A little over a year ago we asked if Picnic on 57th was just a generic Midtown deli, or a spot worthy of further inspection. It look awhile, but Lunch’er Apikoros recently responded with a resounding yes! He sent us this station by station report, ending on his absolute favorite dish at Picnic…
Like most of the readers of Midtown Lunch, I try to shun the generic New York Deli in favor of more eclectic fare. And yet, like most of you, I still often find myself at the local generic delis picking up something quick and easy to bring back to eat at the desk.
About a year ago, a “new” (are any of them really offering anything new?) generic deli opened on 57th street between 3rd and Lexington called Picnic. They offered the usual selections of sandwiches, sushi, steamed lunches, and soups. A few months ago they added a generic, though large selection, of make your own salads. I have sampled a lot of what they have to offer in the last year. From the Sandwich Area, I have had the Philly Cheese Steaks, with fries, for 7.95 which were worth the money but nothing to go up in arms about it. Their “Bahn Mi”, while a tasty sandwich, isn’t really a Banh Mi at all, lacking Pate, radishes, spiciness and some of the other accoutrements. The Shrimp BLT, with Bacon and Avocado is great, but again, worthy of a Midtown Lunch shout out? Nope. All the sandwiches are good, packed with fillings, tasty selections and reasonably priced. There are intriguing selections and quasi-unusual choices. They are all a step above Toasty’s and Fresh, the equivalent local competitors, but nothing is at the “WOW!” level.
If the selections were to get a B- to B+ rating, the steam table would be a B+ to an A.