Archive for '56th btw. 5+6th'

Korean Food @ Pro Hot Bagel (?!?!)

There seems to be a new trend emerging in Midtown.  Korean food is taking over!  It seems as if everywhere you go, someone is serving Korean food in an unlikely place.  It is almost as if the Korean restaurant owners in Midtown have realized, “We don’t have have to serve Mexican food and Sushi!  Our food is delicious, and people will eat it!”  Sure, a lot of people still don’t know what Bulgogi is (it is Korean BBQ’d beef by the way), and Bi Bim Bap sounds like weird Jazz… but it doesn’t change the fact that if you like Asian food, you should not be afraid of Korean.  It’s delicious, and this is a welcome trend. 

For me, the whole thing started with Cafe Duke.  I thought it was so awesome that they had this Korean station inside an otherwise generic Midtown deli.  Then the fried fish cart on 46th started serving Bulgogi, and the Bulgogi Sandwich cart opened on 49th.  A few weeks ago I noticed a sign on Ambrosia, a deli on 45th St., offering Korean food (right next to the sign that touts their awesome Mexican Fiesta food… unfortunately it’s a little too pricey for my tastes).  When I finally stumbled upon Pro Hot Bagel, I realized that something big was happening.

Pro Hot Bagel, a deli on 56th btw. 5+6th has been taken over by Korean & Japanese food.  It started slow when a few months ago they added a small sushi bar to their mammoth list of sandwiches (and bagels).  But recently they have gone all out, adding a Udon/Soba station, that also serves Bento Boxes, Bulgogi Boxes & Bi Bim Bap.

Pictures and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

Kiiroi Hana (To Go)

After snapping the picture of the new Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine set to open on 56th St. I happened upon a place that caught my interest.  What appeared to be a generic middle of the road Midtown sushi joint, had placed a cooler/glass case in front of their restaurant and were selling pre-made little boxes of sushi and other Japanese food… and there was a line.  I love sushi, and am always looking for good, cheap sushi at lunch, but I usually avoid the restaurant places because they are a little bit more money then I want to spend, and I don’t really eat at sit down places for lunch.  I’ll make exceptions for buffets, and really good ramen places… but sushi restaurants, I tend to avoid.

But this one was selling boxes of sushi out front, and that makes it exciting!  I don’t know what it is about setting up shop on a sidewalk that makes something more appetizing to me, but it just does.   Sell fresh made delicious sushi (or BBQ, or falafel, or gyro or teriyaki for that matter), in a restaurant where I have to sit, order, wait and then tip, and I’ll hesitate.  But take the same food, put it in a to go container, and sell it on the sidewalk for the same price- and I’ll be the first one on line.   

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

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Men Kui Tei

I’m not a ramen expert.  I’ve never been to Japan.  But I love Asian food, and the few experiences with ramen bars I’ve had here in New York City have been positive.  I’m a huge fan of Momofuku.  Probably because I love pork, and they do pork pretty darn well.  Reading alot of the Momofuku backlash on places like Chowhound has gotten me well acquainted with what ramen afficianados consider more traditional ramen places in New York City.  The truth is for someone just looking for decent lunch in Midtown, all three Midtown recommendations will yield delicious food.  In fact I find it hard to compare three places that are all really good- but there are some small differences that may make a difference to different people.

One of the three places is right next to my office, and I wrote about it a few weeks ago.  Sapporo.  Highly recommended, and considered pretty authentic, many people claim it is the closest thing to a real Japanese ramen place.  I enjoyed my lunch there, and I’ll definitely recommend it and eat there again.  But for some people, Sapporo might be a far walk, or a little too authentic (i.e. dirty) and the ingredients are on the cheap side.  So with that in mind, you have another option:  Men Kui Tei on 56th between 5th & 6th ave.

In comparison to Sapporo, Men Kui Tei is definitely a more “business” environment.  The decor is a little nicer (if that’s what you’re into), but it’s also a lot smaller, and fills up much easier (a big drawback if you are in a rush and don’t get there early enough).  In fact, we got there at 12:15pm, and still have to wait 5 minutes for a table.  By the time we left at 12:50, there were about 8-10 people lined up along the wall inside the doorway.  I would definitely recommend getting there early.  In fact, they even offer an Early Bird special.  Get there before 12:15pm and an order of Gyoza are $2.50 (instead of $4) and the “Set Menu” Curry Rice or Fried Rice is $1.50 (instead of $3.00).

Pictures of what we got, and the +/- after the jump…

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