Airing of Grievances: Flavors Salad (Again), AQ Kafe Takeout, and Spitting at the Indian Newsstand

I try my best not to be too negative on this site, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to vent. Every once in awhile I’ll share some of the more angry useful emails I get in a post called “Airing of Grievances”. (If the Eater Complaints Dept. would like royalties, I’ll be happy to pay up…)


First up is Flavors, the generic deli in the passageway at the bottom of the Fox News Building (on 47th btw. 6+7th).  It looks like they’ve responded to the first grievance that was aired against them by shrinking the size of the plastic containers their salads come in.  Clearly, though, not everybody is happy about it.

“We all just trekked over to Flavors over on 47th as we normally do and found they reduced the salad bowl sizes to half the size of what we’re used to. They’re normally pretty awesome salads. Kind of like a bait and switch that radio stations do when they launch. They play all good music and then voila, one day it’s all commercials once they have their loyal listener base. All good, but prices didn’t reduce. So we decided to trek elsewhere, no biggy, but on the way out I asked the manager why they have decided to go with salad bowls half the size of the original ones. Their answer – Corporate says it’s to reduce our carbon footprint, but it still holds the same amount. We all failed to see how a bowl visually half the size could hold the same amount. Wish your team could have been there – priceless”

First people complain that you don’t fill your salad containers all the way up.  Then you shrink the container to fit the salad, and people complain about that.  Even I have a bit of sympathy for you on this one.  Clearly you can’t win Flavors. Maybe you should just give up on the whole generic deli thing and become a… I don’t know… Chinese buffet? (Just a thought…)

Lunch’er Winston had this complaint about AQ Kafe, on Broadway btw. 57+58th:

“I stopped by last week and asked for the smorgasbord and they wouldn’t let me order it to go. I was told it was available only for sit-in only. Needless to say I was pissed and took my business elsewhere.”

That is kind of weird… in this economy you would think they’d be happy to take whatever business they could get. Certainly not a horrible injustice, but I can see how you’d be annoyed.  Just think, it could have been worse- they could have let you take the smorgasbord to go, and spit in the bag.

“It depresses me to report that there is a spitting issue at Khodiar Lunch (on 6th Ave. btw. 37+38th). I was picking up some chili chicken, and when the guy came out of the back with the bread, he loosed a long stream of what looked like tobacco juice into an open bag that was sitting on the floor behind the counter. I was crestfallen, this and Go-Go Curry are weekly spots for me. I got my money back, but there was no outrage on the part of the cashier (the spitter was one of the guys who go in and out of the back) , I had a feeling there wouldn’t be any repercussions at all. I know its a delicate thing to report something like this, but I thought M-lunchers deserved to know. It was disgusting. -Luncher Asher”

That is unfortunate.  I’m guessing the bag was just garbage (I don’t think they do many call in take out orders at the Indian newsstand), but even so.  That is pretty gross.  This place could definitely be on the downslide… the last time I went (with the Serious Eats: New York crew) the chaat was fine, but the vegetarian food- which I used to think was the best Indian food in Midtown- was terrible.  I mean, seriously bad.  Bland, not spicy at all… a complete 180 from the first 3 times I ate there. And I’m not the only one who has noticed:

“The quality (of the vegetarian food at least) has gone WAAAY down. I used to really love this place. I went to it several times a week. But the food is really crappy now. I think they got new management — the same guys are working there, but there are new people who look like the new bosses. The food is now tasteless. Maybe they decided to tone down the spicyness to appeal to a larger audience? Maybe they fired the old cook? Whatever happened, the quality is not the same. As far as I’m concerned, this is the worst news in Midtown lunching in 2009. -Lunch’er ‘imansingh’”

Agreed. These guys better get their act together, or else this is going to be a huge loss for Midtown Lunch’ing.


  • sounds like homie was chewing on some of the spicy-paan-type stuff, or maybe some betel nut-type thing. seen the guy at the front (the mini lotto stand/phone card place) chewing them. the sweet paan from that place? really really bad, FYI.

  • Hahaha. Man, I been meaning to grab chat again soon too, despite my indian friend thinking its worst chat she’s ever had and their veg dishes being horrendous. Oh well.

    LOL on the Flavors salad bowl holding the same amount despite the size. What’s up with that? Were the old bowls holding mostly air?

  • This chaat place has been one of my favorite lunch spots since I found it on Midtown Lunch, so I got worried when I saw it listed under grievances.

    Went there today for lunch for the chaat. It was still as good as ever (even a little spicier than normal). I will admit that the regular Indian vegetarian food looked pretty bad (I didn’t try it), but the chaat is still worth going for.

    I can’t really vouch for the spitting incident, but I’ve had lunch at this place countless times in the past year, and never noticed anything that would be of concern, so I hope it’s a one time incident.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.