Archive for 'Buffet, All You Can Eat'

Touch of India May be the Last Under $10 Indian Buffet in Midtown

It’s been a while since I buffeted it up at lunchtime in Midtown.  When I first started this blog, there were quite a few buffets that fell under the Midtown Lunch price range.  There was Rangole on 46th btw. 5+6th (now closed), Al Baraka Turkish Buffet on 55th btw. Lex+3rd (now called Kannaat), Arang in Koreatown (they stopped doing buffet), Chinese Midtown Buffet on 7th btw. 39+40th, International Food House latin buffet on 35th btw. 7+8th) and Curry Dream on 39th btw. 5+6th.  I made an exception for the $10.99 vegetarian Indian buffet Sukhadia on 45th btw. 5+6th,  and Spice Fusion became my favorite buffet in Midtown when they opened last year on 8th Ave. btw. 47+48th. Since that time, almost every one of these buffets have either closed or raised their prices, leaving West Tandoori Club on 37th btw. 7+8th, the last remaining under $10 Indian buffet in Midtown.

Last month, when the W.T.C. closed for “renovations,” I figured that was it.  Even if they re-opened as a buffet, it’s not going to remain under $10.  So imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago, West Tandoori Club re-opened as “Touch of India” with an $8.95 lunch buffet.   Last friday, I headed over to check it out…  Read more »

West Tandoori Club is Now Touch of India (Still All-You-Can-Eat)

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The West Tandoori Club (on 37th btw. 7+8th), which closed for renovations over a month ago, has re-opened as Touch of India.  Gone is the dingy atmosphere, and take out counter in the back- replaced with a nice (but by no means well designed) atmosphere that is typical of these kinds of Midtown restaurants.  Thankfully they still offer the all you can eat buffet, and shockingly it’s still under $10 (making it one of the very few left in Midtown.)

Interior buffet shots, after the jump…  Read more »

Indus Express Introduces All You Can Eat Special

Indus Express

In the comments today about Indus Express, the fairly new Indian “Deli” on 48th btw. 5+6th:

Zach – you missed the really ass-kicking deal at Indus Express. At the front of their store they have a sign for “All you can eat buffet.” Last night my friend and I inquired, and to our great joy, the buffet consists of ALL of their meat and veggie curries, PLUS naan, for $8.99 (it’s not a self serve buffet, but who freaking cares). The guy who seemed to run the place said that deal was available anytime, any day. Service was great, food was excellent, and the price really is phenomenal for what you’re getting. And I didn’t even make it to the chaat or the naan-rolls yet…

I managed to contain my excitement enough to call up Indus Express and confirm that they do have an $8.99 buffet special, but it is only M-F after 4pm, and all day on the weekends.  Eat in only (obviously) and you’re allowed to take as much as you want from the steam table (including pakoras and samosas).  I’m bummed that it’s not for lunch, but still a great deal if you need a big (but cheap) dinner after work, or you’re stuck in the office on the weekends.

Indus Express, 48 W. 48th St. (btw. 5+6th), 212-221-7952

Related Posts:

First Fiamma, Now Spice Fusion Follows Accolades With Price Hike

 

What is it with the trend of restaurants raising their prices after getting high praise from powerful reviewers!?!  Following in Fiamma’s footsteps (they raised their price fixe menu from $75 to $95 after a 3 star review from the New York Times), Spice Fusion on 8th Ave. btw. 47+48th has raised the price of their all you can eat buffet from $9.99 to $10.99 within months of receiving a glowing Midtown Lunch review and being declared Best Indian Buffet in the 2008 Midtown Lunch readers poll!

While incredibly disappointing, it’s not exactly surprising. I recently voiced my fear that Spice Fusion would follow in the footsteps of Curry Dream & Al Baraka (now Kanaat), two buffets who have both raised their prices from $9.99 to $10.99 since the new year

I have managed to resist going into an all out panic, despite reading how the cost of flour was sending pizza prices through the roof , and the article in Saturday’s New York Times about how all food stuffs have seen price increases over the past year.  But now that it is clearly having an effect on all you can eat buffets, I’m paying attention!  (You didn’t really think they raised prices because of Midtown Lunch, did you?)  

The real question is what kind of a world do we live in when you can’t stuff your face with unlimited amounts of food, for under $10. 

With the stroke of a pen, and the resulting blog coverage, Fiamma ended up reconsidering their price hike.  Will you not help us, Mr. Bruni? 

The $9.99 All You Can Eat Buffet Takes Two More Steps To Becoming Extinct in Midtown

Al Baraka, Midtown’s best only Turkish buffet, is now Kanaat Turkish Restaurant.  The chef, food and lunch buffet are exactly the same, but it is now $10.95 (up from $9.95 before).  The lamb shanks are still on the buffet, so it’s worth the extra buck, but the current trend of lunchtime price increases worries me that soon all buffets will need special exemptions to be included in the Midtown Lunch’ing price range.

Another popular buffet that has broken the $10 threshold, after the jump… Read more »

Midtown Lunch Readers’ Poll: Best Indian Buffet (Under $10.99)

So, I’m finally back from 10 days of eating my way across Chile (more on that tomorrow), which means that this is the last category of the Midtown Lunch readers’ poll. Thanks for holding down the fort for the past week, commenting and voting. You have until tomorrow at 8pm EST to vote in any of the 12 categories, and I’ll post the final results on Wednesday. Links to posts about most of the nominees can be found on the “Restaurant Index” page. Feel free to write in votes in the comments section.

Getting Sirius With the “Champion of the Buffet”—Me!


International Food House Restaurant & Buffet
Posted to the M.L. Flickr Photo Group by Seraphim1970
 

Last week I was on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Maxim Radio Channel giving my tips on how to beat the All You Can Eat Buffet.  Most of the info is already covered in the “Midtown Lunch Guide to Beating the All You Can Eat Chinese Food Buffet“, but now you can check it out in audio form! Notice how Stretch, the DJ, refers to me as “Champion of the Buffet” and “Buffet Expert”.  I think I could get used to that…

Part 1 – [mp3]http://www.midtownlunch.com/blog/wp-content/buffet1.mp3[/mp3]

Part 2 – [mp3]http://www.midtownlunch.com/blog/wp-content/buffet2.mp3[/mp3]

Unfortunately, when it comes to all you can eat Chinese Buffets, we’re pretty weak here in Midtown.  The only option I have found is the “Midtown Buffet” on 7th Ave. btw. 39+40th., which is the kind of buffet you eat at once every 6 months, to remind yourself why you only eat there once every 6 months.  Luckily there are other places to enjoy, for those of us obsessed with buffets.  My favorites, after the jump… Read more »

All You Can Eat Meat at the International Food House Restaurant & Buffet

Am I in the minority of people by not getting excited about IHOP coming to Times Square?  To me it just seems like another addition to an area that is quickly becoming an Epcot’ish oversize chain restaurant pavilion.  In all the excitement, I did however notice a little interesting nugget in this little posting by NY Mag’s Blog “Grub St.”

Search for IHOP in the Yahoo white pages (and on Citysearch and various other sites) and… you’ll find a listing on 240 W. 35th Street [which doesn't exist as an IHOP]. We know this because we tried to go there once and instead of being greeted by a Rooty Tooty Fresh ’N Fruity we found, of all things, the International Food House and Buffet, an all-you-can-eat Latin spot.

WHA?!?! All You Can Eat?  Latin food?  International Food House & Buffet?!?!  Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the exciting part of the story?  Who cares about an IHOP in Midtown.  I want to hear more about the buffet!

Well, yesterday I trekked down to 35th St. to find this fake IHOP that had disappointed so many, but was about to make me the happiest lunch’er in all of Midtown.

All the buffet-tastic glory, after the jump… Read more »

Spice Fusion Perfects the Under $10 Indian All You Can Eat Buffet

***Update: Since this post was written, the price of this Buffet has gone up to $10.95***

One thing I’ve discovered since starting Midtown Lunch is that most of the time you get what you pay for.  Go to an Indian buffet that’s $9.95 and the quality of the food is not going to be as good as the $14.95 buffet.  Rangole (on 46th btw. 5+6th) was the best deal ever at $8.95, but the quality was a little lacking, and the atmosphere left a little to be desired.  And yet, I love the all you can eat buffets, so I was happy the place was there when I needed my fix.

When Rangole closed, I was forced to look south to Curry Dream on 38th btw. 5+6th.  $1 more than Rangole, it still suffers from many of the same problems.  Good, but not great, clean, but not really… and still, I am just happy it’s there.  (Fat man likey buffet.)  I could pay $10.95 for Sukhadia or even more for one of the expensive Indian Buffets in Midtown (there are plenty, like Utsav), but it is against the under $10 Midtown Lunch rule (read: I’m a cheap bastard, and will sacrifice quality for price).

With the opening of Spice Fusion on 8th Ave. btw. 47+48th, all of my Indian food prayers have been answered.  Not only is the buffet only $9.95, they have take out boxes for $6.95 and the food is not only good, it is borderline great!

What they have, and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

The M.L. Guide to Beating the All You Can Eat Chinese Food Buffet

I fully admit that I am not a food expert.  I’ve never been to culinary school, my palate isn’t particularly advanced and I probably have no business writing about any kind of food (even if it is crappy carts and dives in Midtown).  But if there is one thing I could be considered an expert on, it’s Chinese Buffets.  I am a huge fan of the All of You Can Eat Chinese food buffet (emphasis on the huge).  The concept of all-you-can-eat is brilliant on its own, but once you throw in one of my all time favorite foods (Chinese), you’ve got one of the greatest inventions of all time.

In fact, it is a personal goal of mine to eat at a Chinese buffet in every state in the country.  Here are the states I’ve tackled so far:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • New Mexico
  • New York (Just recently… and the inspiration for this post.)
  • Nevada (Obviously)
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas (A great buffet just outside of Houston that had fried frogs legs.  Delicious!)
  • Tennessee (Terrible.  My wife will never let me live that one down.)

It’s clearly a work in progress, but I take my work very seriously.  I really love Chinese Buffets.  And it is not just the fact that you get to stuff your face (something I enjoy doing very much).  It’s also the no waiting (you start eating right after you sit down), the variety (it’s the spice of life!) and of course, the competition.  That’s right…  the competition.  You vs. the Buffet.  The price is really just a dare.  A sign that says “All-U-Can-Eat for $14.50″, might as well just say “I dare you to eat more than $14.50 worth of food.  Signed - The Buffet.”

Basically, your goal from the moment you walk into the buffet should be “Win the Game”.  And the game is to eat so much food that the restaurant loses money.  You want to eat so much that when they see you come back the next time, they get scared.  You want them to worry that if you eat at their buffet too often, they might have to close it down.  But before you can learn how to beat your enemy, you must KNOW your enemy.

The three kinds of Chinese buffets, PLUS my tips to winning the game (and more buffet porn)- after the jump… Read more »