Studies have shown that it’s easier for people to make decisions when choices are limited; too many options can lead to gridlock. You may be gripped with such paralysis when you walk into Orange Spoon, a sprawling deli that opened in the West End in April.
There’s a coffee counter and a sandwich station on the left, a hot buffet toward the back of the room, a salad bar at the center, islands brimming with savory and sweet snacks everywhere and a number of refrigerated cases in the far right corner. What to do?
Take a cue from the fact that owner Hyeok Kim, 52, of Potomac (who also owns Cafe 57 in Lanham) is originally from South Korea. The deli’s name comes from an old Korean saying, along the lines of “a spoonful of orange makes you eat.”
Concentrate on the pan-Asian items that are available mostly at the serve-yourself buffets ($5.49 per pound during breakfast hours, $7.49 per pound for the rest of the day). At lunchtime, fill a corner of your takeout container with the cold, slightly spicy japchae salad made with vermicelli-thin sweet potato noodles and bits of watercress, mushroom and onion. Add a couple of room-temperature rice logs simply seasoned with sesame oil and vinegar, then wrapped in deep-fried, soy marinated tofu known as yuba. Don’t forget to get a little kimchi, embellished with healthy amounts of garlic and ginger.