Archive for '45th btw. 3+Lex'

Lenten Lunch: Menchanko Tei & Oms/B Make Mean Meatless Soups


And here we are, the fourth Friday in Lent. You can do it Catholics, two more to go! We’ve covered some of the fried fish options, but what if you gave up fried things (Brownie!) or have been sick enough that someone (Zach!) told you that if you’ve called in sick to work on Wednesday, you shouldn’t go have burgers off a truck as a sick-day lunch. Well, then it would be Asian vegetable soup time.

Read more »

Has Oms/b Always Served Udon?


I walked by Oms/b (on 45th btw. Lex+3rd), the small Japanese rice ball specialist, the other day and noticed this sign. I have partaken in their delicious omusubi on many occasions, but never noticed that they had Udon (oden, yes, but not Udon). I’m guessing this isn’t new (because it’s on their printed menus), and I really like how you can get a special combo with Udon and 2 rice balls. Has anybody tried it?

Their sushi, on the other hand is definitely new (or, at least, no more than a few months old), and I’m sure it’s perfectly fine… but why would you opt for sushi, when you can have oh-so-delicious rice balls!

Will the PC Police Close Oriental Noodle Shop?

Oriental Noodle Shop

The blog Hungry Travels points out the horribly amazing logo of the Oriental Noodle Shop on 45th btw. Lex+3rd.

I’m waiting for the P.C. police to come storming in and shut the place down. That’d be a shame, because if you ignore the mildly offensive logo and name, you can get tasty noodle dishes and noodle soups here at reasonable prices, especially for midtown (lunch will run about $7-$10). I especially like the thick, almost chewy texture of their pan fried noodles.

After last weeks (still going in the comments) debate about the Trini Paki Boys Cart (on 43rd & 6th) I shudder to think of what people are going to say about this.

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures: Thai-Nam

Thai-Nam, Midtown NYC

Oh man.  What are we going to do?  Has it really come to this?  Since Yum Thai closed last year, I have been seriously Thai deprived.  Sure, there are options available- but none are really “Midtown Lunch” worthy (i.e. there is no super cheap, order at a counter Thai food in Midtown.)  If you want Thai, you’re going to have to eat it at a sit down restaurant, or order it to go and take it back to your office.  There are plenty of options to the far west, but not much going on to the East, which is what brought me to Thai-Nam last week; a Thai/Vietnamese combo restaurant on 45th btw. Lex+3rd.

What I got (after ignoring the various red flags) after the jump… Read more »

Cops Cause Hop Won to Get the Short End of the Protest Stick

Today, around lunchtime, Africa Action sponsored a Darfur Rally to force the US to act against the genocide happening in Darfur, when we take over the Presidency of the UN Security Council on June 1st.  In order to keep the sidewalk clear in front of the building that houses the soon to be President’s office (on 45th btw. Lex+3rd), the police forced the protest across the street, in front of Hop Won!  Seems like a bunch of BS to me.  The office building that houses people who should rightfully be inconvenienced by this noble cause can’t be bothered, but feel free to block me from getting to the best sauteed udon in the city!  What crap…

Hing Won Has a Twin Sister, Serving Best Cheap Chinese Food to Midtown East

When it comes to take out, cheap chinese food there is no question in my mind that Hing Won is the king of Midtown.  On 48th btw. 5+6th, the quickness that they serve up authentic, Chinatown style dishes to hordes of Midtown Lunchers is mind boggling.  It can be pretty intimidating for the uninitiated, so they even have a steam table on the left side of the counter, for those addicted to sesame chicken (and afraid of ordering off a menu that is half in Chinese).

Walking around on the East side on Monday, I discovered something exciting.  On 45th btw. Lex+3rd, there is a Hing Won East.  It’s called Hop Won, and by looking at the takeout menu- you would never be able to tell the difference between the two places.  The even have the double sided ordering counter.  Right side is the steam table, left side is the real stuff!  With Menchanko Tei and Maharaja right next door, this is becoming a pretty formidable block.

My (not surprising to anybody who has eaten at Hing Won with me) lunch, after the jump… Read more »

Menchanko Tei Gets the DOH!


Yesterday, I was very disappointed to get this email & photos

Hi there,

Menchanko on 45th at Lex – BIG FAT YELLOW NOTICE:

“Closed by order of the Board of Health”


I suppose it’s about time.  It has been almost a year since a Midtown Lunch commenter posted this:

I have always liked this place, but today I found a dead cockroach in my rice bowl. They had the nerve to give us the bill. There has to be the last time I pay for a cockroach lunch.

I don’t care what anybody says.  I still love the place.  Maybe I’ll just stick to the 55th St. location and their 26 (two points below passing, and no mention of vermin, as of June ’07).

Close-up of the dreaded yellow- after the jump… Read more »


In my quest to search out the best Ramen in Midtown, I feel like I’ve gone backwards… Sapporo was first, because it was right next to my office building.  A longtime favorite of the area, the Miso Ramen is delicious- but the quality of the ingredients (especially the pork) I found to be less than great.  I followed that up with Men Kui Tei, which I found to be a notch above Sapporo.  The Miso Ramen was also delicious, but the pork and other ingredients in the soup were of a much higher quality.  It probably worked out better this way- because if I had gone to Menchanko-Tei first, I might not have enjoyed the other two as much…

Menchanko-Tei has two locations in Midtown (one on 45th btw. Lex & 3rd and the other on 55th btw. 5+6th) which have a few differences, but are essentially the same.  They both have a small front room with a bar, and they both have a second small room… the one on 55th is in the back, the one on 45th is an upstairs balcony.  Much like Sapporo & Men Kui Tei, you have to get there early or you are going to wait.  By 12:30pm, both locations are full.

But enough about the similarities.  The differences that set Menchanko-Tei above the fray, more food porn and the +/-, after the jump…

Read more »

Maharaja (aka Hurry & Tasty Curry)

I had lunch for the first time at Maharaja the other day, an Indian dive on 45th st. btw. Lexington & 3rd.  Maharaja, you say?  I’ve walked down that street many times and never seen a place called Maharaja… Well, that’s because the awning doesn’t say Maharaja.  That’s not memorable… and it’s a little too “nice” a name- especially for a dive like this.  I don’t care what the take out menu says, I’ve always called it by the name on the awning- “Hurry and Tasty Curry”. 

How could you not?  It’s a perfect name for this place.  Say what you want about grammar, reading the name, you understand what kind of restaurant it is.  During lunch, the food is all in steam plates, so it’s “hurry”, and a lot of the food is pretty tasty (I’m not going to vouch for all of it).  Maybe it was meant to be “Hurry and Taste THE Curry” but the guy who made the sign heard them wrong.  To add to the confusion, Menupages has two listings for the place, at the same address (133 E. 45th St.), Maharaja (which gets four stars) and Hurry & Tasty Curry (which gets 3 1/2 stars).  As far as I can tell, the owners of Hurry & Tasty Curry used to own an Indian restaurant on 44th St. called Maharaja (which was half a star better then the only place they own now- which is on 45th St. and has a giant awning that say Hurry & Tasty Curry). 

Who knows… but either way the sign says everything you could ever need to know about this place.  It’s fast, tasty and it is clearly authentic (because these people are too busy making good Indian food to care about English grammar).

What they’ve got, pictures and the +/- after the jump…

Read more »


I don’t think I have to say it- but there are very few destination restaurants for lunch in Midtown.  You know what I’m talking about… the place you can recommend wholeheartedly, without any concern for how far the person will have to travel to eat the meal your endorsing. 

The truth is, I write about places to eat lunch in Midtown every week, and some I even talk about like they’re the greatest ever.  But you know, and I know- they’re not REALLY the GREATEST ever.  They’re just good for Midtown.  That’s why almost every one of my postings is qualified with “This is not the best ___________ you’ll ever have, but it’s good enough for lunch in Midtown”.  Well- finally I can say I found a “This IS the best ____________ you’ll ever have”, IT’S IN MIDTOWN- and it’s called Oms/b.  Very exciting indeed. 

But don’t get too excited…  I’m not saying EVERYBODY will like the food at this place… there will be a +/-, just like every lunch I write about- but there will be no qualifier for Oms/b.  It’s pretty simple… if you like this kind of food, for this kind of price, in this kind of atmosphere- this will be YOUR NEW FAVORITE PLACE!  Don’t work in Midtown?  Toss the kids in the car, we’re going for a ride… because if you’re into it- this place is worth the trip (and not just from 49th st & 6th ave.)

Now that I’ve totally overhyped this place- check out the pics, the menu and of course, the +/-, all after the jump…. Read more »