Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sneak Peek: Great Sun Buffet


Published:

Restaurant watchers in Minneapolis know to be skeptical of the new-restaurant-du-jour at the corner of Nicollet Avenue South and 14th street—you know the spot. It most infamously held the unforgettably named “Snoodles” (noodles you sniff?), a few doors down from Market BBQ and Salsa a la Salsa, two restaurants which have proved that this location can work quite well. However: Can it work well for a half-Indian, half-Chinese buffet? Ordinarily I’d say that concept sounds sort of dopey, but when I heard such a restaurant was being opened by the people behind Gangchen (the very good, affordable Tibetan restaurant with the vibrant bar scene a little farther south on Nicollet), I had to try it out. I mean, maybe half-Indian, half-Chinese was just a way of communicating “Tibetan” to a world unfamiliar with that little country in the sky?

Nope. The place has three buffet lines. One Indian. One Chinese. And one with the classic, inexpensive catchall stuff you only see at buffets, like unripe honeydew melon chunks and sliced bananas cloaked in that weird red sweet sauce that tastes like corn syrup and food coloring. But it’s cheap! $7.99 at lunch for all you can eat, and $9.95 at dinner. On my single lunch visit I found that:

1) The Indian line was pretty good. The palak paneer was the best thing they had by a country mile—vibrant fresh spinach, tender not overcooked cheese. It was really lovely. Tandoori chicken was tender and well-made (though after the scant crowd dusted off the first batch of chicken, the pan was never replenished). Warm, roasty nan was lovely to wrap around the palak paneer. Rustic, homey, but very nice versions of curried beef and curried chicken rounded out the plate nicely.

2) The Chinese line was a mess. Generic, bland, and greasy, this was one of those buffets designed for people who think all-you-can-eat egg rolls, fried shrimp, and other brown fried things is a bargain. The egg drop soup—which I had high hopes for because the version at Gangchen is so good—tasted like food coloring, corn starch, and vegetable oil. I didn’t find one Chinese dish to recommend even grudgingly.

3) The dessert line? Donuts. Cookies. Chocolate pudding. All the most generic, inexpensive cafeteria versions therein. But I know some people will love them.

4) The place has a beer and wine list!

5) So what if you just had a beer and a couple of plates of solidly homey Indian food? That would be a $15 or less meal worthy of your time.

All in all, I left Great Sun thinking that this restaurant is going to be a dream come true for a few people—namely food-interested 20-somethings who put in a killingly long day downtown, left work ravenously hungry, and now need to grab a super-hearty dinner and a beer on the way home but don’t want to spend a lot doing it. Yes, I’m saying this may be the IT-guy restaurant of the year.

And it’s a heck of a lot better than Snoodles.

Great Sun Buffet
1400 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls.
612-871-2898
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Lawless Distilling Bartender Named "Most Imaginative"

Minneapolis bartender Brandon Sass won the 12th Annual Most Imaginative Bartender regional competition

Toast the Royal Wedding with British-Gin Cocktails

As Britain’s Prince Harry and U.S.-actress Megan Markle tie the knot, raise a glass to the happy couple—and those close to you—with wedding-themed tipples

Bottoms-Up Cinnamon Caramel Pinwheels Recipe

With this fast version of a sticky bun, baking at home can be no muss, no fuss—and delicious

Leslie Bock's Newest Bar Wants to Save the Future

"We're attempting to show humans as messy and complicated."

Rosé All Day: The Best Tastings (Some Free)

More than 100 different rosé wines available to try—many for free

Wine Clubs: The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Sip Better figures out your taste for wine and goes deep

Gavin Kaysen Takes Midwest Gold

A quick note on our 2018 James Beard Best Chef: Midwest

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Get fired up for grilling season with tender, flavorful chicken kebabs by meat guru Bruce Aidells and a marinade that also works well with other proteins
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags