I was a big fan of Schnitzel & Things, so when its brick and mortar location just a block from my office shut down this year, I was pretty disappointed. My interest wasn’t too piqued when an advertisement for a Mediterranean restaurant appeared at the location a bit later. I’d expected they would sell food similar to what you can get at most carts in Midtown. So when Adana Grill (3rd Ave btw 45th+46th)finally opened, boasting a menu of Turkish grilled meat dishes, I was pleasantly surprised.
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I was heartbroken when the Schnitzel & Things storefront (3rd btw. 45th+46th) closed down recently, just days after I shared some of my favorites from their menu with all of you. But while I was sad to see them go, I was looking forward to seeing what would open next. Now we know that in Schnitz’s stead will be… Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. What does everyone think? Excited for doner kebab and mixed grills, or were you hoping for something different?
If a restaurant has a specific food in its name, it’s usually a safe bet that said food is the way to go when ordering lunch. In that case, you’d be wise to order one of the several schnitzels available at Schnitzel & Things (45th St. and 3rd Ave.). But what about the “Things”? Could there be lunchtime gold hidden in there?
I would venture to say ‘yes’. I might even go so far as to say that the best thing you can get at Schnitzel & Things isn’t schnitzel at all – it’s the bratwurst.
If you’re looking for something to do tonight, Mamacita filled you in on all the St. Paddy’s Day sweets and drinks specials but what celebrating St Paddy’s day at lunch? On a recent Rock Center concourse jaunt, I noticed that Pret a Manger is now stocking new Corned Beef and Pickle Sandwiches made from Niman Ranch Corned Beef. Could be a good choice if you are looking for your corned beef fix without the pub crowds, though the price tag seems a bit steep at $6.89. If you’re willing to brave the hoards of drunken revelers, Blarney Stone on 3rd Ave has a lovely looking corned beef sandwich that Zach calls his “favorite St. Paddy’s Day lunch.”
Pret a Manger (various locations)
Blarney Stone , 710 3rd Ave (btw 44+45th St)
Apparently Monday at 1:30pm is the time to hit up the new Baja Fresh on Lexington btw. 45+46th. 5 people in line. Nobody at the salsa bar. Got my food in five minutes. (A stark contrast with… I don’t know… say… opening day.) Finally, the chance to enjoy one of the things I really miss about living in Los Angeles: the Baja Chicken Burrito. Since this chain opened up their first Manhattan location last Monday I’ve heard a lot of words thrown around. Overrated, overhyped, meh. To those people I say… you may be right.
Expecting Mexican food greatness from Baja Fresh is like hoping for rare roast beef on your Arby’s Sandwich. And complaining that it’s not real Mexican food is like wishing that In N Out Burger served thicker patties. You don’t compare In N Out to JG Melon; you compare it to McDonalds. In other words, in the world of fast food pseudo-Mexican corporate chains (Chipotle, Qdoba, Taco Bell), Baja Fresh is the king. And in a terrible Mexican food city like New York, any decent addition is welcomed with open arms.
Of course I base that opinion entirely on the Baja Chicken Burrito, which is pretty much the only thing I order at Baja Fresh. But after hearing negative things about the New Jersey locations of Baja Fresh, I was concerned that this NYC franchise wasn’t going to be able to pull it off.
Last August Muhammed Rahman, the cart operator who famously used to cook at the Russian Tea Room, left Midtown for a new pizza and pasta venture on the Upper West Side; entrusting his famous Kiwk Meal cart (on 45th and 6th) to helpers. Well, this week Muhammed made his triumphant return- opening a new cart called “Quick Delight” on 45th Street and 3rd Avenue. This is the third cart in the Kwik Meal empire, replacing Kwik Meal 2 which used to park on 5th Ave. until it was stolen a few months ago from the garage where it was parked. Kwik Gourmet, the second cart, is still parked on 47th & Park Avenue.
This is huge news, and the tips poured in yesterday from excited Kwik Meal fans on the East side who have always had to walk West for a taste of Rahman’s famous lamb pita… but even more exciting is the news that Quick Delight will have two menu items not available at either of the other two carts.
Who doesn’t love meat on a stick? Who doesn’t love anyting on sticks for that matter? Put something on a stick, and you’re talking immediate improvement. Meat. Apple dipped in caramel. Imagine taking a hot dog, dipping it in batter, deep frying it, and then eating it- without a stick. Terrible, right? Put it on a stick… greatest treat of all time! So, when I heard about Kushi Q opening on 3rd Ave., I was naturally very excited. Japanese Yakitori (and other meats), in a “fast food chic” setting. There are plenty of amazing Yakitori places in Midtown, but they don’t open until the late afternoon. In Japan, Yakitori is traditionally eaten as an after work snack, or late night in bars called Izakayas. Kushi Q allows you to enjoy Yakitori for lunch, in Midtown. Very exciting!
Not discouraged by all the early negativity, I headed over to check Kushi Q out last week…. and was pleasantly surprised. It’s not without its problems- but the potential is there. What I got, the +/-, and pictures of futuristic machinery necessary to serve fast food yakitori- after the jump… Read more »
KushiQ (3rd Ave. btw. 45+46th) opened on Monday, introducing their special brand of fast food yakitori, in a hip setting. I’m all for meat on a stick, and I’ve been pretty pumped up about this opening. Grub Street gave it a nice write up yesterday, but it looks like the early word on the street is not so great.
First the mixed…
The food was okay. They sell a box combo, where you can choose a base of rice, salad or bread (that looked terrible) and then three skewers on top of it. I tried the combo with 1 chicken, 1 salmon, and 1 beef stick. The beef and the chicken were both very good, the salmon was eh. They put a whole bunch of crap on the rice (sauce, sesame seeds, seaweed) and also those yellow pickles that you get as banchan in Koreatown.
Is it a good deal? No. My box, with tax, was $8.56 (it did come with miso soup, which was fine.) Is it worth a try? Yeah, [but] I absolutely refuse to pay for a stick with literally only three pieces of vegetable on it. Lame.
By far the coolest thing is the skewer cooking machine, which mechanically lifts and dips each skewer into some sort of cooking/marinating liquid -Sara (via Email)
I am intrigued by this meat on a stick dipping machine. At least she ordered something. Comments from three walkouts- after the jump Read more »