Flatiron Lunch: An Early Look at the Newly Open FoodParc
It seems like there’s a new, big-deal opening in Flatiron-bounds every week these days. If Eataly and Hill Country Chicken weren’t enough to occupy lunchers for the next several weeks, FoodParc brings another huge selection into our midst. The Jeffrey Chodorow-owned venture in the Eventi Hotel was timed perfectly for the high-end food court trend (something I’ve been hoping for since my trip to San Francisco a few months ago).
There are four stands here right now, although more are in the plans once the open park space in the back opens. For now, your options are The Press, a coffee bar that sells breakfast snacks and smoothies; Fornetti, an Italian stand selling pastas, meats and other toppings on flatbreads. In the back, 3Bs, a burger stand and Red Farm, a Chinese dim sum stand.
The tech gimmick of the place is something that would be very cool to see elsewhere. Customers can order at each particular stand or they can go to any of a dozen touchscreen stations that let you order from any of the stations. This defuses the lines that might otherwise accumulate at any given stand and makes it a lot easier to get through the ordering process quickly.
The downside is that the faster people can order, the longer the wait might be when it gets jammed with people. Most orders take about 5-10 minutes to show up when everything is running smoothly, but a rush could potentially push that wait into Korean Fried Chicken territory.
Whatever you order, you get a number that’s put up on these displays around the space and let’s you know when you’re order is ready.
Right up front, Fornetti focuses on flatbreads, wrapping sandwiches or as a base for other dishes. It’s an interesting idea, although pasta on bread seems like a carb mountain I don’t think I could handle. Really though, with all the bacon madness that’s going on in the back, it’s not like there aren’t many, many other options that are less than healthy.
Really though, how could I be mad at a Chicken mozzarella ‘salad’ that looks like this.
3Bs specializes in bacon, burgers and beer, which is just about the best combination I’ve heard of in a while. I passed on the beer against my better judgment, but did get to see some of the other options.
The burgers should look pretty familiar at this point. 5 oz. patties topped with fresh veggies and wrapped in a soft chewy potato roll make for a great burger, which is why it’s what everyone is doing these days. The bite or two I had aren’t enough for me to judge whether it compares with Shake Shack or even Fresh n Fast, but it was very good.
The menu goes beyond burgers, though. The pastrami bacon reuben, on toasted pumpernickel hit the spot. And though it may not jam in the pastrami that you might find elsewhere, for $8.95 it’s definitely a value.
Taking the bacon theme further, they even serve bacon snacks – thick strips of bacon crusted in spices and served with a cherry barbecue dipping sauce and offer cheddar & bacon-filled hush puppies.
Finally, Red Farms is a dim sum stand serving small and medium Chinese dishes like the shrimp, watercress and bacon dumplings, above ($5.50), the Benton’s bacon egg rolls ($2.95), and the crispy chicken and shrimp pops, below ($4.95).
These aren’t cheap for three ‘pops,’ but they are awesome nonetheless. They’re made from deboned chicken wings that are wrapped around shrimp, then fried crispy. No joke. They also have one of my favorite snacks from Chinatown Brasserie, lamb potstickers. These are a bit smaller than I remember, but for $5.50, they’re still a pretty good deal and better than any other Chinese you’ll find nearby, that’s for certain.
If you lunch requires some sort of bread, you can get a bun filled with short ribs, above ($4.50) or duck ($4.95).
The seating is still fancified and serves as a dining area for the guests of the hotel upstairs. For all the space they take up, it doesn’t accommodate too many people. Word is that this will change soon and the white tablecloths will be replaced with more lunch-friendly seating of some sort.
Given that they’ve only been open for a couple days, I’m not super-comfortable giving them the full +/-, especially given how many options there are to try and how many more are apparently coming. That said, the short version would be that FoodParc offers a shiny, fancy setting with fancy prices to match- based on amount of food for the dollar. But it also has plenty of cheap options as well, that could occupy a Midtown Lunch’er for weeks.
FoodParc, 851 6th Ave. (on 30th btw. 6+7th) 866-996-8396