Pokeworks Is Not Worth the Line, But What Is?

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??

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A New Ippudo Concept Replaces No. 7 Veggie in UrbanSpace Vanderbilt

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!

Hide-Chan is Bringing Even More Ramen to Hell’s Kitchen

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!

The Pennsy Has Some Highs and Lows, but is a Worthwhile Splurge

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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.

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Panda Express Will Most Likely Open Locations in Midtown

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.

New Dos Toros Opens Today on Lex with $1 Menu Items

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.

Orale!! Tacos!! Shows Up on 46th Street and Second Biryani Cart Opens Downtown

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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.

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Between the Bread is Surprisingly Light on Sandwiches

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.

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The Pennsy Opens Today with the Return of the Cinnamon Snail

I can only imagine the crowds will be insane. Today is the first officialy day of The Pennsy, the new food court just above Penn Station. Gothamist has a look with photos of the offerings, including a sandwich stall from Pat LaFrieda, an Italian spot by Mario Batali and Mary Giuliani, a place for lobster rolls and other shellfish by Marc Forgione, a new location of The Little Beet, and perhaps most notably, the return of The Cinnamon Snail in their first brick-and-mortat venture. Bring on the crowds and the vegan donuts.

We’ll have a closer look at the food in the coming week or so, but early adopters, leave your comments below.

The Pennsy, 2 Penn Plaza (at Seventh Ave and 33rd St)

Taste A Real Portuguese Sweet at Pastel de Crema inside City Sandwich

Last year, I was lucky enough to travel to Portugal for vacation (and lots of eating). One of the most ubiquitious dishes I discovered is the pastel de nata. This is basically a sweet egg custard tart topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar. It’s served all over Portugal as breakfast, dessert, or a snack with an espresso.

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