If you're like us, you enter any buffet with a little devil on one shoulder and a little angel on the other.
The little fella dressed in white says, "sample the fruits of this lovely cuisine, but take it slow, kid." Meanwhile, the sizzling hot demon on the other side urges you to go back and back and back, leading you to stuff yourself silly.
Approach a buffet with an open mind and with caution. Sample something new and expand your horizons, but limit your intake and you won't have to worry about expanding your waistline.
In honor of National Buffet Day, Jan. 2, we are again sharing list list of some of Milwaukee's best buffets, according to OnMilwaukee staffers.
Alem Ethiopian Village
307 E. Wisconsin Ave., (414) 224-5324
One of the best vegetarian lunch buffets is offered in the heart of Downtown every Tuesday through Friday, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Not only is the food top-notch but the communal style of casual eating is fun, too.
728 E. Brady St., (414) 271-6000
The vegetarian Middle Eastern lunch buffet is a great deal – for under $10 on weekdays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., you can feast on salads, stews and a range of rotating "sides" including spinach pie, eggplant with potatoes and a variety of desserts. The meat-lovers’ weekend buffet runs from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is stocked with beef, lamb and chicken dishes along with Casablanca's signature sides.
117 E. Wells St., (414) 272-1688
For years, China Gourmet has been Downtown Milwaukee's largest Chinese buffet and that tradition continues in its new location along the river, weekdays from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. There are at least three warming tables packed with food, and during the busy lunch hour the food is as fresh as can be. There's also a weekend dinner buffet on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 until 9 p.m.
Fushinami Seafood & Sushi Buffet
2116 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 270-1908
A wide variety of Asian dishes – including sushi, of course – is available at this East Side restaurant, which offers both lunch (11-3 Mondays-Saturdays) and dinner (4:30-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, until 11 on Fridays and Saturdays) buffets. Sunday buffet runs from 12:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Everything on the menu is included, along with the options at the buffet stations. Dessert, too, of course, so try to control yourself.
207 E. Buffalo St., (414) 271-7788
Jing's in the Third Ward doesn't have the biggest Chinese buffet in town, but it has what just might be the freshest and tastiest. And unlike some buffet places that can have an almost cafeteria-style vibe, Jing's is warm and welcoming.
1037 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 271-3377
Mader's serves authentic German dishes and continental specialties at its Sunday brunch – from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – alongside traditional breakfast choices and an array of desserts and fruits.
1550 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 276-2250
There's a large selection of Indian soups, vegetarian favorites like palak paneer (spinach cooked with homemade cheese) and chicken and beef curries on the lunch buffet, which is available Monday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. On Sunday at the same time, Maharaja hosts a brunch buffet. If you save room, you can always count on an endless supply of gulab jamun – those little fried dough balls dipped in sweet syrup. The lunch buffet is also available to-go at a discounted price.
Potawatomi Bingo Casino's The Buffet
1721 W. Canal St., (800) 729-7244
If you're not a bingo, slots or blackjack enthusiast, you might be missing out on one of the city's most extensive and varied buffets. There are Mexican, Asian and Mediterranean specials, plus Wednesday and Friday nights include all-you-can-eat crab legs. On Sundays, there's a Champagne brunch buffet from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.