On a recent trip to my local supermarket, I noticed a new Chinese buffet joint. More importantly, I noticed its Grand Opening Special: four items, fried rice, and a soup for just $4.75. I smelled the potential for a cheap eater’s gold mine, so today I went by Brothers Oriental Express (319 9th St., Brooklyn–map) for lunch. As it turns out, most of what I was smelling was MSG.
Strictly on calorie to price ratio, Brothers does not disappoint. They fill up your styrofoam pan generously–it doesn’t take any stretching to get two full lunches from your $4.75 investment. And the long buffet line offers a wide range of meat, vegetarian, and even a few shrimp choices.
Unfortunately, none of the dishes is very good. Brothers’ food is on par with your typical cheap chinese takeout–sweet, stimulating, and sickening all at once. The egg rolls are a particular disappointment; they’re cold, chewy, and rather empty. At $4.75 it’s tough to complain, but you certainly won’t leave feeling like you underpaid.