In these times of economic hardship, even food snobs need to get their noses out of the air and give those good ol’ fashioned all-you-can-eat buffets a second chance. This all-American creation has bred many restaurants with lackluster cuisine, but there are some gems hiding beneath the rubble, especially East Buffet on Severn Avenue in Metairie.
For a humbling $8.39 for lunch and $12.99 for dinner you gain access to over 9 different buffet stations, which serve everything from Chinese, Japanese, Korean BBQ hibachi, and even boiled seafood. I used to be very wary of these pan-Asian buffets, especially when they also served American food, which East Buffet does, but I must say that I was really impressed.
With so many different delicacies offered, I don’t think it’s possible for the chefs to achieve authentic flavors and preparations for each dish, but their Chinese food definitely kicks Panda Express’ butt, and their seafood is damn good. They offer heaping piles of boiled crawfish, crab, and shrimp, as well as chilled mussels, clams, and octopus—all included in the extremely affordable flat rate. Though the seafood at Deanie’s or Drago’s may be better quality, this is a great option for people on a budget with a hankering for shellfish.
When I visited East Buffet I was still a little uneasy about consuming sushi with raw fish at an all-you-can-eat venue, but luckily the buffet offered many rolls with cooked fish or vegetables, including a seaweed salad roll that was spectacular. The rolls are not what you would find at a traditional Japanese restaurant, but they are much better than grocery store sushi and great for the price you pay.
Expect to feel fat after you visit this lovely Buffet, as many of their most alluring dishes are deep fried or covered in fatteningly delicious sauces, including one of their sushi rolls! If you’re on a diet this may not be the best option for you, but there is a salad bar and healthier sushi options for the more health conscious diners, as well as French fries and pasta for the pickier eaters. East Buffet is not the place for a romantic dinner, but if you’re feeling cheap and hungry, it can satisfy both those needs.