Me Gusta Este Blimpie! (That’s right. I’m writing about Blimpie.)

***This Blimpie Location is Now Closed, but the Latin Food can now be found in the newsstand next door***

Latin food (and Korean food) seems to pop up in the strangest places in Midtown.  Delis (like Utopia Cafe on 56th btw. 5+6th), Pizza parlors like La Strada (on 56th btw. Lex+3rd), and I’ve even seen a lady selling homemade Latin food out of a grocery basket on 46th. btw. 5+6th.  But all of those pale in comparison to what I discovered the other day.  Latin food inside a Blimpie.

That’s right.  Blimpie.  The sub chain.  The place I would never step foot into in a million years… unless I saw a sign for Latin food.  Imagine my surprise when I saw such a sign while walking down 6th Ave. the other day.  Spanish Food.  Right there in neon.  For $5.50. How could I not?

Photos that prove I entered a Blimpie, what they had, and a +/-, after the jump…

Unlike alot of fast food places today, which are owned by one centralized company, Blimpie is still a franchise.  And apparently, franchise owners are allowed to do whatever they want with their Blimpie.  This particular owner, who has been at this location for 6 years, decided early on that the rent was to high to be supported by Blimpie lovers alone, and added Pizza and Latin Food to his menu.

It’s surreal enough being inside a disgusting Blimpie that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since 1983.  Add various meats served with rice and beans and it feels even weirder.  The line of people seemed pretty constant though, making me a little more comfortable.  The Latin food station easily eclipsed the popularity of both the Blimpie and Pizza stations combined.

For $5.50 you get your choice of meat, with a choice of rice (white or yellow), and a choice of beans (black or pinto).  For 60 cents more, you can get fried plantains.  Not including plantains automatically would be an objectionable practice if the whole meal didn’t cost $6.10 altogether.  They had the standard grouping of assorted meats, including roast chicken, stewed chicken, bbq chicken, fried chicken, roast pork, stewed pork, pork chops, beefsteak, beef stew and the obligatory pigs feet.  Not a bad selection. 

If you can’t decide they will happily give you a little bit of two different things.  I went with the roast pork, and stewed pork with yellow rice, black beans and of course, the 60 cent plantains.

Overall the taste was pretty delicious.  The yellow rice was especially flavorful (you may say the secret ingredient is salt) and the roast pork was not especially dry, which is always a concern at these places.  The stewed pork was delicious, but it was a lot of bones and fat.  Not entirely surprising for $5.50, but I’m sure there were better scoops of pork in that container.  I was a little unlucky with the spoonful I got.

My co-worker got chicken on the bone, roasted in sauce- resulting in an incredibly flavorful, and tender piece of chicken.

The plantains were hit or miss.  A couple bites were decently ripe, and a couple not so much.  With plantains, it’s always a crap-shoot, but at least these only cost 60 cents, and they give you a decent amount.

All in all a pretty great find.  Sure the place is dirty, they serve mediocre subs and when someone asks “Where did you get lunch today?” you’re half forced to say “Blimpie”.  But the Latin food is good, and cheap.  In other words, it’s the perfect Midtown Lunch.

THE +

  • Super cheap Latin Food
  • Great selection for such a small place
  • The rice was especially flavorful and delicious (much better than it looked)

THE -

  • Eating here forces you to step into a Blimpie 
  • It’s on $5.50 so you’re not getting the best cuts of meat.  Stick with the chicken, if fat grosses you out
  • The food is super greasy
  • They charge you extra for fried plantains (which are not always ripe enough)
  • It seems pretty dirty

Blimpie, 1015 6th Ave. (btw. 37+38th St.), 212-944-7060

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