Coming to the Green Olive is always an event. Where else in the area can you dine on food from China, Japan, Korea, Italy, the U.S. and South America all in one place?
Make no mistake though, Green Olive is mostly a Chinese buffet, and one of the best ones in the area. What it isn’t though, is a seafood buffet (although plenty of seafood is offered) and they don’t offer “prime cut steaks,” even though that is what is claimed on the street-side sign left over from the last restaurant at this location.
Upon walking in, you will be in the midst of six buffet stations chock full of food. Along the back counter, you will see windows for sushi and grilled meats, and five large containers of soup. There are two full dining rooms on each side of the food area.
Once I was seated and my drink order was placed with my pleasant server, I started my tour of all the selections they offer. One buffet station had a nice amount of dim sum-type appetizers and a couple of others had many entrees. Further along was a large salad bar and a selection of desserts and fresh fruit. Obviously, there is something for everyone here!
So I came up with a plan of action to maximize my stomach space. I like to start out by trying the sushi when it is offered at Chinese buffets to minimize my eating of richer food. Unfortunately, the sushi was only adequate here and had probably been sitting out for awhile, so finding something you like might be an issue.
I had much better luck with my next mission to try the appetizers. It turns out that they were pretty good, and included at least three different kinds with shrimp. I also enjoyed the delicate fried dumplings, crab rangoons, and yes, fried plantains. I then gave the wonton and egg drop soups a try, and they were fine. If those soups don’t suit you, you can always try their clam chowder or lobster bisque. I didn’t waste valuable stomach space on the salad bar, but it was quite large and extensive for those who really want to eat salad at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
After taking a break (after all, you have to pace yourself at these kinds of places), I moseyed up to the grill counter, selected some meats and vegetables, and had the grill guy cook them up for me. You can also add some noodles to your ingredients to turn them into a Lo Mein dish if you wish.
Having a grill guy cook up a dish fresh for you is a neat future of this restaurant. While my food was cooking, I investigated the rest of the entrees to see if there was anything else I wanted to eat as a main course. But after getting my dish of grilled meats and veggies, I decided that it would do as a main course.
By this time, I was ready to move on to dessert, and Green Olive didn’t disappoint there either. The selections were expansive for a Chinese buffet. There were several fresh fruit options (including cherries), chocolate and banana puddings and an array of tiny Chinese buffet cakes. Although I didn’t partake, there were small cups of ice cream available from a cooler next to the soups.
Yes, this place seemed to have it all. And the price was right as well. I think you will be both as stuffed and as satisfied as I was after eating here.
Green Olive Buffet & Grill
7405 Richmond Hwy
Alexandria, VA 22306