Archive for '39th & B’way'

Sushi! by Bento Nouveau is Not as Good as Woorijip

Photos courtesy of Food in Mouth

I’ve always wanted to try that Bento Nouveau place (on 39th and Broadway), but after reading this review on Food in Mouth I might pass.  They have inexpensive pre-made sushi and udon noodle soups, but Danny went for the beef sukiyaki, which doesn’t look too appetizing- and that’s saying a lot because his photography usually makes the ugliest food look great. Overriding theme of the post: you’re better off going to Woorijip (on 32nd btw. 5+B’way.)

Anybody else eaten at this place?  If there is anything worth trying, post about it in the comments.

Original City Burger Better Than Black Label? Combo Comes Down By $1


Earlier this week I had an email exchange about the new changes at City Burger(on 39th just East of B’way) with Josh “Mr. Cutlets” Ozersky. Not only is he editor of The Feedbag, but he is also the self appointed president of the Pat LaFrieda fan club:

Josh: “You better get on down to City Burger… Went there with a few other people the other day. It is SICK! Really, really good now.”

Me: “I don’t know.  [The black label burger] is a little pricey for my cheap-ass blood… but yeah, I’ll probably break down and try it this week.  Have the regular burgers changed at all?”

Josh: “Listen to this! I like the regular burgers BETTER than the black label. They’re top-three burgers in town right now.  They got rid of the grills and brought in griddles…started warming the buns… oh man I wish I had one now.”

That is a bold statement… top 3 burgers in the city?!?!  (Not even just Midtown?) The truth has been narrowed down to 2 possibilities.  1)  City Burger has significantly improved their burger.  Or 2) The Abitino Brothers (who own City Burger) have some serious dirt on our good friend Mr. Cutlets.

Only one way to find out which is true…

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Apparently It’s Not La Freida’s, It’s What You Do With It

City Burger

At the end of March, there was a little bit of craziness when the owners of Abitino’s Pizza opened City Burger on 39th & Broadway, serving patties made with meat from Pat La Freida’s, the much praised butcher who supplies the Shake Shack with their beef. It also helped that the place popped up in a particularly burger starved part of the Midtown Lunch’ing landscape. Crowds were large, wait times were long, and the result, was a not so happy Midtown Lunch’ing public (although Lauren over at AHT called it a “decent burger for the neighborhood“). As with any new place, judging them on day 2 is a huge disservice (especially when they’re slammed), but after 5 weeks it doesn’t look like much has improved. This was posted yesterday in the comments:

I tried the newly openend City Burger on 1410 Broadway at 39th street. I ordered a cheesburger with the works – cooked medium and an order of Onion rings. Total cost was $10.95. Cheeseburger was overcooked and dry. Onion rings were cold and burnt. This place is awful for food. I will never go there again. Also – the wait for ordering is about 15 -20 minutes for an overcooked, burnt and cold food. I would not recommend this food establishment to anyone.

You may notice some other comments referring to City Burger as “the best burger”, but suspiciously they all came from the same computer, despite different names. (We don’t take kindly to shilling here…) How long do you give a place to get their act together before writing it off? I *really* wanted to have a place where I could get some buffalo wings with a hamburger!  If you had a good experience at City Burger, and your IP address doesn’t match “Mario’s” or “Ashley’s”, post about it in the comments below.

At Lunch Now: Day 2 City Burger Craziness

Even though I posted about City Burger’s grand opening yesterday morning, I was out of town, so I missed out.  City Burger’s Day 2, on the other hand, rivaled Five Guys on opening week.  Super long wait times, a large crowd of pretty unhappy people, and a staff struggling to learn the ropes, while simutaneously being slammed by huge lunchtime crowds wanting their burger fix. Oh and the seating is limited to about 15 stools, no tables.Some promising signs… the burger are pretty big and thick, as are the rings- which are beer battered. They’ve also got thick steak fries which look excellent (if you’re into that sort of thing). Oh, and they’ve got wings… I’d give ‘em a little time to work out the kinks before I rush over to eat.

Abitino’s Pizza Enters the Burger Arena Today with the Grand Opening of City Burger

On Friday, I got word from the owners of Abitino’s (a generic take out pizza place with multiple locations in Midtown) that City Burger, their newest venture (on 39th just east of Broadway) will finally open today. As I reported in Feburary, the menu and prices are on par with GoodBurger, with the addition of pizza parlor staples like chicken wings and mozzarella sticks. Their meat will come from Pat LaFrieda, the same place the Shake Shack gets the meat for their burgers- so a comparison may be in order. Best case scenario: we finally get a shake shack burger in Midtown. Worst case scenario: another over-priced burger place crowds the the Midtown market (although they seem to have found a little hole in the Midtown landscape that is not serviced by GoodBurger, Five Guys, or The Burger Joint). Most likely middle ground: Midtown now has a fast food burger place where you can also get chicken wings. Very exciting.

I’m actually in Miami until tomorrow, so I’ll be missing out on the Grand Opening, but if you go tell us what you think in the comments. I’ll probably check it out tomorrow, and decide if the $13.50 Burger, Fries, Soda & 5 Chicken Wings combo will put an end to the $10 Midtown Lunch rule!

Related: New City Burger Will Get Meat From the Same Place As The Shake Shack

**UPDATE** 10:45 am – According to commenter DDR, the new Qdoba on 46th btw. Madison + 5th is opening up today as well.

New City Burger Will Get Meat From the Same Place As The Shake Shack

The owners of Abitino’s, a generic take out pizza place with a few locations in Midtown, are three weeks away from opening “City Burger” on 39th St. just East of Broadway, and I got word from the owners that their burgers will be made from Pat Lafrieda meat, the same purveyor that supplies beef to the Shake Shack.  Not sure if it will be the “high end stuff” or the “regular commodity” meat, but either way it looks like this is the closest thing we’re getting to a shack burger in Midtown.

I got a sneak peak at the menu, and it looks pretty similar to Goodburger.  The burger/fries/soda combo is a disappointing $10.55 ($10 is usually the midtown lunch price limit), but at least you’ll be getting a 1/2 pound burger (no doubt larger than the standard Goodburger, and twice as large as the Shack burger).  They will also be carrying a turkey burger, salmon burger and veggie burger, fries, onion rings, and shakes.

If they are good, the thing that may set this place apart is their buffalo wings (10 for $6.99), and the $13.50 burger/fries/soda/5 buffalo wings combo will definitely have me re-thinking my under $10 rule! 

As of now, there is no Good Burger or Five Guys in the immediate area, but the competition should heat up once the Hale and Hearty owned ”Shake Shack” concept planned for the NY times building opens up one avenue away.

Thanks to lunch’er “Gail” for the tip.  If you have any tips, news or recommendations, email them to

Lunch’er Jasmine Reports: Baked Potato King


For anybody who has ever been to England, it isn’t that hard to imagine baked potatoes being sold from a cart.  Jacket potatoes, as they’re known there, are pretty commonplace in the UK- but who knew we had one right here in Midtown?   The “Baked Potato King” has been on the corner of 39th & Broadway forever, and it felt like quite the coincidence that I saw it for the first time the week after I got back from London.  I’m not a huge baked potato fan (sliced and fried is my preferred method of eating spuds), so I haven’t rushed over to try it- but luckily for those who are, Midtown Lunch’er Jasmine filed this report, complete with photos:

The Potato King sits on 39th St just west of Broadway, and the guy manning it is nice.  You could tell he had a lot of regulars, as he seemed to know everyone in front of and behind me in line.  All of the potatoes are $4.00 except for the two at the bottom of the menu which are listed at $3.99.  I’m not sue what that’s about.

The potatoes are kept in a stand up oven with several shelves, sans foil or anything to keep moisture in, which left them a tad dry.  You can pick regular or sweet potato and he’ll poke at them first to find the softest one.  He doesn’t use gloves to pick them up so caution if you’re an “eat the skin” type of person.  It gets thrown into a little styrofoam container, sliced down the center and smushed to make a pit in the middle.  The ”mixed vegetables” were the frozen green bean/corn/lima bean mix that is common at the supermarket.  The mushrooms are canned, and the broccoli is also frozen. 

The lowdown on the cheese (clearly the most important ingredient), plus the bad news about Jasmine’s potato… after the jump. 

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