1770 E. 20th Street
Farmington, NM, 87401
As with other Chinese restaurants in the Four Corners area, the main cuisine of Arches is Mandarin cuisine based. However, I noticed that when it comes to sauces, this restaurant favors sweet and sour sauce; it seemed to be everywhere. It was available as a condiment.
At the buffet serving tables, it was included in such dishes as “Beef with Broccoli” and “General Tso Chicken”; the actual “Sweet and Sour Chicken” was so saturated in the sauce, it was a goopy mess. The first two dishes mentioned are normally in a brown sauce, but not at Arches.
The individual serving units were one quarter to half full with many other dishes, with the sauces congealing, and a skin forming over whatever dishes they covered; or the vegetables were obviously limp from sitting over the steaming tables. The fried rice and pork lo mein were kept piled high with fresh servings, as was the fruit table. The restaurant was busy, so there was no reason why the food was not refreshed as it ran low. For the dishes I tried, I found the food to be mediocre, at best, and lacking in seasoning.
The saving grace for Arches hot food was the spring and egg rolls; crispy on the outside and the cabbage filling was finely shredded, so easier to bite into and eat in small portions. The sweet and sour sauce plus hot mustard were a great accompaniment for these. The fruit table contained many varieties, all tasting and looking fresh.
All in all, the price for the buffet is reasonable, especially if you’re not picky about the quality.