(Cheap Chinese & Classical Piano at…) Fusion Grills
There are many reasons I choose to write about particular places in Midtown. First is obviously the food. If a place has great food (and is cheap), I’m going to write about it. Unfortunately, we work in Midtown- so if I limited myself to only places with great food, my blog would be about 7 entries long (see My Favorite links in the right hand column)… and even some of those are just great “for Midtown”. Barring great food, some places get written about because they are serving something out of the ordinary (a generic deli with Korean food, or a burrito stuffed with fried plantains). I could also write about a place because it’s hidden, and not alot of people know about it… and sometimes I’ll just write about something because it’s funny. Occasionally, a bunch of these reasons combine to form something that just can’t be ignored…
I got an email from a reader named Krista last week telling me to check out “the lower concourse of the building… on 53rd & 3rd, where Au Bon Pain is located… (they have an) ok sushi place with authentic green tea that I enjoy, and a brand new Chinese place that only charges $5-6 for chicken/beef/shrimp, noodles or veggies and choice of rice.” Concourse? That means food court right!?!? Lower? That means hidden right?!?! Brand new Chinese place?!?! That means I’m immediately interested, right? I rushed over, and found a food court- as described, with one major omission…
(Pictures, +/- and more, after the jump…)
I love food courts… and this one was pretty standard. Subway? Check. Nathan’s Hot Dogs? Check. Au Bon Pain? Check. Crappy Japanese food? Check. Guy handing out samples of crappy chinese food? Check. Guy in suit, playing the piano…. WHA???? Right in the middle of the food court, was a guy playing the piano in a suit… pretty awesome. You know- for that soothing feeling most people expect when they have 20 minutes to eat lunch and are forced to go to the crappy food court underneath their building. (Who says you gotta spend a lot of money to eat lunch at a classy joint!)
Anyway, on to the food. Fusion Grills was pretty much mediocre food court chinese food… They did have a roast duck hanging in the case (usually a sign of better than average Chinese food), but most of the food in the steam plate was pretty standard. Chicken and broccoli, roast pork, orange chicken, etc. The lo mein or “noodle option” was pretty mushy, and fell well short in comparison to what I consider to be the gold standard of cheap chinese food noodles- Panda Express. The orange chicken was also pretty sub par. Taste (as usual) was good, but the lack of what I would consider to be “real chicken meat” was a concern. The roast pork was tasty (not too sweet) and they did have a separate station where they would sizzle up your choice of meat with noodles or rice and vegetables (like one of those generic Japanese places in most food courts). If you are looking for freshness- that station is definitely the way to go. (Don’t misunderstand this for a bad review… I discriminate against no cheap chinese food! But if you are looking for something “great”, you are going to be disappointed…)
Like I said before, there’s also Subway, Nathan’s and ABP, if you’re into that kind of stuff. There was also a Japanese place called Sushi-Tei, which is owned by the same people who own Menchanko-Tei (and various other Japanese places in Midtown)- but as much as I like their other places- in this one, the sushi didn’t look that good (or fresh). But according to our tipster, they have great green tea. Clearly the real winner was Gourmet 53, which had a long line out the door. According to our tipster you can get a ton of food for not that much cash… maybe I’ll try that place next time. I do love classical piano…
- Um… there was a guy playing piano!
- If you are addicted to cheap, food court chinese food (like me) and you work in the building or across the street, it’s pretty convenient
- The roast pork was good, and the sizzling station looked pretty good… and they have some cheap other options on the menu that might be worthwhile.
- Um… there was a guy playing piano!
- The actual food is pretty average… there are better places within walking distance
Fusion Grills, Food Court @ 875 3rd Ave. (btw. 52nd & 53rd)