Archive for 'Burbank/North Hollywood'

How Could Anybody Not Like Cafe Colombia’s Carbtastic Patacon?

Cafe Colombia

Every Tuesday our Profiled Lunchers make my lunch wishlist grow longer and longer.  At the top right now… Chin Ma Ya downtown (courtesy of Nina), Ho Ho Kitchen in Mid City (courtesy of Nick), and the deli counter at Rose Café and Market on the west side (courtesy of Lilly). But on Monday I was craving some Colombian home cooking, so I took Lunch’er Dan’s advice and headed to Cafe Columbia in Burbank.

I know how some people here feel about carbs (and fried pork… and fried carbs with fried pork).  And even though I’m guessing those people don’t read Midtown Lunch I do want to issue this quick warning as a courtesy to them… it’s about to get ugly.

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Am I Crazy or Is Pitfire Pizza Not Terrible? (Even By New York Standards!?)


I distinctly remember my very first New York burrito. It was at a cheap dive called La Paloma in Hell’s Kitchen, and after a few years of living in L.A. (preceded by 9 years of eating at the very worthy Anna’s Taqueria in Boston) I pretty much thought it was terrible. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I never had a great burrito in New York. That is a “real” burrito, which to me means a giant tightly wrapped nugget in tin foil, eaten with your hands, and usually stuffed with delicious carnitas. (That’s how I do it.) Some people call it “mission style”. Or “dry” (because it doesn’t have sauce poured over the top.) I just call it a burrito.

But as time went on (I spent 5 years in New York) I could feel myself gradually becoming more accepting of New York’s burrito offerings. And by the end of my time there, I even called certain burritos “decent”- even though they probably weren’t half as good as that original burrito from La Paloma (which I claimed to hate.) Now that I’m back in L.A. I’m guessing the same thing is going to happen with pizza. Because as everybody knows, the pizza here is as bad as the Mexican food in NYC. I don’t doubt that there are decent slices to be had in Los Angeles, and of course there is now Mozza and Antica and even Bottega Louie. But those aren’t Midtown Lunches. Where do us cheap bastards go for a decent pizza lunch!?

Pitfire Pizza? Seriously?!

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Sri Siam Depresses Me With Its Awesomeness


I’ve been in L.A. only two weeks now and I have to admit I am completely overwhelmed.  Seriously.  How do you people do it?  With so many amazing and diverse neighborhoods, serving up interesting under $10 lunches, deciding where to eat every day is completely daunting.  No matter where you work, you can travel five minutes in any direction and find some strange deliciousness… and it’s no easy task trying to keep up with it.  My wife reminded me that I felt the same way when we moved from L.A. to Manhattan, and while that time and place seems like a distant memory, I vaguely remember that being my motivation for starting Midtown Lunch.

I guess what I’m trying to convince myself is this feeling of vertigo is familiar, and eventually it will pass (at least that is what I’m going to keep telling myself!)  The problem is I keep eating at places like Sri Siam!  The recommendations keep pouring in, each one better than the next, and while some people would take joy in finding a great new spot for lunch- I kind of find it depressing.  How many Sri Siams are there out there, and how will I find the time to eat at all of them!? And most importantly how am I supposed to find time to eat at Sri Siam again! And make no mistake about it… I really want to eat there again.

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