Behold! Five Star Grill’s Israeli/Chinese Stir Fry Sandwich
Thanks to Lunch’er Tom for sending in this great report…
Across the street from Taam Tov, and one floor down from El Rincon Del Sabor, there’s a new Glatt Kosher Uzbek restaurant on 47th (in the space where Dougie’s BBQ used to be.) It’s $2 cheaper than its neighbor, the staff outnumbers the patrons, and the kicker? Mukpatz!
The regular menu is a carbon copy of Taam Tov’s and anything you order will look and taste exactly the same. What brought me in, apart from the lower prices, is that bizarre fusion of Israeli and Chinese called Mukpatz.
Really, it’s just an Israeli version of Chinese stir fry that ends up being pretty similar to the cornstarch-ed chicken and peppers in brown sauce you’d find at any bulletproof Chinese place. The difference with the Americanized version is that this is much more savory than sweet. And they put it on a baguette.
The sandwich won’t blow your mind with its amazing balance of flavors, top-quality bread, or any of that other crap. It’s a friggin’ stir fry hoagie. But if you’re hungry, and maybe just a little hungover, it’s kind of the best thing ever. At $7.50 with a side of fries, it’s not all that pricey either.
If you insist on getting something ‘normal’, they have Beef/Chicken/Lamb Kebab platters ($10), Uzbek Pilaf ($9), and the standby of Russian grandmothers everywhere, Golubtsy ($8.50). They’ve printed a couple different versions of the menu with prices varying by +/- 50 cents and some of the Russian names replaced with English ones. E.g. Mukpatz becomes “Chicken Sandwich”. Golubtsy becomes “Stuffed Cabbage”, and so on.
The restaurant itself is a small, overlit room across from one of the many jewelry repair and gold wholesalers that occupy the building. It doesn’t have a sign, or a bathroom, or more than one or two sit down customers at a time. If you’re by yourself you can eavesdrop on some interesting conversations (“Have some Diet Coke, no calories so you won’t get fat!” – said to the young, Chinese/Uyghur? waitress). To some this can be a little creepy, so you might want to get your Bakhsh to go.
Five Star Grill, 74 West 47th St (btw. 5th and 6th Ave) 3rd Floor