By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Mar 21, 2001 at 4:45 AM

Do you find yourself hungry an hour after eating a measly lunch portion? Perhaps you prefer to sample lots of treats rather than making a meal of just one. Well, fear not, Milwaukee has an abundance of restaurants to satisfy you. We took a look at several restaurants that will leave you bursting your britches.

Whether it's Mexican, Thai or Italian, there is a heaping buffet near you to suit your taste buds. Stop eating those vending machine sandwiches for lunch and get to one of these local lunch buffets.

Carini's La Conca d'Oro
3468 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 963-9623
This popular east side Sicilian restaurant offers a vegetarian lunch buffet. But they can't completely eliminate the meatball connoisseurs, so they include one meat entree daily. Try the fresh tomato, red olive and onion salad or another of the five salad choices. Two soups are offered along with four hot entrees, which could include Carini's mouth-watering eggplant spiedini, Italian sausage or pasta primavera. Stop in for lunch on Fridays and be treated to one of the chef's Sicilian fish entrées. The $6.75 buffet is served Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

728 E. Brady St., (414) 271-6000
The vegetarian Middle Eastern lunch buffet is a great deal -- for only $6.95 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' Sunday buffet is $12.95 and it's stocked with beef, lamb and chicken dishes along with their signature side dishes.

China Gourmet
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. There are at least three tables packed with food and during the busy lunch hour the food is as fresh as can be.

Eagan's on Water
1030 N. Water St., (414) 271-6900
With sushi, smoked salmon, omelets and a great dessert selection, Eagan's on Water is a great brunch or breakfast option in the heart of Downtown.

Emperor's Kitchen
3149 Golf Rd., Delafield, (262) 646-9796
18900 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield, (262) 784-1617
This popular Chinese restaurant offers entrees that change daily and include sesame chicken, barbecued pork, chicken fried rice, and egg foo young. Hot tea and soup are included. Buffet lunch, which costs $5.50, is served Mon.-Sat., 11a.m. - 2 p.m.

Genghis Khan Mongolian BBQ
725 N. Mayfair Rd., Wauwatosa, (414) 774-5540
The best part of visiting these two spots is the experimentation. You walk through the line, bowl in hand, and try to concoct a mixture of meats, vegetables and spices that you think will please your palate. Then, you hand the whole thing over to an "expert" at the tabletop grill, wait a few moments and see how you did. If you don't like the mix of flavors and textures, well, you can always go back and try again. You can even try using one of the "cheat sheets" provided, but where is the fun in that?

Jalisco Restaurants
2207 E. North Ave., (414) 291-0645
9405 S. 27th St., Franklin, (414) 761-8868
Spice up your day with a trip to either the east side or Franklin location for a Mexican buffet, served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Selections change daily and might include chimichangas, taquitos, tortillas and tacos. Soups, salads, salsa, rice and beans and hot-peppers are also included. The east-side location offers a buffet on Mondays and Tuesdays only, while Franklin offers it every weekday. $6.25.

Jimbo's on 76th
5950 N. 76th St., (414) 462-2400
Start off with the soup-of-the-day and/a salad. Next step is the buffet counter which includes a choice of potato, garlic bread and broasted chicken. Also included is your own personal pizza -- just the way you like it. If you can't make it during lunch stop in for the dinner buffet and let the waitstaff bring you as much as you would like. The lunch buffet is served daily (except Sundays), 11a.m.-2 p.m., and includes fish on Fridays. Lunch is $5.25, dinner is $6.25.

The King & I Thai Restaurant
823 N, 2nd St., (414) 276-4181
7225 N. 76th St., (414) 353-6069
Two convenient locations -- downtown and the northwest side -- allow you to eat like a king for $6.95. Three to four appetizers are featured daily, along with soup. One of the most popular entrees on the buffet is volcano chicken. The buffet changes daily and might include Thai rice noodles and different types of curry. The lunch buffet is offered weekdays (but not Mondays at 76th St.) at both locations from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

The King and I
830 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 276-4181
Milwaukee doesn't exactly have a thriving Thai restaurant scene, but one of the better entries is The King and I. Its lunch buffet features all of its favorites, including their famous volcano chicken (which is worth the trip on its own).

Mader's Restaurant
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
The daily Maharaja lunch buffet doesn't change all that much, but that's a good thing. There's a large selection of Indian soups, vegetarian favorites like palak paneer (spinach cooked with homemade cheese) and chicken and beef curries. And, if you save room, you can always count on an endless supply of gulab jamun -- those little fried dough balls dipped in sweet syrup.

Maxwell's Restaurant
1005 S. Moorland Rd., Brookfield, (262) 784-9770
Located minutes from Brookfield Square in the Best Western Hotel, Maxwell's has choices that will make your mouth water. For starters begin with Caesar salad, soup or cold pasta. Then let the chef mix your choice of shrimp, chicken, sausage, veggies and other ingredients with pasta and/or a stir-fry right in front of your eyes. Top off your pasta with either marinara or alfredo sauces.

Hot entrées change daily and might include raspberry tequila chicken or tarragon beef tips. Potato, rice and vegetable options change, too. For finishing touches choose from six to eight deserts, including cheesecakes and pies. The $6.95 buffet is served weekdays, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Mayura Restaurant
1958 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 271-8200
New to Milwaukee in Summer 2008, this Indian restaurant rivals Maharaja for authencity and selection. The $8.95 lunch buffett features everything from breads to curries to mango ice cream.

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. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, the buffet at Potawatomi features Mexican, Asian and Mediterranean dishes. Wednesday's feature is seafood and Fridays there's a fish fry bar. On Saturday, it's surf and turf with prime rib and snow crab. On Sundays, there's a brunch buffet and at dinner, the focus is on Southern and soul food specialties.

StoneFire Pizza Co.
5320 S. Moorland Rd., Brookfield, (262) 970-8800
This buffet features a gourmet pizza bar, salad bar, noodle bar, hot dish bar, kids' food bar, and drink and dessert station. The salad bar is fresh and well-stocked, the pizza is good and the kids' food -- although not particularly healthy -- is sure to please. Pricing varies for lunch and dinner.