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Third Street is quickly becoming my favorite eats street in Harrisburg, especially after a recent visit to Ventura House. The place is neatly tucked among random shops and foreclosed buildings so it’s a little hard to spot, but what really caught my attention was the store window that read “Jamaican – Chinese – American Buffet.” Now personally the “buffet” part of that title would be enough to sell me on at least one visit, but throw in the random combination of both Jamaican and Chinese ethnic cuisine and I’m back for lunch that day.

I parked in front of a run down building I believe is being remodeled by the City to be the Midtown Arts Center and wandered into this curious combination of ethnic cuisine called the Ventura House. The inside is plain, but nice, and the woman behind the counter was quite friendly. I paid a measly $6.50 up front for a pretty nice sized buffet table and went to work on lunch. The thing I noticed first was that the buffet seemed to be made up entirely of meat – how delightful. I didn’t notice any labels on the items so I just decided to try everything (twice) and believe me, it was well worth the $6.50. Everything I tried was delicious, the meat so tender it just fell of the bones, and the variety of curry, jerk, and breaded chicken was really a treat. I wasn’t exactly sure before from just passing by the place how well suited a buffet would be to both Jamaican and Chinese food in addition to American cuisine. I stand corrected; the variety and quality of food was amazing, and I’ll definitely be going back.



  1. So this is actually a functioning restaurant? I hate to be cynical, but I’ve been walking by this place twice a day to and from work for the past three years, and I almost never see anyone in there eating. Add to it that this place is usually open past midnight on weekdays, and doesn’t open until 1 p.m. on Saturdays, I’ve always failed to see how it supports itself selling food with those hours, and just assumed it was a front for something else.

  2. Well I can’t speak to any of that except that when I went in and tried the buffet I found it to be delicious and well worth the $6.50.

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  1. […] about this place as there is already a Jamaican Buffet just a few blocks down 3rd Street called Ventura House. Is this city big enough to have two Jamaican eateries in addition to a great Caribbean food stand […]

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