Manor Buffet, located on scenic Lincoln Highway, is a staple in the restaurant inspection violations reports; from minor violations such as open employee beverage containers in the kitchen to the big ones, like seafood being held at improper temperatures, leading to possible health complications. This should really come as no surprise considering it is a Chinese Buffet.
The POLcast team ventured to the Manor Buffet for a family meal out after hitching up the POL wagon. Henry the intern, Abner the Lighthouse Keeper, and Charlotte Brontosaurus went into this redemption with reasonable expectations of salmonella poisoning.
There is no way to write this Restaurant Redemption without acknowledging the décor of the Manor Buffet. It was awe-inspiring. We have never seen so many varied cultures and holidays all shoved into one location. The entrance is large and inviting, with a koi pond filled with fish and filthy coins that are in all likelihood slowly killing the fish a little every day. We were seated at a table in what we deemed was the most Asian section of the restaurant. It was decorated with bamboo, Pagoda-shaped accents, and what can only be described as butthole lamps. The next room over was what we determined was the Al Qaeda room. The doorway was very Agrabah-shaped and looked unnervingly suspicious overall.
The buffet area itself was culturally-eclectic as well. The only way to describe it is that it looks like it was designed to be Lancaster’s own “It’s a Small World” ride and when that idea failed miserably, the partially-built set was donated and turned into the Manor Buffet. There is a small town built over the buffet area, including a western-themed building with picket-fence shutters. This area was overhead of the meat-carving station, of course. There were various balconies overhead that were clearly not load-bearing and seemed purposeless overall. Also noteworthy was the fact that they were addressing multiple holidays at once. On their non-load bearing balcony there was a Christmas tree. There was also a full Santa’s Sleigh, holding many gifts and toys for the young Lancastrians. There was also a heart balloon on the ceiling representing Valentine’s Day and Shamrocks dangling from the archways. It was like the Manor Buffet was the secret meeting location for all of the fictional holiday mascots like Jesus, Santa, and the Lucky Charms Leprechaun. The décor and various themes of the restaurant left more of an impression on us than the food.
We will admit that we largely avoided any seafood aside from sushi. They had an entire area just of seafood, so if you enjoy tastes of the sea the variety is plentiful. Henry the intern was the brave soul who ingested the sushi, and seemed to enjoy it for the most part. The buffet was as eclectic as the décor considering it is a Chinese buffet. There was the traditional food one comes to expect at a buffet; dumplings, won-ton soup, egg rolls, rice, etc. Then there were the random items that are once again expected at a Chinese buffet; fruit, pudding, ice cream. However, there were many items that we didn’t expect to see. These items included pizza, French fries, corn nuggets, and fried chicken. Likely it was designed to keep the kids happy, and frankly the place didn’t really have any semblance of a single theme, so it was par for the course.
I would say that we generally enjoyed our meal. We also enjoyed feeling thinner looking around at our fellow diners. I don’t recall any complaints. There was plenty of food, the items were fresh, everything was well-heated, the selection was wide, and the place seemed clean. More importantly, none of us got food poisoning. For a lack of salmonella poising, we will give the Manor Buffet a whole-hearted “meh” and a shoulder shrug with a flaccid thumbs up.