Archive for 'Out of Bounds'

Smiler Gourmet Deli Fills The Void Left By Piece Of Chicken

It was a sad day when Piece of Chicken closed: The last vestige of the New Orleans style restaurant Jezebel. The small take out window provided west-siders with $1-2 fried chicken, livers, collards, waffles and mac & cheese. It was a godsend after a few pitchers at Rudy’s bar (or many of the 9th Avenue dives) and was also a great inexpensive lunch option in Midtown. However, when one door closes another opens, and Smiler Gourmet Deli (on 9th Ave at 45th) located on the opposite corner of the former POC has begun to promote their “Crunchy Chicken,” taking advantage of the locals need to grab something satisfying that is both fast and easy. The special is four pieces for $2.99. That is even cheaper then POC! I had to check it out.

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Hallo Berlin Cart to Return in 2011!?! (In the Meantime, Hallo Berlin Express’s $10 Lunch Menu is Great)

Hallo Berlin lunch specials

The denizens of Midtown have been eagerly awaiting an update on the return of the Hallo Berlin cart, which closed last October after the sad passing of co-owner, Rolf Babiel. I recently stopped by the express location to inquire about the cart, and ending up sticking around for lunch when I noticed that they are now offering $10 combo lunch specials. But first, some news on the cart – the manager on location was unable to commit to a firm date on the cart’s return, but mentioned that it should be launching sometime next spring. She also mentioned that the cart will be located in its original spot on 54th and 5th Ave. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on news of the cart’s comeback as we get more details.

In the meantime, check out Hallo Berlin Express’ lunch specials after the jump.

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Mooncake Foods is Coming to Midtown West

Midtown West is getting another exciting lunchtime option. A new branch of Mooncake Foods is currently under construction on 54th St, between 8th & 9th ave, with a targeted opening date of early January. Lunchers who are familiar with Mooncake’s fast-casual Asian fusion concept should be particularly excited, as they do an admirable job of turning out quality, tasty, food for $10 and under. I’ve always been a fan of their generous portions and fresh flavors, and apparently so is our old friend Lunch’er Adam Prato (his job moved Downtown a few months back.)  Never been to the Downtown or Chelsea locations?  You can see a write up of the place on the Downtown section of the site.  And we’ll be sure to keep you updated with an exact opening date, the menu, as well as pictures of the space. Mooncake Foods, 359 West 54th St (between 8th & 9th).

Pure Thai Shophouse Makes Me Never Want To Eat At Any Other 9th Ave. Thai Restaurant Again

Pure Thai Shophouse Front

Usually 9th ave is out-of-bounds from an ML perspective, and the opening of a new Thai restaurant in this area of town is hardly sensational – in fact, there’s no less than 15 Thai restaurants within a 4 block radius of the newly opened Pure Thai Shophouse. But after reading Grub Street’s opening report, and learning of the pedigree of Chef David Bank, who previously worked under Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Mercer Kitchen, I decided that this would require an out-of-bounds journey. And boy am I glad I made that trip.

A meander down 9th ave in search of Thai sustenance can be overwhelming. One Thai restaurant might cater to customers who prefer to dine amongst garish bubblegum pink décor, while the next Thai venue offers an exclusive ‘secret’ menu to the knowledgeable few with an old copy of the Zagat guide or access to All serve the same highly fungible crowd pleasing dishes of pad thai, drunken noodles, and curries in various earth toned colors. However, if you’re ever in doubt as to which Hells Kitchen Thai joint to pick for lunch, I’ll suggest that Pure Thai Shophouse is perhaps the only Thai restaurant worth visiting on 9th ave.

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City Sandwich Brings Portuguese Awesomeness to Midtown West

City Sandwich Front

I first got word of a new Portuguese inspired café, unassumingly named “City Sandwich” (on 9th Ave btw 45+46th St) via Eater this week. With the temporary incapacitation of Xie Xie, there is again a sore gap in Hells Kitchen for ethnic sandwiches, so ‘Portuguese sandwiches’ required immediate investigation.

There’s a lot to like about the humble honesty of this place – whether it’s the inviting Ikea-esque décor, their quirky mantra of “No Mayonnaise” (they prefer yogurt), or their kaleidoscopic menu of soups, salads, and 20 different sandwiches, each playfully named after a friend or family member of the Chef/Owner. Lest we not judge a book by its cover, underneath this demure appearance is some serious cooking and ambitious food… well worth traveling a bit out of bounds for.

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Your First Look at Bai Cha, The Hell’s Kitchen SE Asian Street Food Stand

Bai Cha Exterior

I love seeing scrappy underdog restaurants pop up out of nowhere. Word-of-mouth publicity from readers of Midtown Lunch carries a lot more weight with me than slick advertising campaigns. So, yesterday, when we heard through the grapevine about a new (but slightly-out-of-bounds) restaurant that serves Southeast Asian street food, our interest was piqued. On paper and in concept, I was instantly sold – Thai inspired papaya salads, Malaysian satay skewers and roti’s and what’s that… a BANH MI? To borrow a quote from Anthony Bourdain, I would cheerfully “crawl naked across broken glass” for a good banh mi. It’s my absolute favorite food, ever.

I was so excited for the prospect of good Malay and Viet food, that I skipped a work happy hour (sorry co-workers that may be reading this) and voyaged over to 9th ave to get my banh mi fix. So do we finally have a bonafide banh mi in Midtown West?
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SE Asian Street Food Market Opens on 9th Ave.

A few weeks ago Lunch’er “Emily” (not today’s profiled lunch’er, but a different Emily) told us about Bai Cha, a self proclaimed South East Asian street food & market (on 9th Ave. btw. 49+50th) and today Life With Food and Drink confirms that it’s open and has posted a copy of the menu. Satay, salads, banh mi, roti and dumplings… It’s slightly out of bounds, but with a Vietnamese street food line-up like that I think we can walk the extra avenue to check it out. Early adopters, let us know how it is in the comments.

Holey Cream’s Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich Can Be Lunch, Right?

Holey Cream Menus

‘Tis the season to eat ice cream and with some sunny and warm weather in the forecast today, might I suggest a slightly out of bound excursion to Holey Cream in Hell’s Kitchen for a donut ice cream sandwich? After all if there’s any day it would be ok to enjoy a doughnut ice cream sandwich for lunch, it’s National Doughnut Day!

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Olieng Makes a Pad Thai Worth Stepping Out of Bounds For

Olieng Thai

I love Pad Thai and I’m always on the hunt for a tasty and filling version of the classic noodle dish. Hells Kitchen has no shortage of Thai restaurants, but only one of them got the two thumbs up from veteran Midtown Luncher, Talida of Talida Bakes. Talida’s parents are both from Thailand and I’ve seen her in action ordering dinner for a dozen food bloggers at Sriprapai, so when she told me that Olieng was her go to place for real Thai style Pad Thai, I had to give it a try.

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Tax Day Slice Action at NY Pizza Suprema

NY Pizza Suprema

There’s nothing more miserable than standing in line at the post office, unless it’s standing in line at the post office on Tax Day. For those of you haven’t e-filed and find yourselves in the unfortunate position of heading to the city’s main post office to mail in your returns, might I suggest a side trip to the slightly out of bounds NY Pizza Suprema for a fortifying slice?

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