B&B’s Buffet Brings West Africa to the Flatiron
Every Friday our man Ultraclay goes south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.
When I first came across B&B, my initial thought was “I hope they make better soul food than Soul Fixin’s!” But when I walked in to check it out, I instead discovered African and West Indian food with a pretty random assortment of international flavors. It’s pretty unique to find something like that in my corner of Midtown so I was pretty excited to dive into their buffet. Check it out after the jump.
As soon as you walk in the long buffet is the first thing you see. It’s chock full of color and scents that pull your attention this way and that. I tried to give it a walk through before piling everything onto my plate, but it took a fair amount of willpower. The food is sold by weight, so I didn’t want to cram too much onto my plate, but was only somewhat successful.
The curries were the first thing to draw my attention. There’s obviously a lot of curry to be had just a couple blocks east, but this is different. These are the curries I grew up with, colored more green than yellow and scented with scotch bonnet peppers and thyme. There were more than a few curried options, but I scooped out some goat to try this time.
The problem with goat is that it’s always a struggle to get to the meat through all those bones, but the few morsels you get are totally worth the work.
There were a few fish options that I didn’t try, but this one caught my eye. It looks like the escovitch fish my mom makes – fried whole and dressed with a pile of peppers and onions.
One of the more odd options on hand was what seemed to be spaghetti noodles tossed with whole pieces of chicken mixed in. I took some of the pasta, which was basically chicken-y spaghetti. A little strange, but it was fine.
Possibly my favorite from the buffet was the jerk chicken. It had all the right flavors of allspice and a heat that snuck up on me.
The fried chicken was crunchy and tasty. It may not compete with Hill Country Chicken, but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper.
Just in case the food doesn’t have enough flavor for you – unlikely – there is a pile of limes and hot peppers on hand for you to add for yourself. I’d suggest being careful though, those little fat wrinkly ones can make you cry.
My plate, which brought together an odd collection of foods, cost an even $10 with a tall can of coconut water. That’s with two pieces of chicken, a scoop of mac n cheese, some of the chickeny spaghetti, cabbage, fried rice, and of course, the curry goat. Not a bad deal.
B&B’s selection of food seems to draw the right crowd. If that wasn’t made clear by all the accents and languages spoken by patrons and workers alike, the fact that so many of the patrons were wearing the tour bus uniforms from up at the Empire State Building nearly ten blocks away told me that B&B is a destination for folks looking for a rare taste of home in the area. I know I’ll be heading back the next time I have a taste for the food I had as a kid.
B&B, 165 West 26th St. (btwn 6th & 7th) 212-627-2914