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Treasure Island

Treasure Island has become a new Portland tradition. It used to be Rheinlander, but now that my parents are based on the west side all-you-can-eat Chinese trumps German gluttony. I was a little sad to note their 8:30 pm closing (so Portland, jeez) upon our close to 8 pm arrival. But in reality, it saved a lot of calories and unnecessary stomach stretchage. I tried to stay low key on the fried saucy general Tso type items and went wild with pickled vegetables, crispy bean curd and crunchy tendons that sit on the lonely side table with the white rice that no one touches.(10/11/04)

Well, East Buffet, it is not. But you have to take what you can get sometimes. I guess on weekends the place is a madhouse. Luckily, we went on a Monday. They do adequate versions of Chinese American standards like sesame chicken, sweet and sour, egg rolls. You know the drill. They also have a Mongolian grill area where they'll cook up meat and vegetables for you. I was most interested in the lonely little fold-up table against the wall, separate from the main buffet rows. That's where things like tripe, tendons, chile oil, tea eggs, kim chee, pickled cucumbers and the white rice were housed. I found it odd that the white rice was not in with the more mainstream offerings, but after a quick survey it became clear that fried rice is the starch of choice for this particular clientele. I asked my mom and her husband, the step-dude why they didn't eat white rice with their food and their logic was that it fills you up too fast. True, I suppose. But that was always my beef with the whole low-carb thing, how it made eating Asian food impossible since rice seems to be a requisite accompaniment. My new theory, though, is that the Atkin's diet is perfect for middle America because all they really want is the meat anyway. Anyway, Treasure Island was fun for an intrepid buffet aficionado like myself. (12/29/03)

Treasure Island Chinese Buffet * 15930 SW Regatta Ln., Beaverton, Oregon

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