicing roast beef or something else special, or when they have catfish.

I'm not sure if it's me or what, but sometimes I feel I taste something starchy in just about every single menu item, like they're adding something invisible to make everything more filling. I definitely do recommend against eating a lot of the rolls they give you because that's exactly why they have rolls.

Ryan's, like Shoney's, is what it is and, again, will always be there. Sometimes it's exactly what you have a taste for.
Aunt Bea's Country Buffet

Aunt Bea's Country Buffet really is named for the character Aunt Bea on "The Andy Griffeth Show," and in fact they have reruns of the show playing on two or three TV's while you dine. There's even a large velvet portrait of Aunt Bea hanging behind the checkout counter.

I haven't been in a few months, myself, but I go in once in a while when I think I want to eat a bulk amount of country cooking. I'm not sure how much of a hurry I'm in to go back lately, though, not just because I've taken on this new blog but also because this guy's experience is becoming more typical of what I hear from other people. I don't think I know this person but he certainly seems to feel strongly about his disappointing experience.

I'm disappointed, too, because there are always items on the daily menu I love to have whenever I get the chance, especially the squash casserole. Hopefully they'll turn it around soon. They just printed coupons in the Sunday paper last weekend so I would guess they'd want to keep winning friends and influencing people.

One thing about my experience eating there is I always walk out feeling extreme shock to my blood sugar level, and I'm not by any means someone who has to check blood sugar levels at all. I guess it's because I try to make the most of a buffet when I'm at one.

Thursday, September 18, 2003


Wouldn't you know it - I came down with a head cold this week right when I was planning to hit a buffet for the first SoBuff review, which would have made it very difficult to judge taste or enjoyability of any meal.

Hopefully I'll be over it enough tomorrow to choose a buffet to review. Among the buffets here in the Athens, Georgia area we'll be visiting soon are Plantation Buffet, Down Home Cookin' and China Hing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003


Welcome to SoBuff, the blog that reviews every kind of buffet restaurant in the American South. All tastes, formats, levels and types of restaurants are within our purview, provided they offer a buffet at some point in the week. Reviews are to be posted by myself and my fellow Buffet Club members here in the Athens, Georgia area, a new group of food enthusiasts who not only like to eat but also inform the public. Generally we can expect to have at least one or two reviews per week but there may come the occasional hungry spell where we attempt to do more. Thank you for reading and please come again.