Dragon Buffet, located in the Prospect Plaza Shopping Center, bills itself as the largest Chinese buffet in town. Whether or not this is true perhaps depends on how you classify largest …the most food, the largest variety, or specious seating.
My husband and I decided to try out this buffet and decide for ourselves.
Stopping by one Thursday evening after work, we found there was ample parking at the shopping center. Upon entering the restaurant, we were immediately greeted and led to a booth in the front dining area. There are two dining areas; the one we were in quickly filled, as more and more folks came in to try Frederick's newest buffet.
The interior is large, with plenty of room for booths and tables. Tables and seats weren't squeezed together, making for a pleasurable atmosphere. Booths line the sides, seating up to four, and tables fill in the center areas, many of which were arranged to seat groups of 10 and more.
Wile admiring the massive chandeliers above the buffet area, the evening news caught my attention, coming from a television set located at the front of the dining room.
"Big" is a word I would use to describe Dragon Buffet. "Fast" also applies. Only about 30 seconds elapsed after we were seated until a waitress came along, asked if we wanted the buffet (they also offer an extensive menu) and took our drink order.
The dinner buffet ($9.95) includes beverage. Featured every evening are crab legs at no additional charge. Most restaurants only offer crab legs one or two nights a week, and for a higher price.
Serving stations are spread out with plenty of room to maneuver. Good thing, too, as Dragon Buffet was very busy this particular evening.
We strolled up to the buffet, a bit overwhelmed by the variety, and tried to decide where to start. My husband headed for the crab legs. I chose one of my favorites, hot and sour soup. The soup was delicious, super tangy-just the way I like it. My husband said the crab legs, served with melted butter, were good, too.
There are plenty of other choices for seafood lovers. Fish, salmon, shrimp (several varieties), crab, crawfish, etc., are offered up on this large buffet. Other soups include egg drop and wonton.
One nice feature of Dragon Buffet is the wide variety. Roast beef, chicken, sweet potatoes and french fries are found among the sweet and sour pork, beef with mixed vegetables, lo mein and fried rice. This makes it a great restaurant for families who can't get everyone to agree on what and where to eat. Children, who may not have adventurous taste buds yet, will find something to like. Certainly everyone can find something to like here.
Vegetables were well prepared, colorful and crispy. My favorites included the strings beans, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Large, whole mushrooms were sautéed in butter and delicious served on a bed of fried rice.
My husband followed up the crab legs with some more traditional Chinese fare, and then he tried and raved about the roasted beef.
Used plates seem to magically disappear as we revisited the buffet to try other items. Watch out for busy servers! They appear to fill the trays on the buffet with one mission in mind - fill them up fast and often. It would take many visits to Dragon Buffet to try all the different dishes.
We ended our visit with dessert. My husband had fresh fruit and a dish of ice cream. I had a cream puff with my ice cream. Other treats included cakes and eclairs, all included in the buffet price.
Service here is friendly and speedy, the dining areas sparkling and bright.
Dragon Buffet has banquet facilities and what it calls a "function room" available. The lunch buffet Monday through Saturday is $6.65; the dinner buffet Monday through Saturday is $9.95. Sunday the buffet costs $9.95 (all day). Take out orders are also available --- $3.95 per pound. For lunch, $5.95 per pound for dinner. Their handy Web site offers coupons and directions to the restaurant. Gift certificates are also available.
Dragon Buffet truly does offer a large buffet, great variety and value, in a clean, friendly, efficient atmosphere.
(Eating Out reports on an unannounced dining experience and is not meant to be a critical review.)