Midtown Happy Hour: Free App With a Drink at Spice Fusion
If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so I thought maybe it was time to introduce a happy hour column to the site. Every week, our Happy Hour Correspondent “Mamacita” will post about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap.
It’s well documented that Zach and many of us Midtown Lunchers love to go hog wild on an all you can eat buffet. Likewise, once the clock reads quitting time the happy hour ideal consists of gorging ourselves on free appetizers with a good drink to lull us into the night. We all know Spice Fusion has been an ML Indian buffet mainstay, but I was surprised to find they also have an all night happy hour with free veggie or meat hors d’oeuvres. This might be the only Indian food happy hour I’ve ever heard of, so my curiosity and appetite were piqued!
Spice fusion is surprisingly dead at 6pm, especially given the proximity to the theater district crowds. There was only one other couple there but the waiters courteously checked our coats and we took a seat at the tiny bar. We were offered a wine and a cocktail list (I didn’t see any beer listings). I ordered a dry vodka martini and my friend had a bloody mary. The bartender made the martini with Absolut plus three little olives as garnish. It was everything you would expect it to taste like. The bloody mary on the other hand was in a small glass, light on flavor (no horseradish, pepper, celery etc) and strength: more like something you get at an airport lounge. Not discouraged, I sheepishly looked over my shoulder to see where this freeloading food action was to be found, but when the bartender came back out and asked if we wanted veggie or meat appetizer it became clear that this was an only one-dish affair. Out of the kitchen came 3 samosas and another small plate of 4 chucks of chicken masala —both garnished with baby greens and a side of tamarind and mint sauce.
A delicious crispy shell surrounded the samosas and the chicken had tender dark meat with a light seasoning. In two demure nibbles one samosa was easily devoured and this held true for the chicken. So one little appetizer per stay was a big tease. A salivatory treat, but a stomach growling tease nevertheless. This was not exactly what I expected when they advertised their happy hour. The check came and my martini rung up at $10 and my date’s drink was $8. Not exactly cheap but the cocktail list didn’t include prices, so I had a feeling.
When compared with other midtown bars that offer trays of wings, nachos, and hotdogs with cheap drinks this low ambiance restaurant fails at comparing in affordability and satisfaction. I hate to say this Spice Fusion, but stick to what you do well: being one of ML’s best all you can eat Indian buffets.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- I work nearby and I’m having dinner here, why not get a free app with my glass of wine
- I’d love small snack and a drink before going to the theatre
- Service was excellent and the bar does have a small dish of spicy peanuts to snack on
- There is a lounge area as you enter, with sofas —probably a good place to take coworkers and order small bites and drinks
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- Tiny bar that only seats about 5
- They’re trying to take in a happy hour crowd, but they fail to do it right
- 1 small plate, per person = lame
- If you are up for $10 cocktails there are much better options
Spice Fusion, 777 8th ave (btw 47+48th)