Archive for April 2008

Midtown Links (Monday AM Coffee Edition)

Midtown Links (R.I.P. Manhattan Mall Edition)

We Have Our Very Own Tasty Dumplings at Mandoo Bar

3 weeks ago our Downtown Lunch correspondent Daniel Krieger wrote his inaugural post about Tasty Dumpling in Chinatown.  The purpose of the column is to make Midtowners feel the same jealousy that Downtowners feel every time they log on to this site.  And it worked.  (I want dumplings!!!)  The post sparked in me a craving for dumplings, and while we don’t have any stand-alone Chinatown style dumpling “houses” in Midtown, we do have a very righteous Korean alternative,  Mandoo Bar on 32nd btw. B’way+5th. 

If you have ever walked down the main block of Koreatown (perhaps to visit Midtown Lunch favorite Woorijip), then you’ve surely noticed the women in the window making fresh, perfectly formed, multicolored dumplings every day.  If it’s a thursday or friday, there was probably a line out the door.  ”Oooh… that sounds good.  Are they 5 for $1.25?”  No.  They’re not, you snarky downtown lunch’er lucky enough to live walking distance from Chinatown.  They’re not 5 for $1.25.  The prices recently went up, making them more like 1 for $1.25.  But they’re good!  So stop raining on our dumpling parade.

Korean dumpling porn (with innards) after the jump… Read more »

ONE WEEK UNTIL HALLO BERLIN EXPRESS: opens its doors, according to Eating in Translation.  They heard May 1st from a "moustached stranger" who appeared at the location on 9 Ave. btw. 50+51st. According to the brothers (who also run the famous HB Cart on 54th & 5th), the Express location will not only carry beer, but will also feature schnitzel sandwiches and potato pancakes, in addition to their famous sausages. [EIT]

McDonald’s Attempts to Bring Chick-Fil-A to Manhattan

While most typical fast food places (McD’s, BK, Wendy’s) are not considered for this site, there are a few chains that would be welcomed with open arms into the canon of acceptable Midtown Lunches if they were to decide to grace us with a franchise.  In N Out Burger, Baja Fresh, and Panda Express would be my personal dreams come true, and I know for a fact that there are alot of you who feel the same way about Chick Fil A.  As many commenters have mentioned, there is one in the NYU dining hall, but “technically” you need to be a student to check it out.

Last year, to steal business compete with Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s introduced the “Southern Style Chicken Sandwich” to their menu, which stealsis supposed to replicate the Chick-Fil-A experience.  Well, after months of trying the sandwich out in various markets, Midtown Lunch’er Andre Mika (who writes one of my favorite blogs- has brought to our attention that the sandwich has arrived in New York City.  I haven’t had Chick-Fil-A in over 20 years (and I freaking hate McDonald’s), so to investigate this one, I’ve turned the case over to Andre, who is not only from the south (Louisiana), he is also a huge Chick-Fil-A fan.   Here is what he discovered…

The premise was too good to be true. McDonald’s, king of the “clone and sell a billion” fast food culture had introduced their new “Southern Style” chicken sandwich. To those of us who understand the McDonald’s mentality, it meant one thing. They had knocked off the famous Chick-Fil-A sandwich.

So let’s cut to the chase… Read more »


Botanico Wrap Innards @ Sugo! e Basilico, Midtown NYCIn the ML comments comes the news that Sugo e Basilico “on 5th closed down.” Opened in the summer of last year, on 5th Ave btw. 44+45th, I actually enjoyed Sugo’s strange brand of “Italian burrito” (my term, not theirs), but just like Momofuku Ssam Bar’s original “Korean Burrito” concept in the East Village (which I also *loved*, and begged them to bring to Midtown), too few people seem to like them enough to make a business.  Is there a lesson in this?  I guess people just don’t want multi cultural versions of Chipotle.  Bummer.

Midtown Links (Mid-Week Fro-Yo Edition)

PROFILED: Midtown Lunch’er “Kayoko”

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’s Lunch’er is the contributor/moderator of one of my favorite blogs- , and it just so happens she also works in Midtown East.  Actually that’s an understatement.  She works in Midtown Waaaaaay East, and since that is out of bounds for me, I figured I’d let her recommend a few places for those of you stuck in the eastern most part of our wasteland… 

Name: Kayoko


Film marketer and programmer by day, food blogger by night ( Professional eater all day, everyday

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
Japan Society, Midtown way east (UN area)

Favorite Kind of Food:
Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Vietnamese

Least Favorite Kind of Food:

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Hands down Shih Lee (on 45th btw. 1+2nd). It’s a little casual Taiwanese/Chinese place– you get in line and “pick & choose your meal” for $7. Two young brothers run it, and there are lots of regulars from the UN. It’s the best! Their pork and pickled cabbage noodle soup is the best I’ve had in midtown, and their sauteed green beans are addictive.  Also, there is a deli on the corner of 1st and 49th that makes the best BLT with avocado.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Oms/B for rice balls (45th btw. Lex+3rd) and Amish Market salad bar in a hurry (45th btw. 2+3rd), Ise for comfort food (49th btw. Lex+3rd), Pampano Taqueria for a long lunch (3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th). Aburiya Kinnosuke (45th btw. 2+3rd) or Sakagura on payday (43rd btw. 2+3rd).

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch (if any)? Bulgogi cart all the way!!! Better that I work too far to go often- I would seriously get lunch there everyday. Marinated beef in a hotdog bun? Only in New York- BRILLIANT!  (You should know that they’ve replaced the buns with croissants now -zach)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Tokyo, no doubt. I could pay at a machine, get ramen ticket, slurp, chew and be out in 5 minutes. How is NY not in on this? If we’re talking NY, I wish I worked near Chinatown. Banh mi and Great NY Noodle Town everyday!

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers?: Where can I get a good burrito in Midtown East on the cheap (besides Chipotle)?

Uh… where can you get a good burrito anywhere in NYC?  Good luck with that…  anybody got a rec, feel free to post it in the comments.  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

Free Food Alert: Another Sophie’s Cuban Opening at 11am Today! (Updated)

The New Food Court Sophie’s on 3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th

This just in courtesy of Midtown Lunch’er “Margot”… the food court that houses Pampano Taqueria (and Pump Energy Kitchen) on 3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th will be welcoming a new Sophie’s Cuban into its fold today at 11am.  And as always, Grand Opening day at Sophie’s means free food (from the opening at 11am until 2pm).  For those who are uninitiated, the food court is in the basement of 805 3rd Ave., and free food day at Sophie’s is always exciting!  Check out the last one on 41st btw. 7+8th.

Sophie’s Cuban, 805 Third Ave (Lower Level) btw. 49+50th, 212-308-1024

Update: 1:30 PM  They have officially run out of food… the location will open officially tomorrow (Weds) at 10am.  As a side note, because the location is so small, they won’t do any of the cooking on site.  All the food will be brought over from another Sophie’s locations in waves throughout the day, and it will only be open from 10am to 5pm.

Basic Math Blows Holes in Chipotle’s Absurd “Calorie Range” Calculator

The law requiring all chain restaurants in New York City to post calorie information goes into effect today.  And while it is still being fought by the New York State Restaurant Association, many have already complied, including Chipotle, which has already posted a “Calorie Range” for all of the items on their menu.  There’s only one issue… somebody’s math sucks, because when you compare the “ranges” posted to the (very difficult to find) nutritional information on the Chipotle website, it doesn’t quite match up.

My rudimentary math skills get put to the test, after the jump… Read more »