Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rochester Restaurant Vacation Part One

I declined to go anywhere for this year's February break. My goal was to finally get caught up on some of the writing and reviewing that I do. I didn't get much accomplished over Christmas break. But sitting at home doing absolutely nothing is completely boring. I thgouth about becoming a tourist in my own town, and I have elected to do so via food.

Rochester is famous for having tons of locally owned restaurants. Sure, we have our chains, and I enjoy visiting those on occasion. But there is a wealth of untapped local yumminess. I decided a while ago that I should start trying more of the local fare. So, I have been trying one new place a month. This "vacation" I am going to a new place every day.

I waited until Monday to get started, because I wanted to enjoy a lazy weekend. So, last night, I drove around the Penfield/Webster area before deciding to check out the Asian Buffet on Empire Blvd. The layout is the same as any other version of a Chinese buffet, with the same paper placemat detailing the Chinese Zodiac.The waitresses are young Chinese women who speak little to no English and are saying, "Drink?" before you have even taken off your coat. The options are always Pepsi products.

I did like their variety of choices. Most of the food seemed to be Chinese, with some Thai and Japanese thrown in. They actually had a salad bar, on which you could build a true salad, and lots of fruit choices. There was also a dessert bar with the usual tasteless, yet pretty choices.

I had a couple of my usual favorites: General Tso, pork egg roll, seafood, sushi. I tried their sushi varieties, which were all either crab or vegetable, with no raw fish as the father in line ahead of me erroneously informed his daughter. My new taste was "butter shrimp" which appeared to be fried in a butter sauce - horrible for you, I'm sure, but oh so good! And I tried a Thai chicken thing, but forget what it was called. I even decided to give the French fries a try. They were pretty gross - almost tasting freezer burned and definitely baked in the oven instead of fried. But I wasn't expecting much, as this would not be their specialty.

All in all, the food was quite satisfying. The price wasn't too bad - $9.99 - considering they had four complete bars from which to choose food. Drinks were $1.49, with free refills. I'm used to the place back home that is a couple dollars cheaper, but this is a different community.

While it won't be a regular visit for me, I will probably visit again if and when I am really feeling a craving. Let the restaurant tour begin!!

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