Forget about eating Chinese and getting hungry an hour later. After lunch at Blue Phoenix, you'll stay full.
Blue Phoenix is an Asian buffet in Owasso that will fill you up with it's comprehensive menu including everything from sushi to wontons to peach cobbler (mysteriously mislabeled as apple pie).
I never went to Buffet City, the Chinese buffet that became Blue Phoenix following an ownership change in April. But I liked the new incarnation, and the number of Owassoans who were there with me on a Tuesday suggests locals like it too.
You can't go wrong with a Chinese restaurant where the fortune cookies contain real fortunes. No platitudes about love and kindness. Blue Phoenix makes predictions! I can't tell you mine, or it won't come true.
Probably the best part is the price. Water and a lunch buffet set me back a whopping $7.04 -- including tax. The dinner buffet is only $8.99 (before tax). Given the amount of food, it has to be one of the best values of any locally-owned restaurant in Tulsa.
I don't often eat at all-you-can-eat buffets, in part because the concept feels like a challenge. How much can I eat?
However, I was doing a review and it felt like a disservice to my readers not to try as many things as possible. In the interests of journalism, I over-ate. You're welcome, T-Town.
I'm pleased to say that I enjoyed it.
The cashew chicken was milder than I expected, almost bland, but I liked it because Chinese restaurants so often make cashew chicken so spicy you can't taste anything but the heat.
I enjoyed the peanut chicken and the coconut shrimp. Probably my favorite dish was the shrimp pancakes, small pastries filled with shrimp meats. I got seconds on those.
For the most part, Blue Phoenix serves the usual Chinese (or Chinese-American) fare. The pork egg rolls and the fried rice were good, but nothing out of the ordinary. I was iffy on the stuffed mushrooms, which were rubbery and tasted like they'd been sitting too long.
For those preferring Japanese food to Chinese, there is a small sushi and sashimi bar to the side of the buffet. The veggie rolls (sorry, vegetarians, this is your best bet at Blue Phoenix) were tasty, and surprisingly a little sweet. With Blue Phoenix's prices, it might be worth your while to go just for the sushi.
The only dish I actively disliked was an angel food cake layered with some sort of jelly that tasted like cough syrup. Definitely stay away from that. If you have dessert, stick with the bananas (which are underused as a dessert) or the aforementioned peach cobbler. Both were light, sweet, and a good way to end my overlarge meal.
The place felt like a Chinese version of Luby's. I mean that in the best way possible.
Blue Phoenix wasn't concerned about frills or with ancillary services like delivery. (They accept carry-out orders, however.) They concentrate on producing vast quantities of good Chinese food.
I arrived a bit before the midday rush began. The large restaurant was almost empty. By the time I left, it was about half full. Not bad for a Tuesday lunch.
Confucius say. You can’t go wrong with a Chinese restaurant where the fortune cookies contain real fortunes.
It's not a place to camp out quietly and work. (Anyway, that's not fair to a buffet, which thrives on turnover.) It also may not be the best place for a business meeting, unless you like woofing down wontons during contract negotiations. Blue Phoenix is ideal for a quick lunch that goes down easily and keeps you full for the rest of the afternoon.
Unlike most of the restaurants I review, I didn't have a chance to talk with the staff. The buffet style doesn't lend itself to conversation with the server.
Everything I could observe was good. The servers were friendly and helpful. Staff kept the restaurant spotless and the trays on the buffet full. No one hassled me for eating by myself and bringing a book. (You'd be surprised where that happens.)
Once upon a time, my dad was a linebacker for the SWOSU Bulldogs in Weatherford. He likes to tell the story of the time he and two or three football players went to an all-you-can-eat buffet. They stayed there all day. When they drove by sometime later, it was closed down. Yes, my father and his friends ate so much they shut down a restaurant. (I come by my appetite honestly.)
It's a good thing Blue Phoenix isn't close to TU or ORU. I can easily see some hungry and broke college students doing the same thing to them. If the college kids were willing to drive up to Owasso for lunch, who knows what could happen!?
For a restaurant that only opened this past April, however, Blue Phoenix seems to attract a crowd. Certainly that was the case when I was there.
As near as I could tell, the lunch crowd seemed to be people who work in Owasso. It's not so good that it's worth a special trip from Downtown or South Tulsa. But if you're in Owasso or find yourself there, drop by Blue Phoenix. It's good Chinese at a phenomenal price.
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