Flatiron Lunch: Last call for Summer Fridays at Barfly

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.

Before Summer Fridays are a distant memory, I wanted to share with you the perfect spot to waste away a Friday afternoon with lunch and drinks. As an additional enticement, Barfly has a small area (about 10 tables) of outdoor seating. So if you are able to find a beautiful, sunny lunch hour, I recommend spending it here.

Located just a half block from Gramercy Park, Barfly has a comfortable and traditional bar atmosphere, with pressed tin ceiling, stained glass lampshades, and 10 TVs showing various sporting events. For those of you not able to appreciate the grime of Desmonds, Barfly is a step up and might just be the place for you. The crowd is a nice mix of regulars at the bar, young hip people, and groups of coworkers enjoying lunch away from their desks.

The menu is quite extensive with 12 sandwich options and 8 entrée/salad options each for $8.95, including a 10 oz glass of cold Miller Lite (and only Miller Lite) or a pint of soda. Barfly encourages patrons to keep the Summer Friday lunch going with each additional beer only costing $1. With so many food options, it was not easy to capture it all in one photo, so I am providing a link to the Barfly website menu here. But keep in mind, the online menu is a little bit out of date, and prices are actually $1 higher than the $7.95 currently listed online.

My first trip to Barfly for lunch was actually about 6 months ago, and I found it to be a wonderful place to spend a chilly winter lunch. At that time, I was drawn immediately to the French Dip. My lactose-intolerant brother often orders them as a delicious hot sandwich that doesn’t need cheese to taste good. So after having order envy with him several times, I had to get my own with fries as my side – for $.50 extra, of course, I added swiss cheese.

The French dip was a great sandwich with tender meat, the right amount toast on the bread, and perfectly melted cheese. The jus accompanied the sandwich had a depth of flavor so enjoyable that I ended up eating some of it solo. The fries had a light batter on them which helped them stay crispy even when they got cold. Every aspect of this dish was enjoyable and expertly prepared.

On a more recent visit, I was resolved to order from the non-sandwich part of the menu. The fried chicken seemed intriguing especially since it was listed at Broasted chicken. I had an amazing experience with Broasted chicken in South Carolina a couple years ago, so I was eager to order it again. When I placed my order, I was told that it would take about 18 minutes to prepare. I almost didn’t get it worried that I would be late getting back to work. But then again, the fact that they make it order meant that I really should order it. So I went for it. Unfortunately, turns out it took closer to 25 minutes.

The fried chicken was exactly as good as made to order Broasted chicken should be. It was thoroughly crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It was so good that I finished the drumstick in a minute or two. I should warn that it was a little on the salty side if you are sensitive to that, which I didn’t notice until my last couple bites. Mashed potatoes were basic, but served with a small dipping bowl of gravy which helped. The biscuit was hot and flaky. The least impressive item on the dish was the coleslaw which was a total non-event in my opinion.

If you are like me and are not afforded the luxury of Summer Fridays, no worries – remember you can get a pint of soda instead of a beer. And if the summer passes by before you can take advantage of the sunny patio tables, don’t worry either. My first trip to Barfly was in the cold months, and they had a festive atmosphere with blue Christmas lights covering the columns.

The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I love made-to-order Broasted chicken.
  • Barfly serves up the right amount of charm, and I could see myself becoming a regular here.
  • They have a home-run dish with the French dip, and it comes with a beer!

The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Who has 25 minutes to wait for their lunch to be prepared?!?!?!?!
  • I wish all parts of the fried chicken platter were as tasty as the chicken.
  • 10 oz of beer doesn’t seem sufficient to wipe away the bad taste of work.

Barfly, 244 Third Avenue at 20th Street, 212-473-9660

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