TurnStyle Has a Few Interesting Options for On-the-Go Lunching

The new underground food court Turnstyle is a bit different from places like Urban Space and The Pennsy. While there a handful of somewhat exciting food options in this big walkway, it’s really a subway concession stand more than a place to have a sit-down meal.

Some of the food kiosks have a table or so inside their makeshift storefront and there are a few standing only tables, but mostly this place caters to take-away, commuters, and people who like to eat and walk.

And I wouldn’t even call this a court. It’s pretty much just a walkway and if you’re exiting the Columbus Circle subway station this way, it’s nearly impossible to bypass these shops.

The options are fairly diverse. You could get vegan wraps or bowls from Blossom du Jour, sushi and dumplings from Yong Kang Street Food, a number of rotating Italian flatbreads from Casa Toscano, and dozens of doughnuts from Doughnuttery.

I was most excited about the inclusion of Smorgasburg favorite (and Vendy nominated) Bolivian Llama Party. There’s not much in the way of Bolivian food up in these parts, so their gutbomb sandwich de cholas are a welcome addition.

In an effort to keep my spending down and try more than one food option, I chose to try one of their salteñas. It’s explicitly stated that these are not an empanada, but they’re not too dissimilar.

They look more like a calzone but are stuffed with Latin American flavors. I picked the Beni, which is stuffed with stewed beef, aji panca pepper, and bits of chewy hard boiled eggs. The crisp dough was firm and slightly sweet. I really liked the rich meaty stuffing, but wasn’t crazy about the green sauce which was way over-packed with cilantro (and I like cilantro).

For $6, it’s not a bad hearty snack but would probably not be enough for a full lunch for most ML readers.

From there, I went across the street to check out Meltkraft. Here they specialize in grilled cheese sandwiches with cheese from Valley Shepherd Creamery. They have a few other locations around the city, but they’re new to me and it’s been a while since I’ve checked out one of the hip grilled cheese purveyors.

We all know that those grilled cheese businesses charge way too much for something we can all do pretty easily at home. So not exactly sure what I was expecting.

I ordered their Valley Thunder, which sounded like there was a fair amount of ingredients crammed into an $8.75 sandwich. Cheddar, brisket, and macaroni and cheese. There was potential here.

Unfortunately, it didn’t completey work out. First off, the brisket was not good. It was greasy and chewy and I actually pulled the meat out and decided to concentrate on the cheese. I was relieved there was only one piece of meat in each half. That’s definitely not supposed to happen.

I didn’t think the macaroni and cheese added much to the sandwich either aside from more richness and the excellent aged cheddar provided enough of that already.

I appreciated that the sandwich came with a bag of chips and somehow I managed to finish the entire thing (except for the brisket), but Meltkraft is still an over-priced grilled cheese shop.

Has anybody else been by Turnstyle yet? There are some other food options coming soon (Semsom and 2Beans) and a few of the other choices looked interesting (although mostly over our $10 budget). We’ll keep our eye on this, but based on my one visit, Bolivian Llama Party is still the most exciting choice here for our purposes.

Turnstyle, 1000 Eighth Avenue (between 57th and 58th Street), underground in the Columbus Circle subway station


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