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Hopefully You Won’t See This Until Monday…

Happy Birthday America.

Transit Museum Food Cart Tour w/ Blondie & Brownie

Cinnamon Snail box of assorted doughnuts

A few months back, Brownie and I were approached by the Transit Museum to lead two food cart tours through Midtown East. Of course, we said yes. We are all about spreading the knowledge we learned while making New York a la Cart. The first of these tours happens this Friday, the 17th from Noon to 2pm–perfect for anyone who can take a long lunch. The tour will go up Park Avenue from Grand Central and you’ll learn all sorts of great things plus there will (most likely) be doughnuts. For more information on our tour and the other programs from the Transit Museum, click here. For tickets, click here.

Ranchito del Agave Shuttered For Serving Alcohol to Minors

It’s 23 Skiddoo for the Tequila Baron of 9th Ave – apparently Ranchito del Agave, who holds honors for buffet excellence dating back to the Brooks Era, was busted by the fuzz last week! A confidential source tipped us off to the sign and its big neon closure. Illegal alcohol sales? Anyone ever get offered something off the menu? Until they reopen, you can get your Mex on at Rinconcito Mexicano or La Montanita, not too far away on 8th.

UPDATE: We finally got to swing by the still-shuttered Ranchito, and a copy of the affadavit taped to the door (mostly torn off by unhappy Ranchitadores) states several incidents where a minor with the police auxiliary was served alcohol. Ouch!

At Lunch Now: Midtown Southwest Post Sandy

Stuck in the no-mans-land between Port Authority and Penn Station and looking to break the chain of tuna cans and penicillin-infected bread as you trudge back into the office? Fret not, you have options today!

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Flatiron News: Post-Sandy Food and Cell Charging Edition

In lieu of our regular review, we thought a partial list of open restaurants in Flatiron might be helpful.

Without power at my apartment and office, I relocated to the north. For those of you braver than I and still toughing it out in Flatiron, we thought you might appreciate a list of where to eat on Friday. Fingers crossed we get power back over the weekend.

Eater has been tracking restaurants that are open all around town since Sunday afternoon, and it put a smile on my face to see restaurants hosting sidewalk grill-outs to use up food before it spoiled. Check here for city-wide updates.

Arguably more important than food is the need to charge your cell phone. Mad Park News posted a list of places near the park to charge up as of October 31. They also posted the above photo of mass cell-charging at 7-Eleven on 5th Ave. I salute 7-Eleven for providing a place to charge phones.

If you are reading this, you might have enough battery to try your luck on But remember to follow Seamless’ Sandy Ordering Protocol, which requires calling the restaurant to double check that they are open and able to deliver.

Melt has been open with limited hours on Wednesday and Thursday with intermittent power and food outages. They are hoping to be open Friday but couldn’t confirm at press time. They hope to answer phones, so call 212.447.MELT (6358) to confirm.
55 West 26th street (between 6th Ave and Broadway), (212) 447-MELT (6358)

Hill Country
Hill Country will be open starting at noon, and they confirmed they will have a full menu on Friday.
30 West 26th Street (between 6th Avenue and Broadway), (212) 255-4544

Ace Hotel and NoMad Hotel
It also seems that just up Broadway, The Ace Hotel has opened The Breslin, John Dory Oyster Bar, No. 7 Sub, and Stumptown, in addition, to outlets for cell phone charging! And if you are interested in splurging over the ML budget to release some of your stress, NoMad is also open and serving.
Ace Hotel, 20 West 29th Street at Broadway, (212) 679-2222
NoMad Hotel, 1170 Broadway at West 28th Street, (212) 796-1500

Midtown Slowly Creeping Back to Life After Sandy

Greetings from Midtown! I actually made it into work today, walking from the UES down to Midtown. Didn’t see any carts yet all the way down 6th Ave., not even coffee carts, until I reached 46th where Kim’s Aunt Cart is parked on 46th street, but on the opposite side of the street from their normal spot. Eddie’s Pizza Truck is also parked on 46th, and Park Italian is open (but the Pret next door is not). In Times Sq. the Nuchas Kiosk is back open in its regular spot, and Snack Box is open too but has moved south closer to the Rickshaw Kiosk. And, the Starbucks on 53rd & 6th is open but has a massive line down out the door.

On the Twitter… Glaze Teriyaki let us know that they’re open in Midtown today with limited delivery (but still closed in Union Sq., naturally), as is Minar, the Potbelly on 36th & 7th, and the Shake Shack on 8th Ave. And according to this Ma Peche, PJ Clarke’s, 5 Napkin Burger, and Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen are all open. Are you back at work today? Feel free to let us know about any other notable openings in the comments.

Hey Restaurant Owners/GMs, Who Wants to Get Gordon Ramsay’d?

Out there in the Midtown Lunch readership, we hope that there are some of you who are involved in the restaurant industry (and if there are, can someone drop at least one food truck on 34th and 9th? Thanks in advance) and in this turbulent industry where something like 4 out of 5 new restaurants fail each year, there’s always room for improvement. Food Network is running an open casting call for restaurant owners and general managers to appear on a new TV show. Are you lamenting your fate and reading Midtown Lunch simultaneously? Reach out to Jessica Wendelborn ( with your name, contact details, business name and location. They want to “help” with the assistance of a “well known celebrity restaurateur,” so you could end up with a famous British shouter as easily as Daniel Bouloud.

My unsolicited advice for your failing restaurant would be to retool it into a ramen shop or izakaya and Skycrane yourself over to 35th, but I’m sure that the Food Network viewership would love to see your suffering get turned around in a TV-friendly manner. Anyone gonna take them up on this? Feel free to spread the word!

Lily O’Brien’s is No Longer

Lily O'Brien Dunzo

In a move that might shock no one, Lily O’Brien’s (40th btw 5th+6th) shut its doors on Friday and, as you can see from this picture, its presence is quickly being erased (thanks Wayne!) Why do I say “shocks no one”? For starters, the infinitely-better Lady M is opening a few doors down (we’re patiently waiting here, Lady M, no rush!) and Lily O’Brien’s did have a few internal problems I was privy to. There is hope to still snag their treats, according to the signs in the window.

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The Forums Will Hopefully Be Back Soon

Sorry it took so long but we finally took down the forums, which have been plagued with spam for the past few months. We were hoping to just fix the problem, but unfortunately the issue require us to make changes to the entire site which will take a bit longer. The good news is, when we relaunch the forums we’ll also be introducing some exciting improvements to Midtown Lunch as a whole… so you have that look forward to.  We’ve always been super proud of the community that we’ve built here at Midtown Lunch and are committed to having a place for you guys to exchange tips, organize meet ups and just mess around.  Rest assured we are working hard to fix the issue, and hope to have the forums back up and running (in addition to a lot of other exciting new changes) in no time.

New Season of Great Food Truck Race Starts Sunday

For season three, Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race is featuring competitors who have dreams of opening a food truck (but don’t yet have a business). The winner, in addition to $50,000, gets to keep the truck. Sounds like a brilliant idea – anybody remember America’s Next Great Restaurant? But that means no familiar faces, like our friends from Korilla, who got involved in a bit of a controversy last year. One team is from Parsippany, NJ, so if by chance they win, maybe they’ll try their luck in the Big Apple. The show premieres Sunday at 10 p.m.