Last week I stumbled upon a bright yellow truck without much signage and no line parked on 52nd between 6th and 7th Avenue. It’s called The Flying Pig Jianbing and it was difficult to find a menu because they only do one thing.
One of my biggest issues with ramen places like Ippudo and Totto Ramen is that they never let me take the food to go. No doggie bags and no to go orders. So to experience one of those places at prime time, you had no choice but to wait in line and sit at their bar and who has time for that??
Zach would be proud. Or maybe horrified. When he lived here, he always lamented the fact that we had very little (if any) options for Hawaiian poké. Well now, just a few years later, we have find ourselves in full-on poké hysteria.
After the opening of Sons of Thunder, there are now a handful of restaurants and fast food joints around the city specializing in the stuff. And there are more on the horizon. One of those new spots is in the heart of Midtown and has become very popular. Very, very popular.
I’ve walked by Pokéworks a handful of times around lunch, often hoping to grab some food, only to discover a line out the door and down the street rivaling the one at nearby Chick-Fil-A. Who are these people that wait in giant queues for fast food and raw fish??
It is definitely ramen season and there’s even more exciting slurpworthy news. Last week Eater announced that Kuro-Obi, a second concept from the Ippudo team, will be replacing the No. 7 Veggie stand at UrbanSpace. The corner booth was always designed as a temporary pop-up and the same will probably be true with the new ramen stall.
The specialty here will be ramens made with a “tori paitan” base which is a creamy chicken broth. There will be add-ons like Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, basil, and thick-cut bacon. And unlike at other Ippudo locations, you can take the soups to-go here.
This is actually the second location of Kuro-Obi, the first being in Times Square’s City Kitchen. It is due to open sometime this week and when I stopped by over the weekend, the stall looked finished and ready to go. Let’s get to slurping!
Just in case you didn’t think there were enough ramen options on the west side (with two Totto Ramens, Ippudo, and Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen), Hide-Chan is opening across town. We’re big fans of their lunch specials and excellent pork bone broth ramen at their original East 52nd Street location. And now our friends on the west side don’t need to walk as far.
Gothamist reports that this second location will open sometime in the spring on 53rd Street between 8th and 9th Avenue. We’ll keep you updated. But Hell’s Kitchen will certainly never go ramen-less again!
Let’s get this out of the way first: The Pennsy is not really a cheap destination. To get a full meal here, we have to raise the ML budget a few dollars. But in the changing economic times, it’s a pretty fair splurge.
We may start seeing a lot more of Zach now that his perennial favorite Chinese steam table buffet is descending on Midtown. Last year, Zach came back to the city to hand out free orange chicken in celebration of Panda Express’ arrival. At that time, the only sure things were that they would be opening a location on 69th and 1st and up in the Bronx.
Now Commercial Observer brings news that they have acquired two spaces in Midtown. Firstly, the old Zen Palate space just out of bounds on Ninth Ave and 46th Street will begin to smell like orange chicken. And at 835 Third Avenue (at East 51st), they have leased a large space in a former Pax. Plus, there is still talk about them opening a location on 8th Ave and 31st Street.
No dates or official confirmations have been set yet, but I know someone who is very excited.
The tenth location of Bay Area-style taqueria Dos Toros is opening today on Lexington and 54th Street. It’s the second location in Midtown (the other is just a few blocks down on 45th and Lex). I’m a big fan of their burritos, especially when filled with the carne asada or carnitas.
Even better news is that today, they will be selling burritos, platos, tacos, salads, and quesadillas for just $1. The offer is good from now until 3:00pm at this new location only. So if you had lunch plans already, it’s time to change them.
A few weeks ago Meru from Biryani Cart told me he was moving his second cart next to the original on 46th and 6th. Last week I noticed a brand new Mexican cart (complete with sombrero) in its place.
Meru has moved his second Biryani Cart downtown to Greenwich Street, where Kwik Delights and El Rey del Sabor are also currently vending. The menu down there is the same. If only Andrea still worked downtown, there’d be lots of news to report.
A new location of Between the Bread opened a few months ago next to Gregory’s Coffee on 40th Street. I never visited the Midtown West location, but Yvo was a fan despite needing an Amazon Local deal to afford it. I didn’t have any deal here either, but I figured I’d see if I could get something filling for remotely near the ML budget.