Archive for '*8th Ave. btw. 43+44th'

“Times Sq. Food Market” City Kitchen Opens Today!

City Kitchen had their soft opening last night and opens to the public today at 11am. This is the latest addition to the growing NYC trend of ‘food halls’ – although some might question whether or not 9 vendors actually qualifies as a food hall. In any case, since the food at soft openings can vary drastically from what you actually get from a place once it’s open (both in terms of quality and portion size, since they want you to try everything), I’m going to just share with you the prices/photos of the posted menus, without comment. Well… without much comment.

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Shake Shack Soft Opens Over the Weekend

Thanks to Lunch’er Andy for the photo

Enjoy the sight above, because chances are it’s the last time you’re going to see the highly anticipated Theater District Shake Shack (on 44th and 8th) open and not completely packed.  Saturday night Lunch’er Andy sent word that the Shake Shack soft opened on Saturday, with NO LINE (probably because they told the New York Times that today was the big day.) Those bastards at the Shack may have cheated us out of the opening day festivities, but I guess we respect their attempt to get the staff up to speed ahead of what we all know is the real opening day… the very first day of Midtown lunching. We expect them to open today at 11 am, which means there will likely be a mob scene at…um… 11 am.  I plan on heading over just before noon, to see how things are going (and grab myself a burger.) Stay tuned to Midtown Lunch for live updates.

Empanada Joe’s Disproves Positive Comments With Their Food

Empanada Joe's 

Yesterday Eater felt the need to single out Empanada Joe’s with their own “Adventures in Shilling” post, pointing out many positive comments that could have only been posted by people with a financial interest in the new chain succeeding. We just got our own Empanada Joe’s location (the second in the chain) on 8th Ave. btw. 43+44th, and I believe they have been doing a little shilling on Midtown Lunch as well. Take this comment for example:

Critically panned? Not by all the happy customers I saw when I tried it out. Personally, I’d rather pay three-something for an item from a nice clean restaurant than two-something from a street vendor whose cart has been God only knows where. Liked all the empanadas I tried: the Argentine beef, the Dolce sausage and peppers and the pina colada. It’s definitely a nice change of pace. See you in line.

I can’t be entirely sure that this comment was a shill, but there are some hints. “All the happy customers” is not something a normal person would necessarily notice, and “See you in line” is not something you would usually say to a bunch of strangers on a website. But the biggest proof may be in the food itself. I tried Empanada Joe’s the other day… and while I will stop short of saying it’s terrible- it’s not exactly going to engender an army of enthusiastic commenters.   Read more »

Empanada Joe’s is Opening on Thursday at 4pm

The original post about this new chain got some interesting comments. Some of the negative ones were obviously fake, and some of the positive ones were obviously shills. Tomorrow, we get to check it out for ourselves. The empanadas are touted as “always fresh, not frozen” and clearly “gourmet.”  They’re also overpriced- but I’ll reserve judgement until after I actually taste them. 8th Avenue between 43+44th. Store doesn’t open until 4pm, but apparently they will be giving out free samples until 8pm.  Might be a good stop off on the way home from work.  Friday will be their first day open for lunch.

Empanada Joe’s Is Coming to Midtown


From a Lunch’er email: “Looks like the critically-panned Empanada Joe’s has setup shop and will be opening soon (on 8th Ave. btw. 43+44th.) Interior looked 80% done, maybe within a month they’ll open?”  According to Eater, there is a location already open in Morningside Heights, where an empanada costs $3.38.  Hmmm.  A “critically panned” $3+ empanada doesn’t sound too promising… but we’ll see what happens when it opens.  Anybody tried Empanada Joe yet?

For those who care- an interior shot of construction after the jump.   Read more »