Archive for July 2012

Cupcake Crew Will Become TV Stars This Weekend

2011 Vendy Award nominee Cupcake Crew will appear on Cupcake Wars this Sunday night at 8:00pm on the Food Network. It’s the “Angry Birds” episode of the series (whatever that means) and owner and chef Frankie will be showing off his talents.  The flavors rotate daily, but look out for the Maple Bacon and Cousin Vinny. Tune in Sunday to support the crew. If you’ve never tasted one of his cupcakes, you can give it a try today and wish him luck. The truck plans to park on 40th and 6th, but check the truck’s Twitter or the ML Twitter Tracker to be sure.

Get Tabata’s Cold Noodles While They’re Hot

I wouldn’t blame people for accusing me of a bias towards soup in general, and Asian noodle soup in particular. I will say this, though – while I’m willing to point fingers at bad examples, we need to hold the front runners to the same standard as well. Tabata debuted almost a year ago to much acclaim from me and decent receptions from others, and their ramen has held the course of being consistently high quality and delivered properly and swiftly.

The onset of our heat wave-stricken summer has some interesting looking cold noodle options on their menu: some cold noodles with dipping sauces a la zaru soba, some cold noodles in light, brothy sauces, and one or two proper cold ramen options, broth and all. Is this another option other than gazpacho from the major soup chains out there, or is it just a cheap exploitation of the weather at the top end of the Midtown Lunch price range, seeing that no cold noodle option is less than $9.99?
Read more »

Flatiron News: Summer Brings a Wave of Openings and Closings

Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.


Shorty’s has been slowly invading the New York market. They started with the original location in Hell’s Kitchen. Near the end of last year, they opened an outpost just north of Madison Square Park at 66 Madison (btw 27th and 28th). Not quite everything is ML budget friendly, but there are certainly options (you can check out the Shorty’s menu) and the bar always seems busy. In May, Shorty’s on Wheels hit the street.
Read more »

ML Forums: Happy Hour; Green Sauce; Andy’s Ices

Hester Nights Wants You To Celebrate The Olympics

Here’s a bit of Flatiron Lunch news before we lay this week’s review on you…

So even though the Olympics don’t officially open until tomorrow, they are already in motion with USA Women’s Soccer/Football team taking down France 4-2 yesterday. Hester Street Fair is joining in the fun by converting the weekly Hester Nights at Eventi Hotel into their own little international Olympic food fest tonight and for every Thursday during the Olympics. It would be very easy to argue this is nothing new considering they opened in May with a line-up of La Sonrisa, Bombay Sandwich Co, Schnitz, Bian Dang, and La Crepe C’est Si Bon. This week includes Hong Kong Street Cart, Solber Pupusas, Oaxaca Taqueria and Family Recipe (serving home-style Japanese).

And if you don’t have Olympics Opening Ceremony Party plans yet, Eventi Hotel will be throwing a viewing party on Friday. Throughout the run of The Games, Eventi will be dedicating their massive screen to Olympics for those who can’t get enough streaming on your computer at work. They will be tempting you to play hooky with Astroturf Wars and Olympic “Onion” Rings.

Hester Nights & Eventi Olympics, Eventi Open Air Plaza, 851 6th Avenue (btw 29+30th)

Seattle’s Top Pot Doughnuts May be Coming to Midtown

Top Pot Doughnut
Top Pot’s infamous maple bar

Before I moved to New York, I lived in Seattle for a spell. And despite having what is the complete opposite of a sweet tooth (sorry Blondie & Brownie!), I used to pop into Top Pot Doughnuts, a Seattle based doughnut chain, on a regular basis for their awesome apple fritters and maple bars (Seattle Seahawks WR, Golden Tate, is also a huge fan of their maple bars). So I was glad to hear the news that Top Pot has set their sights on expanding nationally, with an eye towards midtown Manhattan. Although New Yorkers may have had a taste of their doughnuts before – Top Pot temporarily partnered with Starbucks in 2010-11 – we could always use another source for a sugar rush. And the fact that it’s Golden Tate (and Chris H) approved, even better. Thanks Lunch’er Sam P.S. for the tip!

John’s Shanghai Soup Dumplings Are A Better Deal Than Joe’s

Well, readers, it was a random Thursday and for whatever reason I was really in the mood for some soup dumplings. I hadn’t had them for about six months at Shanghai Tide in Flushing, the last time I did a appetizer crawl on the International Express (aka 7 line). The first time I ever tasted soup dumplings was at Joe’s Shanghai, the most famous place for these Shanghainese treats with restaurants around the city. I was interested in trying something besides Joe’s, so I googled “soup dumplings midtown” or something of that nature. John’s Shanghai (46th btw 6+7th) appeared high on the list. And, the place had just appeared in the our Lunch Links as having some great “fried tiny buns” according to the blog Food In Mouth. I thought perhaps dumplings might be their thing.

If you’ve never tried soup dumplings, or Xiaolongbao, it’s a very interesting experience. The pork (or I’ve also seen crab and pork) filled dumpling is also filled with a flavorful “soup.” You place the dumpling in a soup spoon, cover it with a vinegar-ginger sauce, bite into it, let the soup run from the dumpling into your spoon, and finally slurp and gobble. How in the world do they get the soup into the dumpling? At first I thought they must inject it, but I found out that they wrap aspic (kind of like meat jello) in with the pork and it melts during the steaming process. They’re always moist because of the soup and ground meat, and the sauce really gives them the extra yum factor. I couldn’t wait to get some in my belly. So, without further ado, I bravely marched toward Times Square; John’s is located in that general area.
Read more »

Shake Shack’s Smoke Shack Now Available In Midtown

Attention lovers of awesome! Shake Shake is now offering their Smoke Shack burger (bacon cheeseburger with cherry pepper relish and Shack Sauce) in Midtown. In fact, as of this week, it is available at most Shacks. Sarah was a big fan of the burger — especially the Niman Ranch bacon — when she tried it as a menu special back in May. A single will run you $6.25, and a double is $8.80.

Midtown S’MAC Bliss Is One Step Closer

A few months ago, we heard about downtown mac and cheese mecca, S’MAC, expanding with a larger restaurant space on East 33rd between Lexington and 3rd Avenue (almost across from 2nd Ave Deli). I scoped it out at the time the news broke and there was nothing much to report. I have been checking every couple weeks to see the progression at the space. For weeks, the outside looked pretty much like the photo above.
Read more »

Contributor Stalking (The “Lamb Dumplings” edition)

Do you wonder what the ML contributors do when they’re not eating lunch in Midtown? (We’re actually pretty easy to stalk!)

Keema Momo at Chinese Mirch Truck downtown. Photo by Andrea.

Keema Momo at Chinese Mirch Truck downtown. Photo by Andrea.

Blondie is out in flyover country with the cows, Brownie is on the hunt for pickled mustard greens, Brian tried the red wattle pork chops at Roberta’s, Rachel had dumplings and I photographed the special Cook for the Cure edition of Midnight Brunch.

Elsewhere in the ML universe… Zach explored the LA Street Food festival, Andrea got lamb dumplings from the Chinese Mirch truck Downtown, and guest luncher Zoe tried the char broil at Nick’s Charcoal Pit in Philly