First off - just found out that I'm going to be the best man in a wedding this summer. Which means that the bachelor party planning has begun. The wheels are turning, my friends. The wheels are turning.
So I skipped breakfast today, because I'm an idiot, and I don't keep enough food in my place. Its kind of ridiculous - there's not much cabinet space in my kitchen, so its hard to keep too much around. No excuse, but still. So today, I head west, past the hated Breadline (communists). I heard rumors of a decent burrito place at 19th and H or something like that. I walk the block, but I don't see it. But there may be some potential on I, between 19th and 20th. Kaz Sushi is over there, which has already won me points. However, I finally settle on SoHo Cafe, which is a hot/cold bar.
Hot/cold bars are such risky propositions. By nature they have to be crappy. And remember, I came from the land of cashew chicken, and the Great Wall Super Buffet. Nothing will ever beat the Great Wall Super Buffet on Sunday after a rough weekend, also. That thing was awesome. Despite the fact that a couple of my friends from college were eventually banned from there for playing with food or staying too long or not tipping well enough or all of the above or something.
SoHo appears to be a little higher quality than most. I've been to the one near my apartment (13th and K) for breakfast before, and it was legit. So I was curious about lunch. I finally decided on the following selections: fried rice, general tsao's chicken (aka "chickenese"), mashed potatoes, meatloaf, and corn/mixed vegetables. They actually had a whole roasted turkey available for carving, as well - a good sign, I think. Final tally: $7.45. Acceptable.
So I get back to the office, and a coworker asks where I went. I tell her, and she swears that SoHo has the same ownership as Met Cafe, another hot/cold bar closer to the office. And its terrible. I went there once, brought food back, and after one bite wanted my money back. For real. I have never had such an immediate angry response to heat lamp chickenese. So anyways, I'm eating at my desk.
I don't know what I was thinking with the meatloaf. I love meatloaf. I love Greek Deli meatloaf. The integrity of this meatloaf is questionable. Though the mashed potatoes weren't terrible, for hot/cold bar mashed potatoes. Corn was alright, and the chickenese was actually fairly good for a place like this. That was actually a bit of a surprise.
I really wish some place could get a hot/cold bar concept right. It has to be able to be done. I mean, there are tons of chefs out there who can produce mass quantities of food. I mean, have you ever had the buffet at the Bellagio? They do it right. That thing is awesome. I think the key would be higher quality food, and less of it. And rotate it. Have sort of theme days. But less food, so you have quicker turnover and less heat lamp time, and work on the quality. Make it healthier. I think this is possible. Healthier would be the key, I think. How hard would it be to have less fried stuff, more lean meat? It has to be able to be done.
Overall: not bad for a hot/cold bar, better than most. But not absolutely delicious or anything. Sure, I could go back. But I'm not craving it or anything. Now its afternoon and I can't focus on anything. Blows. I've been fighting this damn spreadsheet all damn day. Awesome. I'm angry.