Archive for 'Buffet, All You Can Eat'

Indian Buffet Takes Over Old East Ocean Space


The space that used to be occupied by the cheap Chinese food place East Ocean (on 55th btw. Lex+3rd) has finally been filled by Apna Taj, an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet. I’m willing to go up to $11 for an all you can eat buffet, so this one (for $10.50) just makes it under the cap. It’s kind of ballsy to open up another Indian buffet 2 doors down from the upscale Darbar Grill (which is only 45 cents more expensive), and a ML reader has already sent me an email crying out for a head-to-head.

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$9 All You Can Eat Indian Buffet Returns to Midtown!


There was a time when the $9 Indian buffet was the norm in Midtown (remember Rangole?).  Those times have long gone, but it looks like the economy may be reversing the trend. Kashmir Buffet (on 8th Ave. btw 39+40th), which closed a few months ago to become the “Cave Lounge”, has reopened for lunch only.  The all you can eat Pakistani/Indian buffet is $8.99, and just before Noon yesterday looked tasty and fresh (unlike the upstairs, pay-by-the-pound Kashmir Express, which always looks like it’s been sitting out for hours).  They had at least three or four choices of meat, plus some interesting looking sweets (that are usually featured in the upstairs window) plus bread is included. I think originally the buffet may have been $8, but whatever. Considering that most buffets in Midtown are $10 and above, I’m all for it! Welcome back…

Photo of the inside is after the jump.

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Diwan’s Manager Opens His Own Indian Buffet


If there is one thing that Midtown is not lacking in, it’s the all you can eat Indian buffet- and while we don’t really have any buffets that are under $10 anymore, there are still enough $11 buffets to make the $15+ buffets not worth it (as far as I’m concerned).  So, I never paid much attention to Diwan, the upscale Indian restaurant owned by the same people who own Jackson Diner in Queens- which apparently closed last September (Diwan, not the Jackson Diner- obviously).  I am interested, however, in this bit of news:  Diwan’s manager of 15 years, has gone on to open his own Indian Restaurant on 52nd btw. Lex+3rd called Bombay Bistro… and their lunchtime buffet is $10.95.  So, with the buffet team in tow, I headed over to this newly opened buffet to take it for a test drive.

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Midtown Lunch’s Buffet Team Springs Into Action


Anybody who thinks you can’t navigate an all you can buffet with a two month old strapped to your chest, has never met me before.  I mean it’s either that or miss out on Bombay Bistro, a brand new Indian buffet on 52nd btw. Lex+3rd.  Clearly, not going was never going to be an option. Full report coming soon.  (Early adopters, just an FYI… the buffet is $10.95, but I think it’s been well stated on numerous occasions that I will go up to $11 for an all you can eat buffet.)

At Lunch Now: Midtown Lunch’s Buffet Team Has Doubled

Economy Claims Another All You Can Eat Buffet


I’ve got some really sad news to report to all-you-can eat buffet lovers:  The International Food House Buffet on 35th btw. 7+8th has turned into a pay for what it weighs, by the lb. buffet.  Considering the current economic state, this isn’t too surprising, but it is still depressing on many levels.  1) Serving up a wide range of Latin food, it was one of the only two or three non-Indian all you can eat buffets in Midtown.  2) It was a shockingly cheap $8.95. 3) By the pound buffets are a big kick in the pants to fat guys everywhere… especially when you’re serving heavy food like rice, beans, plantains, and stewed meats.  For $5.95 a pound, the price can get up there pretty quickly.

Unable to turn away from their massive selection, I decided to see how I would fare under this new format.  In the process I came up with a few suggestions for anybody looking to brave the *new* International Food House Buffet.

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Todai Buffet Excursion Caught on Video

If yesterday’s post about my trip to the Todai Buffet with a bunch of competitive eaters wasn’t enough for you, there is video! Shot and edited by Beautiful Brian, he was nice enough to keep me out of the video (for the most part) so my embarassing performance would not be saved for posterity.

Check it out after the jump…   Read more »

Attacking the Todai Sushi Buffet With Competitive Eating Masters


If you read this site often, you know I have fairly strict rules about price. I feel in my heart that lunch should not cost a person more than $10.  But I have equally strong feelings about buffets, and when it comes to something like the concept of all-u-can-eat, well… I can’t help but think that rules were meant to be broken.  I’ll admit up front I don’t break the rule too often for Indian buffets (there are good Indian buffets in Midtown for $10 to $11… so why spend $17?) but when it comes to Asian buffets, all bets are off.  So, two years ago this month I made a price exception and hit up the Todai buffet on 32nd btw. Madison+5th. I thought it was just ok, and definitely not as good as when it was Minado (its previous buffet incarnation, before being bought out by the big buffet chain.)

Since that time the price has gone up to $18.95, not completely shocking for a sushi buffet, but waaaay out of the Midtown Lunch price range (even for a buffet lover like me.)  But when I got an email invite to buffet it up with competitve eater (and profiled Midtown Lunch’er) Crazy Legs Conti and a few of his competitive eating buddies, how could I say no!?!

The play by play of our meal, their pearls of wisdom, and a photo of every plate put down by Crazy Legs… all after the jump.

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Celebrate Diwali By Going to an Indian Buffet

Today is Diwali, a major holiday celebrated by Indian people of all faiths, and many of the Indian restaurants in Midtown are rolling out the big guns.  Prices will stay the same, but Spice Fusion (on 8th Ave. btw. 47+48th) says their buffet will be “more elaborate” today and Touch of India (on 37th btw. 7+8th) has said they will have special items on their buffet, like biryani. (Sukhadia, on 45th is doing nothing special and Curry Dream didn’t even know it was Diwali.)

Spice Fusion is Still the Best Indian Buffet in Midtown (Even Though It’s $11)

Spice Fusion, Midtown NYC

Spice Fusion (the Indian buffet on 8th Ave. btw. 47+48th) used to have a big blow up of the Midtown Lunch post hanging in front of their restaurant. Not anymore. It probably has to do with the headline, where I claimed that Spice Fusion had perfected the “Under $10 Indian All You Can Eat Buffet”. Like most of the Indian buffets in Midtown, Spice Fusion raised their price at the beginning of the year. But is it worth the extra buck? (As you know, I will break my $10 rule for all you can eat buffets.)

I used this silly reasoning as an excuse decided to buffet it up on Friday to “check it out”.  Read more »

Do People Actually Enjoy Paying More for Things???

Curry Dream

I walked by Curry Dream Indian Buffet on 39th btw. 5+6th the other day, and noticed something interesting:  it was kind of packed.  I guess this wouldn’t be such a huge surprise, unless you knew a little bit about Curry Dream. I first wrote about this place in March of 2007, back when it was still one of the only under $10 Indian buffets in Midtown (they’ve since raised their prices.)  It was ok for the price, but nothing I would have traveled far out of my way for.  One commenter wrote that the restaurant might be a little dirty (roaches were mentioned, but this is all heresay).  Despite the comments, the restaurant still quoted Midtown Lunch (sort of) in their newspaper ad.  Very exciting stuff.

Needless to say, I haven’t been back since- and most of the time the place seemed fairly empty… that is until last week.  I walked by during lunch and it was pretty hopping, despite the fact that they raised the price of the buffet at the beginning of the year.  This could mean a few things: A) I’m on crack.  The place was always crowded, I just didn’t notice.  B) It has gotten a lot better since I first visited a year and a half ago.  Or C) people love paying more for things.  Could it be that a higher price buffet gives people a greater sense of security that their food is clean?  What do you think?  Has anybody been lately?