Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Blue Pearl Buffet & Grill Food Review

General Tso's Chicken, Sweet & Sour Chicken & Fries

I often say "less is more," but when it comes to buffet food... all bets are off. Blue Pearl Buffet & Grill in Silver Spring, Maryland is one of my reluctant favorites for "such a feast." Their selection is unrivaled (at least locally) and service is surprisingly attentive. Then there's the price: $12.95 per person, for dinner (Monday - Thursday.) Let the smörgåsbord begin.

For the record, it's even cheaper at lunch. Only $8.45 per person and significantly less for kids (depending on their age.) I like to visit at least thrice a year, even if I don't fill up as much as other customers. Why? Selection. Selection. Selection. They literally offer over 150 different American and Chinese dishes, in addition to 30+ salad items and a myriad of desserts. Even sodas are free (unlimited, of course.)

Garlic Bread, Chicken Nuggets & Pizza

As for quality, expect to get what you pay for. That's a nice way of saying, "not so great." That said, their mashed potatoes with gravy is usually pretty good, as are most of their fried items (specifically General Tso's Chicken, which I always get.) Last night, I was particularly taken with their Sweet & Sour Chicken, which was literally bursting with flaky chicken breast.

Mashed Potatoes with Gravy

French Fries are available too (along with Chicken Nuggets and Pizza) and mine were relatively crispy, considering they were sitting in a buffet tray. Even the pizza is OK, decidedly better than CiCi's for example. Best bite of the evening? Yet another surprise... Garlic Bread with generous amounts of garlic, and soft bread with a crunchy crust. Stay long enough, and you're bound to find something you like.

Assorted Desserts

That includes crab, oysters, shrimp and tons of sushi. The list is endless. Best of all, there's so much food, that you rarely encounter a line at any particular station. Unfortunately, the clientele adhere to certain stereotypes you'd expect to find at a buffet restaurant. Loud, lots of kids and sometimes greedy (and cheap... Please leave a tip: The price isn't that inclusive.) The former (kids and noise) were enough to drive away this critic last night; but you never know who you'll run into on any given night. Needless to say, I didn't bump into Leo or Rihanna on the way out.

Back to the food. Save room for dessert: Blue Pearl offers a number of tasty sweets (including ice cream.) Their cakes are good (even the icing) and fried doughnuts are/were scrumptious. I'd stay away from the muffins (dry as a bone) and trays of picked-over jello however.

If you can survive the crowd/noise, Blue Pearl makes a sensible choice for folks who like to try different items without breaking the bank. Spend an hour here; and you could do some serious damage (and I'm not even referring to your arteries.) Choices abound, prices are low, and there's even good service to boot. Try finding all that for under 13 bucks anywhere else in town.

P.S. You even get a fortune cookie at the end of your meal! Mine read, "Good sense is the master of human life." Insert good sense/great value line here.