Here’s the second (and final) quick post from our weekend trip to Columbus a few weeks ago. Back in the 1990’s Mark Pi’s was a big name in casual Chinese dining in the area. There were several Mark Pi’s buffet restaurants scattered around town, as well as a few fast food take-out type places (similar to Panda Express shops that are around now). Over the last 20 years or so, as more unique and innovative restaurants moved into town, Mark Pi’s restaurants began to phase out. However, Mark Pi’s Feast of the Dragon buffet has remained a staple on the West side of Columbus, located just off of a major route through town (W. Broad Street) in a small strip. Its success in the Hilltop area, which is widely known for being one of the more troubled parts of the city, is probably largely due to the fact that they offer decent food that’s not wrapped in paper and served with fries, at a very affordable price.
I’ve always enjoyed the atmosphere at this restaurant. The outside is nothing spectacular, however the design and construction on the inside is pretty pleasant. Here’s a view from the front door, looking into the waiting area (there’s never a wait).
Clean furniture, bright big windows, bold colors, flags hanging from the ceiling, buffets that look like Chinese rooftops. It’s a really creative atmosphere.
I don’t usually review buffets, because honestly, Chinese buffets are a dime a dozen. But I figured since I am extremely familiar with this place, why not? Ok, true confession time – I worked in and around this area for years and I’ve eaten at this restaurant like..50 times. Easily. I have no pride.
The buffet is very affordable ($6.25/lunch, $7.25/dinner), and while the food is not fancy, it is pretty darn tasty. Feast of the Dragon is a VERY “Americanized” Chinese restaurant. I used to tell people that if authentic, adventurous Asian cuisine is what you’re looking for, this isn’t the place for you. However, if flavorful, familiar Chinese-American food is what you want, you’ll love this place.
Another interesting note is that all of the cooking and preparation is done directly behind the buffet, in plain view of the public. I appreciate that about this place.
The restaurant is set up with a soup bar which featured 2-3 soups, a nice salad bar, a small appetizer buffet, and a large wrap around entree buffet that featured many of your typical Chinese buffet selections like Lo Mein, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Garlic Chicken, Mongolian Beef, etc. They also had some great American food, like roast beef with mushrooms, fried chicken, and more. Here’s a shot of some of their yummy egg rolls from the app buffet.
One of my family’s favorite items on the entire buffet are the Mongolian Wings. Sweet and sticky with an Asian zing is how we describe these. They are fried, breaded wings coated in the Mongolian sauce, and they are extremely addictive. Give me 15 or 20 of these and I’m good for the night.
Here are a few photos of some of the plates that were making their way back to our table. Crab rangoon, S & S chicken, stir-fried green beans, roast beef w/ mushrooms….
Asian meatballs (also highly addictive), steamed rice, Garlic Chicken, and these little deep fried potato/cheese bites that are sooo good….
More beans, more crab rangoon, and some General Tso’s Chicken.
We were about to bust a gut when we left this place, but I really only got to show you about half of what they offer. Oh, and ice cream. But I was too full for that.
I really haven’t found a great buffet in Philly or the surrounding areas yet, although to be fair, I’ve only tried a couple since moving here. I’m looking for awesomeness in food quality and affordability. Anybody have any recommendations?
Feast of the Dragon is located at 3663 Soldano Blvd, Columbus, OH 43228 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 9:00pm, Saturday, 11:00am – 10:00pm and Sunday, 11:00am – 9:00pm.