Lunch Envy… and the end of the week wrap up

Bamn!opened this week.  Have you heard of this place?  It’s an old school automat, but with new school food (and design).  You go in, drop your money in the slot, open the compartment, and remove your food.  Bite size burgers, pizza, chicken fingers, mac & cheese croquettas, hot dogs, and (one of my person favorites) pork buns.  Man do I wish I worked in the East Village right now.

As a matter of fact, there are a lot of lunch places in other areas that I wish I worked near.  It’s a severe case of lunch envy… Sure, I have Oms/b now- but it doesn’t cover up the jealousy I feel towards those who get to work near the new Momofuku Saam bar.  To think, that for some people, this is their Chipotle- makes me want to cry.

But that’s ok.  That’s what long weekends are for… so in that spirit, here’s some pictures of one of my favorite lunch places, outside of Midtown- that I really wish I worked near….

Pictures and the wrap up, after the jump…

OTAFUKU, 236 E. 9th St. (btw.  2nd & 3rd)

Takoyaki… airy fried dough balls, each stuffed with a little piece of octopus.  Covered in a special sauce, drizzled with mayo (not pictured above), and covered in bonito flakes. (Not a big octopus fan?  You can get them plain or stuffed with cheese as well.)

Yakisoba.  It’s best to order this on top of the Okonomiyaki (the fried Japanese pancake), but alone these noodles with seafood are perfectly delicious. (And the iced barley tea is good too!)

What better way to spend your Labor Day Weekend than eating that great lunch you can’t get in Midtown.  It won’t make the lunch envy disappear (the deliciousness of the food might even make the jealousy more intense)… but it is certainly healthier then sitting in your cube staring longingly at pictures like the ones above.  (You know you’re doing it right now…)

Feel free to post your favorite lunch places outside of Midtown in the comments section below… but only the ones that would make you consider switching jobs.  Maybe it will help you to free yourself from the chains of this envy… if not, at least you’ll find comfort in knowing that we are all surrounded by those who long for a better lunch, in a different neighborhood.

Enjoy the long weekend…


  • I’m very impressed with all your local Japanese entries – did you live in Japan at some point? If you like noodles, i.e., udon and soba (not ramen), right across the street from Otafuku is Sobaya – you must go. Great soba and udon! And then the authentic sake place, Decibel on the corner of 2nd Ave, has great Japanese snacks.

  • I went to Bamn! last week and it was disgusting. I’m generally in agreement with midtown lunch as far as food is concerned (duke cafe — OMG!), and i loves me a tasty burger, but it was as if bamn is taking crappy frozen hamburgers and sitting them under a heat lamp all day. I was hungry, but i threw away the last bit of my burger because it wasn’t worth the calories to consume. ditto the chix nuggets. if i had to guess what they were made of, chicken would not be high on the list.

    I was really really really excited about an automat opening in the city, but this is not the one i was hoping for.

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