Archive for May 2008

Midtown Links (Pitiful Free Samples Edition)

Ask Midtown Lunch: Best Milkshake in Midtown?

Sent to the old Inbox this morning…

Where can I get a great milkshake in midtown? I’ve tried every Mr Softee and imitation truck around and find they’re all not thick enough and doused with vanilla syrup. Goodburger makes a decent shake, but I’m looking for something great, it is nearly summer after all. -Matt

Well Matt, you may be disappointed to hear this, but I’ve never had a milkshake in Midtown.  I think my reasoning is this… if I drank milkshakes at lunchtime, I would weigh 10,000 pounds.  It’s just science.  ”No Milkshake Rule” = Zach is still alive.  So for this one, I’ll have to turn it over to readers.  Got a rec for Matt?  Post it in the comments below…

And as always, if you have a question, recommendation or news, email it to me at zach@midtownlunch.com

Double Free Food Alert: Golden Krust & Pret

After yesterdays “free cake” lameness we need a bonafide free food day!  Better yet- how about a double free food day!  Got two messages in the old Inbox with news of free lunches…

A New Golden Krust

Even though Golden Krust (on 8th Ave. btw. 39+40th) opened back in March, there is a sign at the restaurant advertising some kind of Grand Opening celebration taking place on Friday from 12-4pm, including a promise of free food. I didn’t stop in to ask what that will consist of… but the sign promised music, giveaways, and free food.

And if that wasn’t enough, there is new Pret a Manger opening up, also looking to give out some free food tomorrow.  The email about that, after the jump…     Read more »

Thursday Stroll Thru K-Town Yields Noodles, New Froyo and the DOH

Han Ah Reum

If you are a longtime reader of the site, you know my boundaries are well defined.  Central Park to the North, 8th Ave. to the West, 3rd Ave. to the East and… er… 32nd St. to the South.  Sure, *technically* it should be 34th, but then I wouldn’t get to eat in Koreatown “for work.”  Today, I found myself walking down 32nd St. btw. 5th & Broadway- past old Midtown Lunch standbys Woorijip and Mandoo Bar, the now closed Arang buffet, and places I have yet to write about, like E-mo.  I settled on the Han Ah Reum Asian Market, where they had noodles and brown sauce as one of their pre-made lunch box options.

$5.50 and you get a free soup… it was just ok, but doesn’t turn me off to trying more of Han Ah Reum’s lunchtime selection.  Next time I want noodles and brown sauce, I’ll get them from Shanghai Mong across the street.  More expensive, but I’m sure they’re better.

Also noticed a few other things… Read more »

At Lunch Now: Free Cake Edition


As promised, the Pillsbury Doughboy is indeed on Park Ave. btw 50+51st
handing out free pieces of cake as part of a “Campaign For a Sweeter
America.” He even has a secret service man protecting him (cute touch,
nameless marketing firm who was probably paid millions to come up with
this stupid idea.)

That’s the good news. The bad news… the “free cake” (and brownies) is
made from Pillsbury boxed cake mix, and more importantly, is not in the
shape of a giant map of the U.S. I still ate it though… (is being
addicted to free food promotions a valid disease?)

Shuttered Kati Roll & Le Croissant Cafe to Become…?

When places in Midtown close, I go through a wide range of emotions.  If it’s a place I like, it’s a bummer, if it’s a generic Midtown Deli, I don’t mind as much.  Either way, my feelings are quickly replaced with anticipation.  What’s moving in?  What’s next?  What are we gettin’?  Is Baja Fresh/In N Out/Panda Express finally going to answer my calls!?!  Unfortunately, there is pretty disappointing news on two empty lots in the Midtown Lunch’ing landscape…

Formerly Kati Roll

The space formerly occupied by Kati Roll on 46th btw. 6+7th (before they moved to 39th St.) is finally getting a tenant.  A “kitchen man” showed up yesterday, and it would appear as if the place is being gutted.  They were pretty hush hush about what was moving in, except to say it was a “reputable restaurant” with “American fare” switching spots from their current location in Midtown.  In other words… nothing new- and more importantly, definitely not a Midtown Lunch.

At least it’s food- sad news from the shuttered Le Croissant Shop, after the jump… Read more »

FREE CAKE ALERT: Today from 11-2pm

Gothamist broke the news late yesterday, and the details are confirmed on the Pillsbury Website… Today from 11am to 2pm on Park Ave. btw. 50+51st the Pillsbury Dough Boy will be giving out free slices of a gigantic cake shaped like the United States.  It’s part of some sort of charity tour organized by Pillsbury, and as silly as the whole thing sounds, when free cake is involved, I try not to ask too many questions.  [Pillsbury Website via Gothamist]

NO JOE IN GRAND CENTRAL: The new location of Joe and the Art of Coffee was supposed to open inside Grand Central today, but has been postponed until June 9th due to "unforeseen construction issues".  I'm not a serious coffee drinker (9 years in Boston makes me a DunkinD iced coffee kind of a guy), but I would imagine this is important news for those who are... [Midtown Lunch Inbox]

Shih Lee Serves Up Chinese Deliciousness in the far reaches of Midtown East

I was so excited by the description of Shih Lee offered up by Profiled: Midtown Luncher “Kayoko” I asked her to join the slowly growing list of Midtown Lunch contributors, to write about the good places to eat in the out of bounds reaches of Midtown East (she works on 1st Ave. over by the U.N. building.  Kayoko has her own most excellent blog http://umamimart.blogspot.com/ but has agreed to pop over here every once in awhile to make everyone in Midtown proper (and now Donwtown) a little jealous every once in awhile.

Shih Lee

To call where I work, off of 1st Ave near the UN building, “Out of Bounds” Midtown is an understatement. A TEN minute walk from Grand Central, just trying to navigate through the hoards of frantic workers and tourists in the station easily takes a few minutes every morning. Oh, the price we pay to work in the glorious east side of Manhattan’s Midtown.  And of course, as with all Midtown workerbees, there’s the great Midtown Lunch dilemma! My goal here is to try to make all you Midtown West and Downtown people wish you worked on the outskirts of the east side. WOOT! Let’s see if I could possibly top the bulgogi cart, or the banh mi jewelry shop (JEALOUS!) with Shih Lee, my personal favorite, at least one a week, East side lunch.  Read more »

Taj Delhi Chat Joins Newsstand Indian on 6th Ave.

More changes are in the works at the (former) newsstand on 6th Ave. btw. 37+38th.  Just to give you a quick recap…  Full blown walk-in Midtown newsstand decides to start selling Gujarati Indian food out of a steam table in the back of the store.  Food gets so popular, they decide to get rid of the magazines.  The Blimpie next door, which also served spanish food, closes; spanish food joins vegetarian Indian food inside the newsstand with no newspapers (along with a generic deli sandwich counter that had been there all along).

Which brings us to the  newest round of changes.  The sandwich counter is now gone, leaving a big gap between the vegetarian Gujarati food on the left, and the decidedly not vegetarian latin food on the right. Add to that the new ”Taj Delhi Chat”, which opened just to the right of the store’s front door, and you’ve got full fledged craziness!  Run by the sister of the guy who runs the Gujarati table in the back (which I consider to be some of the best Indian food in Midtown), the menu features over 30 different kinds of chaat (or small plates of Indian snacks), including various types of puri (fried, fluffy Indian bread) and pakodas (pakoras?).  $4.99 from Noon to 4pm, $6.99 after 4pm.

Check out the menu, plus a few other bits of news, after the jump… Read more »