Archive for November 2011

Contributor Stalking (The “Brunch, Beer and BBQ” Edition)

Squid ink pasta at Cicciolina

Squid ink pasta at Cicciolina in Cuzco, Peru. Shot by Clay.

Brownie found an under $10 brunch bargain at Le Paddock in Windsor Terrace, Blondie hosted a holiday cookie exchange for charity, Brian took his beer tour to the Brazen Head, Donny headed to Williamsburg for lunch at Diner, Rachel got into the cooler weather with some homemade chili, Chris made the trip to Long Island City for the Kansas City-style barbecue at John Brown’s Smokehouse and I had handmade squid ink pasta at Cicciolina in Cuzco, Peru.

Elsewhere in the ML universe… Zach found that the best Korean soup in Los Angeles might not be in Koreatown, Andrea tried the stewed chicken from Veronica’s Kitchen downtown and Jamie is declares that she expects more loco in her tacos than Philly’s Taco Loco truck provides.

Flex Donuts’ Pop Up Pecan Pie Doughnut Lures Me Back to Zocalo

Flex Donuts
Two weeks ago, Chef Zac Young and crew started their Flex Donuts Pop-Up at Zócalo in Grand Central Terminal again! Knowing that during the last pop-up, a little less than a year ago, I developed a slight addiction, I tried to stay away this time. That didn’t work once I saw that they are serving up specialty cake doughnuts along with the regular filled yeast doughnuts. One thing’s for sure, they are not playing around this time! So, I stopped by and picked up the pecan pie and salted caramel.

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Bob & Jo’s Spicy Chicken Revisited

The Bob & Jo truck has been in Midtown a lot lately. Earlier this week, I found myself happily ordering at their window after unsuccessfully trying to solve the Vietnamese food mystery at Taz. Having enjoyed the chicken rice platter in the past, I went with the chicken baguette sandwich. The chicken was even better than last time, because this time, it WAS hot and spicy, as promised on the menu. The heat was tempered by the condiments in the sandwich. Served in a crispy baguette and topped with sweet and sour radish and carrot kimchi, the sammie was an absolutely delightful lunch.

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Cer Te’s ‘Duck Duck Jus’ Extended Into December

Here’s some good news for those of you who have been enjoying Cer Te’s November special. Cer Te tweeted this morning that they’re are extending the sandwich into December, “by popular demand.” Cer Te has a history of creating amazing duck sandwiches, although earlier this month, Anna wasn’t convinced, posting that the Duck Duck Jus “has potential, but it’s it’s not quite there yet.” Has anyone tried the mighty duck sammie since? I’m curious if it they made any improvements during the month.

A Brief History of Street Vending in New York City

In light of the recent difficulties plaguing food trucks in New York City, we thought it might be useful to take a look back at the history of vending in NYC. Our man Brian Hoffman gives street food tours for Urban Oyster both in Midtown and the Financial District, so we asked him to pull from his extensive research on past and present vendor regulations to give us some perspective on the current scene.

Photo Courtesy of Detroit Publishing, Library of Congress, Circa 1900

Yesterday we linked to a Crain’s report that has revenue from some food trucks down a whopping 70%, a fact that undoubtedly has to do with food truck owners struggling with unclear laws, a barrage of parking tickets, and other difficulties that make operating their small businesses much more difficult than it should be. Yet this is nothing new, just the latest batch of regulations and restrictions street vendors have had to overcome for centuries.

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60% off L’Ybane: The usually out of ML price range French-Mediterranean resturant L'Ybane, near Times Square, is within reach today on kgb deals, offering $10 for $25 of food, lunchtime only. The menu consists of small plates, sandwiches, and entrees, most of which seem to be under $25. If you've been here, let us know in the comments if it's a good deal!

ML Forums: Bibimbap Replacement; Holiday Cheer

Food Truck Revenues Are Down 70%: Crain's has a sad but refreshingly honest bit of reporting about food trucks on their website this week. The current food truck climate in NYC has seen revenue at some trucks down almost 70% as the New York Food Truck Association has been working on proposals with the city to help find a viable solution. Hopefully this will help limit the number of new trucks hitting the scene, something that has to happen for the current crop of trucks to survive.

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Peg”

Every Tuesday we turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. This week it’s Peg, a quantitative analyst (!?) whose birthday is tomorrow!

Name: Peg

Age: 45 (tomorrow!)

Occupation: Quantitative Analyst

Where in Midtown do you Work?: 55th & 6th

Favorite Kind of Food: Tasty.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Boring.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Jerk chicken at Jamaican Dutchy‘s multimedia experience & food cart. Drunken noodles with pork at Topaz (56th bet 6th & 7th). Original or spicy Menchanko noodle soup at Menchanko Tei (55th bet 5th & 6th); with a side of shrimp or pork gyoza for a splurge. Cheeseburger & fries at The Burger Joint (56th bet 6th & 7th), Five Guys (55th bet 5th & 6th), or Island Burger (9th bet 51st & 52nd). Ma Paul Tofu at Wu Liang Ye (48th bet 5th & 6th). Falafel sandwich at Meze Grill (8th Ave bet 55th & 56th). Korean tacos at Bann Next Door (50th bet 8th & 9th). Korean tacos or superbowl from Korilla – bacon & kimchi fried rice is worth the extra $1. Cuban sandwich at Margon (46th bet 6th & 7th) or Tina’s Cuban (56th bet 5th & 6th). Coffee & panini at Zibetto (6th bet 56th & 57th). A pie at Angelo’s Pizza (57th bet 6th & 7th). Out of price range splurge: unagi rice box at Radiance Tea House (56th bet 6 & 7th), the eel-sashimi combination meal – a total deal! – at Ise (56 bet 5th & 6th), lobster salad BLT or grilled cheese & tomato soup combo at Bouchon Bakery (Columbus Circle).

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Rain Rain Go Away, Trucks Are Out All Over the Place: Luke's Lobster is on 52nd & Lex, Schnitzel & Things is on 40th btw. Park+Lex, Rickshaw is on 40th & 8th, Valducci's is on 52nd & Park, Wafels & Dinges and Korilla are on Vanderbilt and 45th, Red Hook Lobster Pound is on 50th btw. 6+7th, Mexicue is on 47th & Park, Bob & Jo is on 45th btw. 5+6th, and Crisp on Wheels is "delivering" to 49th & 6th.  As always check the ML Twitter Tracker before heading out.