Archive for June 2007

Midtown Links

Manchu Wok Out. Panda Express are you paying attention???


I always thought the cheap Chinese place in a food court was untouchable.  Like a hot dog stand in front of the Museum of Natural History- some places don’t need to be good to make money, they just need to show up.  After all, who can resist orange chicken in a food court.

So much for that theory.  Manchu Wok, the terrible Chinese food place in the Rock Center Councourse, has closed.  I never met a cheap chinese food place I didn’t like… until I ate at Manchu Wok- so I’m not too upset.  But you can rest assured there a ton of lazy Chinese food addicts in 30 Rock who are finding it hard to get out of bed these days.  I guess they’ll have to walk a few blocks to Hing Won, Yips or Wo Hop/Ho Yip to fill their urge.

In a related note… this weekend I will be stepping up my praying for Panda Express to move into the now vacant space.  If anybody else would like to join in, feel free.

Best Use of Midtown Lunch in an Ad…

Thanks to Midtown Lunch’er DDR for letting us know about this ad that appeared in AMNY on Tuesday:

That’s awesome.  I’ve never been quoted before.  I feel Roger Ebert  (he’s the fat one right?).  Although I’m still not sure why they would want to publicize a website where someone posted a comment about the building’s roach problems. 

I noticed something else a little odd about the ad.  That quote doesn’t actually appear anywhere on Midtown Lunch.  Not in my review… or anywhere else.  But, I do think the Curry Dream buffet price is unbeatable… so no harm, no foul.  Thanks for the free publicity Curry Dream!

With Kati Roll leaving, the Roti Wars are Heating Up on 46th St.

If you missed the news- today is the last day to enjoy Kati Roll at their 46th St. location.  They will be re-opening on 39th St. btw. 5+6th in a week and a half.  The reaction has been pretty predictable.  If you work near the current Kati Roll, you’re pretty bummed.  If you work near the new location, you’re pretty psyched.  But there’s one thing that there is no denying… come tomorrow there will be a Kati Roll void, waiting to be filled in the 40s between 6+7th.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Biriyani Cart that started serving Roti Rolls on 46th & 6th.  A perfect replacement for Kati Roll (and half the price!).  Well now it appears that cart will have some competition.  Last week, a new cart quiety opened up between the Biriyani Cart, and Kati Roll- serving their own brand of Kati Rolls.  And there is no mistaking the intentions.  The new cart is looking to be Kati Roll replacement.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the signs they had printed up- after the jump Read more »

Cool Midtown Eats for Summertime

It is freaking hot out… so I figured I’d post some of my favorite summer time eats.  I’m not much into salads, or “lite” food- so here are a few things that are perfect for summer, but still tasty.

1.  The Gazapacho at Milant.  It’s time!  I’ve been waiting for this one since I wrote about this place in February.  June through August, this tiny specialty deli offers Gazpacho as one of the soups you can get with any sandwich order.  It costs an extra buck (normally soup comes for free), but it’s well worth it.  Who wants to be eating hot split pea soup in the summertime?  Super tangy, with chunks of cucumber floating on top of the cold red tomato broth.

Hiyashi Chuka
Hiyashi Chuka from Menchanko Tei
Posted to the Midtown Lunch Flickr Photo Group by Jane! Jane! Jane!

2.  Hiyashi Ramen.  Summertime means one thing in Japan… it’s time for some Hiyashi Ramen- cold noodles served in a special chilled broth.  Lucky for us there is no shortage of ramen houses in Midtown, so Hiyashi can be found all over.  The picture above is from Menchanko Tei, I’ve had the one at Men Kui Tei, and you can get it at Sapporo as well. 


3.  The Octopus Salad at Margon.  Want some Cuban food, but can’t imagine wolfing down a giant plate of roasted pork? (I’ve personally never felt that way… but to each their own).  The cool octopus salad is the way to go.  It’s on the board as being offered Wednesday & Friday only, but occasionally you can find it on other days.

And finally… a perfect lunch to balance your fat guy tastes with the heat of summer- after the jump Read more »

Midtown North (FINALLY!) Gets Some Treats Truck Action



After two consecutive Wednesdays on 38th St., the Treats Truck is finally hitting Midtown North.  It will be somewhere in the 50s today (6/27) selling their delicious (and reasonably priced) cookies, brownies and other assorted goodies.  Check back here later in the morning for the exact location.  As soon as they set up shop, I’ll let you know!

UPDATED 1:06 PM: They are still looking for the perfect spot.  Should be any minute now.  As soon as I know, you will. 

UPDATED 1:42 PM: Finally!!!  The Treats Truck is at 47th & Lexington.  Enjoy!

UPDATED 3:55 PM:  The Treats Truck will be there until at least 5:30pm tonight, possibly longer if there are a ton of people out.  For those in Midtown South who missed out today, don’t worry- The Treats Truck will be back at 38th & 5th tomorrow! (6/28)

Need a reason to get excited for the Treats Truck?  How about a peanut butter sandwich cookie… after the jump Read more »

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Chris”

Every Tuesday I turn over Midtown Lunch to a random Midtown worker, for their favorite places to eat lunch in Midtown.  Today, it’s Chris- a Sales Development Manager who sits around and dreams of street carts and all the things they could possibly serve.

Name: Chris


Sales Development Manager

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
Field & Stream/Outdoor Life on Park & 33rd

Favorite Kind of Food:
Chicken Parm

Least Favorite Kind of Food:

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
The Chicken Parm Hero at Bella Napoli (30th+Madison)

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: I often visit Mercury Bar (33rd and 3rd). Anything on their $5.95 lunch special menu is a great value for the price and the portions. Prior to moving down to Park Ave, my favorite lunch spot was the 696 Deli (3rd Ave btw 44+45th). Great sandwiches and hot food. Especially the “Thanksgiving Sandwich”… Hot Carved Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce.

Place you discovered on Nothing yet, but I want to check out the Hallo Berlin Cart, the Jamaican Dutchy and the Bulgogi Cart. I’m a big cart food guy (I hit up Rafiqi’s once a week for the lamb and chicken in a pita).

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Aruba. But unless I hit the lotto that’s not happening. In NYC, my dream job location for lunch purposes would have been atop the construction beams when they were building the skyscrapers in the city- like that famous picture.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? What food/features would your dream lunch cart entail?


Dream cart, huh?  Well, for me that’s easy.  They already exist (albeit very very far away).  Pictures, after the jump  Read more »

Cosi Brings the Lobster “Roll” to Midtown

Limited Time Only Summer Sanwiches from CosiHaving lived in Boston for 9 years, I am very familiar with the lobster roll.  I’m also very familiar with the cheap lobster roll.  That’s because when summer rolled around, cheap lobster rolls would pop up in the unlikeliest of places.  The most well know was probably from the sub chain, D’angelos.  It has become so popular they now offer three different versions.  And then of course there is the McDonald’s lobster roll.  That’s right.  In parts of New England, you can get a lobster roll at McDonald’s for $6.  Scary. (But still better than eating a Big Mac)

Having a lobster roll at a place like McDonald’s for less than $10 can really make you wonder- “What the hell is in this thing?”.  But a real lobster roll is pretty simple.  It’s just lobster meat served in a hot dog roll.  From there, the argument will begin as to what makes the “perfect” lobster roll.  Mayo or no mayo.  Lemon juice or no lemon juice.  Celery is sometimes added, and often a layer of lettuce can be put under the lobster meat or salad.  Grilling the hot dog bun first, and brushing it with melted butter can’t hurt either.  But there is one thing that everybody can agree on- the more lobster (and the bigger the chunks), the better.  Claws always welcome!

Unfortunately, the more meat in the sandwich, the more expensive it’s going to be.  That’s why a good lobster roll will usually run you $14-18 in New England, with many fancy New York restaurants charging upwards of $25+ for their version.  While some purists would never eat a fast food lobster roll, some of us more frugal diners want to be able to experience that taste, without dropping a ton of money.  So when Cosi introduced their limited time only “Lobster Salad Sandwich”, I was pretty excited.

What it looks like, what it tastes like and the mayo filled +/- after the jump… Read more »

Midtown Links (Free Jamba Juice Edition)

From Elastic Waste. “Are you Out to Lunch?”


Manage to get through all of those links? As a reward, here’s a buy one get one free Jamba Juice coupon, passed on by a Midtown Lunch’er. I haven’t actually tried to use it, but it looks legit!

Less Than 1 Week Left to Enjoy Kati Roll on 46th St.


That’s right.  Our beloved Kati Roll (on 46th btw. 6+7th), has lost their lease and is moving.  The last day to eat at the current location is Thursday, June 28th.  They will re-open on July 7th on 39th St. btw. 5+6th.  Great news for the folks in Midtown South, who never made it up for a delicious “Indian Burrito”.  Bad news for the local regulars.

Currently they only do delivery after 2:30pm, but I was told that they are hoping to do lunchtime delivery from the new location.  It is also going to be twice as big.  R.I.P. Kati Roll 46…  Long Live Kati Roll 39!

Their apology letter, after the jump… Read more »