I have a love/hate relationship with buffet-style restaurants.
I love the variety that's available, and the speedy dining when you're in a rush. All too often, though, the food is lukewarm and might have been sitting on the buffet for a while, becoming tough and chewy.
That's no problem at China Restaurant, 2816 Washington Road in Augusta, in the Publix shopping center. The buffet is limited, but the choices are fresh and hot. Very hot.
I got a takeout plate for $6.50 (with drink) earlier in the week and took it back to Lunch Money Central. That's about a 10-minute drive, and the food was still steaming when I got back to my desk. Not bad.
The buffet had a lot of seafood dishes, a surprise at the price. The usual mix of standard Chinese restaurant fare was available, and everything sampled was fresh and tasty. The sesame chicken was especially good and spicy.
The dining area is Spartan but clean. Touristy scenes from China seem to be etched into the surfaces of the tables.
The buffet is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are also a variety of lunch combo specials and you can also order from a larger, more extensive menu.
China is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.
WHO HAS THE BEST SOUTHERN COOKING IN AUGUSTA? Join the lunchroom conversation at the Lunch Money blog at blogs.augusta.com.
THE LUNCH LINE
WHERE: 2816 Washington Road
ON THE MENU: Chinese food
FOOD: 3 out of 5
HEALTH INSPECTION SCORE: 92
CALL AHEAD: (706) 738-8998