Archive for February 2008

Free Food Alert: Red Mango Opening on 45th & 8th Ave.


From Eater (via FatWallet)

Another day, another fro-yo opening, another promise of free goods. Today a Red Mango opens on 45th and 8th Ave., and promises to give away their goods from 3-10pm.

My track record with free frozen yogurt  is not that great, but this one seems legit.  A phone call to the location confirmed that the new Red Mango will be giving away the small size frozen yogurt with one topping.  723 8th Ave. (btw. 45+46th).  Enjoy!

Update:  It’s pretty cold out for fro-yo, but it was free so how could I resist.  See what ”free” should really get you, after the jump…

Read more »

At Lunch Now: Chapati Roll Chef is Back with New Menu Items and Something for the East Side


I guess it’s an Indian food kind of day… first Indus Express and now this.  The “Chef” (on the right) of the Chapati Roll/Biriyani Cart (46th & 6th Ave.), has returned after two and a half months in Bangladesh, and as promised there’s some new stuff to talk about.  Let’s get the bad news out of the way first… two Kati Rolls/Chapati rolls are now $5 ($6 for lamb).  $4 was a ridiculously low price, so I don’t begrudge the cart a little price increase…

Now on to the good news… they’ve added a fifth kind of Chapati Roll to their menu- the vegetarian Aloo Gobi roll (curried potatoes and cauliflower).  I’ve been on a big cauliflower kick since having this sandwich 6 months ago, so I’m excited to try this.   They’ve also added the chicken tikka masala and biriyani to the permanent menu, items previously only available as specials on certain days.

On the seafood front, there is now a salmon dish (presumably to compete with the Kwik Meal Cart’s fish platter).  And even more items are in the works, including shami kebabs (made from ground up lamb or chicken), and chapli kebabs (made from ground up beef).

A shot of the menu, plus the big news for Chapati Roll lovers on the East side, after the jump… Read more »

First Look: City Market Cafe Becomes Indus Express, Serves Giant Kati Rolls

There is no shortage of generic delis here in Midtown, and we’ve got our decent share of fast and cheap Indian steam tables too.  Combine the two, and then you’re talking craziness!  Walk into what used to be City Market Cafe on 48th btw. 5+6th, and you will find the latest in worktime lunch’ing ingenuity.  Keep the set-up, change the food seems to be the motif at the newly christened Indus Express, the latest cheap, fast food Indian place to open in Midtown.  I haven’t tried anything yet, but early word from a tipster is that the saag paneer is “pretty good”.

They don’t have printed menus yet, so I don’t know exactly what the scope of their offerings will be or how much everything will cost, but they did have a list of basic steam table pricing.  $7.95 gets you two veggies, dal, rice & bread,  $8.95 gets you one meat, two veggies, bread (and I’m assuming rice, although it doesn’t say it),  $9.95 gets you two meats, two veggies, (rice), and bread,  and $10.95 gets you fish with two veggies, and bread. 

They also have a steam table full of nice looking pakoras and samosas.  

But a steam table alone will not pull lunch’ers away from already established Midtown Indian food favorites.  For that, Indus Express is bringing out the big guns, which I have photos of, after the jump… Read more »

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Dan”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown.  Today it’s Dan, a nurse (what the hell is a Pharmaceutical Triage Associate???) who loves nose cups, and was hoping to meet his future wife in Bryant Park two weeks ago.

Name: Dan


Pharmaceutical Triage Associate

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
42nd & 3rd

Favorite Kind of Food:
Anything. Cheese. Literally, anything.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
I’m not sure if I understand that combination of words.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: I’ve got a regular regimen of of eating at Papano Taqueria (tortas=amazing), Oms/b, Grand Central Market, the trifecta of Japanese restaurants on 41st between Madison and 5th, and, when it’s warm, walking over to KwikMeal.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: I often meet people at any of the places above, especially if we can eat in Bryant Park on a nice day or if Fashion Week’s in town, so that I might meet my future wife.

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: Milant Goumet Deli, which is a pretty great straight up soup and sandwich combo. Then there’s both Sophie’s Cuban and the “Famous” Chicken Place which, like Zach, remind me of my South Floridian roots.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Probably down by Washington Square Park, with access to NYU area food (Mamoun’s PressToast) then a quick jaunt to the East Village (S’Mac, Pomme Frites, and various ramen joints) or the West Village (Corner Bistro, Gray’s Papaya). Or, frankly, any place by a Gray’s Papaya.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Anyone know where I can find some cheap, good mac & cheese in east midtown? A much happier, heavier me will thank you.

Ah yes… the age old Mac & Cheese question.  On the West side, I’ve mentioned the mac & cheese at the by the pound buffet at Cafe Duke, which is not bad.  There’s also the version at Piece of Chicken, which is not only out of bounds to far west but is also now $3 for a pretty small portion.  A couple of co-workers of mine ordered delivery from Supermac, although they said it was pretty expensive for the amount of food you get.  That place is located on 7th Ave. btw. 29+30th, but they will deliver pretty far depending on how much you order.

Anybody have a mac n cheese recommendation for the west east side (or west side for that matter)?  Post it as a comment below.  And as always, if you want to be the next Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, or you’d like to nominate somebody in your office, email me at

At Lunch Now: President’s Day Chicken & Waffles

Day off from work + no line at Amy Ruth’s (116 & Lennox in Harlem) = Very Happy Zach. I love President’s Day!!!The camera phone photo didn’t come out so hot.  A much better looking one, after the jump… Read more »

Midtown Links (Midtown Celebrity Sightings Edition)

Bits & Pieces (Midtown West Edition): Free Toppings at Go Go Curry, Piece of Chicken Raises Prices and more

Normally they give away free topping coupons the day after Hideki Matsui hits a homerun, but why should we be punished because it is the Yankees’ offseason?  Problem solved.  Today is free topping coupon day at Go Go Curry on 38th St. btw. 7+8th. 

The new House of Pita on 8th Ave. btw. 39+40th finally replaced the Mandler’s Sausage sign.  They smartly decided to keep the H.O.P. name, and only add the “Chicken Bar” part to the sign underneath.  I guess they “discovered” that Chicken Bar already exists.

Kashmir Express, the Indian take out place on 8th Ave. btw. 38+39th, has converted to a by the pound buffet.  Looked pretty good, although having to pay for my lunch by the amount it weighs is always a scary proposition.  The $4.99 price tag is not bad, but Indian food can get heavy!  And it forces you to break the #1 rule of eating at buffets by the pound… go easy on the rice and bread.

A shot of the buffet, plus Piece of Chicken’s shocking new menu changes, after the jump… Read more »

New City Burger Will Get Meat From the Same Place As The Shake Shack

The owners of Abitino’s, a generic take out pizza place with a few locations in Midtown, are three weeks away from opening “City Burger” on 39th St. just East of Broadway, and I got word from the owners that their burgers will be made from Pat Lafrieda meat, the same purveyor that supplies beef to the Shake Shack.  Not sure if it will be the “high end stuff” or the “regular commodity” meat, but either way it looks like this is the closest thing we’re getting to a shack burger in Midtown.

I got a sneak peak at the menu, and it looks pretty similar to Goodburger.  The burger/fries/soda combo is a disappointing $10.55 ($10 is usually the midtown lunch price limit), but at least you’ll be getting a 1/2 pound burger (no doubt larger than the standard Goodburger, and twice as large as the Shack burger).  They will also be carrying a turkey burger, salmon burger and veggie burger, fries, onion rings, and shakes.

If they are good, the thing that may set this place apart is their buffalo wings (10 for $6.99), and the $13.50 burger/fries/soda/5 buffalo wings combo will definitely have me re-thinking my under $10 rule! 

As of now, there is no Good Burger or Five Guys in the immediate area, but the competition should heat up once the Hale and Hearty owned ”Shake Shack” concept planned for the NY times building opens up one avenue away.

Thanks to lunch’er “Gail” for the tip.  If you have any tips, news or recommendations, email them to

Midtown Valentine’s Day Treat Ideas (for the Procrastinators)

Minamoto Kitchoan, Posted to Flickr by bottleofblues

So it’s Valentine’s Day, and while you should have trekked to Vosges (Soho), Mariebelle (Soho & UES), or Jacques Torres (Soho, UWS, Dumbo) for some of the best chocolate in New York City- you didn’t.  So, now you’re stuck in Midtown and need to get something tonight after work. 

For some perfect Midtown (and Upper East Side) chocolate options, check out Ed Levine’s great post from earlier this week.  For something in the non-chocolate category, here are a few of my suggestions (along with an interactive map). Read more »

Margon Makes Aziz Ansari’s Favorite Cuban Sandwich

The Village Voice doesn’t branch out into Midtown too often (and quite frankly, do you blame them?), but I still love their blog Eat For Victory, and -of course- Robert Sietsema’s “Counter Culture” column.  They always have great recs, especially for inexpensive and authentic eats, and we’re clearly not the only ones who think so.  Last week, in response to a challenge from the owner of Casa Havana, Eat for Victory launched a best Cuban sandwich contest- and Comedian Aziz Ansari from Human Giant, posted this nominee in the comments:

My favorite cubano in the city hands down is at Margon on 46th btw 6th and 7th ave. They throw in a slice of salami that takes the whole thing to another level. I’m not sure that raw garlic can compete with that as far as genius.

Midtown represent! That piece of salami actually makes it more of a Dominican style ”Cuban” sandwich- but why bother getting technical?  It’s freakin’ Aziz Ansari!  (Sorry, I’m a huge Human Giant fan.  That dude is freakin’ hilarious.)  You may remember Human Giant from such informative films as this K.C. Rib Ticklers video I posted a link to a few months ago.

To nominate your favorite Cuban Sandwich, go to Eat For Victory.  You have until tomorrow.