Archive for April 2009

Fish & Chips Elevates 100% Halal Food Cart Above Its “Healthy” Counterpart


I’ve been wanting to try the “100% Halal Food” cart (on the SW corner of 54th & Park Ave.) for awhile now. Obviously it was the assortment of fried goods hovering above the standard halal chicken and lamb covered griddle that intrigued me, and after reading on Wined and Dined that it was owned by the same guy that runs 100% Halal & Healthy (on 55th btw. Park+Mad) I was sold.


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Free Bread Bowl Pasta Alert: Why not, right? "If interested: Dominos on 40th btw 7+8th is participating. Just got mine. They act like you need a coupon, but eventually cave when you don’t." Today only until 2p.m. Good luck freeloaders. I think I'm going to sit this one out.

2nd Crisp Location Will Open Today (Promise!): The owner of the falafel place Crisp emailed to say that they got gas yesterday, and will be opening the doors of their new location (on 40th btw. B'way+6th) today.  Now we're just waiting on Maoz...

You Can Make it to Porchetta and Back in an Hour

Photo courtesy of Robyn Lee from Serious Eats: New York

Oh man, do I love pork.  And there are fewer better pork options in the city than a sandwich from Porchetta in the East Village.  So, when I got this email yesterday from Lunch’er Jeff, you can imagine my excitement.

I needed to combat all this pork-bashing in re: to swing flu. Just had an incredible lunch at Porchetta. I’m certain you’ve heard of it… it’s a fatboy’s dream. Had the porchetta sandwich and even split the pork ragu sandwich. I won’t give you the full review, but seriously… heaven. Thing is, even though it’s out-of-bounds, a co-worker and i did it in exactly an hour. We work on 50th and Lex. Granted the 6 subway is on our corner. But most eastside midtowners are near a subway stop… so we just shuttled down to Astor stop, walked the 3 or so blocks east… and bam! Oh did i forget to mention… it’s gourmet pork and can be had for under $10!! (yup, you are so there, i know it).

Photo courtesy of Kathy YL Chan from A Passion for Food

I like the cut of your jib Jeff! Subway lunch to Shake Shack is nice… but in the end, you can get a decent burger in Midtown. A sandwich like the one at Porchetta on the other hand. Ain’t nothing like that in these parts. We all thank you for the report! You can read more about Porchetta on Serious Eats: New York.

Mendy’s Beats Out Soup Nazi in Battle of the Seinfeld Spin Offs


I hate silly franchises just as much as the next guy (Bubba Gump anybody?), but this one is kind of sad when you think about. The original “Soup Nazi”, who had an incredibly popular soup business in Hell’s Kitchen immortalized by Seinfeld, can’t seem to find success in Midtown with his “Original Soup Man” franchises. As branches have spread across the country, the Midtown locations seem all destined to close. The one on 48th btw. 5+6th is the latest to go, and will be replaced (ironically) by Mendy’s.

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Midtown Meatballs: The Feedbag's "Meatball Phantom" has released their list of the top ten meatballs in the city and two of them are in Midtown: Carmine's (on 44th & 7th Ave.) and Molyvos (on 7th Ave. & 55th Street). Both are way too expensive to be Midtown Lunches but if you've got cash, and love meatballs, I guess these are your best bets.

$1 Slice Alert: St. Marks’ 2 Bros. Pizza is Officially Open

2 Bros Pizza

As promised by Grub Street last week, 2 Bros. Pizza opened today in the just out of bounds Hell’s Kitchen location of 9th Ave. & 40th Street. I don’t know if I’d normally trek to 9th Ave. for $1 pizza (oh, who am I kidding of course I would). 2 Bros. Pizza is already a well know dollar-a-slice mainstay in the East Village, and clearly they are looking to challenge 99 Cent Fresh Pizza’s domination of Midtown (they have two locations, one just one blocks away on 9th Ave. and 41st.) If today is any indication, they’re going to do pretty well…

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WTF: Menchanko Tei on 55th is Still Closed

Hakata Ramen
Hakata Ramen from Menchako Tei. Posted to the ML Flickr Photo Pool by Pabo76

This is starting to get ridiculous.  The branch of Menchanko Tei (on 55th btw. 5+6th) that was closed by a fire in December is still “closed for renovations”.  They had originally said they were going to reopen a week after the fire- which makes this lengthy delay even that much more puzzling.  No word on what the hold up is or how long it is going to be closed for.  In the meantime, you’ll have to make do with Men Kui Tei (on 56th btw. 5+6th), Sapporo (on 49th btw. 6+7th), or the other branch of Menchanko Tei (on 45th btw. Lex+3rd).  Or you can just sit at your desk, staring longingly at the photo above until you cry.

Fire Closes Menchanko Tei & Five Guys
Original Menchanko Tei Post (10/23/06)

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Jamie”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. Meet Jamie, a future law student who works on the outskirts of Midtown, and thinks bacon, pigs in a blanket, and tequila qualifies as “healthy” food. She actually sent in two photos, and insisted I posted both because they “capture her essence.”  The before photo is below (I cropped out all her friends, but they’re about to start drinking). The after the drinks photo is after the jump.

Name: Jamie

Age: 23

Occupation: Non Profit Paralegal (with a food blog)

Where in Midtown do you Work?: 33rd & 10th (and you think you have it bad!)

Favorite Kind of Food: A pretty impossible question, I tried to break it down into categories. Jew: sour pickles, pastrami/corned beef sandwiches, matzah ball soup made by my mother. Healthy: wings, crispy duck skin, bacon, tequila shots, pizza, pigs n a blanket. Japanese: takoyaki, miso soup, katsu, hakata ramen. Korean: fried chicken, bulgogi, kalbi, kimchee. Chinese: dim sum, dumplings, congee. Malaysian: roti canai, beef randang. Vietnamese: pho, summer rolls. Spanish: arroz con pollo, sancocho, lechon asado, ceviche, arepas. Eastern European: borscht, pierogies, stuffed cabbage, lagman. Also, can’t forget French, Italian, Burmese, Thai, Greek, seafood, spinach, soup… this is harder than the LSAT, I’m spent. (I also enjoy a nice piece of cheese and a well plated dessert.)

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Half sour or dill pickles, super bitter things like grapefruit and arugula, and I do not love offal- I recently tried gizzard and wish I hadn’t.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: The special noodle with brown sauce (ja jang mein) at Hyo Dong Gak on 35th btw. 5+6th is probably the best midtown lunch dish around. It’s a huge portion of noodles with a thick brown sauce made with pork, onion, and zucchini for $8 that easily lasts me two lunches. I recently enjoyed curried goat roti at the Best of the West Deli on 34th and 9th. I always get the sweet and sour pork at Woorijip (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th), the eggplant at Pick a Pita (on 8th Ave. btw. 39+40th) is delicious, and I like the chorizo torta at Las Poblanitas (on 38th btw. 8+9th.)

The rest of Jamie’s answers, plus the “after the drinks” photo, are after the jump.

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See Danika in the Window of Roger Smith Hotel

And now a little something for those who enjoy using their lunchtime to stalk… If you enjoyed watching that video of Danika, from the Roger Smith Hotel, visiting Dainobu, the Japanese grocery store on 47th btw. Lex+3rd, than you should love this.  She will be co-hosting a cooking show, along with the chef from Lily’s Restaurant, in the window of the Lab Gallery (on 47th and Lex) at Noon and 6 p.m. every day, starting today, through the end of the week.  If you prefer to do your stalking in the privacy of your cubicle, the spectacle will be streamed on the web. Check out the live stream on the Roger Smith website (at 12:30 pm and 6pm) or after the jump.

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