Archive for July 2007

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Evelyn”

Every Tuesday I turn over Midtown Lunch to a random worker, for their favorite places to eat lunch in Midtown. Today, it’s Evelyn- an HR person looking for some good pizza…

Name: Evelyn

Age:
29

Occupation:
HR

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
McGraw Hill Building (49th & 6th)

Favorite Kind of Food:
I’m pretty open to trying most things at least once. How are you supposed to know what you like or dislike without trying, right? But if I had to spend the rest of my life only eating certain things, I’d choose noodles, pasta, sushi, chicken tikka masala w/ basmati rice, dumplings, shellfish, stews, couscous, dessert (mmmm)… okay, too many foods to choose from.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
I definitely don’t like Ethiopian cuisine after trying it just once. There are a lot of vegetable I dislike eating, especially okra & squash. I try to avoid too much fried or greasy foods and I shy away from anything that’s too spicy.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
I love going to Hing Won to get their sauteed udon with chicken. The noodles are cooked perfectly tender and the flavor isn’t too salty. My new favorite place to go is Minar to get my fill of yummy Indian food.. the best is the chicken tikka masala. It’s creamy and they don’t make it all that spicy. I also love their combination plate lunches… For just $7.25 I always get double chicken and the spinach with rice. Both places definitely fit the bill for me… cheap, fast & tasty.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: We frequent Cafe Metro all the time because it’s right there in our building! We also love it because we can use the Go Mobo website to order our food right from our computers or cell phones so we don’t have to stand in that ridiculously long line. Yup, we’re lazy AND impatient. (Funny you should mention that.  GoMobo is offering Midtown Lunch readers $5 off your first order this week, if you use the promo code “midtownlunch”.  Enjoy! -zach

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: Minar… finally, cheap Indian food! Also, thanks for the recommendation about the Bulgogi sandwich. Too bad it went up to $2 though. 

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Midtown is great but I’d love either the East Village because it’s got some great cheap places or somewhere close to Chinatown for what else… great Chinese! Otherwise, someplace close to the ocean for some fresh seafood everyday.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? There are so many pizzerias in this area.  Do any of them stand out as having the best thin crispy crust?

 

Interesting you should ask about pizza, the day after Jiannetto’s Pizza Truck opened their 6th Ave. location right outside our building!  I know where you’ll be eating lunch today.  Anybody else got any other suggestions for Evelyn?  Post them as comments below.

And as for the Bulgogi Sandwich, it’s up to $5 now, and it’s served on a large roll.  I don’t even know if they have the little pressed bulgogi sandwiches on white bread anymore.  The new, larger sandwiches are alright- but they put yellow cheese, lettuce, tomato and cucumber on them.  I think they are trying to make them more “American”, not realizing that all we want is some good authentic Korean food!!!  A pic of their amazing creation, after the jump… Read more »

At Lunch Now: Jiannetto’s Pizza Truck Opens its 6th Ave. Location!!!

The new Jiannetto’s Piza Truck is parked on 48th btw 6+7th. There are “No Parking” signs everywhere, so I’m not sure how long he’s going to last at that location… but as of right now, Midtown West has got it’s very own pizza truck! He claims they will be at that spot for good, but we’ll see. If it moves, i’ll let you know…

Related: Two Well Known Carts Getting New Locations in Midtown
Related: Jiannetto’s Pizza Truck

Stanley T. Earns Title of Teriyaki Boy Champion

One of the things I can’t stand is the person who eats lunch at the same place every single day.  Everybody has a go-to, “I don’t have time to venture far”, or ”I’m feeling lazy today” lunch spot around the corner from their office- but that’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the co-worker that eats at the same exact place, every single day- and usually the same dish.  That deli, or fast food place, where they get the same salad, or the same combo every single day.  And you try to convince them “Dude… there’s this place you’ve got to check out, that’s so much better.”  And they say, “Sure, let’s go tomorrow.”  And then tomorrow rolls around, and it’s “Naw, i’m just going to go to that same deli I go to every single day, and eat the same sandwich I’ve been eating for 200 days straight.”  Where’s the fun in that.

There’s alot of people in my office that fall into that trap, but the one that stands out to me is this guy named Stanley T.  I pay attention to what everybody eats in my office (big surprise… I clearly have a problem), and it didn’t take me long to realize that every time I saw Stanley T. eating lunch at his desk, it was the same exact thing, from the same exact place.  But here’s the crazy thing- I didn’t look down on him for it.  I actually thought it was awesome.  Even started joking around with him about it.  Why?  Because his every day lunch, was the Teriyaki Chicken Bowl from Teriyaki Boy.  And then it dawned on me.  I’m prejudiced against delis and fast food chains.  Get a salad from Variety Cafe every single day, and I’m going to think you’re lunch challenged.  Eat at Teriyaki Boy every single day, and you are my new hero.

Stanley T’s obsession with Teriyaki Boy, a Japanese fast food chain with two locations in Midtown, made me think maybe I’m missing out on something.  I mean look at that guy.  If it’s good enough for him to eat it every day, it must be good enough for me.  So one day, I decided to head down- and do as Stanley T. does (every single day of the week).

What I got, pics and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

Midtown Links

Gawker’s User Guide to Midtown East

Forget about the New York Times & New York Post articles.  This is the greatest Midtown Lunch mention of all time.  What an honor…

 

Worktime snack… the free at work donuts


Somebody brought in Simpsons donuts to work this afternoon. Free donuts
at work… blessing or a curse? At least they are whole. Easier to
avoid. The worst is freakin donut holes… you convince yourself it’s
less fattening because they’re small. Then, 8 donut holes later, you’ve
eaten the equivalent of 3 whole donuts…

Tons of New Midtown Lunches Coming Soon…

 

 

A lot of new Coming Soon signs are popping up all around Midtown.  Here’s the info I have on what to expect, and when:

  • Sophie’s Cuban (40th btw. 7+8th) – Their website lists August 15th as the opening date for their new location.  It’s not guaranteed, but when the last location opened (on 56th St.), there was free food given out all day long
  • Yolato (Park btw. 41+42nd) – The first Midtown location of this frozen yogurt/gelato place is scheduled to open September 10th, with free Gelato being given away all day long
  • Goodburger (45th btw. 5+6th) – If all goes smoothly with the August opening of their Union Square Location, they plan on opening their new Midtown West location at the end of September.
  • Five Guys Burgers (55th btw. 5+6th) – The most anticipated opening of the year, this cheap burger joint is anticipating a Fall opening, “most likely September or October”
  • ‘wichcraft (Rock Center) – Their new location underneath Rockefeller Center just went into production, so their rep would only say they expect to open this Fall.
  • Golden Krust (8th Ave. nr. 39th) – They also just started construction on this new location and said they “don’t expect it to be open anytime soon”.  2 to 3 months at least… 

If you’ve seen a Coming Soon sign somewhere in Midtown, snap a photo and send it to the Midtown Lunch Flickr Photo Group, or email me at zach@midtownlunch.com

Reason #412 Not to Eat at Generic Midtown Delis

This photo comes from the wonderful Variety Cafe (48th btw. 5+6th), a place I haven’t eaten in since they were shuttered by the DOH last July.  Thankfully I have co-workers who drag me to generic delis, so I can experience something like this:

Isn’t Peter Luger a renowned Steak House?  Why is this sandwich made with chicken?  And more importantly, I don’t know what Peter Luger Sauce normally tastes like, but the red gloop they put on this sandwich is 100% Cocktail Sauce.  As anybody with taste buds could imagine, cocktail sauce and fresh mozzarella don’t go so great together.  And for the first time in history, I actually couldn’t physically finish a lunch I had paid for.  Disgusting.

Do you have reason #413 for not eating at a Generic Midtown Deli?  Post the photo to the Midtown Lunch Flickr Photo Group, email me at zach@midtownlunch.com or just post a comment below.

Carnegie John’s… the Best Cart Burger in Midtown

Well, the line at Carnegie John’s has finally died down enough for me to try it.  NY Mag wreaked havoc on the Midtown cart scene last month when they released their street cart issue.  It spotlighted some Midtown Lunch favorites (The Jamaican Dutchy, Hallo Berlin, Kim’s Aunt Kitchen & Kwik Meal), but also opened my eyes to a cart I had never heard of.  The legend that is Carnegie John’s.

Carnegie John's Menu, Midtown NYCThe cart is named for its location, right next to Carnegie Hall, where John serves up Hamburgers, Chicken, Gyro, Steak & Shish Kebab, all cooked to order.  Which partially explains the line.  Ever since the NY Mag issue came out, the line at this cart has been out of control- and if you want a burger, you’ve got to go on the early side.  He usually runs out by 1:30.

What I got, food cart porn and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

New York Mag Pushes the Boundaries of “Cheap Eats” Again…

Cheap Eats is a relative term, and nowhere is that more apparent than in New York Magazine’s Cheap Eats issue.  It’s almost as if they want to piss people off by putting things on the list that, while resonably priced for what you are getting, would never be described as cheap.  They indemnify themselves by putting “Under $25″ on the cover, but who are they kidding.  Cheap, to most people, is a $5 lunch- not a $15 dessert tasting menu. 

That being said, they did write about some good Midtown Lunch’ing.  Here are the Midtown Lunches that made the list…

  • Boi to Go (2nd Ave. btw. 42+43rd) – I don’t understand how you put the most expensive Banh Mi in the city on a Cheap Eats list, but it is a good sandwich- and the closest we’re going to get to Vietnamese food in Midtown. 
  • Go Go Curry (38th btw. 7+8th) – Now that’s cheap eats!  I love this place… and will be writing about the Grand Slam platter very, very soon.
  • 99 Cent Fresh Pizza (43rd btw. Lex+3rd) – Now we’re talking.  It doesn’t get much better than a 99 Cent slice!
  • Olympic Pita (38th btw. 5+6th) – I wanted to write about this famous Brooklyn spot that recently opened a branch in Midtown, but it’s tough to get a meal there for under $10.  I’ll probably end up sucking it up though, because it’s clearly a great spot.
  • Piece of Chicken (45th btw. 8+9th) – This place is just outside Midtown Lunch boundaries, so I haven’t given it a write up yet, but I’m starting to think it might be worthy of an Out of Bounds post.  Great soul food, served out of the kitchen door of Jezebel- and the best part, everything on the menu is $1 and $2.  My kind of place.

Adam Platt also makes a list of the best Cheap “Expensive” food, and 3 of the 5 are in Midtown.  That list, after the jump.. Read more »