Archive for June 2007

At Lunch Now: Daisy May’s is Back!


Better late then never… cart troubles led to a later than normal
Summer arrival- but I’m pretty psyched to report that the 50th St. cart
(btw. 6+7th) is back. Get there early though… they’ve sold out the
past 2 days by 1pm.

No word on when the rest of their summer carts will pop up… they are
on the hunt for licensed vendors to man the other locations

It’s No Ikea, But F&B Gudtfood Will Have to Do

I still hold out hope that one day Manhattan will get an IKEA.  It’s probably futile, but a guy can dream, right?  The funny thing is, I don’t even care about the furniture.  I just want an IKEA Cafe!  In my eyes, the cheap furniture shopping world is divided into two seperate groups.  Those who have gotten over the fear at eating in an Ikea, and those who haven’t. 

There are a few stages that every Ikea shopper goes through.  First, denial.  You see the signs for the food and laugh.  “Who the hell would eat at Ikea?  That food looks gross!”.  Then, after a few times of going to Ikea (you never get everything done in one trip), the curiosity starts to seep in.  “Well, it is pretty cheap.  It can’t be that bad, right?  It’s just so damn cheap!”  Finally, you submit.  It helps if you forget to eat before going shopping- in which case you end up being starving after navigating through the gigantic store, with no other food options.

I went through all these stages, and when I came out on the other end, I had discovered a new weakness… swedish meatballs.  Covered in gravy and topped with lingonberries, they are perfect for anybody who loves the sweet and salty combo.  And at around $4 for ten meatballs, it couldn’t be any cheaper.  Awhile back I wrote about a fancy Swedish meatball sandwich at FIKA Swedish Espresso bar.  Super delicious (but expensive), I lamented that there was no equivalent to Ikea in Midtown.

After writing that, a tipster recommended that I check out F&B Gudtfood, a “European Street Food” chain on 52nd btw. Lex+3rd.  Founded by one guy from Germany and one from England, they wanted to start a place where you could get all the street food they enjoyed in their travels around Europe  Fancy hot dogs, fish and chips, frites with different dipping sauces, and of course- Swedish meatballs.

I finally made it over to F&B to see if I had found an Ikea replacement.  What they’ve got, pictures and a +/- after the jump Read more »

At Lunch Now: Jamaican Dutchy is Back!


The Jamaican Dutchy is back on the corner of 51st and 7th today. All is
right with the world.

Yesterday, they had a prbolem with the cart that had to be fixed.

NY Mag Wreaks Havoc on Midtown Carts

For anyone who loves street eating, NY Mag had a great feature in this week issue.  If you missed it, be sure to check out the day in the life of a hot dog vendor, a great interview with Sean Basinski from The Street Vendor Project, plus a lot of great cart facts, and the NY Mag list of the Top 20 Food Carts in all of New York City.  The biggest news- Midtown will be getting a Sammy’s Halal soon (the #3 cart on the top 20).

Midtown faired pretty well, despite the entire Top 5 being in Queens, and four of the top 5 being in Jackson Heights.  There were those you expected, like Hallo Berlin (54th & 5th) at #6, Kwik Meal (45th & 6th) at #14, and the nighttime Chicken & Rice Cart (53rd & 6th) at #17.  Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Cart (46th & 6th), which I wrote about their for bulgogi, came in at #18 for their fried fish sandwich.  And our beloved Jamaican Dutchy, got their first accolades by coming in at #12.

The biggest surprise was Carnegie John’s at #8, an offshoot of Tony Dragonas’ cart on 62nd near Madison (which came in at #7).  “The Dragon” Tony Dragonas is pretty famous, but I’ve never made it up to his cart on 62nd, since it is just outside of my Midtown Lunch’ing range.  Carnegie John’s, however is not (56th & 7th Ave).  And NY Mag went so far as to say that their burgers may be better than the ones at the Burger Joint in the Parker Meridien!

I headed over to the Carnegie John’s cart yesterday to see what the hype was about, and found this:

The regulars seemed pretty pissed by the crowd, one guy saying in all the time he’s been coming to the cart there has never been a line like this.  By 12:45, they were out of burgers.

There’s always a line at Hallo Berlin, but yesterday it was extra long.

 

 

The same story at Kwik Meal.

 

 

And Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Cart never has a line… so this was a relative mob scene for them:

 

 

But the biggest surprise of the day was the Jamaican Dutchy.  The shocking picture… after the jump. Read more »

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Vivian”

Every Tuesday I turn over Midtown Lunch to a random Midtown worker, for their favorite places to eat lunch in Midtown.  Normally when I get a picture like this, I’ll ask for a replacement… something “Midtown’ish” and more zoomed in.  Unfortunately, Vivian told me this is the only picture of herself she had at work.  I’m assuming she meant on her computer at work, and not- this was a picture of her ”at work”.  Either way, if this is the pic she wants posted, who am I to stop her. 

***PICTURE REMOVED***

Name: Vivian

Age:
29

Occupation:
Education Coordinator

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
Vanderbilt* btw. 44+45th  (Oooh!  You work on Vanderbilt. That’s exciting. -zach

Favorite Kind of Food:
Thai

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Eel.  I love Japanese food, however I tried eel once and I didn’t like it.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
For sit-down, Park Italian Gourmet on 45th btw. 5+6th. They make the best Italian heros, but also offer hot Italian fare. For take-away, a falafel sandwich from Moshe’s cart on 46th & 5th or the Golden Krust kiosk in Grand Central.  (Another vote for Park Italian.  I will get around to writing about this place eventually… -zach)

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Cucina & Co., but only because it’s across the street!

Place you discovered on MidtownLunch.com: Hing Won. Finally, authentic Chinese in Midtown!

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Chinatown- fresh, quality ingredients prepared super fast at amazing prices, what more could a ‘luncher’ ask for!

 

*Vanderbilt is that little street that runs between 42nd & 47th between Madison and Park… next to Grand Central, and home to Jiannetto’s Pizza Truck (47th & Vanderbilt).  Speaking of Jiannetto’s, I’ve got some news for you- after the jump… Read more »

Chiyoda Brings Bento Boxes to You

It is not often I will write about food delivery.  I admit, it is probably something everyone would be interested in reading about (whether or not your favorite place delivers), but I don’t write about it because I never order delivery.  I don’t believe in it.  I am a staunch advocate of taking time to get out of the office for a little bit.  You’re supposed to get a lunch break.  You need a lunch break.  Use your lunch break. (Even it’s just to walk around for 20 minutes.)

But like all rules, there are some exceptions.  For example, when delivery is made to be fun!  Like in the case of Chiyoda Sushi.  Chiyoda is a place I’ve written about a few times.  Along with Yagura & Cafe Zaiya, it makes up the Japanese Trinity on 41st btw. Mad+5th., my favorite block for Midtown Lunch’ing.  Unfortunately it’s a little too far for me to make it down there too often-  but last week, I discovered (thanks to an email tipster), that they have delivery- and it’s fun!

Chiyoda has a special online delivery menu that is really fun to look at, even if you don’t want to order.  Each day they offer three different lunch boxes, and the schedule for the entire week is posted here (http://www.chiyodasushiny.com/bento_en.html).  But it gets better.  Not sure what one of the items is?  Each morning, you can click on the box and it will show you a picture of the item.  How cool is that?

The boxes range in price from $6 to $8 and there is no delivery charge, or tax- the only requirement is that your office orders a minimum of 3 boxes.  Don’t have two friends who want to order weird Japanese boxed lunches… there is still one more way to get your bento fix- and it’s the best part of the whole story.

The Chiyoda guy on the street with Bento boxes, after the jump… Read more »

Treats & Links

FIRST LOOK: The New House of Pita

The new House of Pita opened yesterday on 46th btw. 5+6th.  The window on 48th btw. 5+6th will remain open with the same menu they’ve always had, but the new location will have an expanded menu, and places to sit.  They are only at about 60% right now, serving the same falafel you can get at the 48th St. window, an expanded bourakas menu, plus their new personal pizzas- but come Monday (6/18) they will be at 100%, with a full service salad bar, fresh fruit, fresh squeezed juices, sandwiches and more. 

The new House of Pita opened yesterday on 46th btw. 5+6th.  The window on 48th btw. 5+6th will remain open with the same menu they’ve always had, but the new location will have an expanded menu, and places to sit.  They are only at about 60% right now, serving the same falafel you can get at the 48th St. window, an expanded bourakas menu, plus their new personal pizzas- but come Monday (6/18) they will be at 100%, with a full service salad bar, fresh fruit, fresh squeezed juices, sandwiches and more. 

The new salad & fruit bar, PLUS the apple cinnamon bourakus- after the jump… Read more »

The Treats Truck is in Midtown Today!!!

 

 

Awww yeah… The Treats Truck is in Midtown today!  What the hell is the Treats Truck you ask?  It’s a mobile bakery run by Kim Ima, who bakes a truckload (pun intended) of treats in Red Hook, and then drives them to a specific location in NYC.  The location changes every day (and often multiple times a day).  Find the truck and you’ll be rewarded with a wide selection of amazing looking cookies, brownies, rice krispy squares and more.  Prices range from $1 to $2.50.  

This past weekend the truck was in the Village, yesterday it was in the Upper West Side, and today it’s coming to Midtown!  The truck is so new, they are still scouting out locations- so they are not exactly sure where they are going to be today and at what time, but as soon as they know, they are going to let me know- and I will be posting updates to this page all day long so you can get your after lunch sugar rush.  You can also check their website, or call 212-691-5226.

UPDATED (10:54 AM):  The Treats Truck has landed on 38th & 5th Ave.

UPDATED (12:32 PM): I have been to the Treat Truck and it is good!  Highlights include Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie, Rasberry Brownie… um- pretty much everthing was awesome.

The Jamaican Dutchy… a Midtown Cart on Island Time

“The Arepa Lady”. “The Dosa Man”. “The Dragon”. New Yorkers love their street food… and while most carts toil away in anonymity, there are a few street food vendors that have achieved legendary status. Singled out by magazines, posters on Chowhound and the Vendy Awards, these “destination” carts draw people across borough lines for some of the best food the city has to offer.  Like most of the great food in New York, most of these special carts are outside of Midtown, but there are a few we can brag about.  Hallo Berlin, Daisy May’s BBQ, and of course the Famous Chicken & Rice Cart on 53rd St. & 6th. (The one with the line at 2 in the morning.)

Now, we have one more to add to that list. The Jamaican Cart. While it may take a lot of time for most carts to build up a following, there was a line 15 people long on the second day The Jamaican Cart appeared. Serving up jerk chicken, and stewed meat, word spread quick and the lines never seemed to go away.  Unfortunately, it didn’t take a genius to realize the lines were more from the slowness of the service, than anything else… but it was still a line. And if people are willing to wait 45 minutes for food from a cart, then it must be good, right!?!

What they serve, food porn and a +/- after the jump… Read more »