These 5 Connecticut Buffets Will Make Your Mouth Water

1 comment, 01/23/2014, by , in EATS

Some Like To Brunch. I Like To Buffet. Best Buffets in CT.

It’s the worst when you are so hungry, but you just can’t put your finger on what you want to eat. When this happens, I go into full on investigation mode: scour the internet, rummage through stock-piled menus, seek out lunch advice on Facebook, and drive up and down route 1 looking for an idea. Then, its two hours later, still no food, blood sugar is low, my brain starts to shut down, I’m cranky and may just end up eating the next person’s face that I see… it’s just bad.

The solution to “I’m starving and have no frickin’ idea what I want syndrome” is: A BUFFET! A few bits of this, a scoop of that, a crap ton of this, mac n’ cheese mixed with lo mein and chocolate pudding. Who the hell cares what you shove onto that compartment takeout tray…when you resort to a buffet, you are just trying to survive.

So instead of “resorting” here is a list of my Top 5 favorite buffets in CT to make your meal-time a more enjoyable experience.

Coromandel

coromandel
Where: Orange, Darien, Newtown, South Norwalk, Stamford, Southport, New Rochelle
Atmosphere: Beautiful décor, relaxing sit-down, classy-but not super fancy and uptight, you can still have fun and wear what you want
My favorites: The naan bread is amazing, and they offer different flavors. They buffet is not huge, but they have tasty Indian classics like Medhu Vada, and Chicken Tikka Masala. Their lunch buffet and priced pretty reasonably too. Last time I was there it was around $11 per person.

Pantanal Brazilian Restaurant

panrrnal

Where: This is in the Hollow section of Bridgeport on Frank Street. You’ll know when you see it. It has yellow and green lines painted outside and is very colorful.
Atmosphere: It starts with the buffet, and at the end, is the churrasco area which is the Brazialian BBQ where they cut meat right off the rotisserie in front of you. There’s indoor seating with a huge screen tv to watch soccer mainly and they have a little outdoor dining area. They serve alcohol too.
My favorites: I always make a little salad with hearts of palm, fried plantains, blood sausage Pantanal-style polenta, farufa which is this side dish made with yucca, bacon and carrots. I love the tender chicken that they slice right up in front of you. So good with a Corona.

 

Gourmet Heaven

gourmet heaven

Where: Two locations downtown New Haven, two in RI
Atmosphere: The one I go to is on Broadway by Urban Outfitters. It’s like an upscale little market/deli, with the buffet table in the middle. They are open 24 hours, which is perfect when the bars let out. It’s pricey—like Whole Foods buffet pricey—but worth it.
My favorites: I love their Asian dishes—and even though I like meat, they have a lot of vegetarian options…probably because they have to cater to the fancy extreme diet-restricted Yalees. Their marinated tofu is really good.

Stew Leonard’s

stew leonards buffet

Where: Norwalk, Danbury, Yonkers, Newington
Atmosphere: I always go to the Norwalk location. You have to go around the entire store which may frustrate you, especially if you’re starving. So, I suggest you bear to the left when you walk in and cut through the checkout area to avoid freak-outs. But, if you go this way, you’ll miss all the samples. In the Norwalk location—it’s a big buffet area, but there aren’t table inside. In the spring and summer, they have outdoors seating though. There’s a salad bar, taco bar, and hot food.
My favorites: I never have a theme when it comes to buffets, I just throw everything together.  I normally opt for the lo mein, mac n’ cheese, lasagna, saag paneer (spinch and cheese cubes) mashed potatoes, orange chicken and the carrot/broccoli salad, turkey breast with gravy. The BEST part is that they have this contraption that will close the to-go container for you, so you don’t have to struggle with it. It’s so fun!

Junco Market

mangu with friend cheese

Where: There are a bunch of Junco Markets all over Bridgeport
Atmosphere: Okay, these places may seem sketchy. Mostly because of the area they are all in. They are small, some have indoor seating. They are like little delis with a buffet. You order at the counter and can take to go or sit and eat. They do speak English, even though the majority of the people there you will hear speak Spanish.  I love places like this, because the food is so authentic.
My favorites: I always go for yellow rice with beans, this really tasty spaghetti-like dish with sausage (espagueti con salchicha al estilo dominicano), and mangu which is mashed plantains that I mix my rice in, and the Dominican-style fried cheese.

Post your favorite buffets so I know where to try next!

About Pam

One comment

  1. RK
    August 20th, 2013 11:16

    Sitar and Lalibela have great buffets in New Haven. Also, Kolam in Newtown (same group as Coromandel) and Star of India in Orange.

    Reply

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