You Decide: Good Portions on Lex

Restaurants or take out places that serve multiple kinds of ethnic cuisine are always a red flag for me.  Why serve mediocre food from four different countries, when you can serve great food from the country you are from?  Asian places are the worst offenders too.  Thai on the menu at Chinese and Japanese restaurants, Vietnamese food at Thai restaurants, Chinese food on the menu at Korean places, and sushi just about everywhere.

But in the end I am forced to relent.  I think it’s a combination of my love of (and addiction to) all Asian foods, plus that little voice in my head that says, ‘maybe just this once, Pad Thai made in the same wok as beef and broccoli will magically come out right’.  (It hasn’t yet.)  It was this addiction that brought me to Good Portions, a fast food Asian place on Lexington btw. 39+40th.

What I got, and why I need your help (the “you decide” part), after the jump…

Upon entering Good Portions, I got my second red flag:  giant pictures of food hanging on the walls.  Normally this is also a no-no, but in this case they had pictures of dim sum- my ultimate weakness (and a food group not well represented in Midtown).  Granted their menu was limited (pork buns, shumai, har gao, and a couple other things), and each item costs $3.75 (a travesty of justice).  But they had it.  And that’s all that matters.

In addition to the dim sum menu, they also had various Japanese and “Malaysian” appetizers, hot plates of Thai, Japanese, and Chinese dishes, a list of Chef’s specials, a few noodle soups, Japanese bentos, and of course sushi.   For a junkie, it’s a menu that can only be summed up simply as ’too much to choose from’.

I panicked and went for the Pad Thai, which I’ve been missing since Yum Thai closed.  How great would it be if by some miracle of nature this place with giant pictures of dim sum on their wall, made a mean Pad Thai.  Of course I was disappointed in the dish, due in no small part to the fact that it tasted like Chinese food (think weird Lo Mein with a slice of lime).  I tried the pork buns too (how could I not?), and while they looked perfect, the inside just didn’t taste right.  They probably were frozen.

But like any addict, I’m not ready to write this place off.  I’m sure something on their gigantic menu of Asian delights is a winner.  But I am one man.  And I just don’t have the luxury of working my way through the menu.  (And nobody I work with will walk with me all the way to Lexington).  So here’s what I propose.  You decide.  I normally tell you what I think is good.  With this place, I want you to tell me what’s good.  Have you been?  Is there something edible on the menu?  Post it as a comment.  Never been, but you’re intrigued?  Go.  Eat something.  Post your thoughts.  One person’s opinion about a single dish is not that useful-  but combined, maybe we’ll get a better idea of the place.

I’ll take the comments into consideration, go back next week, try something new, and post about it again.  And don’t worry-  I won’t blame you if you don’t try the sushi.

Good Portions, 347 Lexington Ave. (btw. 39+40th), 212-867-2979


  • Hey Zach – This has nothing to do with this post, although I saw “wings” on their menu which started the ball rolling. Do you know of any good places in midtown to get hot wings to go? I don’t want to sit down at a bar. I don’t want them battered. I just want them HOT. Maybe it’s the Superbowl craving kicking in early, but I’ve been searching for months and can’t seem to come up with any good deals. I mean 6 wings for $10 seems a bit ridiculous to me, no?

  • Ugh, I went to Good Portions after a recommendation from a friend and found it terrible. I also tried the Pad Thai and am pretty sure that I found some hair in it! There are better places to get your food from.

  • oh heck no! $3.75 for frozen dim sum!? i’ve walked by that place around 5 and it seemed kinda dead. I guess that’s not usual since it caters to the lunch crowd but neighborhood faves like Oms/B still garners a crowd around that time.

  • Margot – Virgil’s wings aren’t HOT and are expensive, but are by far the best in Midtown. They’re really terrific, and I say this as someone who has come to loathe Virgil’s.

    As far as Good Portions, I think I’ll pass. It sounds terrible and the pics look terrible. if you’re going to 39th St, might as well head to Szechuan Gourmet.

  • This place is around the corner from my office. A lot of my co-workers go. However, I got the worst MSG headache of my life there – nearly had to take the rest of the day off. What that says to me is that the food is definitely packaged and not fresh.

  • Everytime i’ve walked by it i never see anyone inside. Lunchtime especially.

  • It’s Amercanized chinky you see.

  • I used to order from this place consistently about a year ago. I don’t know, I guess I thought I could find something I liked. Alas, their food was just disgusting. The dumplings, although pretty, revealed knotty, gristly beef upon breaking open the steamed wrapper, and the shrimp had a distinctly fishy taste to it. The coconut milk used in the soups seemed off somehow. I was also was victim to a very bad stomachache after eating some of their tom yum soup.

  • Place sounds like a real winner!

  • My co-workers loooove this place. One woman always gets the Singapore fried noodles, which I’m guessing is their attempt at mimicking Sing Chow Mei Fun — certainly does not taste like Sing Chow; taste like spicy, wet cardboard [I just know what cardboard taste like].
    Another person sweats the MSG Chicken terriyaki; I think it’s really barf-y and generic tasting, like out of Banquet meal box.
    I’ve had the sushi here twice and both times it was blah. I had the Sushi Regular, which included a stupid California roll [yucky, spoiled brown avocado] and another time I had the Salmon Lover’s special. I can’t remember how the Salmon special tasted, so I’m guessing it was neither good nor bad.
    I definitely think they put drugs in their food because everyone in my office is hooked on Good Portions.

  • Zen Burger anyone?

  • Zach, I think that you got it right about Lo Mein; those sure look like wheat noodles rather than the rice noodles that Pad Thai should be made from.


  • This place is absolutely terrible. The Satay here is the worst I’ve ever had.

    Margot- For hot wings Best Wingers Express on 2nd avenue and 38th is really good but out of bounds I guess.

    Otherwise, Brother Jimmy’s makes a pretty mean buffalo wing- (Grand Central)

  • Vishal – Not out of bounds for me since I work on 3rd in the 40′s.. thanks for the suggestion!

  • Margot- if you go there, get the fried mushrooms. Deep fried, but totally worth it.

    We had Brother Jimmy’s wings for the superbowl actually and they are really good. Larger than the normal wing place.

    By the way, let me reiterate. Never go to Good Portions. It’s horrible!

  • Ugh, I live across the street from Best Wingers, and I have to stare at them out my window all the time…. which sucks because they are always tempting me to go back and try it one more time–but I know that whenever I do, it won’t be good! Don’t know if I’ve had hot wings, but pretty much everything else on the menu is intolerable… don’t get the fried chicken.

  • No way, the fried mushrooms and potato wedges are great! And so is the chicken breast sandwich with the garlic and cheese on it. I’ve never had the fried chicken from them.

  • chinese at a korean place is actually a distinct style of korean cuisine that is not meant to be the same as chinese food – think jajang myun and jambong.

  • I hate this place. Don’t ever go back there.

  • Actually, while most of the food is bad at GP, I have had one pretty good thing there. Some kind of steamed (or maybe stewed) stuffed bean curd skin roll. Still way too expensive at $3.75, though.

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