A Chinese food buffet just north of downtown Bowling Green, Old Town Buffet serves up a cheap and convenient option for lots of food. This spot seems to cater primarily to the surrounding community, and less so to the college population to the south. Old Town serves up a lot of fan favorites as far as Chinese buffet food goes, but some of the dishes are much better than others.
The menu consists of about 100 different kinds of food, most all of them your average buffet fare. From the meat dishes, of course fan favorite General Tso’s chicken is there, and it’s crispy and the sauce is sweet, but it tastes heavy on the salt, sort of leaves me thinking it might be a bottled recipe, or else one that uses more soy sauce than other varieties. The pepper chicken is great, it’s heavy on the pepper and got only a few veggies served alongside to dilute that. The honey chicken is made with a strong hint of honey which is great. The sweet and sour chicken is bland, the sweet sauce is thin and the chicken itself has no seasoning, which it really needs. There’s something on the menu called “California fried chicken” which is good, it’s basically chicken chunks in a barbecue sauce. I also liked the stir fried pork option, which was served in a salty sauce.
The seafood is all bad, though. The crab legs aren’t cleaned terribly well, but the big problem is they’re far overcooked, and the meat doesn’t come out well. When it does, the flavor tastes washed out a little. The mussels are served on the half shell with a cheese concoction that doesn’t really match. The clams are also served on the half shell, but they are overburdened with some kind of celery that takes over the rest of the flavor. The crab Rangoon is absent anything that tastes like crab. I also wasn’t a fan of the lo mein option, which was dry and salty, nor the fried rice option, which is too greasy.
All in all, Old Town Buffet falls into the same trap a lot of the other small town operations tend to; they seem to be trying to serve too many dishes at a time, and some of them aren’t handles very well. They do it on a dime, of course, but if the food all tastes like the same fried, salty, sugary mess, you might just be better off trying something else.