Archive for 'Subway Lunch'

Subway Churros Are Gooooood


A few weeks ago somebody mentioned in the forums that you can often find churros being sold in the subway station on 53rd and Lex. Well last week, I was passing through there during lunchtime and sure enough… churros! 2 for $1, and despite the freezing cold weather they were surprisingly fresh tasting. I got mine around 1:30pm, so they were not warm (obviously) but were surprisingly still soft on the inside. The pushcart usually doesn’t show up until Noon, and they’re are on the subway platform (so you have to pay the fare), but if you’re taking the E or V to or from that station and are lucky enough to spot some churros action, don’t make the mistake of walking by. It’s only $1!

Forums – Subway Churros Ladies

Subway Roulette is a Great Way to Pick Lunch

Subway Lunch

I’m a big advocate of taking the subway to lunch.  If you have a monthly pass it’s free, and with a little bit of planning you can easily get a delicious lunch in a different neighborhood in under an hour.  If you don’t like to plan do what Peter Cherches from Word of Mouth does- play subway roulette.

“Sometimes I feel like getting out of the neighborhood for lunch, for variety, but some place not too far, maybe three of four stops on the train.  So I go to the subway at Lexington & 53rd and wait for a train.  The two choices are the E and the V.  If the E comes first I hop on and go to lunch on 8th, or more likely 9th Avenue.  If the V comes first I go some place close to 6th Avenue, maybe one of the Korean places on W. 32nd or maybe Szechuan Gourmet.”

Yesterday, the E came so he ended up at Bali Nusa on 9th Ave. (one of my personal favorite out of bounds lunch spots.)  This could be the greatest idea ever.  Do you work near a subway stop with multiple trains?  What would your roulette options look like?

Subway Lunch: This Could Be the Perfect Week For Banh Mi
You Can Make it to Porchetta and Back in an Hour
Both Shake Shack’s Are Do-Able From Midtown in 60 Mins

You Can Make it to Porchetta and Back in an Hour

Photo courtesy of Robyn Lee from Serious Eats: New York

Oh man, do I love pork.  And there are fewer better pork options in the city than a sandwich from Porchetta in the East Village.  So, when I got this email yesterday from Lunch’er Jeff, you can imagine my excitement.

I needed to combat all this pork-bashing in re: to swing flu. Just had an incredible lunch at Porchetta. I’m certain you’ve heard of it… it’s a fatboy’s dream. Had the porchetta sandwich and even split the pork ragu sandwich. I won’t give you the full review, but seriously… heaven. Thing is, even though it’s out-of-bounds, a co-worker and i did it in exactly an hour. We work on 50th and Lex. Granted the 6 subway is on our corner. But most eastside midtowners are near a subway stop… so we just shuttled down to Astor stop, walked the 3 or so blocks east… and bam! Oh did i forget to mention… it’s gourmet pork and can be had for under $10!! (yup, you are so there, i know it).

Photo courtesy of Kathy YL Chan from A Passion for Food

I like the cut of your jib Jeff! Subway lunch to Shake Shack is nice… but in the end, you can get a decent burger in Midtown. A sandwich like the one at Porchetta on the other hand. Ain’t nothing like that in these parts. We all thank you for the report! You can read more about Porchetta on Serious Eats: New York.

Subway Lunch: This Could Be the Perfect Week For Banh Mi

Thanksgiving might be the ideal week for a subway lunch.  Your boss took the week off, there’s not a lot of work to do, and you probably won’t be missed if the line is too long at the Shake Shack. Sure, you can make it there and back in under an hour with the perfect conditions, but it’s always better to wait for a week like this to try your luck (just to be safe.)  This particular lunch that I was emailed took place in Boston, but feel free to use it as inspiration.  It should be pretty easy to substitute “Saigon” or “Nicky’s” into the story, and it will still apply:

“I’ve seen the banh mi conversations running through Midtown Lunch, but have yet to try one. The only banh mi I have come across is the one at Dishes. At $12, (which, from what I can tell, is a 500% markup) it better have white truffles and gold flakes in it if you want me to order one. Well, what Midtown Lunch started, chowhound helped me finish. I am once again in Boston (I work there sometimes), and desperate for good food (I really don’t have a thing for mall food courts), I searched Banh Mi in Boston. After some consideration I decided to head out to Mei Sum Bakery in Chinatown at 40 Beach Street (1.2 miles away according to googlemaps). The goal, get banh mi and be back at the desk in less than one hour, while spending less than $10 bucks.”

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At Lunch Now: UWS Shake Shack Fail


As promised, I attempted to make it up to the new Upper West Side Shake Shack today in under an hour.  Unlike the the lunch’er who made the Monday attempt, I took the 1 Train.  I also didn’t leave early, or late- I went in prime lunching hour.  Here is how it went down…

12:17 Enter 1 Station on Broadway and 50th
12:23 Get on the Train
12:30 Train Arrives at 79 St. and Broadway
12:35 Get online at the Shack, which stretches out the door
12:55 Get to the counter to place order
12:58 Food is Ready

Now at this point, you could leave and make it back- in theory. We decided to stay.

13:17 Done Eating
13:25 Enter subway station at 79th and Broadway
13:26 Train Arrives
13:33 Exit Station at Broadway and 50th

1 Hour, 16 Minutes. A few things worth noticing… 5 mins from subway to the shack. 8 minutes to get back. You walk slower after eating lunch at the Shake Shack. You can easily shave 20 minutes off this time by taking your food to go, and you could aruge that the B is faster? Not sure. So, technically we could have made it there and back in under an hour- provided our office was located at the door of the subway station. You still have to make it from your office to the station.

Either way, the burger was great- but I will not be going back anytime soon. And it has nothing to do with the time.

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Whole Foods Is Hands Down the Best Generic Midtown Deli

In the far reaches of Midtown, there exists a magical place whose enormity, and depth of choice, is only eclipsed by its price.  A wonderland of lunches, that makes Dishes or Variety Cafe look like a sandbox inside Disney World.  Where prepared meals circle ethnic food stations, and pre-packaged sushi is turned out fresh by the minute.  If only it wasn’t hampered by the anti-fat man, pay the lb. price structure, it could possibly be the Midtown equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocoate Factory.

This place I speak of is Whole Foods, and I finally got a chance to check it out last week for lunch.  It rests on the Upper West Side corner of the Midtown Lunch boundries, on 8th Ave. & 59th St., Columbus Circle, in the basement of the Time Warner Center.  It is easily the best “Grocery Store” in Midtown, and despite its high prices and questionable business practices, the food is undeniably fresh and of a much higher quality than any other place in our area.

The grocery store is nice, but for lunch purposes, we’re looking at the prepared foods area.  The gigantic section between the “store” and the registers.  What they’ve got, grocery store porn and a +/- after the jump… Read more »

The Manhattan Mall Food Court… home to the only Arby’s in Manhattan

If you are a fan of the blog, you know I don’t write about generic fast food chains too often.  Nobody needs to read about Burger King or Wendy’s, and I have a special hatred in my heart for McDonalds (and Chipotle, which I know isn’t technically owned by McDonalds anymore, but can still be accurately referred to as a McBurrito).  But occasionally there is something interesting to write about, like the return of Popeyes to Midtown (the greatest fried chicken in the history of the universe), or Ranch 1/Chicken Bar- a fast food chain that I think really has something tasty and unique to offer.  I also reserve the right to write about Pollo Tropical, In N Out Burger, Panda Express, Baja Fresh, and Chick-Fil-A* if they ever get their acts together and open up Manhattan locations!  (* I am aware that Chick-Fil-A has a location in the NYU student center food court… but it technically isn’t open to the public.)

Arby’s is one of those places in the middle.  For many people, Arby’s is held in that special place in their heart (ironically, the same place you are doing damage to when you eat at places like Arby’s).  I’m on the fence.  There are no other cheap fast food places specializing in roast beef, but according to my wife, Arby’s is the bologna of Roast Beef- so it’s a toss up.  But here’s the thing.  Midtown is home to the only Arby’s in New York City (there are two in Queens).  And that makes it worthy of a Midtown Lunch write up.  It’s also housed in the food court of the Manhattan Mall… and I will use any excuse I can to visit a food court.

How we got there, what we ate and the food court fiasco- after the jump… Read more »