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Dean & DeLuca Cafe, Quick-Serve Meals in Multiple Manhattan Locations


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I'm saddened by what I see when I walk into most dean & delucas these days. The one in Midtown (11 W. 48th) exemplifies the decline of a business which once could be counted on for carefully chosen and consistently high-quality artisan foods. We didn't have time to go somewhere better and, starving, stopped in here. Won't do that again.

Just a cafe (no grocery) right by New York Times Headquarters.

Salads made clumsily with poor-quality vegetables (translucent cukes anyone?) and over-refrigerated flavorless proteins like farmed salmon and some type of branded chunks o' beef. Way overpriced, particularly because the quality takes anyone who at all cares about food provenance and quality for fools.

I know, I know. Why in the world would someone go here for lunch with all NYC has to offer? Exactly the right question with answer of "they shouldn't".

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I know, I know. Why in the world would someone go here for lunch with all NYC has to offer? Exactly the right question with answer of "they shouldn't".

For the same reason we all go to Starbucks if we're driving around, lost and sleepless in Seattle, desperately searching for a cup of coffee: brand recognition, and that micro-thin shadow of a photocopied memory of something that used to be great.

The Dean & DeLuca cafe on 13th and Penn (if I recall, it morphed into a John Harvard's Brew House) was by far the best lunch option in that area for several years. Don't even get me started on how good the butcher at Les Halles was - the sad thing is, most readers of this website won't even have the faintest idea of what I'm talking about.

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