2009 Readers’ Poll: Saddest Closing

It’s time for the 3rd Annual Midtown Lunch Readers’ Poll. Your nominations are in, and between now and the end of the year I’ll be asking all of you to vote for the best Midtown Lunches in a whole range of categories. You can only vote once per category (so choose wisely), and official results will be posted after the new year.

As expected 2009 was a tough one, and we lost a lot of great Midtown Lunches. The economy took down old standbys, and new wannabe chains that never got going… and while we’ll never get some of our favorite spots back, we can hope that 2010 will be kinder. Here are the nominations for Saddest Closing of the Year. (I feel like this should be accompanied by a video montage…)

Vote for which one you miss the most, after the jump.

Vote for your favorite Midtown Lunches in these other categories:
Best Indian Fast Food
Best Under $11 Indian Buffet
Best Latin Food
Best Fast Food Japanese
Best Mexican Food
Best Sweets
Best Fried Chicken
Best Sandwiches
Best Sit Down Chinese Food
Best Street Meat
Best Chinese Fast Food
Best Midtown Happy Hour
Best Latin Food
Best Coffee
Best Falafel
Best Fast Food Hamburger


  • The saddest ‘closing’ of the year 2009, was the closing down of the contract between the NYT and Frank Bruni.

    And it was only SAD in that it did not happen in 2008.

    Have a good 2010, Sam!

    Carry on, please.

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    i was only sad about empanada joes closing because i found out on my way to go there with my empanadas all chosen… all other days after that i was kind of glad they were closed because they weren’t very good and their combos were confusing

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    Yes, I too am glad when I don’t like the food of a place and the workers all lose their jobs and the place is forced to close.

    That makes me so happy. It serves those stupid workers right for making food I don’t like. And the way they confuse me with how they present their offerings! Enjoy unemployment, stupid Empanada Joe workers!

  • I voted for Cafe Zest, but I mean Cafe Zest when they were good, not crappy, corner-cutting Cafe Zest in the months of their steady decline and fall.

  • I’m glad norimaki is gone, overpriced tiny rolls. I hated the “real chef from tokyo” plastered on their menus. Their rolls dont resemble anything I’ve eaten in tokyo, or smaller cities in Japan.

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    hey look!
    someone agreed with me!


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    I’m actually sad about Sahara Grill closing. It was one of the first places my family and I ate at when we came to America 8 years ago. The server was friendly, always laughing and cracking jokes. Plus, the doner kebabs were excellent, very much like what we had when we visited Turkey ages ago.

    I hope they carry on somewhere else…

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