At Lunch Now: Boulud Says “Shake Shack Has Nothing On My Burger!”

The first reports are pouring in from NBC’s fancy food truck promotion today. You had to win your way in… and it looks like a lot of Midtown Lunchers took advantage. Blondie and Brownie are on line right now at the Boulud Truck in Midtown (on 48th btw. 5+6th) and they will be sending live reports from the scene (apparently he is serving burgers!), but to tie you over here’s a report sent in by Lunch’er Jill from the Liebrandt truck, which was parked from 10-Noon in the Flatiron District.

Due to my strange talent for being able to tell the location of pictures taken around NYC, we landed a spot on the fancy food truck express today. An email told us to go down to the Flat Iron district, where Paul Liebrandt was going to be serving fish and chips. Yum! I was excited! Exclusivity in New York is a very heady thing, and I was all excited that we didn’t get one of those obnoxious ACCESS DENIED emails. But, honestly, leaving work for lunch at 10:30 and spending $4.50 for the trip made me hope that the food was going to be worth it. ACCESS GRANTED read the little card we were handed at the start of the line. Then they checked our name, our password, and stamped our hand. First of all, it seemed like there were many more NBC staff standing around the cart then there were lucky winners. We grabbed a little cone of food and barely walked four steps before we were stopped by a camera crew and interviewed about the experience. Everyone, the chef, the staff, the camera crew, could not have been nicer. But we were served one tiny fish croquette type thing and a few chips. A magnificent, delectable fish and chips combination, but it was practically a thimbleful. The fact that they called this a lunch was very misleading.

Check out the cone, plus live reports from Midtown, after the jump…

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It wasn’t even cocktail party food. It was a taste. On the subway ride back uptown I told my husband “This was a publicity stunt gone awry.” He said, “Well, so was the Hindenberg but at least no one at the food cart said ‘Oh, the humanity.’” Then we started laughing because we remembered, at one point wind blew down an entire rack of the fish and chip cones that scattered all over the sidewalk, and my husband saw the mess and said “Oh, the humanity.” When I arrived back in midtown I went to the Jamaican Dutchy and got a real lunch.

It seems like Blondie and Brownie are having a slightly better time on 48th.

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12:15 – The line is already stretched down to Pronto Pizza, but you get a choice of three things: burger, sausage, or croque.

burger
Photo courtesy of Aesis from Flavorize

12:30pm- From Lunch’er Evienyc – “I had the Frenchie Burger & my friend had the lamb sausage… both delicious & the dessert was to die for!! So completely awesome! And Daniel is so nice!” It’s starting to look like the Flatiron District got screwed…

12:55pm – The line moved really fast, and is almost finished. Boulud is in good spirits and wearing a shirt that says “Eat My Sausage”. Awesome.

12:57pm – “Shake Shack has nothing on my burger!” – Boulud

sausage

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1:05pm – Lamb sausage delicious. Burger cooked perfectly if you like it rare (and topped with pork belly!) Croque monsieur… one of the best we’ve ever had. I don’t see how Ducasse and White are going to top this!

ducasse

3:00pm – Lunch’er “Adam Prato” just sent in this report from the 2-4pm truck parked on B’way & 13th: “I got a pass for the event from StreetMeasOnsumer3000 for the 2pm slot. I wasn’t told the location so I assumed it was on 48th st but it was on Broadway and 13th, so I wound up taking a cab there and a train back ($11.50) for a free lunch :) Anyway the 2pm chef turned out to be Ducasse. The food was good. On the menu was tarte flambe, charcuterie, and a merengue. Unfortunately the food was cold and didn’t stand a chance with today’s weather, and I question the rationale of the organizers for scheduling a street food event in mid-winter. Cold sausage doesn’t win me as a fan of his work, but I don’t blame him. The portion was decent, generous considering the whole meal. Next time they really ought to do this in the spring or
autumn.”

ducasse2

52 Comments

  • I got an email from NBC at 9am this morning with this cryptic stuff:

    “You have been granted access to today’s lunch.
    Bring your codeword to 48th St, between 5th and 6th Ave from 12-2pm.
    You will be denied access if your codeword doesn’t match.”

    I don’t have a code word… Dis I miss something.

  • sounds like the noon truck was a hit, fingers crossed for the 4pm one!

    http://midtownlunch.com/2010/02/08/do-i-smell-a-pork-belly-topped-burger/#comments

  • Check the forums Ireland, seems like it’s either “codeword” or you might still get in as long as you print everything out

  • When you filled out your name and info there was a codeword box on the site… pretty confusing. If you didn’t type one in, I’m guessing your codeword is “blank”

    :-)

  • $4.50 for a fish and a chip? LAME.

  • maybe mr boulud doesn’t understand what ‘eat my sausage’ means in english.
    anyway, abit too far from me and the bread doesn’t look so good from the picture so i will pass.

  • Steve, the $4.50 was for the subway ride they took. The food is free.

  • The burger was okay IMO. The dessert was much better! It left us wanting more food though. Oh well.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Any rumors about who’s going to be at the 4-6 slot (White or Ducasse)?

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    My husband and I were at the Boulud truck right when it opened, and they weren’t serving dessert. Bummer! We had the sausage and the croque monsieur and both were tasty but really small. It was more of a snack than a lunch, but hey, it was free, and Chef Boulud was handing out the lunches himself so it was definitely an experience!

  • the servings were small, but the flavors were BIG. we were lucky to snag free croque monsieurs as an appetizer, on top of our hamburgers, and scored double portions of dessert. going later in the 2 hour window apparently works in one’s favor! some people near us got truffled eggs with their croque monsieur.

    daniel boulud could not be a genuinely nicer, good-spirited guy. this was an awesome experience! Now I need to know where that NBC photographer will post the pics.

  • Chef White is the 4pm slot, confirmed!

    • User has not uploaded an avatar

      Thanks much.

      Let’s see how good this food is. I’ve been to Convivio on someone else’s tab. I have high expectations for White.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Silly me. I thought going to a cart was about getting some food, not being a stand-in herded through a publicity shot.

    I expect to see many more examples of those at the top of the restaurant food-chain strip mining the street food zeitgeist while doing exactly zero of the hard work the real vendors do, and giving back exactly zero to the street vendors themselves, the people whose hard work has made this kind of thing possible.

    The day I see Bouloud give a hefty donation to the Street Vendor Initiative, or welcome a burger cart outside his restaurant, is the day I give him any street cred at all. When he comes to street food, he’s a dilettante and a poser.

    Cart vendors should be covered in sweat and grease, not PR twits. Bah.

  • Crumbhunter = Brownie? CrumbHunter = Blondie?

  • Mike – I really doubt Boulud, an established restaurateur, cares about “street cred”. On the other side of the spectrum, no street vendor is out there for the “sweat and grease”. They’re all businesspeople, like Boulud, trying to make it in the food industry. Not one street vendor would turn down publicity, nor would they be above it once they made it big.

    Fred – CrumbHunter = CrumbHunter. I’m not a blogger.

  • I was at the Ducaisse site. I feel cheated after seeing the Boulud offering. Cold hotdogs and sauerkraut, feh.

    • Boulud was alright. I didn’t get anything like Crumb since we got there earlier but it was the 1/2 Frenchie burger and parfait (which we didn’t get but had to turn back to ask for).

      Oh man, my ticket did state the Broadway & 13th St. location for 2-4pm. Sorry to hear about the 11.50 fare for the free lunch. Damn.

      • a) Replies to comments? iiiinteresting.
        b) Yes, it did say it. I didn’t notice it. I’m retarded.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I was at the Paul Liebrandt truck on 23rd street around 11:15. I had a code, but they didn’t even ask for it. Apparently not many people showed up for this stop, so they stopped asking for the code and just let you get the food.
    The fish and chips were good and it was fun, but the other trucks, especially Boulud, look like they were better.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Adam, I too was at the Ducasse truck. Mine was warm. And the tart was tasty. The merengue was pretty fantastic (I’m not usually a merengue fan). Much bigger than this morning’s “fish ball and chip” (I was a guest at that one), but still nowhere near as big as Boulud’s looked.

    I also have LOCALS ONLY now stamped on my hand.

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