Guardian UK: El Sabroso is a 9/10 (and better than Fette Sau!)

So, about three weeks ago I took Benji Lanyado, a Travel writer for the Guardian UK, to El Sabroso, the latin lunch counter hidden inside a freight elevator hallway on 37th St. btw. 7+8th.  He told me he was interested in writing about Midtown Lunch for his “Meet the Bloggers” series, and wanted to check out one of my favorite places to eat.  Unbeknownst to me, it was a blogger competition- and El Sabroso won!!!  He gave it a 9/10, calling it “what foodie blog content is all about – really good food with a cultural angle, off the beaten track, and with a quirky situational twist.

Amanda from Eater took him to the ultra hip (and what I would have picked as the hands down favorite) Fette Sau in Brooklyn & Josh from Grub St. took him to a generic NYC Deli near the NY Magazine offices- but in fairness to the other “competitors”, I didn’t know it was a competition- so they probably didn’t either.  But who cares!  Midtown never wins shit, so I’m taking it.

The dishes that won it for El Sabroso, after the jump…

Benji’s Roast Chicken

My lamb stew

Always delicious, and only $6.  How can you beat it?  That’s right.  You can’t.


  • What a great story. So many hilarious – and representative – tidbits in this one.

    - New York Magazine, the biggest food PR shill mag on earth, takes the guy to a cheesy nondescript deli.

    - A brit foodie best likes cheap chow on styrofoam in a loading dock, possibly explaining both Brit cheapness and dental hygiene.

    - Zach wins!

    That should wake Rudy up

  • heartwarming & delicious. =)

  • Congrats Zach!!

    Wayne, the guardian carries all the journalistic intergrity and kudos of a G.Bush state of the nation speach.

    And my tooth is perfect.

  • Awesome!
    Way to go Zack!

    Now let’s get down to the brass tacks baby, is the lamb stew a regular on the menu?? Because I want some NOW

  • Now they are listening!!! The man knows his stuff!

  • That’s a complete victory for the midtown lunch philosophy. Beating out the hipster-williamsburg choice and the writerly gambit of “celebrating the NY deli” with legit food at a good value (in a loading dock).

  • I went to the place today and it was close:(

  • Is the food at El Sabroso better than the Latin Blimpie? BTW, the Latin Food in the Blimpie has resurfaced in the Convenience Store next door which sells the Vegetarian Indian food!

  • @John – That is very disconcerting. Were you definitely at the right place. There is another loading dock on the same street with no restaurant inside. Maybe that door was locked? Or, was the door open and you found the counter closed up?

    @Vishal – I’d say the food is comparable, with a slight edge going to El Sabroso for their Peruvian specials on Fridays.

  • I just caught the link to the Guardian piece off The Food Section sidebar. What a coup! Congratulations, man! Well deserved.

    My boyfriend and I can’t wait to try out some of your suggestions. It’s such a great service you provide. Midtown has always been such a dining dead zone…

    Miss G.

  • Zach@MidtownLuch – I was in the right place. I saw the menu sign on the door outside and the restaurant logo. I went passed the door and I saw round chairs and the restaurant is closed. Am I unlucky that day? Could someone varify rather the place is still open?

  • They had an emergency on Friday, and were closed- but they are back open today. 100% confirmed.

  • They are open. I went for lunch. There’s yellow tape surrounding the entrance but you just have to cross it! =)

  • I’ve been going to El Sabroso for some time now and I can’t get enough of it! It’s definitely a hidden gem in midtown! The food is great and the owner/cook is very warm and gracious. It makes for a pleasant homestyle eating experience. I always take new friends and they love it too!

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