As soon as Chipotle announced that they would be launching a new Asian fast food concept known as Shophouse, we knew this had to be coming… ML favorite, Pure Thai Shophouse (on 9th btw. 51+52nd) is now calling themselves Pure Thai Cookhouse. A call to the restaurant confirms that Chipotle did indeed set their legal hounds on the Hell’s Kitchen Thai spot forcing them to drop the “Shophouse” moniker. Although it was a sucker punch for this tiny Thai eatery, everything else, including the menu and ownership, is still the same as before.
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In case you missed it on Eater yesterday, our very own Blondie & Brownie scored a book deal this week! The project is tentatively titled “New York ala Carte” and will be a “guide to the city’s gourmet food cart scene, with more than 60 recipes from New York’s top vendors.” We don’t want to give away all the secrets, but I think it goes without saying that many of our favorite Midtown Lunch vendors will be highlighted (and you might see the names of a few more ML contributors popping up to help with the project.) As the project starts to come together we’ll be sure to fill you guys in before anybody else, but for now you can get a few more details about the book over on their blog, and make sure to congratulate them in the comments.
Followers of The Bistro Truck on twitter may have noted with concern the recent tweets saying that yesterday was its last day on the road for a while. Yesterday afternoon, a notice when out from their PR folks saying that chef Yassir was heading to Morocco to “gather inspiration” and that “big plans” and “exciting news and updates” would be coming when he returned. Zagat Buzz apparently received the email and speculates about a potential brick and mortar launch. We can’t say either way, but have no idea how we’re going to manage 2-3 months without that delicious mixed grill platter.
It appears that the just barely out-of-bounds Cafe Niagara (38th btw 8+9th) has sold its last serving of Sri Lankan specialties. Customer pleas for help apparently couldn’t save them as the storefront has been shuttered for multiple days. I’m sad to see this Midtown oddity go, but not at all surprised. It was always empty and as thrilled as I was when I first stumbled upon it, my subsequent visits were never as exciting or satisfying. I actually bumped into a guy coming out of the restaurant who said he was “looking at the space.” I would have pumped him for more info but he did not seem interested in talking to “the media.” Now we’ll just have to wait and see what moves in next. Maybe Las Poblanitas will come back. I know that would make a lot of Lunch’ers happy.
2 Bros. $1 pizza empire has multiple locations in Midtown that attract long lines during prime lunch hours, but it seems their attempt to add burgers to the pies at the 46th St. location (btw. 5+6th) did not fare as well. I liked them just fine, but they weren’t cheap enough or good enough to attract much attention and I never even got around to trying their 5 Guys-esque new menu. Last week, a commenter tipped me off to the apparent demise of Bros. Burgers, so I headed over to investigate.
The Biryani Cart empire appears to be expanding its borders beyond 46th and 6th. Their Juicy Wings cart, which hasn’t actually been serving wings since February, is now set up 2 blocks south on the SW corner of 44th & 6th serving traditional favorites like biryani, street meat and kati rolls right next to My Biryani, a cart heavily “inspired” by Biryani Cart. The move will surely result in some “friendly” competition, but when I stopped by the much less well-known My Biryani was actually serving more people in its usual spot than the recently relocated offshoot of the original. It will be interesting to see how lines compare as more people realize they can get Biryani Cart food two blocks away, presumably with less waiting.
Every Friday our man UltraClay goes south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.
Spring is here! As usual, New Yorkers everywhere are seeking out any and every excuse to spend time outside. This week, we’ve got a bunch of Flatiron news on that front, with four new opportunities to enjoy lunch in the great outdoors.
I don’t know what it is about burgers this week but out of nowhere I noticed this sign up announcing a new burger shop coming to 36th Street, just off of 6th Avenue. It’s in an old salon space next to a pizza shop. There’s no real hint as to what type of burger shop this will be, but we’ll keep our eyes and ears peeled.
I was dismayed to learn in the forums that Hing Won (48th btw. 5+6th) was closed on Weds. and Thurs. last week (with a yellow DOH sticker behind the half shut gate). Whatever closed them down must have been an easy fix, because when I stopped in on Friday they were open and everything appeared to be back to normal. And their latest inspection is downright shocking…
Imagine my surprise and amusement when I opened this month’s issue of Food & Wine magazine, and saw that our very own champion of eating-out-for-lunch, Zach Brooks, was featured in an article advocating home cooking(!?). The article features healthier home cooked (and frankly tasty looking) interpretations of some of Zach’s favorite Midtown lunches, including Kwik Meal’s lamb shawarma and General Tso’s chicken.
So click through to check out F&W’s spin on these ML classics; And though we encourage everyone to try these recipes at home, we urge you to resist the temptation of bringing your leftovers to work for lunch.