Flatiron Lunch: The All You Can Eat Buffet at Cinnamon
Now that Downtown has its very own section of the site, what are we going to post on Fridays at 10am? Answer… how about a new column devoted to those lunches just south of the ML boundaries. Every week we’ll post about a lunch in Murray Hill south, Gramercy, Flatiron, and everything in between… or as we’ll call it from now on: Flatiron Lunch.
After a couple weeks in the ‘Flatiron’ part of the Flatiron Lunch area, I headed back to further my exploration of Curry Hill. One of my biggest challenges when walking down Lex is figuring out which place to pick, so I’ll be a little transparent here so you guys can tell me the right way to pick. Cinnamon over the million other places on this strip: First, it’s new, it opened up just a month or two ago, so I wanted to get the scoop. Second, unlike a lot of the dark, divey old school places with Christmas lights and ornamental chili peppers hanging everywhere, Cinnamon looks sort of, well, normal. Yeah, it’s a weak reason, but it’s true. Finally, there’s the financial reason. The $8.95 buffet seemed like a pretty good deal to me, so I went for it.
I’m not the expert Zach is, but a fat man’s instincts are all one really needs to navigate the all-you-can-eat buffet and I’ve got that. See what’s hot on the steam tables after the jump.
The selection available doesn’t seem as extensive as what Amy had at Apna Taj the other day, but it certainly has plenty of options to stuff your face with. I’m a carnivore, so I’m really just counting the meat options. There were about four or five of those, including two versions of the chicken tikka, one with the other without sauce.
I started out with the shesh kebab chunks, which were so neatly rolled up that they seemed more like sausage than any kefte I’ve had before. I’d love to have some of that tossed in a pita, or better naan with white sauce, hot sauce.
My favorite was the chicken tikka. I don’t eat Indian often enough, so that may be the problem, but in my experience chicken tikka often ends up a little dried out. You’ll get a nice charred flavor on the edges, but biting into a piece often results in a mouthful of dry white meat that requires a guzzle of my drink to choke down. Here it was moist and juicy and still steaming and still had that smokey char on the outside.
Expert or not, I think I did a respectable job of filling my plate. Lamb and Dhaal and chickpeas with spinach along with a little of everything else crammed together pretty well to make a hefty meal. Once I’d gobbled up all the solids, I went at the sauce with slices of the complimentary naan.
If I had any complaint it would be with the Mango Lassi, which might be the Indian foray into the frozen yogurt market. It was so thick that I was afraid I might rupture something trying to drink it. Next time, I’d ask for a spoon, except that, at $4.95, it cost more than half the price of the buffet, so I’ll probably just skip it.
If you end up going, check out the website, they promise a $5 off coupon if you sign up for their mailing list. Not sure if that applies to lunch, but just the prospect of paying $3.95 buffet has me salivating. Worst case, the food’s certainly good enough that I’d go back for dinner – especially if I had a $5 coupon….
The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- 8.95 for all you can eat anything is pretty great.
- The decor is pretty normal, with no Christmas lights to be found anywhere.
- Juicy Chicken Tikka.
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- That Lassi is going to give someone a hernia.
- The buffet selection isn’t huge.
Cinnamon, 106 Lexington Avenue (btw. 27+28th), 212-686-0505