Commenter Demands Real Shrimps or Refund from Cafe Duke


Despite my extensive report on fake shrimp at by the lb. buffets, the word is not entirely out on this NYC deli tactic.

From commenter “Leo” on the post about Cafe Duke (51st btw. 6+7th):

Got fooled by the fake shrimp.

Called them to complain and the lady that picks up the phone had an attitude.
She said that 1. I had to ask — Ask who, there is no one you can ask around the food buffet. 2. Nothing is labeled  3. They make the fake shrimp same shape and size as real shrimps.

Would not offer me a refund after I spend $10 on cheap fish instead of what looked like shrimps…

They are so busy have like 10K people there during lunch, there is no need to cheat customers… Will not go back unless given real shrimps of refund.

I was fooled too, but I only took a few of the fake shrimp, and I really liked the way they tasted- so I wasn’t too upset.  The lesson to take from this-  when eating at a by the lb. buffet, never take a full tray of something you’ve never tried. 

For more rules of by the lb. buffet eating, you’ll want to read this post.


  • These disgusting and gruesome aberrations of nature purveyed by Cafe Duke have landed them on my shit list forever. It’s a slippery slope – first the shrimp – next the “chicken” will be pigeon, the “beef” will be dog, the “pork” will be rat. And so on. Until we’re all unknowingly eating lunches made of things Andrew Zimmern on Bizzare Foods wouldn’t touch.

  • Wayne,enough on your gastronomic tour of Vietnam.

    …..and actually pigeon is lovely.not the flying rats one see’s in cities, but wood pigeon.

    There’s shit in bigmacs* but noone says anything…..

    * may be edited by Zach

  • Who knew? Soon they’ll use fake crab meat in the California Roll.

  • You didn’t really think they had peeled & cooked shrimp the size of your fist, did you??

  • Rudy, true and Chicken McNuggets are really reconstituted liquified poultry testicles & whey, fried up and sold as “chicken”. Oh where will the false advertising end? Why can you be assured that snipe, grouse, partridge, pheasant or woodcock is what it is, but a chicken is more likely to be a jellied flying rat?

  • This is hilarious.

    Leo – post your address. I’ll send you $10 worth of real shrimp via regular mail.

  • McDonalds UK assures the public all it’s mcnuggets are hand crafted by jamie oliver.

  • Zach – I think you should change the headline to add the phrase “BREAKING NEWS” in front.

    Makes it slightly funnier. Just my two cents.

  • I think the real issue is that Cafe Duke and other Delis advertise that they have a seafood buffet with shrimp. Serving fake shrimp is false advertising and bad business.
    Why? You can buy a pound of inexpensive shrimp for $5. You can get giant jumbo shrimp for $15 a pound sometimes. I mean, come on, people are buying veggies at $6 a pound at the deli…you can have one item that is a loss leader…
    Not to mention, fake shrimp is nasty. (Personally, I enjoy fake crab, but I wouldn’t choose to eat it all the time)

  • This is here Zen Burger get their ‘shrimp’!!!

  • Go to Cafe Manhattan, you can get real shrimp there.

    The only reason you should be going to Cafe Duke is if you’re treating Angela to carrot bisque soup.

  • Does Jamie where his twee little Wellies while slurry-fying the chicken? That was directed at Rudy, btw.

  • slurry frying?…….ummmm mrs mcbagel is ‘murican and ive never heard that before,is that shallow frying?

    And wellies are not twee.

    I own a pair or four.

    no wuv me no more, me wuv angie.

  • Zach, I hope you’ll be doing a Midtown Celebrating-Chinese-New-Year post tomorrow! I wonder if any places are doing New Year specials?

  • slurry frying?…….ummmm mrs mcbagel is ‘murican and ive never heard that before.

    And wellies are not twee.

    I own a pair or four.

    no wuv me no more, me wuv angie.

  • Oh, there’s already a Mrs. McBagel? There go all my hopes and dreams…

  • slurry-fying, the act of making something into slurry. not frying. The only thing more twee than Jamies wellies are wellies with like dogs or some crap on it. And I’m into indie pop. I know twee. Anyhow, Kate wanna meet me at Fashion Soup and try and score some modelizers?

  • Sorry I’m late.

    Re: Slurry frying, is that what it means?

    How errr twee.

    Kate,Don’t let Sarah down @ shakeshack she goes all vanilla sky on ya.:)

  • Read the post & was inspired to have the fake shrimp at ZenBurger – it was great! Really had the texture of batter fried shrimp & wasn’t overcooked into rubber. No need to hate on the fake shrimp concept!

    And here’s another rec: the ZenTuna sandwich was friggin’ AMAZING – had the texture of tuna without the stench, & had a very pleasant, subtle lemon twang. Also, stay away from the emerald green iced tea – nasty and bitter. The peach iced tea, however, was pretty good – 10 calories a serving & no nasty sugar-substitute aftertaste.

  • Where as the worldwide rumour that Mcdonalds products contain shit there is infact absolute proof that all Zen ‘meat alternatives’ are in fact made from turds scooped from the east river.*

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