Flatiron Lunch: TONY 100, Openings, Humvees, and 7-Eleven invasion

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.

Time Out New York Gives Some Love to Flatiron

Last week, Brian broke down Time Out New York’s newest list of 100 Best Dishes and Drinks in New York to identify Midtown spots. Not to be left out, I scoured the list to see what was in our backyard. In fact, the food porn roast chicken on the magazine’s cover is from NoMad at Broadway and 28th. Since it is way out of ML price range at $79, I won’t tell you that it has foie gras, black truffles and brioche all under the skin. Nope, that information doesn’t help anyone.

Also featured in our area is Eataly’s porchetta sandwich. Offered only on Thursday, this item will run you $11.80 for the small and $14.80 for large. Perhaps these prices explain how Eataly reported gross revenues of $70 million for its first calendar year. And that number is expected to climb for the coming year.

Three additional dishes over $10 were also on the list. The pork crépinettes ($13) Foragers City Table, lamb tartare ($16) at the Cannibal, and everything duck roll ($12) at Silk Road Tavern. Foragers had outstanding butcher sandwiches so I would guess these pork meatballs are quite delicious. I have had the lamb tartare at Cannibal and while it is good, the flavors are so strong, I couldn’t come close to finishing it, even with help. And Silk Road Tavern’s duck roll isn’t available during lunch.

Would you like a Humvee with your brisket?

I am not sure how I missed this previously, but R.U.B (Righteous Urban Barbeque) closed. Thankfully, not permanently, but for a remodel after a Hummer crashed into their storefront. And this happened in the early afternoon, so any of us could have been there enjoying a pulled pork sandwich. I hope those injured last month have recovered. Perhaps, Hill Country should take this opportunity to really jump into the “lunch under $10″ market.

Melt Shop Migrates South

In “Flatiron Lunch feels like the kid sister” news, it looks like we have two hand-me-down spots from our friends to the north opening in our area. On 26th and 6th Avenue, Melt Shop opened this week with a full counter and tables instead of the take-out only style in Midtown. I walked in to scope it out but haven’t had the chance to try anything yet. They had a little bit of smoke circling the space, but I hope that was just opening week jitters. Check out past posts about the location in the Citigroup tower on Lexington between 53 and 54 to get a better idea of the offerings. To summarize, 14 different grilled cheese sandwiches all under $10. And cheesy tots. What else do you need to know?

We also have a Pie Face in the works on 23rd between 6th and 7th Avenues (which will be just down the street from one opening at 7th Avenue and 36th Street). It took them a long time to construct and open the new location at 3rd Avenue and 34th Street, so there is no saying how long it might take for us to enjoy meat pies topped with mashed potatoes, peas and gravy.

Yogi’s Kitchen finally…and I mean finally…was replaced by Spice Symphony

In May, I lamented not having tried Indian spot, Yogi’s Kitchen, in the northern boundaries of Flatiron before it closed. It was quickly pointed out to me that Yogi’s had actually been closed for over a year and a half. My bad. But then, I became appalled that it took so long do something with the space…and in Curry Hill where spots are constantly turning over! Well, someone must have heard my complaints enough time had passed, because when I last walked by, Spice Symphony had opened offering a few lunch boxes to go all under $10. They claim to offer, for the first time in New York City “Modern Indian Cooking with a twist and Chinese with an Indian Accent”. First time in all of New York City? Really? I am sure Chinese Mirch would beg to differ. The lunch boxes all come with a Samosa, Basmati Rice, Naan, Daal Makhani, Raita And Chutneys. The vegetarian lunch box ($7) has the option of palak paneer, aloo gobi or chana masala. Chicken lunch box ($8) offers chicken tikka masala, chicken curry or chicken chettinad. Interesting to me that they aren’t charging extra for chicken tikka masala over regular chicken curries. For $9, the lamb options include lamb rogan josh, lamb vindaloo or lamb saag. Also for $9, you can get goan fish curry, shrimp moilee or salmon tikka.

If 7-Eleven keeps expanding in Flatiron, I might start having lunch from a hot dog roller

I have noticed an upsetting trend of 7-Elevens moving into our area. First about a year ago, it was at 224 5th Avenue just north of Madison Square Park (between 26th and 27th Street). Now, at the space formerly occupied by Deli Marche at 182 5th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Street, a 7-Eleven is under construction. I am not going to lie and pretend that I haven’t been tempted by the rolling bacon & cheese potato stix. I have. Can anyone vouch for them? Or any of the other items rolling in the hot dog roller? Also, as much as we don’t need more generic delis, do you agree with me that this is a downgrade?

8 Comments

  • 7-11′s are franchised. They’re no different than bodegas and random delis….just cleaner.

    • 7-Elevens are much better than local bodegas and grocery stores: they have a great product selection at reasonable prices, with a good number of specials and promotions – something that you will never find in a local bodega, plus they also offer free condiments like nacho cheese and chilli meat. I love their $1.00 biscuits with meat patty, pork rib sandwiches, slurpees and a good selection of carbonated beverages. Their $1.00 pepperoni pizza slices are by far the tastiest in the city, but they are not as big as the slices in the dollar slice pizza joints.

      • Don’t forget to drop some free nacho cheese sauce on those $1 sausage biscuits! And 7-Eleven has a decent selection of coffee, usually brewed fresh (good traffic).

  • That 7 Eleven on 5th and 26th has not been open a year—maybe 4 months at most. It is my go to spot. I love 7 Eleven (for now) since they destroy the ridiculously high bodega prices—especially with their deals on waters and sodas. where else can you get 2 2 liters for 3 bucks? Not any bodega in my hood….except 7 eleven! My only fear is once the delis are closed (some have already closed like bagel deli on 33rd and madison, which is right across the street from a 7 Eleven) 7 Eleven will stop the deals and jack prices to bodega prices or worse….

    • Bodegas are hamstrung by having to buy their goods from a select few wholesalers in the outer boroughs, buy ing small quantities at once, and so they don’t get a good deal. 7-11 has undoubtedly negotiated a nationwide deal with suppliers, so it can sell for less.

      Sucks, but that’s business.

      • Sometimes I see the bodega people stock-up on stuff at the Costco. They buy lots of cartons of candy bars, bottled beverages and candy there.

    • Am I the only one who is upset that a small 20-ounce bottle of soda is $1.99 + depot + tax these days? Sometimes it is just cheaper to get a 2L bottle than the small one.

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    not really a fan of more than one 7-11 within reasonable walking distance from each other. i do like their taquitos but i maybe have them once every 2 months, its the only safe way to digest them. but still would have rather had something unique there instead, and a deli isn’t bad, why is there so much hate for them?

    Also has anyone noticed that the clothing stores around 26th and broadway all closed at the same time? wonder if they all got bought out to make something big or all failed at the same time… maybe one of those will become a 7-11 also D:

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