At Lunch Now: Preparing for Tonight’s Choice Eats Fest

Gotta take it easy at lunch today so I’m in tip top shape for the Choice Eats Festival tonight at the Puck Bldg (advance tickets are sold out, but there will be limited $35 tickets at the door starting at 5:30pm- more details here).  So, I headed over to one of the few generic Midtown delis I can stomach (Cafe Duke on 51st btw. 6+7th) for some sushi (that’s about as light as it gets for me).  I could do without the california roll, but any place that gives me eel, spicy tuna and one other raw fish/avocado roll together in one sushi box is alright in my book (even if it’s $8.95, and the rolls are half the size of a normal sushi roll).

Of course, I can’t leave Cafe Duke without some of their delicious fake shrimp.  With $1.05 left in my budget, I can handle two “shrimps”…


Of course, as long as I’ve already got a container going, how can I not take a piece of General Tso’s chicken and a steamed dumpling.  I mean, I’d be crazy not to!  I’m sure the scale won’t notice…

$2.40.  Damn… you… generic… Midtown… deli…  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how they getcha.


  • my light lunch was meatloaf and veggies. that’s light, right?? it’s TURKEY meatloaf! am excited for tonight. any idea how it’s going to be set up? i’m picturing just a bunch of tables and then booths where the restaurants are set up, but i’m probably dead wrong. seems like it’d be pretty chaotic if that’s really how it went.

  • I’m gonna be like Homer Simpson attacking the free samples in the supermarket. MUST EAT EVERYTHING.

  • you added a mandoo and a chicken too! hahah.

  • The dumpling in the photo looks fried, not steamed.

  • I am so excited for this!!!!! And glad I got my tickets way in advance. Way more reasonable than the Time Out New York 2007 Eats in September ($100) All liquids for me today in preparation. Milkshake for breakfast and clam chowder for lunch( all brought from home)

  • See it looks ok thinking a nice cold chilean reisling with it…..but then i remember its raw fish.

    Yet i love oysters.

    ah well.

    Great liv tyler profile this week too!

  • damn you DDR. i was trying to make it sound lighter. but you are correct, it was pan fried before being steamed.

  • Mwahahaha!

  • Re Duke’s, for what it’s worth – I work on that block, and go to Duke’s often, but I think their sushi is pretty crappy, even for pan-deli sushi. If you’re in that neighborhood and want sushi in a plastic box, why not just walk a few more blocks to 41st between 5th and Madison? If you really need to stay in this exact area, Bento Nouveau (I think that’s what it’s called – southwest corner of 39th and Broadway) has better sushi if a slightly less diverse selection – sort of a very-mini-Zaiya.

    Duke’s noodles and rice bowls, on the other hand, particularly the Ramen and the yaki soba, are pretty serviceable (again, given that this is a deli). I was also at Duke’s yesterday, getting aforementioned ramen.

  • @Ken – I agree that Duke’s sushi is not spectacular, but the Cafe Duke I’m talking about is on 51st btw. 6+7th (10 blocks away from Chiyoda & Cafe Zaiya). If I worked near the Cafe Duke you’re talking about (on Bway and 41st), then the trinity on 41st btw. Mad+5th would be my goto lunch for sure!

    Just an FYI, they are owned by the same people, but the one on 51st is newer, and seems to be slightly better quality.

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