1051 Murfreesboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37217
The vacation, visiting with my brother in Tennessee, was coming to an end. A quick trip to Nashville and an overnight stay was in order for me to catch the very early in the morning flight back home. A bit of sightseeing in town done, we checked into our motel and asked the desk clerk where we could get something to eat. He pointed “that-a-way” and said to drive about a mile along the Pike and we would start to see restaurants. As strangers in a big city we were at the mercy of the local’s directions.
It has been said that all good things must come to an end, so with that in mind one could say that portion of the Murfreesboro Pike and the establishments therein are doing just that. While there is a smidgeon of rebuilding going on, mostly hotels, but the remainder of the businesses are dated and worn. You can find the usual fast food eateries, some various ethnic cuisines are offered, a Mediterranean Kebab and a Greek Gyro to name a few as well as a Mexican market complete with butcher and many smaller places offering fresh Carne Asada tacos.
We found a rather dated but okay looking Chinese cafeteria and decided to give it a try, we were hungry and well “all you can eat” if it was good food, we won. The young woman at the front was friendly and soon motioned to a young man at the back to take us to a table. The décor is nothing fancy, plain table and chairs; separated down the length of the area by a wall with a partial decorative panel on top to offer light and a view out of the window. A picture or two depicting an oriental motif was on the walls and at the front a smattering of oriental offerings. There were about 6 self-serve tray lines set up each offering different menu options, but in no particular order. The back wall held the dessert section which had fresh fruit, pies, cakes and puddings. Here too was found the sushi rolls which I found odd to have placed them there.
A fresh salad bar offered the usual offerings for a small salad along with fresh fruit; there were two types of hot soup offered, egg drop and their special soup of unknown ingredients, neither of which I tried. They had steam trays full of small cray fish, steamed shelled small shrimp, what appeared to be muscles topped with a yellow cheese, fried fish with a seasoned corn meal batter, white fish in a tomato type broth to name a few. You had your usual offerings of all things Chicken, sweet & sour Chicken, Hunan Chicken, Szechuan Chicken, hot and spicy Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Chicken with vegetables and Chicken with mushrooms.
They offered tiny beef ribs (1”) Mongolian beef, beef with vegetables and so forth. You had fried rice, but no white rice, an udon type noodle with seasonings but no broth. Some fried eggplant coated again with a corn meal type crust. Dumplings, spring rolls and egg rolls; then not to offend anyone they also offered macaroni and cheese, fried potatoes, taquitos and several other “American” type foods. You are served hot tea, soft drinks or sweet tea and refills are up to you.
With plate in hand we set off to sample the offerings; some of the chicken dishes had a most familiar taste almost like you could purchase them frozen in your local store. The Mongolian beef was a bit fatty and tough but had a nice flavor. The fried white fish with corn meal batter was delicious, lightly seasoned and fried nicely. The stir fried vegetables were just a bit more al dente that I like but none the less very tasty. The fried eggplant was also excellent, golden brown and a delicate flavor.
The egg rolls lacked for a dipping sauce but you got the dipping sauce for the dumplings which I found to be way too sweet. The noodles were cooked but not mushy and had a nice seasoned coating on them. I sampled two of the rolls and they were to my surprise very good. Sashimi with salmon and nori, sushi with avocado, white fish, ginger and carrot were both excellent.
My brother and I both went back for a second plate in order to sample other menu items, when we sat back down I noticed the young man who seated us earlier was standing behind the back wall partition sort of watching our progress and when we were about ¾ done with the second plate he came around and gave us our bill. This took us by surprise so much so that my brother felt he needed to offer a statement that he was not yet finished and was going back for dessert. This ruffled my feathers quite a bit since neither one of us had filled our plates to excess, we only took small portions of items in order to taste them.
So the burning question; would I go back if presented the chance? I have given many establishments a second chance in the past but unfortunately this will not be the case for King Buffet. On a scale rating the best at 10, I give them an overall rating of 4, some of the food was mediocre, some greasy and some was delicious but the overall factor in the scoring was the rudeness of the waiter who actually told us by his posturing, “…you go home now!”