Archive for July 2009

Midtown Links (The “Why Are We Here Again?” Edition)

Apparently my kid doesn’t believe in having a go-to lunch

  • Curry Hill is out of bounds, but this $10 all you can eat kebab deal sounds pretty sweet [Grub Street]
  • Cucina & Co. in Rock Center now has whoopie pies [Blondie and Brownie]
  • Downtown Lunch fave closed for operating without a permit [Grub Street]
  • Speaking of Downtown, Yvo revisits the Fried Chicken Cart she first wrote about on ML [Feisty Foodie]
  • I get “Grilled” by A Hamburger Today [AHT]

Midtown Happy Hour: Bar Nine Has Got Good Tots, and A Great Jukebox

If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so I thought maybe it was time to introduce a happy hour column to the site. Every week, our Happy Hour Correspondent “Mamacita” will post about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap.

Bar Nine

A piece of advice: If you plan on a happy hour excursion to Bar Nine do so when the weather is nice. We did and found a very pleasant open storefront cradled by second hand couches that was perfect for al fresco boozing or perhaps while reading a book and enjoying a bite to eat, much like you’d expect at a café.

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Schnipper’s Now Cooks Burgers to Order: The owner of Schnipper's confirmed in the comments that they've changed their cooking policy: "Hi Midtownlunchers. We at Schnipper’s have been cooking burgers to any temperature for months now. So if you like it bloody rare or medium well, we got you covered." There was no answer to the green chili controversy though...

SVP Wants to Help You Quit Your Job and Open A Street Cart

It seems like every day a new street vendor pops up, many of them leaving behind careers in other industries to do so (Cupcake Stop I’m looking in your general direction.) And with this new wave of interest Midtown Lunch has gotten its fair share of emails and comments from aspiring entrepreneurs asking for advice… but I’m sure it pales in comparison to the number of phone calls that the Street Vendor Project gets! (The Vendy Awards might be their biggest attention grabber, but helping vendors is their actual reason for being.)

Well the SVP has responded to the current demand for info by offering a new class for people who might be looking to leave their job for a career as a street vendor. According to the listing it will conduct the class four times a year and discuss topics such as:

1) How to get a license, permit, cart, and spot.
2) Laws, rules, and regulations you need to know.
3) How to deal with police, store owners, and other vendors.

The first class is being offered Sunday, August 16th from 6-8pm. It costs $150, and is limited to 12 people. Get more information, or sign up here on

Lunch’er Jeff Gives a Baja Fresh Primer for First Timers


Unlike most normal Midtown Lunchers, I don’t usually eat at a place I’ve already eaten at, and order the same thing I’ve already tried (it’s a hazard of the job.) But I do have a few go-to lunches that I can’t help but eat every once in awhile. The sauteed udon noodles with pork from Hing Won, and the fake shrimp from Cafe Duke come to mind. Added to that list yesterday was Baja Fresh. What can I say? The Baja Chicken Burrito was my go-to lunch when I lived in LA (along with Panda Express), why should things be different here?

So yesterday, when a friend and I were looking for a place to eat near his office- I couldn’t help myself but suggest the Baja Fresh (on Lex btw. 45+46th). And it was partially spurred on by a comment posted to the site yesterday by Lunch’er Jeff. It wasn’t really applicable to me (I always order the baja chicken burrito), but I took a liking to his obsessive and meticulous examination of Baja Fresh from a first timers perspective.

Check it out after the jump…

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Rock Center Greenmarket is Now Open


The annual summertime Rock Center Greenmarket opened for business on Wednesday.  It’s located on Rockefeller Plaza between 50th and 51st and features all sorts of fresh fruit, produce, bread, and cheese.  Plus Blondie and Brownie are reporting that Katchkie Farms (the same farm that is in at the Port Authority Greenmarket on Thursdays) will be at Rock Center every Friday (i.e. today) selling sandwiches and lasagna (?!?)  The Rock Center Greenmarket will run every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8am to 6pm through September 4th.

A Look at the Rock Center Greenmarket from Years Past

Workers Stage Protest Against Chinese Govt. Owned Wu Liang Ye


I don’t know what I’m more surprised about… that Wu Liang Ye might be paying their employees slave wages, or that the popular Szechuan restaurant is owned by the Chinese government?!? Either way, workers staged a protest yesterday in front of the Wu Liang Ye on 39th & Lexington handing out flyers that condemned the restaurant for paying their workers as little as $1.10 an hour, and stealing credit card tips. They also claim that after a number of workers filed a lawsuit against Wu Liang Ye last year, the company retaliated by firing “the most vocal workers and even assaulted workers for speaking out.”

The entire flyer, including a list of demands from the protesters, is after the jump…

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In the ML Forums: Here's what lunchers are talking about in the forums right now...

  • As a show of support a ML happy hour is being organized at Rudy's [Connections]
  • The two best pastrami burgers in Midtown are at Ben's and Mr. Broadway [Midtown Eating]
  • The first official Downtown Lunch sighting of Hiyashi Chuka [Eating Outside Midtown]
  • The "Cluck Truck" sounds like my kind of cart [Miscellaneous]

Red Mango Now Open in Rock Center

Red Mango Now Open in Rock Center

I don’t know if any amount of money could get me to willingly enter the NBC Experience store inside 30 Rock, but froyo fans will be excited for this news. Red Mango has opened inside the small cafe on the second floor. So now you have two options for your Midtown Red Mango fix. Walk to the location on 8th Ave and 45th, or fight your way through hordes of tourists waiting in line for the NBC Studio Tour. Good luck and Godspeed. (Thanks to Lunch’er Lila for the tip.)

Schnipper’s Green Chile Cheeseburger: $9 is a bit pricey for my tastes, but the Green Chile Cheeseburger from Schnipper's Quality Kitchen (on 41st & 8th) that Always Hungry wrote about this week looks pretty damn tasty. Plus from the looks of the photo, they might have done away with the "all burgers are cooked medium" thing. (Unless the pink in the middle is just special treatment for reporters...)