Famous Halal Guys Now Control Both Sides of 53rd and 6th; Imposter Cart Disappears

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Is the epic street food battle of 53rd street finally over?! We received a tip via Twitter earlier this week that the Imposter Cart was no longer on the SW corner of 53rd and 6th, and sure enough yesterday we discovered a brand new Famous Halal Guys cart in its place. This should end the confusion that we’ve been covering for years, but the big question remains.  What the hell happened to drive away the “Imposter Cart” (who it’s worth noting, placed ahead of the Famous Halal Guys cart in last year’s Street Meat Palooza.)

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Want to Write For Midtown Lunch?

Sorry things have been so light around here lately.  Clearly we need some help in the editorial department! Want it to be you? Ideal candidate will be familiar with the Midtown Lunch brand of under $10 lunches, with a likeminded aversion to boring sandwiches and salads from generic Midtown delis. Do you always take your full lunch hour, aren’t afraid to walk the extra few blocks away from your work, and see things before we write about them?  Even better! None of us really make any money doing this (i.e. compensation is minimal) so ideal candidate will also already have a job in Midtown that pays well, and preferably that job will not have a boss that keeps you from going out to lunch every day. To apply please send an email to zach@midtownlunch.com detailing exactly why you should be the next member of our team. And be sure to include what area of Midtown you work in…

Ditto on the Mexican Food: Our intrepid Philadelphia correspondent Jamie (who you may remember from her days here in Midtown) just got back from Mexico City, and did this pretty amazing post on all the food she ate.  Warning: if you click on the link, be prepared for extreme jealousy.  And if anybody knows where to get any of this stuff in Midtown, the comments are open and waiting for your suggestions.

Broadway Bites Is Back Once Again…

It’s been just two months, so I imagine nobody has missed it too much. But Broadway Bites is back. The vendors opened on Monday on 33rd and B’way in Greeley Square, and will no doubt be selling overpriced lunches through November 14. Not much has changed since the summer, but a few new vendors will appear including Wafels & Dinges, Doughnuttery, and Domo Taco. The focus will be on comforting fall dishes like pumpkin pie cannolis and sage arancini. The vendors (full list is available here) will be open every day from 11am-9pm. This is, of course, good news for those who can’t walk a block away to the other UrbanSpaces market happening in Midtown West.

Traditional Polish Cuisine Truck Makes a Great Sausage

I’m not that well-versed in Polish cuisine, so I decided to check out the Traditional Polish Cuisine Truck one day — kielbasa and pierogi for $10? Sure, why not? I know kielbasa very well, but pierogi… let’s just say the few times I’ve had them, I’ve been wildly disappointed with their texture and taste, while other people around me seemed to be happy with them.

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Melt Shop Melts My Heart w/ Their Fried Chicken Sandwich

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One of my coworkers, AMM, is obsessed with Melt Shop. When she’s having a stressful work day, she orders from them – yep, they deliver! so no excuses in the upcoming cold weather or for those who don’t leave their desks for lunch (but you really should! take a walk! it’s good for you). One day when neither of us was having a bad day at work, we walked over so she could introduce me to the joys of Melt Shop.

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Danji to Offer ML Budget Friendly Gimbap


Photo credit: Hooni Kim

Hells Kitchen Korean restaurant, Danji, has earned a ton of accolades since its opening, including a Michelin star. Frustratingly their higher end lunch menu has always been just out of ML reach, with a lunch combo in the high teens. However, according to Chef/Owner Hooni Kim, Danji is now offering a sub-$10 lunch option in its offering of gimbap – think Korean style sushi rolls – $8 for the meat version with a choice of beef bulgogi or pork belly bo ssam and $7 for veg. Early adopters, let us know how it is in the comments. (And more importantly, whether it’s enough food to constitute a “lunch”.)

Danji, 346 W 52nd St (btw. 8+9th Ave). 212-586-2880

National Coffee Day Means Freebies on Monday

Pick a day of the year and it’s some sort of National [enter food/beverage] Day. But on National Coffee Day Sept. 29, there will be free and discounted caffeine, and we thought you may like to know where to get a cup. Financier locations around the city will be giving out free small cups of their new dark roast with any purchase, and Grand Central has several options. Irving Farm on the dining concourse has a cup of iced coffee involving maple for $2 from 7-9 a.m. and $4 after; Cafe Grumpy in the Lexington Passage is doing a tasting of two coffees from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Zaro’s Bakery in the Shuttle Passage has free upgrades on coffee sizes all day (medium for price of a small, etc.).

Sadly, Arirang Has Shuttered

In what is easily the most personally lamentable shutter announcement that I’ve ever posted in ML, I regret to report that beloved K-town mainstay Arirang, has reportedly closed.

During the past decade of eating in K-town, Arirang has been an agent of good times – cheerful and laid back service, cheap soju and fairly priced, awesome food that made the place a bargain whether you’re a lunch time or dinner time punter. I recall drunk dinners and hungover midweek lunches of sujebi, knife cut flecks of dough, swimming in profoundly rich bowls of chicken broth and many glasses of soju. Similar fare is non-existent in NYC – one would have to travel to Queens to get something similar.

I recall being so enamored with this place, that I submitted a hackneyed love letter to Zach, thus sealing my place as a contributor to this site over 4 years ago.

In Korean culture, the provenance of the term ‘Arirang‘ – often used as an unofficial Korean national anthem – denotes certain aspects of hope and optimism. In keeping with this theme, I can only hope that the future proprietor does this space justice.

Melt Shop is Coming to Midtown West

If you’re a worker that lunches in Hells Kitchen or a fan of Melt Shop, you’re in luck. The rapidly expanding grilled cheese chain has touched down in a relatively lunch option sparse block of 52nd & 8th. Although the reception of Melt Shop has a mix of lukewarm to fairly positive across all of the ML contributors, another lunch option in the neighborhood is always a good thing.