Midtown Lunch has a new home located at
Please update all your incoming links and rss feeds.
The new rss feed for Midtown Lunch is:
Everybody in Midtown has a goto lunch, and although I try to eat at new places every week, my wife and I usually fall back on Cafe Duke. Last week, we hit up Cafe Duke for a quick lunch, and I decided to forgo my usual Bi Bim Bap in favor of a few things from the buffet by the lb. I don’t normally do the whole by the lb. thing, because although I love the variety, I can’t stand feeling the need to hold back. Scooping tiny portions, all the time worrying that my lunch is going to end up costing $17. While loading up with my normal items, something amazing stood out to me. They had these amazing looking Jumbo Shrimp that had me wondering “How they hell can they afford to serve Jumbo Shrimp for $7 a lb.????”
I got two, and discovered one of the greatest scams I had ever fallen prey to. They’re not real shrimp!!! I couldn’t believe it. Actually, I could believe it. It reminded me of this thing I once learned about Professional Gamblers. There are teams of gamblers who when a new table game opens up anywhere in the world, they find out about it, and run the numbers, trying to find a single wager that will beat the game. While most are games are tirelessly tested before being put into a casino, every once in awhile a game’s creator will make a mathematical error that leaves the game open to being “broken”. The team will fly to his location, bet the one wager for hours and hours, until the casino realizes their mistake and shuts the game down.
I guess that’s why I wasn’t surprised about the shrimp. Can you imagine if the Jumbo shrimp were real? For $6.99 a lb? Hoards of fat guys (like me) would be crowded around the buffet, loading up on jumbo shrimp… trying to “beat the game”. Thankfully, the fake shrimp were delicious so I wasn’t too upset about being duped. I’m not sure exactly what they are made of, but I’m guessing it is a rice cake type of mixture (or imitation crab meat… although it didn’t have that fake fishy flavor that imitation crab has). The best part about the scam… the “shrimp” are not only colored and shaped to look like shrimp, they even have the indentation where the tail was pulled off. Such detail. It’s like art.
The Midtown Lunch guide to eating at a Buffet by the lb… after the jump.
If you read this blog every day, I’m sure you get the general idea of my taste. I’m not really into those delis that litter midtown with their “choice”. Choice to me is
“Do I get my combo with the pork fried rice, or lo mein?”. I consider most sandwiches kind of boring, and I never imagined I could eat a salad for lunch. That is, until I met the Variety Cafe… and I let my guard down. I allowed myself to fall in love with this Variety Cafe place, and their wonderful salad bar for fat people… only to have my heart ripped in half by their disregard for serving said salad without rodent droppings.
“I’ll never eat at a deli/salad bar place again” I said to myself (I use slashes when I talk- that’s pronounced “deli slash salad bar”), that is, until I found Cafe Duke. From the outside it looks like your typical Manhattan lunch place. The name, the decor, the salad bar, buffet by the pound, rotisserie bar, sandwiches and paninis, wraps and of course the sushi bar. But, hidden in the back left hand corner is the real gem of the place… The Korean Food station!
That’s right, Bi Bim Bap, Bulgogi and Korean soup, being served in the back of a Midtown deli. Bastards! I can feel myself falling in love all over again…
The food porn, and +/- after the jump… Continue to the rest of the post…