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Business booms following Farmington restaurant's recognition

Tony Weng’s focus on good food and good service have earned Weng’s Kitchen some national recognition.

The lunch buffet at Weng’s Kitchen is usually pretty popular, but even compared to the restaurant’s busiest days what happened the second half of last week was out of the ordinary.

On Wednesday, customers filled the waiting area at the front of the restaurant and spilled out onto the sidewalk in front. When owner Tony Weng asked where they were from, they told him Wayzata, or Minnetonka, even as far away as Duluth.

It was weird.

Weng didn’t know where the sudden surge had come from until he got home and saw an email congratulating him on being named Minnesota’s best Chinese food restaurant in a post on Yahoo! Food.

“We didn’t know what was going on. Why people were coming down from Duluth. Why people were coming from Minnetonka,” Weng said. “Normally we’re a very busy restaurant already. Now it’s to the roof.”

At one point Friday, Weng had 28 people on the waiting list for his buffet.

In the Yahoo! post, author Jim O’Heir identified the best Chinese restaurant in every state based on comments from restaurant review site Yelp. Restaurants got credit for both the number of reviews left and the number of stars in those reviews.

Weng’s had five out of five stars overall in 29 ratings.

The restaurant, which has been open since 2010 at 115 Elm Street, got credit for Weng’s “super-friendly service” as well as a well-stocked lunch buffet and a menu full of delicious entrees.

While the lunch buffet is popular, Weng is particularly proud of his dinner menu, which he remade about three months ago. He added filet mignon and lobster and some other things not typically found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. He particularly recommends his mother’s pad Thai and the Mongolian beef.

Weng also tries to make every customer feel at home. For every 1,000 people who come through the door, he says he knows 800 by name.

With so many new customers all of a sudden, that’s a lot of new names to learn.

“Right now I don’t even know how to accept this as a fact,” Weng said. “My priority now is to keep every customer happy.”

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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