Archive for August 2007

Midtown Links (Long Weekend Edition)

Belly Laughs: Jim Gaffigan on Cake (& IHOP)

Who doesn’t like free cake in the office?

First Look: The Steak Truck

Words can’t even begin to describe the monstrosity that showed up on the NE corner of 47th St. & Park this week.  Ladies and gentleman, I’m proud to introduce, “The Steak Truck”

Oh my lord.  This could be a keeper.  The Lunch Menu, after the jump… Read more »

Comment Patrol: Tuck Shop in the Cyber Cafe

This may be a surprise to some, but occasionally comments posted to Midtown Lunch are actually about the food- and some are worthy of more then just a reply in the comment section.  I noticed this one posted by “Messy” about the Aussie Pies at the Tuck Shop in the Cyber Cafe (49th btw. B’way+8th) which hasn’t been mentioned very much lately…

Popped in there the other day and as an Aussie I have to say it was disappointing. They only wholesale to this store now and so the selection is as big. Frankly the pies weren’t up to scratch, though i have to say i have pretty high pie standards ;) The sausage roll was all right though.

Well, this is not surprising considering that (as you mentioned) the Tuck Shop is no longer affiliated with the Cyber Cafe. 


They decided to stop running the Cyber Cafe location in order to focus on their new wholesale business which they hope will put Tuck Shop pies in pubs all over the city… and considering there are one or two of those in Midtown, I’m guessing this is not the last we’ve seen of the Tuck Shop. 

Truthfully, I always felt the Cyber Cafe didn’t give the pies the TLC they deserved.  Luckily they don’t have anything to do with Madeleine the Crepe Lady, who is still set up at the old C.C. Wed-Sun serving up freshly made, real deal French crepes from Brittany!

Free Foods on 45th Coming September 10th



Vegan and raw food enthusiasts of Midtown, your prayers have been answered.  Chef Matthew Kenney, formerly of Pure Food & Wine, is about to open his organic fast food outlet “Free Foods NYC” on 45th btw. 5+6th.  Unfortunately, the “free” doesn’t refer to price (I’m guessing it’s actually going to be pretty expensive), but the fact that all the food is organic and sustainable, with raw, vegetarian and vegan options to boot.  Think gussed up Generic Midtown Deli.

Don’t worry meat lovers, there will be plenty of options for you.  According to the NY Sun the “specialty sandwiches, soups, and salads [will also feature] grass-fed organic beef, wild Alaskan fish, and organic free range chicken”. To get a general idea of what they may be serving, check out the Free Foods NYC catering site, which has been servicing offices and events since July from their headquarters on the Upper East Side. 

They are shooting for a September 10th opening date, but from the looks of the place this morning (photo above)- I’d be surprised if that happens.  I’ll keep you updated…

Mongolian BBQ at Food World is Neither BBQ Nor Mongolian

I’ll be honest, I have no idea what Mongolian Food is.  I don’t even know anything about Mongolia itself.  But I feel pretty safe in saying that if you ever find yourself at a restaurant in Mongolia, there will be no sign of a gigantic round griddle, and they will not allow you to pick out your own ingredients from a buffet.  If you were a soldier in the Mongol Empire, you may have eaten copious amounts of meat and vegetables off of your overturned shield, cooked over a fire and stirred with your sword, but that’s pretty much where the comparison ends.  (Although I’m not sure if I should be getting my Mongol Empire historical information from a U.S. chain restaurant website?)

Anyway, regardless of its origin, Mongolian BBQ is here, and people love it.  I’m constantly asked “Where can I find some good Mongolian BBQ in Midtown?”  Which is a tough one for me to answer, because I don’t usually eat Mongolian BBQ.  And there are four words to explain why: Pay by the Pound.  Take me to an all you can eat Mongolian BBQ (like Fire & Ice in Boston), and I’m a madman.  You force me to weigh my food and there’s going to be trouble… but for the sake of you people, I headed to Food World- the freshest looking Mongolian BBQ I’ve seen in Midtown.

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

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Maressa”

Every Tuesday I turn over Midtown Lunch to a random worker, for their favorite places to eat lunch in Midtown. Today, it’s Maressa- a Magazine Editor who hates fried food (?!?!).  Must… allow… differing… opinions… and yet… it’s… very… difficult… to… post this… profile. 

Name: Maressa


Magazine Editor

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
The epicenter of this culinary wasteland, Times Square (But no, I don’t work in the same building as the reputed “Devil” who wears Prada.)

Favorite Kind of Food:
Generally healthy twists on chicken, seafood, veggies, huge fan of the Tex-Mex (and by default, Chipotle) as well as Greek, Middle Eastern, Indian, & sushi. Fresh fillings wrapped up with some form of carb, be it a pita, tortilla, lavash, etc… I’m usually interested. Or, chocolate, but that’s a whole different story. ;)

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Anything fried, unnecessarily greasy, dark or red meat.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Sorry to say, Zach, but given my lack of nearby choices, I gotta go with Chipotle. I get the burrito bol (glorified salad, yeah yeah) with black beans, no rice, fajita veggies, chicken, all the salsas (sans the hottest one), lots of lettuce and sour cream OR guac on the side. But I gotta shout out to La Paloma on 45th btwn 8+9th. Muy bueno Mexican delivery!

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Can’t speak for my co-workers; they’re all about Europa and I’m havin’ none-a-dat $11 salad BS. But my personal choice for default deli is Star Lite on 44th btwn 7th & 8th, where I usually get a chicken caesar wrap or salad. (They have a good low-fat caesar dressing, but make sure you say “low-fat”, cuz if you say “light”, then they just put a smaller amount of the regular kind. Drrgh.)

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: Kwik Meal & Pick-a-Pita! Yum and yummier! Unfortch, Chef Rahman makes fun of me when I want pita instead of rice on my chicken platter, and sometimes the street-meat-ness of it all skeeves me. And Pick-a-Pita is sorta a schlep, and on the pricier side. I know—I’m such a kvetch.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? West Village/SoHo. Because then a) I would be near my apartment and save $ by eating my non-existant groceries, b) I could get amazing cart Mex from Calexico, or c) there are just a helluva lot better places that deliver downtown. Like you didn’t already know that. (Ed Note:  Still no word on when the Midtown Calexico cart will be arriving)

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Where can I get decent on-the-cheap(er) Greek, namely a chicken gyro and tzatziki sauce?


Well… finally some common ground.  I don’t know about Chicken Gyros… but a real honest to goodness Greek gyro is something I have yet to find in Midtown- and I’m not talking about the gyro they serve on the halal carts.  The meat may look the same on that spit, but once you chop it up into bits, and saute it on a griddle, it becomes something else.  Real greek gyro is left alone, rotated and cooked on the actual spit; cut off in slices *only* when it has become dark on the outside.  And a real gyro has to be topped with tzatziki (greek yogurt sauce).

Forget about shawarma, and halal… I’m talking real honest to goodness Greek gyro.  Anybody had one?  I’ve heard rumors of two carts (one on 44th & 6th Ave., and one on 7th Ave. btw. 33+34th), but I haven’t been to either.  If you have got a suggestion, post it as a comment below…

And, as always, if you have news, suggestions, or you want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er- email me at

The Mystery of the Nathan’s Not Dog

One of the contest winners picked up their book yesterday, and brought me this gift…



“It seemed like something you would like,” she said.  Is this what you think of me people?  I don’t know if “like” is the proper term, but I was certainly intrigued.  The term “Not Dog” seems easy enough to understand… until you see the picture on the right.  What the hell is that thing? Is that supposed to look appetizing?  It’s clearly not a vegetarian Hot Dog.

The Nathan’s website provided absolutely no information on “Not Dogs”, so I was forced to go to the Nathan’s on 8th Ave. & 44+45th St. to check it out.

What I found, is after the jump.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid. Read more »

And Katagiri Makes Three (ways to get Chiyoda Sushi in Midtown)

It’s just outside of the “official” Midtown Lunch Boundaries, but I’ve been meaning to make it up to Katagiri for awhile- hearing for months now that it’s a pretty sweet Japanese Market on 59th btw. 2+3rd.  When I finally made it up there, I was surprised to find that the sushi and bentos available for purchase during lunchtime, are actually supplied by Chiyoda Sushi, one of the Trinity on 41st btw. Madison & 5th, and a Midtown Lunch favorite.

I have already written a ton on Chiyoda, not only about the actual store on 41st, but also about their super fantastic online bento ordering service, and their “delivery guy” who sells them on the street (50th St. btw. 6+7th) during lunch.  Well, Katagiri is now the third place in the area you can buy Chiyoda stuff, and is a great option for anyone working on the Upper west hand corner of Midtown.

Photos after the jump… Read more »

Midtown Links