Archive for 'Vegetarian'

How Do You Keep Vegetarians From Getting To Their Lunch? Park a Hot Dog Cart in the Way!

Healthy Vegetarian Food Cart

A new cart popped up this morning on 52nd & 6th, and Lunch’er Yasmin sent in this report: “I was getting my daily fruit smoothie this morning when I noticed a new cart had been set up directly next to the smoothie truck on NW corner of 52nd and 6th. This DEFINITELY wont appeal to you, but might appeal to your vegetarian readers, or those on diets. Here are some crappy phone pictures…”

I was in the area when Yasmin emailed the photos, so I decided to swing by this new cart and found a “scene” that at this point should surprise nobody.

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Uncle Marky’s Organics Closes: First Zen Burger and now this... Midtown vegetarians have lost another of their beloved East side spots, with Grub Street breaking the news yesterday that Uncle Marky's Organics (on 53rd btw. 2+3rd) has been forced to close. According to the post on GS, the owner is looking for a new location in the area.

Maoz Vegetarian Expands into Midtown


It looks like Sahara Grill, the old Turkish take out place on 40th & 7th that closed in January, is being replaced by a branch of Maoz Vegetarian- the European falafel chain. Maoz has locations all over the world, including three in NYC, but this is their first in Midtown; and while I haven’t tried it yet, Serious Eats:New York called it the best falafel in Union Square. The positives: you get your choice of some tasty looking toppings (like eggplant, hard boiled egg, avocado, or feta) and they have Belgian fries (the chain started in Amsterdam).  The negatives: another small, individually owned Midtown Lunch place is being replaced by a chain.

I doubt it will supplant Olympic Pita (on 38th btw. 5+6th) as my favorite falafel in the area- but it does set up the inevitable Maoz vs. Crisp falafel chain showdown.  Crisp’s second location is opening just down the street at the end of the week (on 40th btw. 6+B’way).  No word yet on when Maoz will be opening.

Dutchy Answers Challenge With Two Sandwiches (and One is Vegetarian!)

A new day, brings another sandwich entry in the Midtown Sandwich Challenge. Actually… another *two* sandwiches. That’s right. The Jamaican Dutchy cart (on 51st & 7th) has created two sandwiches, and one of them is the first vegetarian entry in the challenge. Although the spirit of the challenge is to create something outrageous and unhealthy, that shouldn’t disqualify the sandwich from being vegetarian. And I commend the Dutchy for coming up with a sandwich that allows people who don’t eat meat to take part in our fun sandwich taste off. It also helps that the vegetarian sandwich is freakin’ good.

Check them both out after the jump… 

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Everything You Wanted to Known About FreeFoods NYC But Were Too Cheap to Try

Clearly I wasn’t going to win the free lunch for a month from FreeFoods contest with the essay I wrote (although surpringly they included one of my quotes in a list of their “submissions,” even though I never technically entered it), so I probably won’t be eating at the super expensive upscale organic deli owned by Matthew Kenney anytime soon. (Many have commented that it tastes good, but I just can’t bring myself to spend the money.) But I know there are a lot of vegetarians, and organic food enthusiasts (it’s not all vegetarian stuff) who can afford it, and lucky for those people Kathy YL Chan (from A Passion For Food) was willing to take a hit for the team, and eat her way through the FFNYC menu. Here is her report… (those who get offended by overpriced healthy food, avert your eyes now.)

Full disclaimer: I am a pork lover, I am a foie gras lover, and prefer my bread toasted with melted lard smothered over the top. I eat dessert till no end, and then chase it with a beer or two. But every now and then, it’s rather interesting and fun to delve into the vegan world. Hence, my report on FreeFoodsNYC (which is not entirely vegan, or vegetarian for that matter.)

The new FreeFoods NYC is exactly what we don’t need in this economy: very fancy-smanshy, very-expensive organic, vegan, and raw food version of a standard Midtown deli. Regardless, it’s pretty tasty and I’ll confess to a growing addiction.

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FreeFoods NYC Opens Second Location Today

The second location of Matt Kenney’s FreeFoods NYC opened this morning on 52nd btw. Lex+3rd in the old F&B Gudtfood space. The original location (on 45th btw. 5+6th) was always a little too rich for my taste, but vegetarians, vegans, and fans of organic food who work in Midtown East (and don’t mind spending the extra money) should be excited for this new option. Maybe if the economy rebounds, or I win the lottery, I’ll try their by the pound buffet (it looks pretty damn amazing.) They will open at 10am every day this week, with breakfast and regular hours (7:30 am opening time) beginning next Monday.

FreeFoods NYC, 150 E. 52nd St. (btw. Lex+3rd), -212-302-7195

Recharge To Replace Good Portions

It appears as if the now closed Good Portions(on Lex. btw. 39+40th) is going to be replaced by an equally wretched place called “Recharge”. I don’t know about you, but I’d take mediocre Asian food, over THE BEST, most delicious “health” food any day of the week. I’ve got nothing against healthy food itself… but I do have something against a lunch menu where 3 of the 6 sections contain the words “Low Carb”. Didn’t the Atkins thing die along with the man?

There was one menu section I did find a little funny… it’s after the jump.  Read more »

Matt Kenney’s Free Foods NYC Expanding into Midtown East


Despite the high prices, and the economic issues facing lunchers, it appears as if Free Foods NYC (on 45th btw. 5+6th) is doing well enough to open a second location where F&B Gudtfood used to be (on 52nd btw. Lex+3rd). Lunchers looking for the best bargains won’t care about this one, but if you are really into organic food, and don’t mind spending the extra money- this is your best option in Midtown.  Even I’ll admit, their buy the pound buffet (which is quite possibly the most expensive in the city) looks pretty damn tasty.  It’s what I refer to as the “If I were a rich man” lunch.

The sign says that they are planning on opening fall of 2008 (which would be now), but from looking at the plywood, I’m guessing it won’t be for at least another month.  A photo of that (for those of you who get excited about construction sites) is after the jump.

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Brick Lane Curry House & Good Health Burger Join the Midtown Lunch Fray

Photo courtesy of the Hungry Commuter

A lot of action lately on 53rd Street btw. 2+3rd Avenue, a small “out of bounds” block that I’ve covered a little bit in the past. Spoons, the tiny Korean/American take out deli closed up awhile back, and a second location of the East Village’s Brick Lane Curry house has opened in its place. The Hungry Commuter gets the first taste and reports that “the phaal isn’t as hot as the original. But give them some time. They just opened…” I’ve never been to the original Brick Lane Curry House in the East Village, which nobody will argue serves some of the hottest curry in NYC. Whether or not it actually tastes good, is a whole different argument.

But wait. There’s more…

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Milant Still Makes a Damn Good Sandwich

Newly Re-Opened Milant
Newly Re-Opened MilantAlways up for challenging my stomach, I decided to hit up Milant yesterday (on 39th btw. Lex+3rd) despite the fact that they’ve been closed for most of the past month or two. Since they were shuttered by the DOH, there has been concern about the freshness and cleanliness of what was once considered Midtown’s finest sandwich place.  All the food in the display case looked fine, although there is a creepy-ness that will probably only go away after multiple visits without incident (i.e. sickness). I went with my standby #13.  Chicken cutlet, fresh mozarella, sundried tomatoes, and pesto. 

Check it out, plus more- after the jump…  Read more »