Eat & DrinkNew York

Variety Cafe Lives Up To Name, With Some Cheapo Bonuses

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So you’re in midtown. Whoops. Perhaps you need some crazy diamonds, or you’re praying to some pagan god for discount Book of Mormon tickets, or you just took a wrong turn in Hell’s Kitchen. No matter what way you slice it, the homogeneity of the landscape is dulling to the senses. Omnipresent are what can only be called “everything delis” that have all cuisines from sandwiches, salads, Chinese buffets, Mongolian grills, Sushi, bimbibap, pizza, pasta, it goes on. Frankly, they’re usually jack-of-all-trades, master of none, and disgusting. Variety Cafe actually holds it down in the sea of mediocrity, and has a decent salad bonus for the broke-asses.

You can and should scope out all stations in this spot. It’s way more of a food mall where many stations are cooking up things to your order. It’s not limited to some steam table filled with cabbage from the Medieval era. However what keeps me coming back is a salad bar not trying to throw a harpoon into your wallet. We’ve all been there- small plastic bowl of lettuce, like 3 bucks, and add your accoutrement. By the time you’ve added some tomato slices you’re salad is now 12 dollars and you’re wondering why you didn’t just get a martini.

Variety has the decency to flat charge you for six toppings to your salad no matter what they are. You can cheap out with onions and peas, or go all in with three types of chicken chunks and three kinds of cheeses. Doesn’t matter, and that sense of redistributed salad bar justice makes Variety worth the stop when you’re already stuck in suck city. Try not to smell the Naked Cowboy- stench of death on that guy, for real.

Variety Cafe
48 W 48th St (b/w 5th Ave & Rockefeller Plz)
[Midtown West]

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Dan Cerruti - 99 Cent Store Cowboy

Dan Cerruti - 99 Cent Store Cowboy

I've lived in New York all my life, and been a cheap ass for longer.