Archive for 'Fast Food Chains'

Arby’s Heading Back to Midtown….Maybe?


To the many Arby’s fans that had cried when the one and only Arby’s in the city closed, happy birthday! Few months ago I had noticed construction work had started in the old Pinnacle Bagel & Deli space (3rd btw 46+47th), which prompted me to start daydreaming about what sort of deliciousness will take over that space. Well thanks to lunch’er Larry B, we finally know what’s taking over the space, Arby’s and Nathan’s!! (Really?! Ugh!)

Or is it…? See what I saw instead only after few hours that photo was taken.

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First Look: Submarina is Just a Sliced to Order Version of Subway

Submarina Store Front

Hello, my name is Chris, and I have a problem. I am (forgive me Zach) hopelessly addicted to Subway® sandwiches. Admission of guilt is the first step, and identifying a moral substitute for our shortcomings is the… 6th step? (I could never pay attention in those meetings). This is how I found myself as one of the first customers at the newly opened Submarina. Yes, like Subway, Submarina is a chain – perhaps less evil than the aforementioned sandwich shop, with only 78 national locations (vs. 33,346), an unassuming mission statement, and a suitably proletariat past. But my quest was to kick my $5 foot long habit, and I was lucky enough to pass by Submarina yesterday, which happened to be in the middle of their grand opening.
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Whopper Bar Opening Tomorrow Afternooon


Sure, sure, there might be something whack in the meat at Burger King. But it’s the King! And they let me have it my way… Even with all the food options that Midtown Lunch uncovers, there’s still times when I just need the guilty taste of fast food. Earlier this month we told you that the Whopper Bar on 40th and 7th Ave. was almost ready to open. I walked by today and there was a guy in the front saying they’ll open tomorrow (7/31) after 3 PM. He was also handing out some free toppings coupons too. My doctor recently cleared me to eat all the artery clogging food that I want, so maybe there’ll be some Whopper Bar in my future. It’s against everything that ML stands for but… I just can’t help it!

Whopper Bar Almost Ready to Open


The burger craze is definitely in full effect in New York these days, so you knew it was only a matter of time before the fast food corporations dipped their toes into the game. Obviously we’re on high alert for the new Shake Shack opening soon on 8th Ave… but they’re not the only ones going through training right now.  Remember the Burger King on 40th and 7th that was slated to be turned into a Whopper Bar?  I walked by today and saw that the posters are up, and people are being trained inside. As far as fast food burgers go, BK’s isn’t the worst, so we might keep an eye out for this one… or not.

If KFC’s “Double Down” Kills Us, At Least We’ll Go Down Smiling

It is looking like Kentucky Fried Chicken will put another nail in our coffin this April 12th. Their newest artery clogging monstrosity, which is even being discussed in the forums, might be too good for us to resist. It’s called the KFC Double Down and it does what a fat man can only dream about. In place of bread the sandwich features two fried chicken filets (you can get grilled, but quite frankly why would you!?), sandwiched around two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and the Colonel’s Sauce (which we can only hope has Lipitor already in it.) Let my Atkins Diet begin!

A Serious Eats Look at Midtown’s White Castle

Considering its track record, I don’t know if you would want your first White Castle experience to be at the Midtown location on 8th Ave. btw. 36+37th… but that’s exactly where Robyn Lee from A Hamburger Today enjoyed her very first White Castle slider (and order of chicken rings!) last week. In true Serious Eats fashion the post includes cross sections of everything they tried, and the photos are pretty amazing looking (a testament to her photography, considering how gross White Castle looks in person.)  In other words, if you’ve never been to White Castle and are considering the Midtown location as your first forray- don’t be fooled by the photos.  You might want to read what she wrote instead. [A Hamburger Today]

What Happens When Things Get Rowdy at White Castle
Office Lunch Club: Fantastic Fast Food Friday at the Midtown White Castle

New York City Baja Fresh Nails the Baja Chicken Burrito

Baja Fresh

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.

Baja Fresh

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.

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Another Terribly Named FroYo Place (Plus more from the Church’s Food Court on 8th Ave.)


Wasn’t the horrible economy supposed to put an end to this?  That was going to be the one good thing about complete and total economic collapse:  no more random FroYo places with terrible names.  And then this comes along inside the Church’s Fried Chicken food court on 8th Ave. btw. 44+45th.  Are you joking?  WTF is Voguert?  Seriously.  What… the… fuck… is Voguert? With Red Mango located just one block away, I give this one 3 months top.

There is some semi-worthwhile news from the 8th Ave. food court…

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3rd Ave. Loses Golden Krust and Wendy’s


A few emails yesterday tipped me off to the closing of the two story Wendy’s on Third Ave. btw. 57+58th.  Not that sad… and in fact it could end up being great news, depending on what ends up moving in there.  Double decker Panda Express anybody!?! (I know, I’m a broken record and I apologize.)

Far sadder was the sight 13 blocks farther south, on 3rd Ave. btw. 43+44th.

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The Adorable Side of Midtown Lunch’ing

What would we do without the precious Blondie and Brownie, who today have unearthed the cutesy side of Midtown Lunch’ing that few of us would dare trek into. I suppose I could see myself buying some of these Treats Truck valentine’s day cookies for my wife, but eating at McDonald’s for a Hello Kitty Watch? I don’t think so. (Spongebob watches… that’s a different story.) For those who are interested, the McDonalds on 42nd & Madison doesn’t have them, but the one on 47th btw. Mad+5th does. [Blondie and Brownie]