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“Good Value on Food, Poor Customer Treatment”

Chen's Mongolian Buffet
Ranked #42 of 240 Restaurants in State College
Cuisines: Chinese, Asian, Mongolian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Zip:16801
Alexandria, Virginny, USandA
Level Contributor
153 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Good Value on Food, Poor Customer Treatment”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2013

I took a visiting group of 19 high school athletes and a few parents there in January 2012, and it was a great eveing--lots of business for Chen's, and the boys got all the food they could eat. That one worked out well.

Same group--without me--went a couple of weeks ago, to the tune of 25 boys and and some adults, and my son reports it was again great. Okay, two big check marks for Chen's.

And I was up there the following weekend with 11 high school girls and five adults. We called ahead. I sent a parent for a personal visit, and we confirmed a 6:30 reservation for 16. Chen's called us to confirm, and we did, again, 16 for 6:30. And then they called again and asked us to come early, so we did, showing up at 6:15. No reserved tables at all, nothing, no prep. They apologized, and said they'd seat us very soon; we said that we'd be happy to sit separately, if that would help them. And in the next 15 minutes they sat a couple (who came in after us) at a booth for six, and another following couple at a booth for 4, then another couple at another booth for four. So, in 15 minutes, they had seat six people in spaces that could accommodate 14, this with a couple of two-person tables open to boot.

Now, I'm not food service professional, but I'm smart enough to see that this added up to 18 or more open spaces, while our group of 16 stood and waited, and waited. Maybe they were looking to get rid of us, and it worked, as we promptly departed and went to the State College Diner across the street, where there was plenty of seating and service. Nice dinner with the girls there.

Bottom line: if you're 2 or 4, you'll probably do okay. But don't count on any large-group reservation being honored.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank rugby007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    27
    24
    7
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Central PA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great 1st visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

Visited Chens tonight for the 1st time. We were very pleased with our visit. We were greeted by a friendly hostess and promptly escorted to our table. A waitress came almost immediately to take our drink order and returned promptly with them. We found the buffet selections to be plentiful and fresh. Lots of veggie/meat and sauce options as well as sushi, soup, dessert. The sushi wasnt great but we didnt come for that. We enjoyed all of our "creations" and the service was wonderful. The restaurant was clean and the restrooms spotless! It was a great value for $12 pp. I would recommend this place to my friends/family

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank beachluvin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
State College, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
74 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great value and healthy”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2012

The best place for a healthy meal in State College -- all the vegetables you can eat. Quiet and pleasant staff.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Chuck360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
State College, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
33 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Fun, Cheap, Good”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2012 via mobile

We went there with friends tonight. As usual the food was very good. The vegetables were fresh.m. The meeti was good quality. They had our food to us very quickly, My only real complaint is that my fortune cookie didn't have a real fortune in it.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Cheryletouchton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McVeytown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
57 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“My favorite place to eat in state college!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2012

Great food made fresh, hot and the way you like it! Fast friendly service! I like very spicy food and this is the only place I can get food as spicy as I like it without adding it after I get it. They will make it as bland or as spicy as you like! Inexpensive and all you can eat!

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Randy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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