Archive for 'Sophies'

Sophie’s Price Hike?: According to this posting in the ML forums, Sophie's Cuban has raised the prices of its specials from $8.63 to $9.80 with tax.  Not a huge increase, but inching ever so close to being disqualified from Midtown Lunch status. I suppose it's better than them closing more locations.

What’s in the Sophie’s Cuban Green Sauce?: Inspired by this post on the Serious Eats: New York forum, I emailed Sophie's Cuban to find out what exactly is in their green sauce. Their response: "It is a modification of peruvian aji, the only difference is that we are using jalapenos instead of the peruvian chile, which is called rocoto." Whatever the hell it is, it tastes pretty damn good on their pork and plantain sandwich!

Sophie’s Cuban Will Add Plantains to Any Sandwich?: From a ML commenter who went to the Sophie's Cuban on 50th & 3rd and decided to forgo the "pernil with a twist" in favor of their fried fish sandwich (with a twist): "I also asked him to tuck in some plantains and he didn't even think twice about it. Awesome. Sweet and fishy. And two tubs of green nom sauce."

Sophie’s Cuban Improves on Their Pork and Plantain Sandwich


When I first posted the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge I listed Sohpie’s Cuban’s fried pork and plantain sandwich as one of the major inspirations. So I was pretty pleased to hear that they were going to participate in the challenge. And while their entry (the “pernil with a twist”) isn’t really all that different from the original sandwich already on their menu, it is a slight improvement- and worthy of praise. (If for no other reason than the fact they are part of the reason this is even happening.)

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Sophie’s Cuban Enters the Sandwich Challenge

Thanks to Lunch’er Chris for the Photo

I was pretty excited to get this email in the old ML Inbox recently, since the fried pork and plantains sandwich from Sophie’s was one of the inspirations for the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge:

“Today I noticed that Sophie’s has a new ‘Special’ sandwich called the ‘Pernil with a Kick’.  It is almost the same as the infamous Fried Pork w/plantain sandwich but uses the roast pork (pernil) and they add their green sauce.  The pernil is more moist than the fried pork version and the green sauce does have a nice kick.  It was good.  Very good.” 

Awww yeah. Bring it on.

Sophie’s Cuban (Multiple Locations)

  • Crystal Pavillion Basement Food Court on 3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th)
  • Lexington btw. 40+41st

The Best Turkey Sandwiches in Midtown

I will admit, I’m not a big fan of turkey sandwiches- or turkey in general for that matter.  In a lot of ways, Midtown Lunch is completely anti-turkey sandwich.  Every day I post lunch recommendations so you don’t have to go to a place like Cafe Metro for a turkey sandwich.  But there will be no turkey hate this week… and while nobody will want to eat turkey for lunch next week, there are probably a lot of people who can’t wait for Thursday to get their turkey on.  So, here are three turkey sandwiches I can wholeheartedly recommend- if you can’t wait for Thanksgiving Day.


The turkey sandwich at City 75 (on 51st btw. 5+6th). $6.45. Every day this otherwise generic Midtown deli roasts a whole turkey (sometimes 2) and carves it up fresh for turkey sandwiches.  There isn’t any stuffing or gravy or cranberry sauce, but it’s still a big notch above Boar’s Head.

The cranberry sauce and stuffing option is after the jump…

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Scaffolding & NYT to Blame For Sophie’s Closing

If only it had been like this every day…

Got a response yesterday from Sophie’s Cuban HQ explaining why the 40th Street location closed this week:

“It never really generated enough business to cover expenses. We had hoped that the scaffolding [that is up in front of the building] would come down by summer but instead their project is indefinitely delayed. Scaffolding creates a gloomy environment and has an adverse impact on sales. The New York Times building didn’t provide as many customers as we expected either and so we have moved on. We are searching for a replacement location in the area (East of 7th) and will let you know when we get ready to open.”

I think we all could have eaten more fried pork and plantain sandwiches… we won’t let you down next time Sophie’s!

Sophie’s Cuban Takes Another Step Backward


The Sophie’s Cuban location on 40th Street btw. 7+8th, which always seemed crowded during lunch, is now closed.  This surprising turn of events comes less than six months after being written up by the New York Times, and less than 9 months after opening.  The company itself doesn’t seem to be in any trouble (they just opened a new location on 23rd Street btw. Madison+5th) but who knows.  If you are a huge Sohpie’s fan, you’ll have to make due with the other two Midtown locations (in the food court on 3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th, and on Lex. btw. 40+41st) or the two former Sophie’s locations, now called Tina’s Restaurant (56th btw. 5+6th and Madison btw. 33+34th), where the food is exactly the same.

All is not lost though- at the very bottom of the sign it says “Look for a new Sophie’s Cuban Restaurant opening in this area in the near future.” But that just makes you wonder why they closed this one. Emails to the company yesterday were not returned. Thanks to Lunch’er Dan for the tip.

Margon & Sophie’s Make NYT Best Cuban Food List: This weekend's New York Times Travel section features an article about the best Cuban restaurants in New York City and both Margon (on 46th btw. 6+7th) and Sophie's Cuban (multiple locations) are briefly mentioned at the end, as cheap options).  I love them both, but isn't it nteresting that neither is owned by Cubans (Sohpie's was started by Peruvians and I believe Margon is owned by Dominicans.)

Sophie’s Cuban Gets Reviewed by the NY Times

The Fried Pork Sandwich from Tina's Restaurant, Midtown NYC
Fried Pork and Plantain Sandwich

Yesterday it was Gourmet Magazine editor Ruth Reichl shining a light on Midtown Lunch’ing, this morning it’s the New York Times.  Sophie’s Cuban, one of the more popular lunch’ing options we have (and not just because of their free lunch grand openings), is reviewed in the $25 and under column in the New York Times today.  Considering that the newest location (40th btw. 7+8th) is across the street from their building, it’s not all that surprising.  Pete wells pays special attention to the pork and plantain sandwich, calling it “authentic sandwich bliss.”  He also mentioned the all too familiar sensation of having your “mind go blank“ shortly after eating it.  My brain is going numb just thinking about it. [NYT]