Madeline’s is a Signifant Upgrade from Six-0 Catering
I don’t know the exact history of Six-0 Catering on 39th btw. 5+6th, but it has been around for as long as I can recall. In fact, I still remember the first time I walked by the place, and was intrigued by its sign touting Mexican food- from an American looking catering place. It was a complete dump, and the day I walked in was practically empty- save for the one guy behind the counter who told me “we have no burritos today.” Since then, Six-0 has undergone a massive transformation (both physically and existentially.) Before they seemed like catering company, that happened to serve lunch food if you hit them on the right day. Now, under their new name Madeline’s, they seem like a Midtown lunch place that also happens to do catering. And I was kind of surprised at how good and cheap all the food was.
After that first burrito fail, I’ll admit I never made it back to Six-0. About a year later, Danny from Food in Mouth emailed me to ask me if I knew about the place. He had tried the burrito (when it was still Six-0), and from his description I didn’t feel like I needed to rush over and check it out. It took this comment from Lunch’er Stephanie two weeks ago to get me to finally check it out:
Have you tried Madeline’s (formerly 6-O) on 39th btwn 5th and 6th? They have delicious Burritos, good salads and a great selection of hot specials. Everything is inexpensive, definitely under $10 and the portions are a nice size.
And boy am I glad I did. They did a pretty amazing job of cleaning the place up, and as Madeline’s they are definitely putting more focus on their lunchtime offerings. They have hot food specials every day, and $6 gets you one entree (like roast chicken or meatloaf) plus two sides (string beans, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, etc.) The Mexican food is still being offered, with options like burritos, quesadillas, tacos, and fajitas ($4.25 to $7.95), all made fresh to order. Or if you’re willing to take one of the pre-made burritos wrapped in tin foil on the steam table, it’s only $5 (chicken or veggie.)
Not into the pre-made food, they have a menu of sandwiches, salads, wraps, and burgers- plus sliders ($6.50) and a “crabby patty” (crab caked sandwich for $6.95).
I went with the pre wrapped chicken burrito (what can I say, I’m a cheapo) which I really liked, but definitely isn’t for everybody. It’s made with Mexican yellow rice, which almost seems pre-mixed with the cheese and refried beans, making the inside very sticky and dense. It could also be partially because it is pre-made, but I have a feeling that is the way they turn out even if you order it fresh. It’s more like Taco Bell than Chipotle, but you can tell the ingredients are fresh, and it comes with multicolor tortillas chips plus a really delicious fresh red salsa. It’s not the best burrito you are ever going to eat, (or even what I would call “authentic”) but for $5 it would be really tough to complain.
Also had to get some hot food (mostly because I wanted to try the mac and cheese.) For $6 we got baked chicken, string beans, and (of course) the mac and cheese. It’s a really good amount of hot food for six bucks, and showcased one of the reasons a catering place is better than a generic Midtown deli. Catering places know how to make food that is going to sit out for an hour- but still be good. The chicken was moist, the string beans were not mushy and overcooked, and the mac and cheese was really tasty. Their version is more macaroni than cheese, but it had a distinct flavor that came from whatever cheese they used (it wasn’t the standard yellow American cheese.)
But the thing that I love the most about Madeline’s is the prices. This place could easily be another typical generic Midtown Lunch option… but by making everything just a little bit cheaper than it feels like it should be, it makes you want to go back again and eat your way through the menu.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Much nicer interior than before
- Everything is just slightly less expensive than it could or should be
- Good steam table food if you are in a hurry, or you can order things to be made fresh
- Good salsa
- I like my burritos a little dense… Taco Bell style
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- The type of food they offer is the same as most generic Midtown delis
- The Mexican food is more like Midtown deli Mexican than El Rey del Sabor Mexican
- It seems like the rice, beans and cheese are pre mixed, making the burritos too sticky and very dense
Madeline’s (formerly 6-0), 60 W. 39th Street (btw. 5+6th), 212-391-2500