Archive for March 2007

Free Iced Coffee Day @ Dunkin Donuts

You wouldn’t know it from the weather outside, but technically today is the first day of spring.  To celebrate, Dunkin Donuts is giving away free 16oz cups of iced coffee, all day long (Weds. 3/21).  Unlike the McDonalds & Starbucks giveaways, this one I’ll actually wait in line for, because Dunkin Donuts iced coffee kicks ass (9 years in Boston gets you addicted to this stuff).  Check out this map of Midtown Locations…         [From Slashfood]

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Tara”

Every Tuesday I turn the site over to a Midtown Lunch’er for their recommendations of places to eat Lunch in Midtown. If you want to work at the best Museum in New York City, today’s Lunch’er is a person you’ll want to kiss up to.  She also may have found a place that serves my favorite dish from Thailand…

Name: Tara


HR Administrator

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
MoMa, 53rd btw. 5+6th

Favorite Kind of Food:
Thai… The Peanut Curry @ Zabb City on 13th between 2nd and 3rd – specifically.  (Ed Question:  Peanut Curry?  Is that Kuaw Soi?  Because if it is, I need to go to that place immediately!!!!)

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Mediterranean (I used to work at an Israeli restaurant – overdosed on schnitzel and the likes)

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
KiKu (sushi place) – Kani salad

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: KiKu, 50 W 55th St. (btw. 5+6th)Place you discovered on Café Duke on 51st – spicy ramen in the back – good stuff.

Dream job location for lunch purposes only, and why?: I’m an East Village girl, for lunch purposes.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers?: I’m a fan of low-key, low priced places that don’t make me feel like I’m eating hair and cockroaches. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for, and yet, I get burned over and over. Thoughts? Suggestions?


Uh… move out of Midtown.  Unfortunately mice and roaches are a part of life while Midtown Lunch’ing.  I’d also recommend never going to this website.  Since the KFC/Taco Bell scandal they’ve been cracking down on inspections, and some of my favorites have not been spared.  A few big names from the mice list, and how you can be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, after the jump… Read more »

Lunchtime as a Food Adventure… The 38th St. (Chinese) Restaurant & Bakery

There are a lot of reasons to travel.  Some people travel to see sights, experience different cultures, meet new people.  I travel to eat.  To me there’s nothing more exciting than visiting another country and experiencing the food.  Get to a museum and find out it’s closed… eh, no big deal.  Force me to waste a meal on bad food, and you will see one pissed off traveler.  It helps that I’m pretty much willing to eat anything, so the language barrier is not a huge issue.  If it looks like it tastes good, and people are eating it- I’ll eat it too.  Pig intestines in Bali, anything off the street in Thailand…  bring it on.

Last week, I found a place for lunch that made me feel that way, without leaving Midtown.  It’s Chinese, and in the Garment District, and eating there made me feel transported to a different country.  I’m not saying the food was the best, most authentic Chinese food I’ve ever had (far from it).  I’m saying that this place was a dirty hole, packed with people speaking a different language. I had no idea what I was ordering, sat at a cramped table with three people I didn’t know (who also didn’t speak very much English)… and I loved every minute of it. 

Just like most eating in Foreign countries, this place is not for everyone.  The food is hit or miss, the place is real dirty, and you don’t necessarily know exactly what you’re eating.  But the price is right (it’s super cheap),  and if you like meals to be adventures, this is as good as it’s going to get in Midtown.

Pictures, what I ate and the +/- after the jump… Read more »

Midtown Links… and the end of the week wrap up


That’s it for this week… next week, a new Indian Cart (right next to the old Indian Cart), more Bulgogi Cart news, a Chinese place that makes you feel like you’re eating in a Foreign Country, and (hopefully) sausage w/ zucchini fries!  Have a nice weekend…

Midtown Sausage Setback? “Leakage” threatens to push Mandler’s Opening Back

Posted to the Midtown Lunch Flickr Photo Group by joshbousel 

So I want to clear up any confusion among those of you who might have seen the Mandler’s posting on Thursday afternoon.  Around 3pm I received this email:

From: “Gil Mandler”
To: “Zach Brooks”
Subject: RE: Contact
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 11:53:33 -0700

Hi Zach,

I’m glad you emailed me; we’ve actually had some minor set backs so we are pushing the opening back one week. I’ll let you know if something new arises.


… and posted this on the blog: 

I reported last Friday that Mandler’s is opening a Midtown branch on 9th Ave. btw. 39th & 40th.  They were trying to be ready for this Monday the 19th, but it doesn’t look like it is going to happen.  As of right now, the opening has been pushed back one week to Monday, March 26th. 

That means 11 more days before sausage, zucchini fries, corn fritters, potato pancakes, and a serve yourself mustard bar in Midtown.  Check out the menu for yourself and get excited.  There goes my plans for Monday!   If anything changes, I’ll let you know…

Well apparently things have indeed changed! There was leakage in the basement that threatened to push the Mandler’s opening to the 23rd.  Shortly after the post went up, they seemed to have found a solution to the problem, and fully intend on opening this Monday (“barring any new surprises”). 

All this toying with my emotions is just wrong.  C’mon people- I’m just a fat man who wants to eat sausage.  Wait- that doesn’t sound right…  let me re-phrase that.  I’m just a fat man who wants to eat corn fritters & zucchini fries (with a sausage).  Mildly better.

Anyway, the short of it is.  Mandler’s.  Midtown.  Opening this Monday.  (Hopefully.)  If it does, I will be there!

UPDATE: Monday, March 19th.  Mandler’s is NOT open yet.  When it opens, I will let you know.

Midtown Lunch PM Dispatch

A few pieces of info you might be interested in…

1.  Midtown SW (40th btw. 7+8th) - Looks like there is a wrap place opening up on 40th btw. 7+8th.  “Wholesome Wraps”  No information yet, but if they have one of those Thai/Asian wrap kind of things, I’ll be happy… 

2.  Midtown East (50th & Park) - Indian Cart Wars!!!!  Got this email from a tipster yesterday:

Today I was at the Indian Fast Food Cart and there was ANOTHER cart just down the block, billing itself as Indian Food Express. It was not good for the Fast Food Cart as they were out of chicken curry by 12:30 so everyone was heading down there.

A new Indian Cart…. that’s exciting.  More on this soon… 



3.  Midtown West (44th btw. 6th+B’way) - There seems to be some confusion on the Yum Thai front.  Some people are under the impression that they closed for good, but I can report that they are in fact open.  Their Jan/Feb closing was temporary to fix the damage done by a fire…

Got some Midtown Lunch news of your own?  Email it to or take a picture, and post it to the Midtown Lunch Flickr Photo Group.

Ask Midtown Lunch: Shamrock Shakes

Got this question emailed to me by “Esther” the other day:

“I really want to have a Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s….so last night, I walked into the McDonald’s on 52nd and Broadway to get one. (They have them every year in the month of March until St. Patrick’s Day for as long as I can remember.) The girl at the register looked at me like I was insane!! She had never even heard of it.  I’m so disappointed!!! Maybe someone in the midtown lunch community knows of a location in NYC??”

Anybody seen one of these things in a McDonalds in Midtown?  If you have, help Esther out by posting the location as a comment below.  If you are like me, and didn’t even know this Shamrock Shake existed, there’s a great piece about them here.

Free Coffee Thursday @ Starbucks

Don’t forget to get your free cup of coffee at Starbucks today from 10am to Noon.  But don’t get too excited… it’s free drip coffee. I think the timing of this promotion is a reaction to McDonalds giving out free Coffee last week to celebrate the fact that their coffee beat out Starbucks coffee in a taste test.  Not surprising considering that Starbucks’ drip coffee sucks.  How about free lattes and cappuccinos?  Then you’ll see me on line.  As hard as it is to turn down free stuff, I think I’ll sit this one out, and wait for the Dunkin Donuts Free Coffee Day next week.

At Lunch Now: Sophie’s Cuban 12:20

Life is good… free oxtails with morros (rice and black beans already mixed together). Choose from baked chicken, spicy grilled chicken with onions, beef stews, roast pork and more They also give you free bottled water. There’s a band playing music in the back… but it’s way too loud. Time to head back to work…

At Lunch Now: Sophie’s Cuban 12:10


No plantains!!!! Very disappointing, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers. No sampler either. Too crazy inside. Just pick a dish and they give it to you with rice and beans. The line is still about 50 people long, but it moves really fast…