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Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008

Short Orders (China Gourmet)

Gourmet Buffet

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To many, the lunch buffet is the scourge of Chinese restaurants. First of all, anything stir-fried in a wok should not be spending time on a steam table. Secondly, the food is prepared for general audiences instead of individual tastes, so items like kung pao chicken may end up so bland as to be unrecognizable. And egg foo yung often has more onion than egg. On the plus side, however, you can eat in a hurry and with no limits.

Luckily, there is China Gourmet (117 E. Wells St.), which offers a lunch buffet that’s above the rest. The buffet’s above-average variety includes items like mu shu crepes and some truly good steamed chicken dumplings. The food is prepared in relatively small quantities, so dishes are replenished more frequently. Of course, the best options at China Gourmet remain on the menu, especially the crispy duck, which is one of the finest duck dishes to be found locally.

China Gourmet | Photo by Kate Engbring

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