Archive for February 2007

The “Man Bar” at City 75

City 75 is not usually the type of place I eat at (or write about), but after last week’s Profiled Midtown Lunch’er Andre said it was home to the best Philly Cheesesteak in Midtown, I figured I should check it out.  City 75 is like an upscale version of all the generic delis in Midtown, but with one difference…  If you make it through the girly overpriced fancy buffet by the pound in the front- there is a pretty spectacular “Man Bar” in the back left hand corner.  Naturally the Philly Cheesesteak was there, along with burgers, fries, onion rings, pizza and grilled sandwiches.

Now, before you email me with “I’m a woman, and I eat at the ‘Man Bar’!!!”, I want to say this- I’m sure a lot of you women eat at the “Man Bar” in City 75- but you also read this blog… and those two things put you in the minority of Midtown Lunching Women (When I say “most women”, I’m talking about your annoying co-workers.  If they are not reading this blog, they clearly have no taste in food).  The simple fact is this… if the “Man Bar” wasn’t there, most men would not set foot into City 75 (it’s way too fancy, and expensive).  And if the rest of the place disappeared, and City 75 was only the “Man Bar”, and nothing else, most Midtown Lunch’ing women wouldn’t eat there.  It’s the perfect blending of the two that makes a nicely dressed business woman (with every intention of eating a salad) willing to eat a steak and cheese sandwich, and a guy like me willing to eat at a place like City 75.

Pics of the food, and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Susan”

Every Tuesday I turn the site over to a Midtown Lunch’er for their recommendations of places to eat Lunch in Midtown. Today it’s Susan, a “Vegetarian” who loves lobster rolls…

Name: Susan


News Librarian

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
47th & 6th

Favorite Kind of Food:
Pasta. Bread. Rice. Potatoes. (Are you detecting a theme here?) If my carbs come in the form of Indian or Mexican food, all the better.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Brussels sprouts. John Waters didn’t call them little balls of hell for nothing.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
At Minar, I get the vegetarian combo with saag paneer, aloo ghobi and navrattan curry, with rice AND naan. (A tip: sharing three separate dishes with two of your co-workers works out to be cheaper than getting the combo.) The masala dosa is great, too. I’m also a fan of the tofu pad kee mao at Pongsri. For low-rent Mexican, I like the burritos at Bagelfeller (go figure). My default: black bean burrito in a whole wheat tortilla with guac.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Cafe Metro. It’s totally overpriced but it’s fast. I generally get the split pea soup and a caesar side salad, and feel like a chump for paying $7.50.

Place you discovered on Taki Sushi (try the tofu teriyaki!) and the fabulous Oms/b. Maybe we could get them to open a 47th Street branch.

Dream job location for lunch purposes only, and why?: As you can probably tell from my responses, I’m pretty much a vegetarian. But I’ve been known to, um, cheat, and my favorite guilty pleasure is the lobster roll at Pearl Oyster Bar on Cornelia Street. So I’d like to work near — or maybe even AT — Pearl Oyster Bar.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers?: Aside from the pricey Wu Liang Ye, is there any really GOOD Chinese food in the West 40s? Also, what’s your favorite place for rice and beans? I’ve tried Margon, Café Cello, Havana Central and Rice & Beans, but none have been magically delicious. And finally — are there any food carts that a non-carnivore could love? Thanks.


My suggestions for Susan (including the best brussel sprouts in NYC), PLUS how you can be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, after the jump… Read more »

The New Popeyes

I finally made it down to the brand new Popeyes I reported about on Fat Tuesday.  If you hadn’t heard, Popeyes is back in Midtown with a location on 40th btw. 7th & 8th Ave.  I ate there on Friday, and felt pretty disgusting the rest of the day.  But you know what?  It was worth it.  Sure in retrospect the third piece of chicken and second biscuit may have been overkill… but hindsight is twenty twenty.  Popeyes is awesome. 

Like fried chicken, alot is written about great hamburgers in New York City.  People argue all the time over who makes the best burger in the city.  Shake Shack and Burger Joint are always on the list, and new places seem to open up every week.  Then of course there are the expensive burgers, with truffles and foie gras and the such.  In the end, a $3 Big Mac tastes good, but it’s no competition for a real burger, made with quality beef.

Fried chicken is a whole different ball game.  I don’t care what kind of prejudice you have against fast food places, I’m telling you, Popeyes is frickin good.  If you want delicious fried chicken, you will be hard pressed to find some that tastes better than the spicy chicken at Popeyes.  Sure, your extra money might buy you better side dishes, a fancier atmosphere and organic chickens that were treated very nicely before they were dipped in batter and fried up crispy… but in the end, when you are just talking about taste- Popeyes can hold its own with the best of them.

Pictures and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

Why Cosi doesn’t want you to eat their bread, Midtown Links, & the end of the week wrap up

Yesterday I decided to bring my lunch to work.  (Oh, the horror!)  I know, I’m a traitor… but I’ve gotta do it.  A few days a week, I attempt to eat healthier and save a little money by bringing food from home.  Usually it’s a salami sandwich, or peanut butter and jelly (cute, right?)… yesterday, it was some leftover lamb stew that I had made for dinner on Tuesday night.  But you can’t eat stew without bread, so before I nuked that sucker, I went across the street to the Hidden Cosi to get a piece of their delcious, freshly baked bread.

Figuring it would cost a buck, I was shocked when I went to pay, and I was charged $2 (plus tax!!!)  For a piece of bread.  I figured it would cost a buck.  That makes sense, right?  No meat.  No cheese, or veggies.  Just a plain piece of bread.  The difference between $1 and $2 is not the end of the world- but I expected to pay a dollar. 

Now, there are a lot of reasons I shouldn’t mind paying Cosi $2 for a piece of bread… 

  1. Their bread is awesome
  2. It’s fresh out of the oven
  3. It’s New York City.  Shit is expensive.  Deal with it.

But I’ve got one reason Cosi shoudn’t charge me $2 whole bucks for a plain piece of bread:



That’s right.  They give it away for free while you wait online!!!  Granted it’s only a piece, but imagine how much bread they give away every minute they’re open.  Everyone on line takes a piece (it’s part of the fun of eating at Cosi).  Then of course there’s that lady who is real slow in line so she can finish the first piece she took quick enough to take a second piece before the bowl is behind her.  And my favorite- the guy who takes a piece AFTER he’s already eaten his sandwich and is on the way out (classy!). 

But my real point is this…  don’t be greedy Cosi.  You could afford to charge just $1 for a piece of bread…  Why not let your customers feel like their getting a bargain.

And then I realized it…  they don’t want you to buy a piece of bread.  Not for a buck.  Not for $2.  If they could charge $5, they probably would.  They want you to buy their $8 sandwiches.  This is their worst nightmare:



Sell bread for a buck, and you’ll have guys like me- buying the bread and taking it back to their desk to enjoy with something they brought from home.  The best part of Cosi, without having to pay $8 for a whole sandwich.  Hell, I could even buy the bread, and build my own sandwich at my desk with turkey I bring from home.  Now that’s a brilliant idea.  I’m onto you Cosi… consider yourself warned (I don’t even know what that means.)

The best Midtown Soups, free food at work, the loss of two fancy Midtown spots & a preview of next week’s posts- after the jump… Read more »

Korean Food @ Pro Hot Bagel (?!?!)

There seems to be a new trend emerging in Midtown.  Korean food is taking over!  It seems as if everywhere you go, someone is serving Korean food in an unlikely place.  It is almost as if the Korean restaurant owners in Midtown have realized, “We don’t have have to serve Mexican food and Sushi!  Our food is delicious, and people will eat it!”  Sure, a lot of people still don’t know what Bulgogi is (it is Korean BBQ’d beef by the way), and Bi Bim Bap sounds like weird Jazz… but it doesn’t change the fact that if you like Asian food, you should not be afraid of Korean.  It’s delicious, and this is a welcome trend. 

For me, the whole thing started with Cafe Duke.  I thought it was so awesome that they had this Korean station inside an otherwise generic Midtown deli.  Then the fried fish cart on 46th started serving Bulgogi, and the Bulgogi Sandwich cart opened on 49th.  A few weeks ago I noticed a sign on Ambrosia, a deli on 45th St., offering Korean food (right next to the sign that touts their awesome Mexican Fiesta food… unfortunately it’s a little too pricey for my tastes).  When I finally stumbled upon Pro Hot Bagel, I realized that something big was happening.

Pro Hot Bagel, a deli on 56th btw. 5+6th has been taken over by Korean & Japanese food.  It started slow when a few months ago they added a small sushi bar to their mammoth list of sandwiches (and bagels).  But recently they have gone all out, adding a Udon/Soba station, that also serves Bento Boxes, Bulgogi Boxes & Bi Bim Bap.

Pictures and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

Wednesdays @ El Rincon del Sabor (An Ecuadorian Gem!)

Every day I have to think about what defines a Midtown Lunch.  There are definitely rules that I have set up for myself, but not all places fit exactly into the guidelines.  I don’t usually eat at fast food chains, but my love of New Orleans gives me a soft spot for Popeyes.  I almost never write about delis, but if there is one that is willing to stuff a burrito with fried plantains, then I’m there.  All my lunches are under $10, but for good ramen, or an all you can eat buffet I’ve been known to go up to $12.

But that is just one end of the spectrum.  The other end is the place that fits every rule.  Weighing the positives and negatives isn’t necessary, because it is the perfect Midtown Lunch spot.  El Rincon del Sabor is one of those places.  Cheap.  Check.  Something different (it’s Ecuadorian food).  Check.  Authentic.  Check.  Homemade.  Check.  Not a chain (owned by real people).  Check.  Hidden (it’s on the fourth floor of a Diamond District building with a paper sign that you wouldn’t notice unless you were looking for it).  Check.  And best of all, it’s got history. 

El Rincon del Sabor has spent the past 12 years dishing out delicious Ecuadorian food on 46th St. btw. 5th & 6th.  A few months ago, they moved to a new location (47th St. btw. 5th & 6th), but the food is still the same.  There is a rotating menu of dishes every single day, and even though there is a printed menu a breakdown of the week, it doesn’t always match exactly.  The best way to find out what’s being served is to give them a call.  I went last Wednesday with 3 co-workers and we sampled four of the 10 or so dishes they had available.

Pics, the phone number and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Andre Mika”

Every Tuesday I turn the site over to a Midtown Lunch’er for their recommendations of places to eat Lunch in Midtown.  In honor of Fat Tuesday, todays Profiled Lunch’er is Andre, a Southern Louisiana boy who loves pork fat…

Name: Andre


Director of Programming & Production for AOL (and the blogger behind

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
75 Rockefeller Plaza

Favorite Kind of Food:
Creole (being from Southern Louisiana!) and all varieties of pork fat.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Vegan. (Please.)

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Halal Cart on 53rd and 6th, Chicken and Rice with pita and extra hot sauce. Addictive.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: City 75 Deli at 75 Rock…. may have the best Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches in Midtown. Breakfast bagels cooked to order can be terrific too.

Place you discovered on Hallo Berlin Cart! Need that sausage. 

Dream job location for lunch purposes only, and why?: I use to work in New Orleans for a stint, across the street from Mother’s (Black Ham PoBoys with debris) as well as Cuveé…. but I miss my Los Angeles days when the taco truck could roll up and knock your socks off with carnitas that would melt in your mouth.  A close second would be Chicago, where we’d trek to Mr. Beef on Orleans for the best BBQ Beef sandwich in the Midwest.


City 75 is the Best Philly Cheese Steak in Midtown???  I definitely have to try that one out for myself.  As for celebrating Fat Tuesday, it looks like the newly opened Popeye’s is the place to be!

How you can be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, after the jump… Read more »

BREAKING NEWS: Popeyes Opens in time to make it an extra FAT Tuesday

Now this is exciting.  The new Popeyes I reported on a few weeks ago (on 40th btw. 7th & 8th) has opened!!! And just in time to celebrate Fat Tuesday. 

For those of us longing to be in New Orleans right now for Mardi Gras, this will be have to be our consolation prize.  (It’s no “Mama’s” Chicken Box, but it will do!)  Spicy Fried Chicken, biscuits (made with lard), and red beans and rice.

Pics of the inside, after the jump… Read more »

Happy Year of the Pig!!!! (oh… and uh President’s Day too. Go America!)

It’s President’s Day, which means no work (hopefully for everyone).  If you are stuck at work today, I’m sorry.  This normally means no post either- but since this weekend was Chinese New Year, I figured this would be a good day to celebrate the start of the Year of the Pig… or as I like to think of it- My Year Baby!  Technically speaking, I am a dragon (born in 1976), but considering that I’m fat, and pork is easily my favorite food- I consider myself to be an honorary Chinese Pig (and my love of Chinese buffets makes that work on one extra level)… So in honor of my year- I figured I’d share some of the best pork that Midtown has to offer:



Should probably start Chinese right?  Roast Pork over Rice @ Hing Won (48th btw. 5+6th)



The pulled pork sandwich @ Daisy May’s BBQ Cart (right now the only one operating is on 50th btw. 6+7th).  I don’t actually have a picture of the Pulled Pork Sandwich, so you’ll have to settle for this picture of the Beef Brisket sandwich- but whatever, if I hadn’t said anything, you would have never known the difference!



The pork anything @ Pampano Taqueria (3rd btw. 49+50th).  This is the Chilorio (Pork) Torta, but the Pork Tacos are equally as good!

My pick for the best pork in Midtown- PLUS my favorite New York Pork dish, after the jump… Read more »

Snapshots (from the outskirts), Midtown Links & the end of the week wrap up…

I don’t usually go West of 8th Ave. (for Midtown Lunch purposes), but there was some pretty nice looking food porn from 9th Ave. posted to the Midtown Lunch Flickr Photo Group this week…

Chicken Parm from Manganaro’s Hero Boy (9th Ave. btw. 37+38th).  Photo courtesy of joshbousel.  I tend to think the old school Managanaro’s is better than the newer “Hero Boy” next door, but this sandwich looks pretty tasty.Josh also hit up the Market Cafe on the same block (9th Ave. btw. 37+38th), and posted these tasty shots:

I’ve never been for lunch, but Market Cafe is definitely one of the better dinner values in the neighborhood.  Moving a little farther south, wendalicious gave us this awesome looking shot of goodies from the by the lb. buffet @ Woorijip, a fast food Korean grocery type place on 32nd (btw. B’way+5th)



Finally, with a week as cold as this, I gotta give you at least one shot of soup…



This one is a Lentil Soup from Digby’s on 52nd (btw. 5+6th), and is courtesy of 52projects.  Post your own lunch pictures (or check out other people’s pics) at the Midtown Lunch Flickr Photo Group.

Links to a Sukhadia Podcast, Ted’s Montana Grill gets compared to Bennigan’s, more Korean and Japanese madness, PLUS a sneak peak into next week’s posts… after the jump. Read more »