>> Green Garden Buffet | Eat the World NYC

09 September 2020

Green Garden Buffet


[COVID-19 UPDATE: Born into the world during a pandemic, Green Garden Buffet knows no other way of business. They have recently added a small covered eating area to the parking space in front, allowing customers to sit down with their meals and eat immediately.]

For the first time in 20 years of scanning new businesses in and around the five boroughs, the flag of Chad is waving in the wind under a small awning in the East Village. The representation is from the chef and owner of the small restaurant, who hails from the large, land-locked nation in north-central Africa.

As the name suggests, most business here is done via the buffet-style steam table and sold at $9.99/pound. There is a menu, that also describes the kitchen as "French style," but it is easier just to come inside and ask to see everything on offer on any given day. The proprietor will be happy to explain it all and show her dishes off.

On multiple visits, there always seemed to be a delicious-looking whole tilapia ready to go, but since foods had to travel and do a bit of sitting before they could be consumed, an array of smaller bites from the steam table were combined for just over a pound's worth of lunch.

The focus was on the stewed spinach and beef dish (above), which was a creamy and rich exciting find. If another lunch is put together and this is available, the portion will have to be doubled at least. Sitting on a bed of tasty yellow rice, her vegetables are all more complex than they might appear. The sauteed cabbage is full of onions and garlic, while both the zucchini and okra make perfect complements.

If it is not automatically offered, ask for the homemade hot sauce to give everything the final kick.


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