Giant Panda becoming China King Buffet

The Giant Panda restaurant at 215 N. Central Avenue in West Duluth has closed.

ChinaKingWestDuluth

No, Amsoil isn’t moving its corporate headquarters into the Spirit Valley Shopping Center. A woman unloading the truck said a new Chinese restaurant, under different ownership, is moving in. She said it will be called China King Buffet and be open in a few days.

28 Comments

-Berv

about 11 years ago

Aw, the GP next to the DT in the WD is no more.  Hopefully the new place fixes the soft serve ice cream machine that has been broken for like four years.

mac

about 11 years ago

I don't get it.  How come every time one Chinese restaurant closes another moves in?  It's pretty much like clockwork all around the country.

conrad

about 11 years ago

I hope they fix their sanitary practices which have been broken for more then 4 years along with the soft serve ice cream machine.

dbrewing

about 11 years ago

Chinese mafia fronts/ slave labor

The Friendly Old Knifey

about 11 years ago

I just hope they label their buffet. It was always a guessing game at the Panda.

Swan

about 11 years ago

It all comes off the same Asian Food truck.

David

about 11 years ago

I'm always suspicious of people who complain about sanitary practices in Asian restaurants.  So I checked the DNT.  

Restaurant Inspections 2008

Giant Panda compared positively, in terms of number and type of violations, with Kitchee Gammee (as an example).  

Few restaurants had no violations, and one of the few that had no violations nonetheless went out of business over a year ago.

David

about 11 years ago

PS:  Ate at China Star for the first time last night.  The Chef's special orange chicken was good, but the deeply relaxing atmosphere and friendly staff were even better.

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

Pretty much every restaurant gets written up for not having a certified food manager and having something gross going on with the soft drink dispenser. 

Here is the interesting Giant Panda item, though: 

"Evidence that second floor of restaurant is being used for sleeping quarters in addition to being dry storage area."

Classic. (By the way, that place has a second floor?)

SlingFade

about 11 years ago

Has anyone else noticed that the Golden Inn in Superior is directly across the street from the Superior Animal Hospital?  I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

ruby2sd4y

about 11 years ago

Wow, no more Panda. 

I did like a dish they had with Chicken(or?) and Jalapenos, but haven't been in for 3-4 years.

They were hands-down much better than the buffet that used to be in Kenwood Shopping Center, where the food was always cold, veggies mushy, and tasted like they used the same sauce for each dish. I remember the employees being really sloppy and constantly getting yelled at, or yelling to each other from out of the kitchen door, or across the restaurant. Also, it was as if it was the family/employee daycare there too the few times we visited.

I wonder where they come up with the names for these places.

tamara

about 11 years ago

What I find interesting is that when you zoom out on that DNT map, you will find an icon for a restaurant with violations called "Mother's Kitchen." This particular icon is located near Spartanburg, South Carolina. 

I think the icon is supposed be for Mother's Kitchen in Poplar, Wisconsin, but hey, now the MK in Poplar can say "It's not our urinal that wasn't working... some hick place down in South Carolina that stole our name has problems with the urinals."

so sad

about 11 years ago

No!!! Their coconut shrimp and pork and mushrooms were amazing! I hope the new place still has those items ... and that they keep it a buffet. It was the only good Chinese buffet I found in the Twin Ports. :(

SlingFade

about 11 years ago

You can also check out the lunch hour buffets at Thai Krathong and Saigon Cafe (?) across from Aces.  Chef Yee's had the best lunch hour buffet in Duluth until they up and moved to Ridgeview Lanes ... I can't imagine that they're doing too well up there.

Melvin

about 11 years ago

I really enjoy China Star. That's a quality restaurant. Buffets, I'm pretty wary of in general. You have no idea how long that food has been around or what stupid kids (customers) have been sticking their hands into it.

Dawn Hulmer

about 11 years ago

I thought I heard the other day that the Twig Bakery is moving there now.  I forgot that Chef Yee's moved there.

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

First day open was Jan. 12. It's conveniently located by the "K-Mark."



I guess a "K-Mark" is a mark on a map to indicate where Kmart is.

-Berv

about 11 years ago

What's this topsy.com tweet trackback business about?  Kind of annoying when you think its a comment on a post you're interested in.

ruby2sd4y

about 11 years ago

In case ya missed it on CBS Sunday Morning this morning - here's the Chinese  Restaurant Awards.

Oi, and pay careful attention to the scroll with all the restaurant names ... hahahaaaa.

"Remember when you could only get Chop Suey?"

ChristieE

about 10 years ago

I can honestly say I like China King Buffet. Good food, always rotated and refreshed. I do like it. I wasn't a fan of Giant Panda.

Oh, and they fixed the ice cream machine!

Chad

about 10 years ago

Absolutely. I've been there several times since it became China King, and it's miles ahead of Giant Panda.  Fresh, and they use all their warming trays, so a lot better selection.

David

about 10 years ago

We agree.  We wish we ate there more often, but I have no ability to moderate at a buffet.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

For a while they had crab legs at the buffet. I think they only do that one day a week now or something. But the place is still pretty awesome.

mE

about 10 years ago

Young lady who worked there was very rude. Couldn't speak English well but what English she could speak was far from polite. She told my that my 1 yr old son was wasting food so she had to charge me for him. Seriously? A one year old child isn't going to eat everything on his plate and we like to put new stuff on his plate to let him try it out.

Eventually I got it taken care of where I didn't have to pay for him and then she refunded me the cost before tax. I'm not complaining that the cost of a one year old is too much or that I didn't get the tax back. I'm just saying they don't have the stuff together there and the customer service is awful. 

Many dishes are way too sweet.

P.S. The ice cream machine is still broken and just sitting in the back corner of the restaurant.

[email protected]

about 10 years ago

In defense of the small business owner:

1.  There's probably a frying pan in the kitchen that hasn't been used in a while, too, and maybe a wooden spoon or two that only get used when it's super busy.  Whether or not their soft-serve machine is in use, or whether or not they serve soft-serve as part of the all-you-can-eat experience is kind of irrelevant, no, unless it is advertised as part of the meal.  It's not, though the dessert options are plentiful (including, if I recall correctly, scoop "hard" ice cream at some meals).  

Perhaps you weren't complaining about the soft serve, but merely observing?  

2.  I'm puzzled by the expectation that a one-year-old should eat "free."  If a restaurant decides that they want to give you that perk, that's their call, I guess.  But if I walked into a McDonald's and said "I'd like a Big Mac Meal, and I have a one-year old here, would you throw some extra apple dippers on the side for her," they would not, unless you paid for them.

I don't understand the claim that "A one year old child isn't going to eat everything on his plate."  A one-year-old at a buffet, it seems  to me, might graze lightly from mommy or daddy's plate, I guess, though I would expect them to only be given the nibbles they could eat. I don't see a reason to put more on their plate than they can eat.  (That's Catholic guilt about how people in other countries would certainly cry over the food I wasted as a child).  

Even if their food consumption is 100% of the light grazing, a one-year-old still create dishes to wash, silver to clean, milk or soda glasses to fill, occasionally booths to wash after you leave.  The business accepts that loss to earn your business.

It seems to me that a small business that lets one year olds eat for free is a small business that is doing you a favor and giving you a gift in hopes of winning your business.  It was wrong of them to retract that gift mid-meal, I agree.  But I would also ask that we recognize the rights and obligations of reciprocal gift-giving.  When someone gives you a gift, you need to treat it respectfully, including minimizing waste.

[email protected]

about 10 years ago

As you might guess, I am fairly defensive on behalf of local businesses I value and of Asian restaurants I enjoy.  We exist in an ecology with them, and there are too few of them around here to lose even one!

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

I'm glad the soft-serve thing is out of commission (if that is indeed the case). I'm not a picky eater, but the ice cream from that machine tasted like metal. The scoop ice cream is much better.

HipProfessor

about 10 years ago

The food is average or below average. Very slow in filling the buffet trays. Customer service is horrible. The skinny female manager was super rude. Will never go back. Do yourself a favor and stay far away.

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