Flatiron News: Mad. Sq. Eats Starts Today (and More…)
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.
We have come another half-year to the time when we head outdoors to Worth Square at the corner of 5th Avenue and Broadway from 24th to 25th to eat, drink, be merry and complain about the prices.
While I am not as excited for Mad Sq Eats as previous years (see above article about prices), I always try to withhold some judgment until I try the newcomers. This year, we have Slide, a Bleecker Street restaurant that specializes in sliders with international flavors. Also, Doughnuttery will be in attendance. When I have tried their mini donuts from Chelsea Market, they are best when still warm. Madison Square Park neighbor, SD26, the East 26th Street spin off restaurant of the fabled San Domenico, is also new. Considering their regular Prix Fixe Menu Two Course Lunch costs $28, I would be shocked if they will be ML friendly. They might have been brought in to replace Ilili, which will not be participating, because they just opened Box by Ilili in the pedestrian space south of 24th Street. (Spoiler alert: I have been. It is great. Stay tuned next week for more details.)
There’s also good news for BBQ fans…
Delaney Barbecue will be showcasing their barbecue with TacoTown. They plan to offer a classic brisket taco, a fried chicken taco with queso, a fried brussel sprouts taco, as well as a pulled pork taco with chicharones. Yes, please. And if you head out today, they are handing out free koozies for the first 200 folks. FREE STUFF!!
Mad. Sq. Eats, Worth Square at the corner of 5th Avenue and Broadway from 24th to 25th, from September 27th to October 25th, 2013 from 11AM to 9PM each day.
I heard that Chennai Garden had closed recently for renovations. Sure enough, their space on East 27th is now occupied by Pippali, which is a type of long pepper for those of you into trivia. When I walked by around dinner time earlier this week and stopped to check out the menu (and take this not-well-lit photo), one of the waitresses came out to give me a menu. For lunch, they have a vegetarian thali for $9.95, but meat thalis start at $10.95. The server who handed me the menu said the chef was the same chef of Tamarind.
Pippali, 129 East 27th Street btwn Park and Lexington Avenues, (212)689-1999
In not quite opening or closing news, Chennai Garden has merged with Tiffin Wallah to create Chennai Garden by Tiffin Wallah. This reminds me of Invesco/Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Since I still call that Mile High, I plan on still calling this Tiffin Wallah when I try their $8.95 lunch buffet.
Chennai Garden by Tiffin Wallah, 127 East 28th Street btwn Park and Lexington Avenues, (212)685-7301
Also in the Curry Hill neighborhood, a favorite of mine, Singapura closed and quickly reopened as Kokum. Based on the menu I picked up, the vegetarian thali is $10 but the non-veg thali is $12. But in an area with so many South Indian restaurants already, they better make a good impression and fast. Personally, I am surprised how quickly they were able to open, and I’m a little bummed we lost our Hakka Chinese/Malaysian/Thai diversity from the block.
Kokum, 106 Lexington Avenue btwn 27 and 28 Streets, (212)684-6842
By contrast, Pie Face on West 23rd Street took several months to open. With a few other Pie Face branches opened recently in the midtown area (Rachel Goldner called 2013 the year of the Pie Face takeover), I was wondering if they would wait to see the real demand for pies. (Every time I have passed by the location on the corner of 34th and 3rd Avenue, it has been mostly empty.) But I guess it is all systems go for continued expansion.
Pie Face, 169 West 23rd St btwn Sixth and Seventh Avenues, (855)444-3388
To celebrate last week’s Cronut Hole Concrete Day, Shake Shack produced this marketing gem of a video. I wish I had known about the free t-shirts (FL’er stevenp does too); although, I still wouldn’t have gotten in line at 4am. On the other hand, FREE STUFF! I am pretty sure that Dominique Ansel calls them “Corn-holes” instead of Cronut Holes at one point near the end of the video. After all the hype, they raised $5,300 to benefit the NYPD and Madison Square Park Conservancy. I guess something is better than nothing, and I don’t like to be Debbie Downer, but I would have been interested to see how much they could have raised by auctioning off the first 10-20 Concretes. I’m sure plenty of NYers would have paid $100 (or more) each to not have to wait in line and still get the first of an exclusive item. Is that not democratic of me? Too bad..it would be for charity.
In other amazing Shake Shack news from this week, I saw on EaterNY that this happened. Ferran Adrià in line at Shake Shack! With Dan Barber! (This photo is from Dan Barber’s twitter account, in fact.) I love that Eater challenged their readers to identify all the chefs with Ferran and Dan (see link). I’m going to pretend they are all avid readers of Flatiron Lunch… which will be back next week with an actual review!