I’ve been wanting to try the “100% Halal Food” cart (on the SW corner of 54th & Park Ave.) for awhile now. Obviously it was the assortment of fried goods hovering above the standard halal chicken and lamb covered griddle that intrigued me, and after reading on Wined and Dined that it was owned by the same guy that runs 100% Halal & Healthy (on 55th btw. Park+Mad) I was sold.
Archive for 'Seafood'
I’m always hesitant to check out carts when they first open. So few know exactly what they are going to do from day one, and their list of offerings ends up morphing multiple times before they settle on a set menu. (Anybody remember those white bread bulgogi sandwiches?) So when the Happy Well Being House Cart popped up on 50th btw. 6+7th a few weeks ago, I decided to stand back and wait. Their unconventional fried fish or grilled chicken with rice or potatoes menu seemed destined to be a flash in the pan. When they added bulgogi a few weeks later, things started to seem a little more promising. Once I found out they were related to the Downtown bulgogi cart that has been operating for awhile, I felt these guys were probably here to say.
And now that I’ve tried the food… I *know* they are.
With only two Fridays left in lent, Blondie and Brownie went on a mission to uncover the best fried fish sandwich in Midtown. In what some would view as an upset, Wendy’s beat out McDonald’s and Burger King- but the overall winner was the fried fish sandwich at Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Cart (on 46th btw. 5+6th). Ladies, I won’t begrudge you an excuse to go out an eat four fried fish sandwiches in one lunch… but was the outcome ever in doubt?
To me there is nothing more exciting than the arrival of a brand new cart… especially when it’s as weird as this one! Meet the “Happy Well Being House” cart, which popped up on 50th street btw. 6+7th for the first time yesterday. Started by a Korean lady, and another girl (who I’m guessing is her daughter), the cart is serving up fried fish and grilled chicken, over rice or home fries for $6. They used to own an “American food” restaurant in Long Island. I don’t know what is “well being” about fried fish and hash browns but this cart is in the early lead for strangest cart of 2009.
I was already on my way to a different lunch destination, but thankfully they offered me a taste!
It’s the second Friday of Lent, so I’m sure a lot of you will be looking for some seafood options a little better than the fish filet from McDonalds… although at 2 for $3, it’s almost worth it. (Through April 12th according to Page 13 of today’s AMNY). Most of the recommendations from 2 years ago are still around, but there are a few new ones to be strongly considered… most notably, the new catfish sandwich from Certe (on 55th btw. 5+6th), and the fried catfish sandwich from out of bounds Baoguette (Lexington btw. 25+26th). Anybody else have any Lent recommendations? Put them in the comments…
Baoguette’s Catfish Photo Courtesy of Robyn Lee/Serious Eats: New York
Midtown Lunch Flickr friend The Flooz has been tracking the fried fish sandwich at the Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Cart on 46th btw. 5+6th for over a year now. The first photo was taken back in November of 2007, and TF had this to say:
I finally got a chance to visit Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Cart on 46th btw. 5+6th (right next to Moishe’s) and i have to say- i’m so glad i did! I ordered the fried flounder on a hero. Yeah everyone else in front of me was getting lettuce and tomato on white bread, but why bother? Slap on some tartar and hot sauce and we’re good to go. Also because of the quantity of fish (so much!) I went for the toasted hero so as to enjoy every last morsel. Wow- $4.50 never tasted so good!!!
But then, things went wrong back in September…
Uh… yeah. You heard me right. Soft shelled mother f’ing crabs on a Midtown by the lb. buffet. That is what I discovered at the Cafe Duke on 51st btw. 6+7th yesterday. I’ve already written a bunch about how much I love their by the lb. buffet, but this just put it over the top. Soft shelled crab! I’m still giddy thinking about it. This could be the biggest money item to ever show up on one of these generic Midtown deli buffets (the ones that cost under $10 a pound anyway). And, they don’t even weigh that much (especially compared to other stuff like fruit and bone in chicken). It really is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen at a by the pound buffet.
At $7.79 a pound, Cafe Duke by the lb. is on the high end of these kind of crappy Midtown options… but for the quality it is definitely worth it. The food always looks fresh, every choice looks damn tasty, and the sauce they put on their fake jumbo shrimp makes me not mind that they are trying to fake you into thinking you’re actually getting shrimp.
How they were, a shot of my lunch, and the one big downside- after the jump…
Some places you just instantly know you are going to like. Like the Chicken House on 36th St. just East of 8th Avenue. To call this little fried chicken/fish/shrimp/chip shop small would be vastly overestimating its size. This place is tiny. With no more than 10 seats facing the fryers where everything on the menu is made (nothing escapes the oil except maybe the rice and beans, although I’m not positive), you cram into the 12 inch space behind the stools and decide whether you want to try and sit down, or just order your food to go and quickly flee to the safety of your cubicle.
With the prices maxing out at $6, and a perfectly filling lunch available for a ridiculously cheap $2.50, is there any way I wasn’t going to like this place? Sure there are tons of people who won’t eat nondescript fried fish and shrimp from a tiny off the radar garment district hole in the wall. Lucky for you, I’m not one of those people, and relish every opportunity to put my body in harms way for the sake of this blog (especially when it involves cheaper-than-what-is-humanly-acceptable-for-consumption fried food.)
With so many quality burger places open in Midtown these days, each place needs it’s own special thing to differentiate themselves from the others. The way I see it, Burger Joint has the sweet location, Five Guys is for free toppings and freshly cut fries, Pop Burger is the choice if you want sliders, and while the newly opened City Burger is still working out their kinks, it’s clear they’re working off the notion that you wouldn’t mind having some chicken wings or mozarella sticks with your burger.
Goodburger, on the other hand, has never done enough to get me back there on a regular basis. There is no doubt it is a tasty hamburger, made from quality beef, but it’s always been expensive (the value meals are over $10), and the patty is just not that big. With all the other options (and my willingness to travel more than a few blocks away from my office) I just didn’t really have a reason to go… until now.
At the beginning of March, Goodburger introduced the “Crabby Patty” to their menu, a deep fried Maryland crab cake sandwich for $7.99. It’s not on the menu screen, and sometimes they forget to put out the little stand that advertises it, so make sure you ask for it specifically. I stopped by last week to check it out, and was pretty pleased with the results. Read more »
A friendly little Public Service Announcement for all our practicing Catholics. If you are looking for a cheap and quick meatless lunch that doesn’t involve a filet o’ fish sandwich from McDonald’s, check out my personal favorite fried fish sandwich in Midtown at Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Cart on 45th St. just East of 6th Ave. If you’re not into that, there are plenty of recommendations from my lent post from last year… all of the places listed still apply (except for Ressie May’s which has closed.) I won’t be crazy enough to recommend Zen Burger (for fear of drawing the anger of all the commenters), but their whole menu would be lent friendly as well…
Got your own suggestion? Post it as a comment below…