Surviving the Steam Table at Hong Bo

I have passed by Hong Bo Buffet countless times, always noting it as a place I should probably try, but never going in because I was always on my way to eat somewhere else. Not for the faint of heart, Hong Bo is a Chinese steam table. The kind where you point to the food items you want and they get piled on a big styrofoam plate for you. $6 lets you point 4 times.

First off, an order of dumplings came with many and were decent enough, but doughy and not exceptional tasting (and they take about 10 minutes).

The steam table was my main target. There was a lot of gloppiness and brownness to choose from.

I am fairly certain that my ultimate selections were as follows: chicken with broccoli, pork ribs, curry chicken, and brown tofu and vegetables. It all came with a huge pile of fried rice (and a free but weird brand of not good tasting soda).

Did it look pretty? No, it was the exact opposite of a well plated dish of fine food. But what it lacked in beauty, it made up for in size- this was a Kristie Alley sized plate of food.

And somehow, everything tasted pretty good. There was nothing wrong with the broccoli preparation. The pork ribs had tasty meat on them with a pleasant tangy sauce. The curry chicken even had a legitimate curry flavor. And I actually really enjoyed the tofu and the fried rice.

So there you have it, I ventured into a trip to the steam table and lived to tell about it. They also have some noodles on the menu that could be worth trying in the future. As for that steam table, while the huge amount of food tasted pretty good, it would be hard for me to suggest stopping there when places like Sakura, Empress Garden, and Tasty Place are all close by.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • You get a whole assortment of food for a low price
  • Ordering from a steam table means you get your food instantly
  • So much food!

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Nothing really spectacular here
  • The meat may be of a questionable quality
  • Hard to identify what you are actually picking

Hong Bo Buffet,  149 N 11th St  (@ Race St ), 215-629-4846



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