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.

_MG_4344

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.

_MG_7284

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.

_MG_7287 - Version 2

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.

_MG_4328 - Version 2

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.

_MG_4327 - Version 2

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.

_MG_4322

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.

_MG_4320

The fried chicken was crunchy and tasty. It may not compete with Hill Country Chicken, but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper.

_MG_4325

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.

_MG_4336 - Version 2

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

10 Comments

  • This place is also open late, catering to cabbies and the occasional adventurous drunk. I’ve always been told (by cabbies) that a lot of the food reflects the owner’s home country of Guinea. Pretty tasty.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    This actually sounds like good stuff. Too far from mid-town for me :(

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    how do you know what things are? you just kinda look and guess or are there labels?

    • @Spydr331, in the 2nd photo, you can barely make out tiny little labels pasted on the glass sneeze guards, left top corner of photo.

      I went there a while ago when it first opened and I remember asking one of the ladies bringing out food to the buffet, she was very helpful and explained what the dishes were to me. I think it’s 5.99/lb, not a bad deal for something a little different.

  • On Tuesdays between 3-5, every platter comes with a free huff of jenkem

  • Food from the buffet is “sold on weight”? Really?

    That’s a concept I never heard of before, but a good idea, I think, for buffets.

    Could cut down on waste from the “eyes bigger than the stomach” buffetbuster types.

    On the other hand, what about the occasional “swill” item?

    Can THAT be subtracted from “the weight” and the bill, if returned?

    Just askin’.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Just ate there today.
    - the chef originally rang me up. he didn’t know how to use the credit card machine, he mistakenly billed me $80 instead of $8. The manager (Abraham) showed up a few minutes later and gave me $80 cash to make up for it. Moral of the story is to pay with cash, not credit (or don’t pay credit when the chef is the one taking the money).
    - I went with some large beans (a bit oily), curry chicken, jerk chicken, pepper steak, lamb. The chicken was tasty, curry average, jerk above average (could have been hotter). The pepper steak had a nice flavor, although was a bit dry. The lamb was surprisingly tender and good. They had no fried chicken.
    - It met my expectations for what I went in for, stick to your ribs 58 degree weather food. It wasn’t amazing, however it was some good solid middle of the road fare.

  • dude…. shouldn’t you at least link to jlam’s original post about this same exact restaurant? kind of disappointed to see a flatiron lunch repeat. http://midtownlunch.com/2010/02/12/flatiron-lunch-for-african-food-head-to-b-b-restaurant/

  • Whoops, I totally missed that. That’s for pointing it out.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.