Archive for '*Lex btw. 39+40th'

Who’s Ready for Some Kale?

Are all you Lunchers in Midtown East ready for some kale? Well, that’s what you’re getting, because Kale Health Food is moving in on Lexington Ave. (btw 39+40th), formerly the home of Tokyo Japanese Restaurant. We don’t know much about Kale, but judging from their Yelp and Facebook pages, the restaurant will be offering healthy, nutritious meals featuring ingredients like kale and quinoa, along with juices and smoothies. Not exactly the typical Midtown Lunch fare, but everyone’s gotta eat healthy now and then. Hopefully Kale will prove that healthy food can also be delicious food.

Kale Health Food, 342 Lexington Avenue (btw 39th+40th), (212) 867-5252

Bread is the Surprise Star at Giuseppe’s Pizza

Pizza places are ubiquitous in New York, and Midtown is certainly no exception. So it’s easy to walk by a pizza joint on an almost daily basis without giving much thought to whether it’s a good place to eat or not. That’s what Giuseppe’s Pizza (Lex btw 39th+40th) was like to me until I finally felt compelled to try it out. I was glad I did.

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Bagel Express Offers Top-Notch Rotisserie Chicken

Bagel Express (Lexington Ave. btw. 39th+40th) has been my go-to bagel place since I started working in Midtown, but I had never thought of going there for lunch until last week, when I noticed a sign advertising rotisserie chicken. I’m a big fan of rotisserie chicken. There’s just no better way to ensure a moist, and flavorful bird. I ordered the quarter chicken with two sides for $5.99, although I’m sure most Lunchers will want to go for the half chicken meal, which still costs only $7.99. As far as the sides go, you can choose from an assortment of mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, rice, and plantains. I went for the mac and cheese and roasted summer squash with bell peppers.

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Fagiolini “House of Lasagna” Lives Up to Its Name

Since I’ve been working in Midtown, I’ve walked by Fagiolini (Lex btw. 40th+39th) almost everyday on my way home, and always wondered if it was any good. Certainly, any restaurant that calls itself the “House of Lasagna” had better be able to back it up. Alas, I never stopped in, mostly because its prices are outside the ML limit. At least, they used to be, until I spotted a chalkboard sign advertising an $8.50 express lunch special.

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Mapo Tofu Passes the Test at Mapo Tofu


Midtown can always use more spicy tofu dishes. Just ask the the profiled Midtown Luncher from this week. Even though what we have today isn’t exactly a ‘stew’, it does have all the elements of a good spicy tofu stew – soft luscious tofu, fiery heat, and some meat/vegetable element to compliment the flavor of the dish. A tofu dish is exactly what one would expect from a restaurant named Mapo Tofu. This location used to be a Wu Liang Ye and was embroiled in some contraversy about who the owners are. We’re not exactly sure what the real truth is about the restaurant, but when in doubt- we choose to side with the food!

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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 »

When Midtown Lunch’ers “Decide”, Bad Places Close

freshportions2In February, I asked you guys weigh to in on Good Portions, a Pan-Asian fast food place on Lexington btw. 39+40th that I desperately wanted to like.  The one or two dishes I tried there, were not the best- but I thought that somebody must have had one good thing to eat from their extensive menu.  Apparently I was wrong.  Based on the comments, you people didn’t like Good Portions all that much, and based on the sign I saw in the window when I walked by the place today, it appears as if they have closed.  I’ll admit “Sorry we are close… for business” is not as definitive as it could be (does that mean today or for good?), but I’m guessing they’re not re-opening.

You Decided: Good Portions Sucks

A little over a month ago I started a new category of post called “You Decide”.  The thinking was, sometimes I find places where the menu is just too long to try everything, and rather then give an incomplete write up (negative or positive), I would turn it over to you, the Midtown Luncher’s.  First to the chopping block party was Good Portions, an everything but the kitchen sink, Asian take out place on Lexington btw. 39+40th.  I had a pretty mediocre pad thai and order of pork buns, but with all of the great Asian food on their menu I assumed that there had to be something edible.

Well, clearly I was wrong.  After 20+ comments nobody had anything positive to say about Good Portions- and my “You Decide” experiment was a total failure.  My intention was to take one of the recommendations, try the dish, and report back to everyone.  But with nothing to recommend, there was nothing for me to try.  So much for that.  But then something unexpected happened.  Last Tuesday, as part of Jennifer Lee’s profile, I asked lunchers to comment with their favorite Chinese food dishes in Midtown- and this was posted by “Cait”:

Tie between the roast pork lo mein and pork buns at Chinese Noodle House (down the street from Manchenko-tei) and Scallop Wonderland w/brown rice at GoodPortions on Lex between 39th and 40th. The sweetness and crunchiness of the scallions goes perfectly with the soft scallops and the chewy brown rice, and the sauce is to die for.

Now wait a second.  That’s not a “this dish is pretty good”, that’s a “This is my favorite Chinese food dish in Midtown” comment.  So yesterday, I trekked over to Good Portions to eat scallops, for only $7, at a take out place loathed by most of the Midtown Lunch’ing community.  Another example of me sacrificing my body for the good of this site, after the jump… Read more »

You Decide: Good Portions on Lex

Restaurants or take out places that serve multiple kinds of ethnic cuisine are always a red flag for me.  Why serve mediocre food from four different countries, when you can serve great food from the country you are from?  Asian places are the worst offenders too.  Thai on the menu at Chinese and Japanese restaurants, Vietnamese food at Thai restaurants, Chinese food on the menu at Korean places, and sushi just about everywhere.

But in the end I am forced to relent.  I think it’s a combination of my love of (and addiction to) all Asian foods, plus that little voice in my head that says, ‘maybe just this once, Pad Thai made in the same wok as beef and broccoli will magically come out right’.  (It hasn’t yet.)  It was this addiction that brought me to Good Portions, a fast food Asian place on Lexington btw. 39+40th.

What I got, and why I need your help (the “you decide” part), after the jump… Read more »