Archive for August 2012

Contributor Stalking (The “Still Summertime” edition)

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

Lobster Mac & Cheese
Brownie’s Lobster Mac & Cheese from Freeport Seafood Company in Maine. Photo by Brownie.

Blondie is surveying New York’s Greenmarkets, Brownie reported on the Lobster Mac & Cheese in Freeport, Brian had spicy hunan peppers in Flushing, Rachel had the best ice cream in her life at Telepan and I told Brooklyn Based how I spent my summer.

Elsewhere in the ML universe… Andrea’s excited about the upcoming Dosateria at the Tribeca Whole Foods, Jamie tried a fancy Cubano at Wishing Well in Philadelphia and Zach “reluctantly” explores the menu of a new Los Angeles food truck called Pigs Feet Under.

Oren’s Daily Roast Testing DipJar Innovation in Midtown

Earlier this month, Bon Appetit picked up a story on DipJar, a device being tested at the Times Square location of Oren’s Daily Roast (Broadway between 40th+41st), that allows customers to swipe their credit card to quickly leave a tip. Eater NY quickly followed up. Although the ML team was somewhat perplexed by the newsworthiness of this story, when we dropped by yesterday, yet another reporter was there with photography crew in tow. According to the DipJar website, the inventor’s justification for producing such a device is the drop in tips baristas experienced after the rise in having “plastic only” and an excuse for leaving nothing in the tip jar. The device is being tested out in just a handful of locations (apparently those without a tip line on their credit card receipts) and each business sets the tip amount. Oren’s set amount is $1. According to DipJar, when fully up and running, the service will take a small fee for tips processed at no cost to retailers, while collecting a significant tip money for employees that would otherwise not exist. As Bon Appetit points out, the tips will also be on the books, so employees who underreport tips to get by might be doubly hit.

At Lunch Now: Uncle Gussy is Feeling the Vendy Effect

We’ve seen the line long… but never this long!  Holy wow.

Vendy Award Finalists Announced- Plus Hang Out Early w/ Zach, Brian H, Blondie & Brownie

$1 Slice-o-Rama: Getting Fresh with 99¢ Fresh Pizza

Port Authority Bus Terminal is the structure we all love to hate. Those unfortunate enough to have to take NJ Transit buses (Decamp for life, if it serves your area) or Greyhound know too well its inner workings, its layouts the architectural equivalent of the Mos Eisley cantina (“nowhere else in Manhattan will you find a more wretchedly-laid out hive of scum and villainy”) and its external visage looking like a boondoggle of an Erector Set. Its seamy underbelly has been no-mans-land for as long as any of us can remember, despite such Midtown Lunch landmarks as Tabata Noodle Restaurant and the as-yet-ML-unreviewed (oh, this is going to be fixed, you’d better believe it) Troy Turkish Grill within a stone’s throw.

Just past the soup kitchen under Port Authority can be found 99¢ Fresh Pizza, a hole in the wall without much to speak of in terms of space. This isn’t a place to linger over your slice and shoot the breeze on matters of court and state – you wanna grab and go here. In our exploration of the dollar slice, are we seeing trends emerge in terms of location vs. atmosphere? Granted, we’re not exactly looking for a Gramercy Tavern dining experience, or even McDonald’s, but who knows what trends yet emerge in the dollar slice experience?

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Hibachi Heaven Is A Welcome Addition To The Japanese Food Truck Scene

Is 2012 the year of the Japanese Food Truck? Between Domo Taco, Okadaman and now Hibachi Heaven, we have been blessed with a plethora of good new Japanese food options that extend far beyond bentos and sushi. When I first heard about Hibachi Heaven back in June, I was excited, because flat-top cooking is very food truck friendly. Then, when I read Andrea’s first look from when they first opened, I was a little underwhelmed. Finally, I found the truck in Midtown the other day and decided to try for myself.
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This is the Last Week For Salume in Times Square

The magical Salume kiosk in Times Square that has disappeared and reappeared and even lowered the prices of their paninis over the last year seems to be down for the count. Eater reported yesterday that the kiosk will close on September 1. The brick and mortar location in Soho remains opened, although that is certainly out of bounds. Wonder if a new kiosk will replace it…

At Lunch Now: So This Is Still Happening …

Guy Fieri’s Times Square joint Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar on 44th between 7th and 8th avenues now has an elaborate marquee, and the blue boards out front are coming down today. I guess that means they’re on track for that September opening. Sigh.

Meiko’s Pick For NYC’s Best Burger is in Midtown: This week singer/songwriter Meiko is Zach's guest on the Food is the New Rock podcast, and her pick for the best burger in NYC is right in our backyard: Burger Joint at the Parker Meridien. She also clues us in to the best pizza in Chicago, her favorite poke in Hawaii, and even manages to drop a reference to chocolate covered penises. You can download or stream the episode for free on iTunes>>

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Rose”

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 we head down to the Flatiron to find out where Rose, a magazine editor, likes to eat.

Name: Rose

Age: 34

Occupation: Magazine Editor

Where in Midtown do you work? 23rd & 6th

Favorite Kind of Food: Anything with noodles (pasta, ramen, kugel, you name it)

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Anything described as “pungent”

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Lately I’ve been digging San Rocco on 24th Street. Their prix fixe lunch is a great deal and everything I’ve ever eaten there has been terrific. I especially like their pasta primavera, which is different every time, and the homemade bread is a lovely touch. If I’m feeling cheap and outdoorsy, I’ll get ham and bread from Eataly and eat in Madison Square Park.

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What Not To Do At Bombay Fast Food

For vegetarians or anyone who observes meatless days, Monday or no, I’ve continued my quest for variety via sans-meat dishes. I ventured to Bombay Fast Food, a vegetarian restaurant in the 6th avenue “food court”. Formerly Khodiar Indian, Taj Deli, and the Newstand… Bombay Fast Food shares a restaurant with a Pizza King (a joint in the genre of establishments that MJP has been so scrupulously critiquing in his cheap pizza slice investigation).

Zach crafted an *incredibly* helpful guide by translating their menu back in 2008. Why? The menu is almost completely void of the English language. I was looking forward to my adventure, and I had pre-planned what I would order before I went. I was interested in the dahi puri, (pani puri described blow with yogurt) and the methi pakoda, fried veg made with fenugreek. At $4.99 and $5.99 respectively, these “snacks” were going to run me slightly over $10, but I wanted to try both.

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