Archive for '44th btw Lex+3rd'

Crisp Express Replaces Simply Sliders

Earlier this month, we reported that Crisp‘s 3rd Ave. location closed after their lease ran out. We were sad to see them go, but before it can really set in, Crisp Express opened this week on 43rd St. (btw 3rd+Lex), where Simply Sliders used to be. Their menu looks smaller than before (it is ‘Express’ after all), offering a few different falafel sandwiches, hummus, and salads. So we’ve got out gourmet falafel back in Midtown East, but we’ve lost our sliders. Are you happy with the trade?

Grill 44 is Now Serving Up Dosas

Grill 44 (on 44th btw. Lex+3rd) joined the kati roll revolution back in 2008 by adding ‘Indian burritos’ to their usual stream tray assortment of samosas, curries, lamb vindaloo and tikka masala. Now 44G is packing even more into their tiny storefront by serving a South Indian menu. It’s always dubious when a restaurant adds too many different items to one menu, but 44G seem to be pulling it off. I’m not a dosa expert by any means, but my taste buds know flavorful delicious food… so I set forth to expand my horizons.

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Macchiato Espresso Bar Revisited… For the First Time

It’s been almost three years since Macchiato Espresso Bar opened on 44th btw. Lex+3rd, selling their line of Italian coffee, sandwiches, salads, and pastries.  When it first opened, I posted my first impression (meh) which drew the ire of the owner because I hadn’t actually eaten any of the food or tries the coffee.  At the time I just wasn’t interested in trying another turkey and swiss sandwich for $9.  So sue me.  Well, it’s taken me almost three years… but I’ve finally gotten enough positive emails to warrant actually trying Macchiato Espresso Bar.  Well not me, but our resident coffee and baked goods expert Kathy YL Chan (from A Passion For Food).  I thought this place would be right up her alley, and asked her to check it out and report back.  Here’s what she found…

Welcome to Macchiato Espresso Bar on 44th Street, the last thing you’d expect to discover in discover in midtown. Coming in from 3rd Avenue, the bright blue entrance looks like some sort of strange oasis. The Bar exudes a Euro-trash meets midtown business vibe. Music is energetic, and the counter service is knowledgeable, efficient. Prices are high, though quality justifies to a certain extent.

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CHOCOLATE/COFFEE: (Forgive the shameless self promotion, but this shit is good!)  Check out these espresso filled chocolates I wrote about for the newly launched Serious Eats: New York. They're available at Macchiato Espresso Bar on 44th btw. Lex+3rd.  It's not my favorite place in the world, from a Midtown Lunch'ing standpoint, but damnit if these chocolates aren't the perfect afternoon pick me up. [SE:NY]

Grill 44 Brings Kathi Rolls to Midtown East

My love of the kati roll (or kathi roll, as I believe it may be officially spelled) is pretty well documented. The original Kati Roll on 46th btw. 6+7th is probably the most viewed Midtown Lunch post of all time, and I have always felt it embodied what this site was all about. Cheap (although prices have gone up recently), unique, and most importantly, delicious. When they moved to 39th btw. 5+6th, it opened up a void in the area which was quickly filled by the cart on 46th & 6th, who began selling chapati rolls, a similar creation with a few unique twists. Their “kati rolls” were on a slightly thinner chapati bread, and they offered both sweet and spicy toppings, give their offerings a broader range of flavors. (Everything at the original Kati Roll is just spicy.)

Indus Express took the kati roll and tweaked it again when they opened up on 48th btw. 5+6th, serving up a more burrito’ish, larger creation filled with sauteed veggies and a fried egg. For those working on the west side, there was no shortage of these Indian wraps. But what about the folks on the east side who don’t have time to make the walk? Well, Grill 44 has stepped in to fill the East side void. Originally a Mediterranean take out place, specializing in falafel and shawarma, Grill 44 (on 44th btw. Lex+3rd) has now added Indian food to their menu- and one of the options now available is- you guessed it- Kathi Rolls. Read more »


chipotle2Everyone's prayers have been answered… but mine.  They started construction on a new Chipotle right in my building (49th between 6th & 7th), and the office is abuzz.  After all, burritos could possibly be the perfect lunch food.  A self contained, all inclusive pocket of goodness, that you can eat with your hands… no side dishes necessary (except for some chips to handle the overflow). 

Everyone seems pretty excited about the prospect of burritos being just an elevator ride away- but I can't fall into that trap.  For me, Chipotle is like a bad Chinese Buffet.  I have to go back once every three months, and feel sick, to remind myself why I only go once every three months.  See, I distinctly remember what my brain told me the last time I ate Chiptole… "Never eat here again".  But that was three months ago, and my burrito starved body is wondering, "Maybe this time it will be different…everyone seems pretty excited… maybe I was wrong about Chipotle." 

chipotle1And of course three months ago was actually a relapse of it's own.  A few months before that, I had just moved here from Los Angeles, and tried Chiptole for the first time.  My thought… "Never eat here again…"  That lasted about two months.  Why can't they make a decent burrito in this city!

I'm not saying Chiptole is a terrible burrito… but compared to the Burritos in L.A., they definetely fall short (no one would dispute that).  But I'm not even talking about the authentic Burrito shacks… I'm talking about the chains too.  Now if a Baja Fresh or Sharky's opened at the bottom of my building, then you'd see some excitement.  But alas, there is no Baja Fresh, and we'll just have to settle for Chipotle.

The +/- after the jump… Read more »