Flatiron Lunch: Best of the Flatiron Outliers, My Parting Gift

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.

Since all good things must come to an end, the time has come for me to step down as Flatiron Lunch Contributor. If has been a pleasure exploring the area and eating lots of delicious food. I won’t disappear from ML entirely as I am planning to occasionally put up posts, but they will most likely be for the main site. As a parting gift, I leave you with a few of my favorite out-of-bounds spots.

Seems fitting that I should start with an Pakistani/Indian (but mostly Pakistani, I think) restaurant. Dil-e Punjabi is a west side gem where there are almost no restaurants serving this type of cuisine. With a hot buffet of vegetarian (and even vegan) options on the cheap ($7 for three curries over rice with spicy green chutney and yogurt and a roti (actually, I think the roti is pretty bad, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t taste as good as you want it to.))

Dil-e Punjab Deli, 170 9th Avenue btwn 21st and 22nd Streets, (212) 647-9428

Waterfront Ale House, 540 2nd Ave at 30th Street, (212) 696-4104

I walked by this place a bunch of times and always let the “deli” part of their signage out-weigh the potential of the “Hot Spanish Food”. But once I finally went in, I found an incredible buffet of what I would call “Latin” food. Plantains, roasted pork, stewed oxtail, rice and beans. A fully stuffed container was only about $7.

J&G Deli (aka Hot Spanish Food), 645 2nd Avenue btwn 35th and 36th Streets, (212) 683-1078

Los Tacos No. 1 was a recent find for me and was so good, I made the trek twice in one week. You can’t go wrong with the tacos (I had the adobada $3 (marinated pork slow roasted on a stick with grilled pineapple) and had trouble ordering anything else.)The lines here often long due in part to all the tourists, but just remind yourself of the Especial ($4 or $5 if you add meat), a fried quesadilla. One of the most incredible things I have ever eaten.

Los Tacos No. 1, 75 9th Ave (in Chelsea Market), (212) 256-0343

And even though it isn’t out of bounds and doesn’t serve lunch, I have to give a shout out to La Delice. As a one of the few remaining old school pastry shops, it is our job to keep them in business (perhaps everyone can buy sweets from here for the office now that Crumbs is gone). Otherwise, we have no one to blame but ourselves if they close.

La Delice Pastry Shop, 72 3rd Avenue at 27th Street, (212) 532-4409

So FL’ers, this is me signing off (for now, at least.) I hope you will remember what Zach Brooks said in 2010, “Never allow your own ignorance to stand in the way of good food!” This has become a motto of mine and has served me well. Also, try to be nice to the next FL Contributor.  (If anybody is interested in taking over for me, email editor@midtownlunch.com)


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