Flatiron Lunch: No. 7 Sub in the Ace Hotel Gets the ML Looksee
Now that Downtown has its very own section of the site, what are we going to post on Fridays at 10am? Answer… how about a new column devoted to those lunches just south of the ML boundaries. Please give a warm welcome to Jason Lam from the blog Me So Hungry. Every Friday at 10am he’ll post about lunches in Murray Hill south, Grammercy, Flatiron, and everything in between… or as we’ll call it from now on: Flatiron Lunch.
The early media blitz for the new No. 7 Sub shop at the Ace Hotel did it’s job, so much so that that they ran out of bread during their soft opening. Yesterday was their official “opening day” and I checked in to find out what every Midtown Luncher wants to know (at least of those of us who work around there) are these fancy, hipster hotel lobby subs worth the $9 price tag and the hype.
This new sub shop comes from the owners of the popular No. 7 restaurant in Fort Greene. According to Thrillist, one of the chefs worked at a Subway once, but this place is no subway. There’s no building your own sandwich (and there is no $5 sandwich either!) Instead you’re left to choose from their own fancy sandwich creations, designed and tested to be better than anything I could think of. For example: Ceviche (Cucumber, Red Onion, Avocado, Fried Hominy, Leche de Tigre Mayo), Roast Beef (Romaine, Pickled Blueberries, Doenjang, Smoked Gouda), Braised Lamb (Yogurt, Texas Caviar, Romaine, Pappadam). Like I said, not your ordinary sub shop here.
On my opening day visit, there was a line out the door and people packed inside waiting for their food. I was too claustrophobic to stand shoulder to shoulder in such a small space, so I waited outside after ordering. My lunch buddy and I waited a total of 25 minutes (20 of that was after ordering) and the line got even longer after that. It’s not Shake Shack wait times, but still not ideal for most office people who only have an hour for lunch. I’m assuming lines will die down once they buzz wears off. By the way, there’s no real space to eat inside, especially with the crowd. However, beautiful weather approaches and it’s not too far from Madison Square Park.
(small sandwich or giant hand?)
My first impression: the sub looks tiny. One half doesn’t seem much bigger than my computer mouse (length & width and 1.6x the thickness). Luckily it tasted good. The Braised Lamb with shredded tender meat was the favorite of the two we ordered. The Turkey Cubano had a layer of some kind of mashed up pâté-like meat with what tasted like a wine or alcohol zing to it. Fancy sandwiches they are, yet still greasy and full of flavor. Oh and my last impression: the sub is tiny.
(mashed/mushed up meat on the Turkey Cubano)
After discussing with my friends and co-workers who’ve eaten here this week, the worthiness of their $9 (around $10 after tax) sub is debatable. They say it’s tasty, but small and possibly overpriced. I think we’ve gotten so used to the $5 foot-longs that we’ve forgotten how to differentiate the value of a sub and the value of quality food. Plus $9 really isn’t that much to gripe about in the big city. Haven’t I bitched about a few things that cost $9 in my previous posts (Enchilada at Great Burrito, Katsu Curry at Tebaya)… and those were at divey spots. As far as the size of the No. 7 sub, you won’t get stuffed, but it’s enough to be satisfied. Anyway, you trying to be a fatso?
So do I think No. 7 Sub is worth it? Yes. Other than having no patience for lines or waiting, the sandwich is tasty enough. As for the value, I like to think I’m a fortunate person to be working in Manhattan and can afford to spend a little extra on lunch… at least once in a while. Live your life. Experience things you want. Otherwise you might die tomorrow without ever knowing what a $9 sub is like… or it’ll just end up on your bucket list.
THE + (What people who like this place would say)
- I like tasty quality food
- I’m addicted to Stumptown Coffee, but didn’t have a close lunch to go with it
- I’m a foodie and all into the flavor of the week restaurant
- I like to wait in long lines and in packed crowds (attempt at sarcasm… with issues like mine, sometimes you move lunch to after 3)
THE – (What people who don’t like this place would say)
- I want huge portions
- I don’t have the patience to wait around for my food (I’m not sure why it takes so long to make a sandwich. Maybe to melt the cheese?)
- There are subs that cost more than $5? You crazy
No. 7 Sub, 1188 Broadway (btwn 28th & 29th St) New York, NY 10001