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Uncle Sam's Buffet, San Pablo - Grand Opening

anli | Feb 9, 200511:02 AM

Decided to try this buffet, which apparently some folks have tried in a prior location. The weekday dinner buffet costs $8.99 and yesterday and today there is a 2 for 1 special. Weekend dinner costs $9.99. You can also order dishes off a menu, don't have to do the buffet, which is a nice alternative. The place was only half full when we got there at 5:45.

Foodwise, the buffet is not too bad. There is a small sushi bar, a dessert and cold salad area (marinated vegs, asian style), and a hot foods area with over twenty different items. The hot foods that stood out for me were the mussels in black bean sauce, the salt & pepper shrimp with heads on, the Chinese style fried chicken, whole fried tilapia, eggplant in garlic sauce (done in chunks and very fresh). There is the ubiquitous lo mein and fried rice, potstickers, spring rolls, beef & broccoli, etc. They also had 4 soup choices and white rice. There are also a number of other stirfried items that tended to have the same sauce and the same kinds of vegetables. Did not see a tofu dish, but expect they do serve it. The problem with these places is that most items are fried or smothered in goopy sauces.

Drinks are extra, and the staff was extremely diligent in asking if we wanted refills. They were also good about picking up dirty plates (plastic). The workers seemed to be mostly Cantonese and English speaking. The sign is only in English, so I don't know if this is the same buffet a friend had recommended to me. This place is smaller than the one in Concord, called Great Wall (?) near Frys and doesn't have quite as much variety, but the stuff is pretty fresh. Only problem is they definitely use MSG, so our throats were pretty dry on the way home. Given the fact that the Ranch 99 mall is less than 15 minutes away, it is unlikely that I'd ever come back here.

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