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

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    For the quality of the ingredients, Schnipper’s is perfectly reasonable. Unlimited refills of soft drinks is great. Just wish they had caffeine free Diet Coke and refills on coffee.

    Was with a friend who ordered a Black & White milkshake. I do not even like milkshakes much but loved this one. Great ingredients.

    Now that they serve burgers medium rare, they are equal to the best in the fast food category (try that at Five Guys).

    As to French Fries, Shake Shack does not even rate–FROZEN!. Come on. These were fresh here and really nicely fried (and I rarely order fries, except as a special treat and these were).

    No line and I could eat at a table outside (and they brought me my food without tipping). Definitely a winner.

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