As I was walking down 45th Street last week, I was startled to find the windows of Lebanese spot Karam papered over. New York Magazine named the chicken shawarma at their Bay Ridge location one of the 101 best sandwiches in NYC, but I guess their Midtown location couldn’t hack it. Last year, I enjoyed a lunch there but found the pitas a bit tough and dry and Jen agreed. When Bread and Olive became Karam, the change over wasn’t that drastic, so here’s hoping that we’ll still have a tasty North African option when the doors open again. And while we’re at it, let’s hope they get better pita bread, too!
Archive for '45th btw. 5+6th'
Good news for Sophie’s Cuban fans who work in the heart of Midtown. Construction has started on a new Sophie’s outpost at 45th st. between 5th and 6th Ave (next to Goodburger.) We’re hearing that the plan is to open in October, and Sophie’s feels a lot more confident about this spot than the ill fated 41st Street branch that closed almost two years ago. Looks like Margon and Cafe Cello are about to get their toughest competition yet. ¡Viva la Selección!
Kwik Meal vs. Fahima, bumper against bumper, brother against brother, the side by side street cart family feud on the SW corner of 45th Street and 6th Avenue rages on! Yet in the black cloud of this Greek tragedy is there perhaps a silver lining? Out of this great turmoil might there be great rewards? With some new additions to Fahima’s menu, I certainly hoped so. Bear with me people; I’m inspired by Halal not Homer. Ehem, So then, here’s my first take.
Clearly I wasn’t going to win the free lunch for a month from FreeFoods contest with the essay I wrote (although surpringly they included one of my quotes in a list of their “submissions,” even though I never technically entered it), so I probably won’t be eating at the super expensive upscale organic deli owned by Matthew Kenney anytime soon. (Many have commented that it tastes good, but I just can’t bring myself to spend the money.) But I know there are a lot of vegetarians, and organic food enthusiasts (it’s not all vegetarian stuff) who can afford it, and lucky for those people Kathy YL Chan (from A Passion For Food) was willing to take a hit for the team, and eat her way through the FFNYC menu. Here is her report… (those who get offended by overpriced healthy food, avert your eyes now.)
Full disclaimer: I am a pork lover, I am a foie gras lover, and prefer my bread toasted with melted lard smothered over the top. I eat dessert till no end, and then chase it with a beer or two. But every now and then, it’s rather interesting and fun to delve into the vegan world. Hence, my report on FreeFoodsNYC (which is not entirely vegan, or vegetarian for that matter.)
The new FreeFoods NYC is exactly what we don’t need in this economy: very fancy-smanshy, very-expensive organic, vegan, and raw food version of a standard Midtown deli. Regardless, it’s pretty tasty and I’ll confess to a growing addiction.
I am a big fan of the 2:15 lunch special at Sun Yip (formerly Ho Yip). I can’t usually wait that long for lunch, but on the days I can- it’s a nice treat. Basically after 2:15 they discount their steam table to $4.29/lb. (it used to be $3.75, but what are you gonna do). This is a pretty big deal, considering that most by the pound buffets are at least $6 a pound, and most of the good ones are even more. Usually I go right at 2:15, when the buffet is still full (they usually do one major refill just after 2pm) but the other day, I happened to be walking by at 3pm and saw a pretty pathetic sight.
You know what I say… the only good Chipotle is free Chipotle, and two more Chipotles opening soon in Midtown should mean two opportunities for free burritos. The first one is on 45th Street btw. 5+6th and is tentatively scheduled to open on Monday July 14th. Usually free burrito day is the day before the grand opening, but that would be a Sunday and very disappointing. I’ll confirm as we get closer to the date… but let’s hope July 14th will bring gratis burritos. Maybe that will make up for their grossly misleading calorie postings. Signs for the second location have gone up on 50th and Park, but no date has been set for an opening.
In other chain burrito news, if you work on the west side and were jealous of the east side Qdoba alternative- the west side will soon be getting its very own Qdoba on 50th btw. 6+7th. Huzzah!
Have you seen a new place set to open up in Midtown? Email the news, with or without a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
I try my best not to be too negative on this site, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to vent. Every once in awhile I’ll share some of the more angry useful emails I get in a post called “Airing of Grievances”. (If the Eater Complaints Dept. would like royalties, I’ll be happy to pay up…) These are both a week or two old, so apologies to both places if they’ve managed to miraculously fix their issues since these emails were sent. I’m guessing they haven’t.
Please warn fellow Midtown Lunchers [about John's Shanghai on 46th btw. 6+7th).] Here’s the review I posted on MenuPages: “I’ve ordered here many many times before and have never been so disappointed. Sure, restaurants have their off days, but today’s food was a complete insult. I had 6 orders in total, none came close to mediocre. General Tso’s chicken was just a pile of red chicken, no broccoli on the side or anything. Chicken and Brocolli was sweet. Double Sauteed Pork was sweet rather than spicy, and pork slices were too thick. Thought that was bad, here’s the icing on the cake. Soy Sauce Chicken over rice, they had the nerve to give us re-cooked chicken. I’m Chinese, I know! It looks like leftover soy sauce chicken reheated in the steamer. The skin on the chicken had shrunken a bit and the color from the soy sauce had come off already. Why would you dare serve something like that to a customer?!!?!?!??!?!!! I will NEVER order from them again!” Thanks, Lily.
Wow… I don’t even know what to say to that. Luckily, John’s Shanghai has never really been considered a Midtown Lunch, so I don’t even really need to waste any time trying to interpret that rant. The email I got about Ambrosia was a little more upsetting. Why the generic deli (that became a ML favorite by adding Korean food) might have me re-thinking my ”Best Bi Bim Bap in Midtown” claim- after the jump… Read more »
As you know, I don’t really write about breakfast in Midtown, mostly because I don’t eat breakfast in Midtown. Lunch is more my thing. But occasionally something will come along that just demands to be written about. Like this, which I noticed on Goodburger’s Breakfast menu:
Whaaaa??? Are you kidding me. Seriously. I mean… No you didn’t! Oh, and in case you were wondering, those *are* harsh browns underneath the burger. Greatest breakfast sandwich of all time? I’m trembling just thinking about it.
The real thing, in all its glory, after the jump… Read more »
With so many quality burger places open in Midtown these days, each place needs it’s own special thing to differentiate themselves from the others. The way I see it, Burger Joint has the sweet location, Five Guys is for free toppings and freshly cut fries, Pop Burger is the choice if you want sliders, and while the newly opened City Burger is still working out their kinks, it’s clear they’re working off the notion that you wouldn’t mind having some chicken wings or mozarella sticks with your burger.
Goodburger, on the other hand, has never done enough to get me back there on a regular basis. There is no doubt it is a tasty hamburger, made from quality beef, but it’s always been expensive (the value meals are over $10), and the patty is just not that big. With all the other options (and my willingness to travel more than a few blocks away from my office) I just didn’t really have a reason to go… until now.
At the beginning of March, Goodburger introduced the “Crabby Patty” to their menu, a deep fried Maryland crab cake sandwich for $7.99. It’s not on the menu screen, and sometimes they forget to put out the little stand that advertises it, so make sure you ask for it specifically. I stopped by last week to check it out, and was pretty pleased with the results. Read more »
So the news broke on Weds, and was confirmed yesterday that Rupert Murdoch plans on moving the Wall St. Journal from their Downtown offices to the News Corp. building on 6th Ave. & 48th St., smack dab in the middle of Midtown. Well, let me be the first to say welcome! We’re actually neighbors (I work in the McGraw Hill Building across the street), and there are plenty of great lunch options within walking distance of our block.
According to the NY Observer, you guys are leaving behind PJ Clarke’s. Well don’t you worry, the original one is here in Midtown- although 3rd Ave. is a pretty long walk away.
Some much closer options, after the jump… Read more »