Archive for '*3rd Ave. btw. 49+51st'

Braised Beef Noodle Soup is a Winner at Radiance Noodle Bar

Sometimes a great lunch spot is right under your nose and you don’t even know it. Take Radiance Noodle Bar, for instance. Buried in the basement of 805 3rd Ave. (btw 49th+50th), it’s only a few blocks from my office, but I only found out about it when Luncher Joer recommended I check it out. And I’m glad I did.

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Build Your Own Bibimbap at Koso Fresh

Considering how often I’ve been to Treehaus (3rd Ave. btw 50th+51st) in recent weeks, it’s hard to believe that inside I missed  Kosofresh, a separate eatery specializing in build-your-own bibimbap-style rice bowls.

Kosofresh follows the basic Chipotle model: you choose either the Koso-Bap (rice bowl, $8.45) or Koso-Green (salad bowl, $7.45), you choose your protein (bulgogi, soy garlic chicken, spicy pork, or tofu), additional toppings typically found in bibimbap, and your sauce.

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Urban Lobster Shack’s $10 Lobster Roll Is Worth the $$ (But More Importantly, the Price is Permanent)

lobster shack
Photo courtesy of @UrbanLobster

The Urban Lobster Shack’s Twitter account has been pretty active since they opened their new Midtown location. Just before New Year’s they took over the little take out space in the basement food court on 3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th, that used to be occupied by Yorganic, and since then they’ve been sending out messages about mascots, shrimp & mussels lunch specials, and of course the $10 lobster roll. In this world you always get you pay for, but the under $10 lobster roll has a special place in my heart. I wrote about the one at Fairway for Serious Eats, and always dreamed that eventually Midtown would get its own.

Did I expect beautiful big lumps of lobster meat, no filler, and a fully intact claw adorning the top? Of course not. I’d settle for a decent size sandwich, that tastes somewhat like lobster. (What can I say… for $10 you have to lower your standards.) Thankfully Urban Lobster Shack doesn’t disappoint.

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The New Silo Cafe Has Opened And is Giving Away Free Breakfast


Silo Cafe has opened in the food court that houses Pampano Taqueria and Sohpie’s Cuban (on 3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th.)  On first glance it’s just another generic Midtown Deli, but I got this message from a lunch’er the other day:

I know cheap (or even better free) stuff seems to get good mileage on your site, so I thought you’d be interested in hearing that Silo Cafe finally opened in the Pompano food court (50th and Lex). It is probably not much better than your basic (upscaleish) deli at $7.50/lb, except for the udon, bibimbap and sushi bar in the back. My veggie bibimbap was pretty big and also came with miso soup for just $6.50. Chicken and beef are only a dollar more. I’m relatively new to the midtown scene, but to my untrained tastebuds it was also pretty good and they whipped it up for me in about 3 minutes. To top it off, the cashier handed me a coupon for a free breakfast item when I left. You can beat that can you?

Well, you know I’m a sucker for free stuff (and bibimbap), so I headed over the other day to check it out… 

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Pampano Taqueria Food Court is Starting to Fill Out

 Silo Cafe

The food court on 3rd Ave. (btw. 49+50th) that is home to Pampano Taqueria, Sophie’s Cuban, Pump, and Yorganic is about to welcome another addition: the Silo Cafe. This will be the chain’s second branch in Midtown (there is another one located just-in-bounds on 32nd St. btw. Park+Madison), and from the looks of their website it’s just another generic Midtown deli. However, the 32nd St. location does have udon, teriyaki and bibimbap, so this place might be worth a quick looksee, provided they follow suit. The basement of the Crystal Pavillion is finally starting to look less like a war zone, and more like a food court.  (I love food courts.)

Anybody been to the Silo Cafe on 32nd? Feel free to comment below- the good citizens of 3rd avenue are eagerly awaiting your opinions. And if you want to see photos of the interior, they are posted after the jump…  Read more »

Thursday Free Food Alert: Yorganic

On Thursday from 11am to 3pm, Yorganic, a new frozen yogurt place in the same basement food court as Pampano Taqueria, and the new Sophie’s Cuban (which had their own free food day a month ago), will be giving out free servings of their frozen yogurt. 


As you know, we’ve been burned by offers of “free yogurt” before, so I confirmed with the owner- it’s a 5oz serving of yogurt with one topping.  (I don’t know if that’s alot, but i’m pretty sure it’s more than a thimble full.)  As you can see from the flier above, they’ll have another free yogurt day on May 27th from 11am to 3pm, exclusively for the tenants of the building- but it’s unclear exactly how they are going to differentiate from the average freeloaders (check building IDs perhaps?)  Might be worth a shot on the 27th if you work in the building next door- but if you don’t want to chance it, tomorrow is the day.

Thanks to Gracenotes NYC for the orginal heads up…

UPDATE: Plus I totally forgot to mention that our Downtown Lunch Correspondent Daniel Krieger took some sweet ass yogurt photos, and forwarded them along (did we mention he does weddings too?).  Check out the yogurt w/ topping porn, after the jump   Read more »

Ess a Bagel and the Ultimate Case of “That’s how they getcha!”

Growing up in a Jewish family meant bagels and lox were always served on special occasions.  Break the fast and special Sunday mornings visiting Grandma always made exciting events, if for no other reason than the appearance of bagels and a giant platter of smoked fish.  Even funerals were an event to get a little excited about.  Sure, somebody died- but isn’t this pickled herring delicious?  I don’t really celebrate the holidays that often anymore, but I have not lost my appreciation for a nice bagel with cream cheese, onion, lox and white fish.

Unfortunately, the one drawback to this food (and the thing that makes it difficult in the context of Midtown Lunch’ing) is the price.  Smoked fish is expensive.  It’s tough to get a bagel with lox or whitefish in this city for under $10, which made the “discovery” of Ess a Bagel all the more exciting.  I say “discovery” because Ess a Bagel is not exactly a hidden gem.  When people argue about the best bagels in New York City, it will almost always come up, and while their original location is on 21st & 1st Ave., they have a second location on 3rd Ave. & 50th.  Or as I like to call it Midtown Lunch East.

What they’ve got, bagel porn, the +/- and exactly how they “got me”, after the jump… Read more »

Fake Shrimp Scam (!?!?) and the ML Guide to Buffet by the lb. Eating

Everybody in Midtown has a goto lunch, and although I try to eat at new places every week, my wife and I usually fall back on Cafe Duke.  Last week, we hit up Cafe Duke for a quick lunch, and I decided to forgo my usual Bi Bim Bap in favor of a few things from the buffet by the lb.  I don’t normally do the whole by the lb. thing, because although I love the variety, I can’t stand feeling the need to hold back.  Scooping tiny portions, all the time worrying that my lunch is going to end up costing $17.  While loading up with my normal items, something amazing stood out to me.  They had these amazing looking Jumbo Shrimp that had me wondering “How they hell can they afford to serve Jumbo Shrimp for $7 a lb.????”

I got two, and discovered one of the greatest scams I had ever fallen prey to.  They’re not real shrimp!!!  I couldn’t believe it.  Actually, I could believe it.  It reminded me of this thing I once learned about Professional Gamblers.  There are teams of gamblers who when a new table game opens up anywhere in the world, they find out about it, and run the numbers, trying to find a single wager that will beat the game.  While most of the games are tirelessly tested before being put into a casino, every once in awhile a game’s creator will make a mathematical error that leaves the game open to being “broken”.  The team will fly to his location, bet the one wager for hours and hours, until the casino realizes their mistake and shuts the game down.

I guess that’s why I wasn’t surprised about the shrimp.  Can you imagine if the Jumbo shrimp were real?  For $6.99 a lb?  Hoards of fat guys (like me) would be crowded around the buffet, loading up on jumbo shrimp… trying to ”beat the game”.  Thankfully, the fake shrimp were delicious so I wasn’t too upset about being duped.  I’m not sure exactly what they are made of, but I’m guessing it is a rice cake type of mixture (or imitation crab meat… although it didn’t have that fake fishy flavor that imitation crab has).  The best part about the scam… the “shrimp” are not only colored and shaped to look like shrimp, they even have the indentation where the tail was pulled off.  Such detail.  It’s like art.

The Midtown Lunch guide to eating at a Buffet by the lb… after the jump.

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Pampano Taqueria

When Chipotle opened up in the bottom of my building I spent a full week lamenting how bad Midtown (and even New York in general) had become for finding good Mexican food.  Of course, “Good Mexican food” can mean alot of things to alot of different people.  For me, it means there are a) no good burritos (hold the “cilantro and lime rice” please), and b) no good authentic tacos.

If you need an example of what I’m talking about, go to Tehuitzingo on 10th Ave. (btw. 47th & 48th) after work one night.  It’s far west, but worth the trip.  It’s a tiny bodega that happens to have a small window in the back, where these two women turn out some of the best tacos I’ve ever had.  And by “best” I mean done the way they do them on every street corner in L.A. (where I spent the two years before I moved to NYC).  Nothing fancy… just good.  Two soft corn tortillas, some delicious meat (roast pork, delicious stringy beef, stewed chicken, etc), onions, cilantro and some salsa verde on the side.  Delicious!  No hard shell tacos served from a cart with a sombrero.  No fancy rice or grilled vegetables.  The real deal.

When I wrote these things a month ago, I got a number of suggestions for good Mexican food in Midtown- and they all pointed me to the same place:  Pampano Taqueria.  It was recommended to me as a great place, with delicious tacos and burritos, in the basement of this building on 3rd Ave. btw. 49th & 50th.  With visions of Tehuitzingo East running through my head… I ventured cross town in search of some decent Midtown Mexican!

My disappointment, happy surprise, pictures, and the +/- all after the jump…

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