Schnipper’s May Have the Best Mac & Cheese in Midtown

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It’s funny how different people can view a restaurant in completely different ways.  Take Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen, the newly opened self serve diner in the New York Times Building (on 8th Ave. & 41st) opened by the original founders of Hale & Hearty Soup.  When Josh Ozersky, Profiled Midtown Lunch’er, burger expert, and editor of the Feedbag, went to Schnipper’s he saw a burger operation trying to be The Shake Shack. When I went to Schnipper’s I saw a fast food/diner concept, where burgers were just a small part of the operation (unlike the Shack, where they are all of the operation.) In fact, I completely ignored the burgers- and why wouldn’t I?  I knew that any place that serves a burger thicker than 1/4 inch, but forces you to get it cooked medium, was not going to replace any of my favorite burgers in Midtown.  So why bother trying it? 

Instead I zeroed in on the real heart and soul of the Schnipper’s menu.  The mac and cheese, and the sloppy joe. There are plenty of people who will go to Schnipper’s for the burgers, or the salads, or the hot dog, or the chicken sandwich.  But the real Midtown Lunchers know there are better and cheaper versions of all of those things to be found in Midtown.  What you can’t find anywhere else is Mac & Joe- the mac and cheese topped sloppy joe that I’ve been wanting to try at Schnipper’s since the first day I saw their menu. After failing on my first visit, I finally got a chance to try this monstrosity… and I wasn’t disappointed.

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Yes!  The sloppy joe was pretty heavy on the grease, but tasted way better than my junior high school cafeteria version.  But surprisingly, it was completely overshadowed by the mac and cheese. People have been asking for Midtown mac & cheese recs since I started this site, and I could never point to one definitive version in the area… until now.  It was really good, and I finished every bite of the four cheese mess pretty easily.  (The incredibly rich sloppy joe was a little harder to polish off, and probably would have benefited from being served on bread, in sandwich form.)  I can’t be completely sure I was getting an untouched taste of the M&C, but since it was resting on top of the sloppy joe, I’m guessing the flavor wasn’t effected too much by the sloppy joe base.

The other two things I couldn’t ignore were the onion rings (love ‘em) and sweet potato fries (nice!).

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Both were super tasty, but $3.50 for six onion rings is outrageous, and $4 for that amount of sweet potato fries is not really worth it either (unless you’re filthy rich, or expensing your lunch.) In fact, aside from the burgers only coming out medium, the only other thing to really complain about at Schnipper’s is the price.  $7 for the mac and joe is also right on the border of being too expensive, but when you consider what you are getting- it’s not completely outrageous.  Although next time, I think I might just get all mac and cheese.

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen, 620 Eighth Avenue (at 41st),   (212) 921-2400

43 Comments

  • I can see why you would say I’m a shill however I am not.
    I design sportswear for a living and have worked in the area for a very long time. We have had crap to eat here for so long that I guess I’m just really excited about a good new place. I guess my excitement really showed in my post.

  • I’d be suspicious of anyone who uses the word “yummo” on this blog.

  • Anonymous = Shill

    And can’t stand that he/she got outed as such, no?

  • Ben – you have it slightly off.
    Anonymous = EPIC FAIL SHILL.
    A good shill could escape detection for more than 13 minutes, which this douche couldn’t even manage.

  • Looks like Mr P.Lusk has new employment.

  • The mac & joe is a rip off!!! How about meat sauce and two spoon fulls of mac… I couldn’t wait and now I’d never go back!

  • Curious. Why do people go back to read the comments that they just commented on 45mins ealier? …to see if anyone commented on their comment? or to see if anyone called them a shill?

  • Thanks for the nice comments Zach on our mac and cheese. My brother Jon has worked hard to get it right and we are both glad you enjoyed it. I also really appreciate that you see we are not a burger joint (although we Schnippers take our burgers very seriously) and put effort and quality ingredients in to all the foods we offer. I take issue with you that the best fish tacos are fried – my brother and I had them grilled all over California and loved them. Ours are made with fresh Mahi and I promise they are tasty. Plus we give 2 per order so it is not as expensive as you may think. Please come back and try them. Also, I know we may seem a bit expensive, especially for an every day lunch. Believe it or not, we approach our pricing by trying to charge as little as we can (not as much as we can) and still make a profit. High quality ingredients cost a lot and that is what we use. We are still refining the menu and hope to introduce more resonable items soon. But the only way we could lower the prices on our current items would be to reduce the quality which we are not willing to do. And compared to a full service restaurant, we are much cheaper. As for shilling, I promise neither Jon nor I wrote the nice comments above but I can’t swear it wasn’t a relative, friend, or employee. Over them I have no control! Thanks again for taking the time to come by. Hope to see you again soon.

  • Grilled fish tacos are nasty because there’s no bite to them. Grilled meat has some texture that you can sink your teeth into, fish not so much. Fried is the best way to go, as far as fish tacos are concerned because the crunchy crust is nicer to bite into…not too mention its just plain tastier friend.

  • Andrew, we’re waiting for the magic words “Midtown Luncher Discount”

  • ummmm, i’ve never been to a more immaculate restaurant ever ! the chopped market salad is my new fave lunch…
    the ingredients are so fresh…i was so impressed by the space…my kids LOVED the mac n cheese : ) overall rating – A+++

  • I went today…i saw the chef taking a shit in the sloppy joe mix.

    RE: above photo.

  • In that case, Andrew – better make it a bigger discount.

  • Many good Fish Tacos have grilled mahi. Southbeach in OB San Diego – many people’s idea of SD’s best – serves it like that and they are good. While fried may be better (as most things fried are), grilled is plenty good and just as “authentic.”

  • Shilling. Sigh.

    My estimation of a place goes down when restaurants try to plant good reviews. To restaurant owners reading this, take that into account before you do it, or at least find shills who don’t write such obviously fake reviews.

  • Bruces Burger will give you excessive amounts of sweet potato fries, but alas, no dipping sauce..

  • OK, I finally tried this place. Chicken Club was fresh & well constructed with above average ingredients. Onion rings were top-shelf. The mac & cheese… well, I must think differently than y’all. I thought it blew. Basically, it was mac swimming in cheese soup. The thimbleful of bread crumbs was alright though. But give me the custardy and/or moist & crumbly Supermac or Soul Fixings m&c any day over the Schnipper slop. Would go back to try some of the other sandwiches though, and a shake which sure looked good. Also, the place is spotless & the staff are nice & on the ball. Overall I’d say it is worth the somewhat high price all around.

  • @Wayne – I wonder if it’s a crapshoot… I’ve heard the soup comment before, and it is definitely soupy- but there was plenty of mac in mine. I wonder if you get more mac and less cheese depending on time of day, or where they are in the container, etc.

  • I went early so maybe it was made with the expectation that it would harden and crust over throughout the day?

    Even so, this stuff was looser than a san francisco sphincter

  • For those looking for some seriously cheap fish tacos that are fried and battered.. go to Taco night at the Wharf Bar. $1 and seriously “Yumm-O!”

    I second the Midtown Lunch Discount. Times are tough.

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