Friday, April 11, 2014

Good Taste Buffet, Commack, New York

It has been four years since I have written about the Good Taste Buffet, a Chinese buffet, in Commack, New York on Long Island. We have been back since but it seems that I have just not written about it. We no longer go there as often as we once had. For one reason, it is a distance - though not very far, and another reason is that there is a better priced Chinese buffet very close by.

On my birthday this year I was planning on going to Connecticut to Foxwoods for dinner. Yes, that is a very far and long distance but we make a day of it and stop at other favorite places along the way. The weather on my birthday was not great and I did not want to make the drive to Connecticut in that weather - and as it would be better the next day - we put the trip off a day. So that left me with deciding where I wanted to have dinner on my birthday. Had we not been planning to go to Foxwoods the next day, there are several "expensive" buffets locally that would have made for a "special occasion" birthday dinner, but since we would be making that trip the next day, I wanted to go locally to a more reasonably priced buffet. My first thought was Good Taste Buffet and the reason that is for me is the one item served there on the dinner buffet that is unlike any other local buffet - real Chinese broiled spare ribs that are not soaked in sweet red sugar sauce. I have written about these ribs before and these are real Chinese restaurant spare ribs. These are the ribs that I grew up with at Chinese restaurants. So despite the drive through heavy rain, we were going to Good Taste Buffet.

Overall, nothing has really changed about Good Taste Buffet. What I wrote about the food selections here are pretty much the same today. Even the price has remained the same at $14.99 for dinner. The thing that I come here for - as I just said - is the ribs and I make the bulk of my meal here those spare ribs. They are meaty - most are moist - and they are not covered in any sauce. If you want duck sauce or hot mustard that is available with the condiments. The meat for the most all peels off the bone as you bite into it and pull. These are not barbecue ribs - they are Chinese spare ribs - so the meat does not fall off the bones. On some nights, the rib tray empties and it is a wait for more to come out. On this night the rib tray was quickly refilled as soon as it got down near the bottom. These are popular here - for good reason - and it is best to not wait if you plan on more ribs, but go up and take what you want when they come out. This way you have the pick of the meatiest ribs. (This is not telling your to fill your plate with more than you will eat - just take what you will eat.- and as an aside there are now signs around the buffet that you will be charged extra if you leave over food on your plate. A common sign at some buffets.)

There is a lot more here than ribs and the food here is very good. The egg rolls are filled with pork and vegetables and are another "real Chinese restaurant" taste. Also like this is the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce with lobster sauce traditionally seasoned, thick, and full of egg white. All that is missing from what is traditional Chinese restaurant Shrimp with Lobster sauce is the ground pork. There is no pork or meat in this dish here - I am sure to make it suitable for those looking for a meatless dish.

There was a dish on the buffet that has not been here on my past visits and it is a dish that I saw for the first time within the past year. They had a "house special pork" which was a pork roast cooked just like the port roast that I have recently written about at another area buffet. This was smaller and was not cooked with the skin on. I tried some and it was tasty but not as good as the "Yummy Pork" that I have written about. (the name is a clue to where that - in my opinion - better pork is served).

You will still find crab legs here. They are not whole clusters but are served as one or two small legs.In the past there has been grilled Italian sausage served on some of the nights that I have come here. There was none on this night - and I don't know if they ever serve it now. There is a large enough variety including non-Asian dishes that it should accommodate most.

Desserts are standard Chinese restaurant desserts but not just the little squares of sheet cake. The apple strudel is not served hot but cut into slices on the dessert counter. The almond cookies, if they are not homemade, taste and have the texture of homemade. They are not the hard cookies often found but a soft but not chewy cookie with good almond flavor.

I have recommended this buffet to many friends and always to my readers. One thing to be aware of is if you are not going here during dinner hours and you are coming for the ribs, call first to make sure they are being served at the time that you come. I have had readers contact me to say that they went for lunch - even on a Sunday and there were no ribs. Before you make the trip - call! (This is try about any buffet. The dinner menu is often more extensive than the lunch menu so always call first if there is one item I talk about here to find out if it will be served when you are going to be there.)

The restaurant is open seven days a week and the hours are until 10 pm on weeknights and 11 on Friday and Saturday. The last dinners are let in up to an hour before closing. There is no website, but the telephone number is 631-543-9583.

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