In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that I’m often wary of hot food bars – there’s all the people, the open air food, the fact that everything looks great but there’s a 90% chance it doesn’t taste that way – let’s face it, the buffet is always a crap shoot. But, I’m also the kind of picky eater who may want grilled mackerel, a few spicy chicken skewers, edamame and some pickled vegetables, so I end up staring down the buffet with a mixture of intense longing and mounting fear. However, when I first stepped into Woorijip on 32nd St. between 5th ave. and Broadway, I gave up my mistrust of by-the-pound eats, much to my great delight and my pocket’s benefit.
Woorijp has a tasty variety of Korean fare that’ll only set you back $6.99 a pound, and I personally can curate a filling lunch that’s under the 1 lb mark – so, even cheaper! The assortment of food means that they’ll usually have whatever you’re hankering for: rolls – got ‘em; noodles – try the spicy, cold, or buckwheat varieties; proteins – there’s beef kimbap, spicy tofu, grilled fish, and the list goes on. And then there’s kimchi, so much kimchi – cucumber, radish, cooked into egg pancakes! (Can you tell that I’m really into kimchi?) To finish off the meal, drop an extra $1 for dessert, it’s worth it, especially for the sticky rice cake in brown sugar. The best time to hit up the buffet is of course the lunch hour, around noon, as the food turnover is higher. But, if you can time it perfectly and get their right before the crush of customers, the experience is even more satisfying. No matter how crowded Woorijip gets though, it’s still a quick, cheap and tasty lunch option for us broke-asses who somehow find ourselves in midtown way too often.
12 W. 32nd St. (between 5th Ave and Broadway)
Photo Credit: macaulay.cuny.edu