Archive for May 2007

At Lunch Now: Biriyani Cart Brings More Chapati Rolls


I stopped by the Biriyani Cart on 46th & 6th today to see if a) the claims that they sold out of Chapati Rolls yesterday was true, and b) to see if they adjusted for today. I discovered that they did indeed sell out (although it turned out to be only 150 rolls, not the 300 mentioned by the commenter). To prepare for today, they brought enough to make 200 rolls… so you should be ok! The guy told me they normally sell 100 rolls at most, so yesterday was quite a surprise. “I don’t know what happened yesterday”, he said. “Somebody must have wrote something about us, or something.”

Now if only they could teach the Jamaican Dutchy Cart a little something about adjusting to meet demand…

Go Go Curry Says Bye Bye to the $5 Special…

Medium Size Katsu
Posted to the Midtown Lunch Flickr Photo Group by Roboppy

It’s May 31st, so today is the final day to enjoy any size dish of curry for $5 at Go Go Curry (38th St. btw. 7+8th Ave).  Starting tomorrow, every item will be its normal menu price ($7.00 and up).  On the plus size, you’ll be able to finally take food to go,  and toppings will finally be available, which include Raw or Boiled Egg, Rakkyo (a Japanese pickled shallot), natto (fermented soybeans), or cheese.  PLUS you’ll be able to use those Free Topping Cards you’ve been hoarding over the past month.  But that’s all tomorrow.  Today, it’s $5 curry!

The “Biriyani Cart” on 46th gives Kati Roll a Run for Their Money…

Next Thursday (6/7), Midtown Lunch turns 1 year old- and I can honestly say no restaurant, no article, no food or news has has been bigger on this site than Kati Roll.  I wrote about the “Indian Burritos” the first month of the blog, and that page has been read more times than any other piece on this site. 

In a lot of ways Kati Roll sums up the Midtown Lunch experience.  It’s interesting, delicious (obviously), not too expensive, and most importantly it’s only two blocks away from my work, next to one of the more popular places in Midtown (Margon), and yet most of the people I worked with, had never heard of it.  Kati Roll was and still is a testament to the laziness of most Midtown Lunch’ers.  Every day, on the way to boring soups and sandwiches Midtown workers walk blindly past some of the best food in Midtown, without even noticing.

Well- it took a year, but finally Kati Roll has got some competition.  And it comes in the form of a cart!  For a long time this cart toiled annonymously in Midtown, serving up the typical lamb or chicken and rice- just like countless other carts not really worth mentioning.  I first noticed it a little while back, when they hung a hand-made sign on the front that said “Chicken Biriyani Special”.  I made a mental note, but never found time to go back.

Apparently, it has gotten popular- because now the Chicken Biriyani sign is professionally printed, and takes up most of the front of the cart.  In the past few weeks I had started to get emails telling me how good the Wednesday & Friday Chicken Biriyani (or Biryani if you prefer)special is- so this past Friday I headed over to check it out.  Imagine my surprise and delight, when I discovered the even newer sign selling “Chapati Rolls”, clearly a Kati Roll knock off, just a few hundred yards away from the crowd of people waiting for their Kati Rolls to be ready.

Pics of the new Kati Rolls on the block, and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Caryn”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a Midtown Lunch’er for their recommendations of places to eat lunch in Midtown. Today, it’s Caryn (she’s the one on the right), a Technical Project Manager who’s looking for a good sandwich to take to the Mets game…

Name: Caryn

Kid At Heart

Technical Project Manager

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
Madison & 50th (but soon to be moving to Tribeca)

Favorite Kind of Food:
Anything ethnic

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Boring and predictable. That means, Au Bon Pain, Hale & Hearty Soups, etc.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
I am torn between the falafel or schnitzel at Kosher Deluxe and the Indian Food Express cart (vegetarian) on 52nd & park. I could probably live on both.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: The deli on 49th between Park and Madison. the default dish tends to be udon.

Place you discovered thanks to MidtownLunch: Indian Food Express cart , Kosher Deluxe, Sophie’s Cuban, various bi bim bap permutations, Sukhadia indian buffet, cheap sushi specials after 4pm in Rock Center, the hamburger place in the Parker Meridian.

Dream job location, purely for lunch purposes?: i’d like to work in the Village, so I’d have access to the dosa cart, Mamoun’s falafel, the soy burger dinner at Dojo, Grey’s Papaya and anyother endless list of cheap delicious eats available to me. Plus good Indian would be a short walk away.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? What’s the best place to get to-go sandwiches to take to the baseball game after work? The boyfriend still works in Midtown so he’ll still probably be on sandwich duty. It needs to be sturdy, cheap, fresh and delicious – and available after 5pm, since we’re not going to buy sandwiches at noon to eat at 7pm.


My favorite sandwiches in Midtown are still at Milant Gourmet Deli on 39th btw. Lex+3rd.  But if your boyfriend works on the West side of Midtown, and you love falafel (which it seems like you do)- I have got the best recommendation for you… Read more »

Go Go Curry Gorilla, Annie’s Truck Stop, Korean Fried Chicken & More Midtown Links…

BREAKING NEWS: Five Guys Famous Burgers Coming to Midtown



It looks like Midtown is getting another burger place.  On Monday it was all about the new Goodburger at 45th btw. 5+6th… now it’s the D.C. based Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries.  According to signs on the closed Imperial Dragon on 55th btw. 5+6th, Five Guys will be opening there at some point this summer.



The news has been out for a few weeks that Five Guys would be opening a new location in Brooklyn Heights (to add to their location in Queens).  But it looks like after that… it’s coming to Midtown.  The place is already huge in D.C., and much of the East coast (so watch out Burger Joint!)

Looking for more info?  There were two great articles this month in A Hamburger Today & Gothamist about the Queens location.  (Both articles were also hanging in the window of Imperial Dragon).  Word is that the burgers are served two on a patty, and only cooked well done- which they’ve mastered in a way that creates a really nice crunchy char without losing any of the juiciness.  Both pieces are recommended reading… (and they’ve got some nice burger porn as well!)

Thanks to James F. for hipping us to the new locale.  If you have any tips, news or recommendations- email them to

A New Ranch 1, Daisy May’s, Blue Pig Ice Cream and more…

Here’s a few bits of Midtown Lunch’ing news you may be interested in…  


1.  A new Ranch 1 just opened up on 41st btw. 6th & B’way.  It’s one of those split, Ranch1/Metro Deli places like the one I first wrote about on 46th St.  There is no giant chicken handing out samples of himself, but I hear that yesterday they were giving away $2 off coupons.


2.  In an effort to capitalize on the business of the now closed Kiroii Hana, the deli next store has now started selling sushi out of a fridge on the street.  Very resourceful!  Too bad it didn’t look that good…

3. I walked by the location of the new Blue Pig Ice Cream, and it looks like they are almost there.  The guy there said it would be open next week.  Just in time.  Today’s high:  83.

Daisy May’s, a new Muffaletta and more after the jump… Read more »

Boi to Go (aka How I Learned to Love the $7.50 Banh Mi)

Damn you “Midtown version” of banh mi!  Why have you foresaken us???  In the 10 months I’ve been doing this blog, no food item has been requested more than the Banh Mi.  Usually it’s dreaming of working in a place where banh mi is plentiful, but more often than not, it’s people asking for banh mi to come to Midtown.  Well, Boi to Go has answered our calls… but maybe we should have been more specific.  We wanted super cheap, Chinatown style Banh Mi- not overpriced, fancy pants “Midtown Style” banh mi!

If you don’t know what banh mi is, but have still managed to get this far (confusion and all), let me try to break it down for you.  Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich, served on a crusty french bread style baguette.  In its most basic form, it comes with some sort of meat (pork, vietnamese “salami”, chicken and/or pate), covered in any combination of shredded carrots, daikon radish, cucumber, cilantro and some sort of sauce (sweet, spicy or both.)  There are tons of variations- with many different ingredients, including vegetarian versions for people who don’t want meat.

But that description leaves out one key quality of the increasingly popular banh mi.  In the most popular banh mi shops, these large vietnamese style “hoagies” sell for an unbelievably cheap $3-4.  Understanding this part of the banh mi experience is key to understanding why Boi to Go was not welcomed with opened arms by the clammoring Midtown lunching public.

It may also be proof that the huge popularity of banh mi has just as much to do with price, as taste.  If Saigon charged $8 for their sandwiches, I don’t think as many people would trek to Chinatown, and if Boi to Go cut their price in half, than this place might be your new favorite Midtown Lunch.  Is it the banh mi we wanted?  Maybe not.  But it is a good freakin sandwich?  You bet.

More on this, pictures and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Blair”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a Midtown Lunch’er for their recommendations of places to eat lunch in Midtown. Today, it’s Blair a Marketing Coordinator.  I introduced her to Cafe Zaiya, and she has introduced me to the wonderful world of Rochester, NY garbage plates…

Name: Blair


Marketing Coordinator

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
41st & Lex.

Favorite Kind of Food:
Street meat, cheese, and crab legs

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Anything served at an Old Country Buffet. Nothing like seeing various, unidentifiable foods scooped out of opaque plastic bags and dumped into a buffet trough

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Food Trends (41 btw. Mad+Park), probably the greatest by-the-½-pound buffet. At 3.99 for ½ lb, chose carefully, otherwise you can easily spend well over $10 for lunch. I usually grab the wasabi crusted salmon bites or Israeli cous-cous from the cold section. And in the hot section, mango lime mahi-mahi and the coconut shrimp are choice

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Old Bridge Deli (41st & Lex.), it has something for everyone and for the innumerable delis in the area, this one is decent with good buffet.

Place you discovered thanks to MidtownLunch: Café Zaiya. They need a frequent onigiri card like Oms/b; I eat at least 4-5 a week. Also, Kati Roll, Oms/b, & Todai..

Dream job location, purely for lunch purposes?: If a job market existed there, I would pick my hometown of Rochester NY. I’m obsessed with garbage plates: a mélange of cheeseburger + hotdog + macaroni salad + home fries then drizzled with ketchup, mustard, and hot sauce. U-n-r-e-a-l.


GARBAGE PLATES???  Your ideas intrigue me and I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter…  if you’ve never seen one of these things (I hadn’t), Blair sent me a link to this photo, which you can see after the jump:  Read more »

House of Pita Doubling Their Operation (and their menu…)

Another big window sign went up this weekend…



House of Pita, the Kosher Falafel and Bourakas window on 48th btw. 5+6th is opening a new, larger location in the space formerly occupied by Yoshinoya on 46th btw. 5+6th.  Based on the language of the sign (“Another Location”), one could assume that the original 48th St. location will remain open (although grammar is not the strong suit of many Midtown signs).  They will also be adding Panini and Wraps to the menu, and will offer delivery.

No word on when it will be open, but as soon as I know, you’ll know.  Thanks to smgard for the tip.  If you have any news or tips, email me at