Archive for April 2014

At Nippori, Tabata Gets Into the Izakaya and Sushi Game

Nippori NY

Team Tabata is at it again. Not to be content with two Tabata noodles restaurants, they’ve expanded to 51st St between Broadway and 8th Ave, with a new venture called Nippori New York. Why they’ve chosen to cluster their restaurants so closely is somewhat of a mystery, but Nippori distinguishes itself by offering a comprehensive Japanese menu.

There is a full line-up of izakaya favorites, such as yakitori, roasted tuna collar, tempura, and the like, which make Nippori a fitting alternative when the crowds are fierce at Sake Bar Hagi or Yakitori Totto. And there’s a full sushi bar, although there’s little from either menus that would qualify as a Midtown lunch. But the familiar old noodles from Tabata have been brought over, and although all bowls of soup are above $10, it would be only fair to grandfather in these classic bowls of midtown ramen.
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Great Street Meat Returns on May 6: May is shaping up to be a month of street food festivities. On May 6, one day before Choice Streets, the Street Vendor Project will host the Great Street Meat, a celebration of the advocacy work they do all year long for the vendors. The event will feature live music, an open bar, and samples from Vendy Award winning vendors like Cinnamon Snail and Nuchas. More information and tickets can be obtained at the website here.

Al Horno Lean Mexican Kitchen Now Open

I don’t think we’ve ever pined for another health food restaurant here at ML. But for fans of Mexican food who wish they could find healthier options in Hells Kitchen, here’s an exciting to get excited about. Al Horno Lean Mexican Kitchen is now open at 417 W 47th St, and has a menu packed with Mexican staples such as tacos, tortas, and burritos, most of which qualify for a under $10 Midtown lunch.

Al Horno’s (which translates to baked) concept is to transform Mexican items that are traditionally fried into healthier versions of themselves. There’s steak served here for sure, but juices, kale, tofu and quinoa make up the bulk of the menu. Early first hand experiences (and snarky comments) are welcome in the comments.

Al Horno Lean Mexican Kitchen, 417 W 47th St (Between 8th and 9th Ave); (212) 977-1000

Luke’s Lobster First Offical Midtown Location Will Open This Summer

Way before Nauti the truck pulled up to Midtown, there have been Luke’s Lobster storefronts all around the city. But aside from a stall in the Plaza Food Court, we’ve had to rely on the truck to bring us the sweet stuff from Maine. Thankfully, for those that work in Midtown east, you can make your splurgeworthy lobster roll addiction an every day thing. Luke’s will be opening a legit brick and mortar spot on 43rd between 2nd and 3rd this summer. Beer and wine will be served (which means Happy Hour specials) and there will be outdoor seating in a park outside. The opening is planned for June.

Flatiron Lunch: Lin’s Chinese is a Cheap Gem

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.

When FL’ers give thoughtful recommendations, I try to listen – even if it takes me months (or years) to get there. So when stevenp recommended Lin’s in July (in response to my Home’s post) and actually suggested specific dishes, it went on list. Nevermind that it has taken me almost 10 months to finally try it out.

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Dub Pies Truck Introduces Food From Down Under


I’ve been known to say that in NYC, we have just about every type of food imaginable from a mobile food vehicle. Schnitzel? Check. Jamaican food? Check. Gourmet slushes? Check. But one glaring ommission up until now has been an obvious street food: Australian meat pies. Well, Dub Pies is close enough.

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Hinata Ramen is Worth the Splurge


It’s fair to say that Midtown is currently in the midst of a ramen bubble that shows no signs of slowing down. Only a few years ago, Ippudo’s opening was a huge deal, we ate at Totto ramen a bit too often, and heck, we even had a celebrity ramen reviewer. Nowadays, the opening of a ramen shop still elicits a reaction, but with the enthusiasm curtailed to a bare simmer.

But we still got excited when we heard about Hinata (159 E 55th St between Lexington and 3rd ave), because they seem to have Totto ramen directly in their cross hairs. The similarities on the menu are striking – both serve a paitan ramen that gets its legs from chickens, a vegetarian ramen, pork buns and the like. And both are cash only, although Hinata’s prices are generally $2-3 higher than Totto’s equivalent.
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Tuesday Earth Day Specials at Pizza by Cer Te: Today is Earth Day (who knew!?) and to celebrate Pizza by Cer Te is offering two different specials.  First off, it's a two for tuesday! Starting at Noon you can get two slices of Margherita pizza for just $2 (in store only).  And if that wasn't enough, all customers will receive a large 13” Eco-Friendly Tote with their order. Happy Earth Day indeed!

At Chicken House, a Banh Mi By Any Other Name Would be Just as Amazing

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I’m rarely envious of my coworker’s lunches, but the other day, I looked up and saw this scene on a co-workers desk and couldn’t help but inquire where he’d procured such a gloriously gourmand beast of a sandwich. It was from Chicken House as it turns out, and seemed like a far cry from the meager sandwich that Zach reviewed several years ago.

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Win A Pair of VIP Tickets to the Grand Gourmet

The annual Grand Gourmet is returning to Grand Central Station on Thursday, May 1. On that evening, hungry attendees will descend on Vanderbilt Hall to sample as many dishes from the neighboring restaurants, bars, and cafés as humanly possible. Returning favorites like Grand Central Oyster Bar and Tulsi will be side by side with new additions Shake Shack (new to the terminal) and Vitae. Proceeds from the event support a neighboring homeless shelter and leftover food will be donated to City Harvest. General admission tickets are $125, but once again we’re offering two VIP tickets (a $700 value). All you have to do is leave a comment about which restaurant you’re most interested in trying and why. The list of participating venues and tickets can be found here. We’ll choose a name at random on Thursday, April 24 at 3pm.