Buffets: you either love them or hate them. And in a tough economy, the idea of an all-you-can-eat meal can sound alluring, even if the choices can be more about quantity than quality.
On today's Central Standard Friday, we'll fill our plates up with suggestions for the best, the cheapest and the most unusual buffets in Kansas City. Today's food critics are host Charles Ferruzza, Chris Becicka, Mary Bloch and Emily Farris.
Here are some of the Food Critics latest picks for local food:
- Paleo Grill at the Opera House (Emily): As the name suggests, about half the menu accommodates adherents of the paleo diet, says Emily. She loved the salmon filet and grilled onions, but her husband had second thoughts about is gyro and fries. 500 Walnut St. in the River Market.
- Drunken Fish in the Power & Light District (Emily): If you're looking for a good lunch special, this is the place. 2 makimono rolls and a choice of miso soup or house salad for $10.50 +tax. Check out their fifth location opening in Leawood this May.
- Cosentino’s (Emily): Good sushi. 10 East 13th Street, KCMO.
- Pig & Finch (Mary): A "Gastro pub" that focuses on the art of pairing: food with wine or beer, and American restaurant with British pub. Mary says she had a great duck cassoulet and French fries. 11570 Ash in Park Place, Leawood.
- Westside Local (Mary): This restaurant puts an emphasis on fresh ingredients and local businesses. Mary highlighted the kale salad with Brussels sprouts slaw. 1663 Summit St., on the Westside.
- G’s Jamaican Quisine (Chris): For an authentic and funky Jamaican experience at a good price, G's Jamaican is where to go. The most expensive dish is $11 and Chris recommends the ox tails and the liquor, but notes that the wine is sub par. 7940 Troost, KCMO.
- Port Fonda (Chris): An "rustic" Mexican cantina, with a great brunch. 4141 Pennsylvania Ave Ste 103, KCMO.
- Anton’s Tap Room (Chris): What makes this place distinctive is its extensive beer list with over 60 beers, ales, and lagers on tap. Also be sure to check out the great desserts and onion rings, says Chris. 1610 Main St., KCMO.
- Clark’s American-Caribbean Restaurant (Charles): Located in the old Chubby’s restaurant. Charles says Clark's will serve traditional Caribbean food, like jerk chicken, once it opens.
Our listener's had a few ideas of the best buffets of Kansas City:
- Legend of Asia: Many of our listeners recommend this Pan-Asian restaurant. In addition to the sushi bar and Mongolian grill, callers called the Chinese buffet "the best they'd ever been to." 1853 SW 7 Hwy, Blue Springs.
- Granite City: A good brunch buffet. Find it in Zona Rosa at 8461 NW Prairie View Rd. KCMO.
- Horizon Buffet: Check out Horizon's world cuisine, including American. Located at Ameristar Casino.
- Korma Sutra: For Indian cuisine with a great lunch buffet, . 7217 West 110th St., Overland Park.
- Bangkok Pavilion: Boasting its status as one of the first Thai restaurants in the metro area, Bangkok Pavilion offers a lunch buffet with food from "every region of Thailand." 7249 West 97th St., Overland Park.
- Ruchi: Offering southern Indian cuisine for their lunch buffet and sit-down dinner, Ruchi just opened an Indian grocery store next door. 11168 Antioch Rd., Overland Park.
- Hollywood Casino Epic Buffet: Located at the Kansas Speedway, this buffet stands out for its Wednesday night Lobster Dinner, and Sunday Crab & Seafood Night.
The Food Critics chose their top picks for local buffets:
- DelHi's Soul Food Buffet (Chris): This is the place to go for some real southern cooking. Fried chicken, collard greens, neck bone pork. The works! 8055 State Ave., KCK.
- Papa Lew’s (Charles): This place isn't just good, "It's Soul Delicious!" even for breakfast. 2128 E 12th St., KCMO.
- Peachtree Restaurant (Charles): Peachtree keeps with the soul food theme, and also has live jazz music. 6800 Eastwood Trafficway, KCMO.
- Blue Nile Cafe: With "delicious" and "healthy" options, this buffet features Ethiopian cuisine in downtown KC. 20 E 5th St., KCMO.
- Masalas Authentic Indian Bistro: After closing down for a time, one caller says it is back open. Try it out if you're looking for a different kind of Indian food. 7301 W 91st St., Overland Park.
- Swagat Fine Indian Cuisine: Located in Zona Rosa, this restaurant offers a lunch buffet and à la carte dinner.
- Taj Palace: Though the lunch menu is subject to change, the buffet sometimes feature goat curry. 1706 W 39th St., KCMO.
- Seva Cuisine of India: Gluten-free and vegan friendly, Emily says the food is great. 8674 NE Flintlock Rd., KCMO.
- Taj Mahal: Features Modern Indian cuisine, with roasted eggplant-based curry as one of their most popular dishes. 7521 Wornall Rd. in Waldo.
- India Palace: 9914 West 87th St., Overland Park.
MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD
- Jerusalem Cafe & Bakery: Though the baklava costs extra, this restaurant boasts an all-day buffet, complete with tahini sauce, creamy rice pudding, and crisp-on-the-outside falafel. And, if you're looking for authentic Middle Eastern ingredients, check out their small market and bakery inside the restaurant. 1404 Westport Rd., KCMO.
- Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes: In addition to the salad and pasta buffet, this restaurant features rotating specials with locations in KCMO and Overland Park.
- Cinzetti's: An all-you-can-eat Italian buffet with a wide range of entrées and desserts, and private rooms available. 7201 W 91st St., Overland Park.
- Lidia's: Finally a lunch buffet where you don't even have to get up! 101 West 22nd Street, KCMO.
- Genghis Kahn: Where you cook-it-yourself, this grill is the oldest Mongolian BBQ place in KC. But for our Food Critics, you have work too hard for your meal. They'd rather have someone else make it! 3906 Bell St., KCMO.
- Em Chamas: Featuring food from the Pampas region of Southern Brazil, our Food Critics say this is a great spot for vegetarians. But there's a dress code: business casual. 6101 NW 63rd Terr., KCMO.
- Avenues Bistro: A brunch buffet à la européene where you can add a Bloody Mary, Screwdriver or Mimosa for just $5. With two locations in Brookside and Leawood.
- Bristol Seafood Grill: Where the availability of the fish determines the menu. Located in Leawood and the Power & Light District.
- The Eldridge Hotel: If you're headed to Lawrence, check out the Sunday breakfast and brunch buffet at this haunted historic hotel. 701 Massachusetts St., Lawrence.