Top Chef’s Katusuji to Pop Up Mexikosher at Pitopia Today at 2pm

If you are a Top Chef fan or a fan of Kosher Mexican food you’ll want to take a late lunch and head to Pitopia (on B’way + 37th) today at 2pm, where recent Top Chef contestant Katsuji Tanabe will be doing a pop up of his popular Los Angeles restaurant Mexikosher. (Originally it was scheduled for 2pm 6pm but they moved it up to accommodate demand.)  It’s a little bit more money than we like spend on lunch, but Kosher food is expensive, and it’s way cheaper than a plane ticket to L.A.

Pitopia, 1369 Broadway (on 37th). 212-792-6765

Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong Now Serving Lunch

Photo courtesy of Serious Eats

For those that have tried and failed to dine at the ultra hot Manhattan outpost of Korean BBQ specialist, Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong, you now have a chance to score a table at lunch. The restaurant will now be open starting at 11:30am on the weekdays, and will remain open all day and late into the night. This is great news for those that have been quoted several hour wait times at dinner – I dined here last weekend and waited two hours, which was well worth it in my opinion. But such crowds are to be expected after the breathless coverage, glowing praise, and a level of hype that is typically reserved for a new Torrisi or Momofuku outpost.

The menu won’t waver from dinner, which means that few dishes will be in the ML $10 price threshold save for the $7.99 lunch box and soups and stews that start at $10.99. However, the main reason that you’re here is likely for the BBQ, which features nose-to-tail cuts of beef and pork, including a jaw-dropping dish of marinated pork collar.

At Baekjeong, good things come to those who wait. For those that don’t have the luxury of time, now there is lunch.

Kang Ho Dong Baekjong, 1 E. 32nd (at 5th Ave.) 212-966-9839

The Obligatory Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Lent Post

Today is a post-Mardi Gras, pre-Easter Friday, and you know what that means? Those of us who observe Lent generally refrain from eating meat on Fridays (and sometimes on Wednesdays, and some sects do the entire Lenten period… But that doesn’t mean deliciousness should stop! Most people seem to lean towards fish on days they don’t eat meat (which explains the return of the filet’o'fish to McDonald’s), and Midtown Lunch seems to have loved Kim’s Aunt’s Kitchen Cart in the past – though no one’s mentioned it since 2012.

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“Times Sq. Food Market” City Kitchen Opens Today!

City Kitchen had their soft opening last night and opens to the public today at 11am. This is the latest addition to the growing NYC trend of ‘food halls’ – although some might question whether or not 9 vendors actually qualifies as a food hall. In any case, since the food at soft openings can vary drastically from what you actually get from a place once it’s open (both in terms of quality and portion size, since they want you to try everything), I’m going to just share with you the prices/photos of the posted menus, without comment. Well… without much comment.

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Chutney Kitchen Brings Roti Wraps and Naan Tacos to Hell’s Kitchen

A reader recently sent in a tip about a newly opened “Indian-accented Chipotle” that opened roughly 3 weeks ago on 8th Avenue, just north of 51st Street. When I went to check it out, I noted with some amusement that it is actually directly next to an actual Chipotle and wondered if this was intentional – those lines get pretty long, right? (I’ve never actually really eaten at Chipotle.)

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Savor Sichuan Solidifies Midtown West As NYC’s “Little Sichuan”

There are Sichuan restaurants all over the city, but the largest concentration of them has to be in Midtown West. I have no statistics to back that statement up but now that Savour Sichuan has opened in the old China Sun. our spice receptors in Midtown West will never yearn for heat again. We first heard about this place from Eater, who seems to have added it to their regular take-out rotation. I finally got a chance to visit this past week and tried two dishes.

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Help Street Vendor Project Lift The Permit Cap

Food truck lovers mourned last week when we discovered Cinnamon Snail would be calling it quits for good. The big reason for this sad news is because it is next to impossible to obtain a permit to legally vend in New York City.

As we’ve mentioned on this blog before, the permitting system for mobile food vendors is broken. Since the 1980′s there has been a strict limit on the number of permits available for vendors. And unless you were lucky enough to purchase one back then, you basically have to rent one from somebody that was. While the DOH only charges $200 every two years to renew the permit, the actual permit holders are charging food vendors well over 100 times that amount. It makes for a next to impossible task that both criminalizes vendors and limits the opportunities for new immigrants.

The good news is the Street Vendor Project is working on a new campaign to lift the caps. You can sign the petition online, but tomorrow the SVP will be at Cinnamon Snail talking to people about the situation and signing a petition to gain support for the campaign. The truck will be parked a little outside of Midtown on 21st and Fifth Avenue, but it’s worth the walk to support the situation and to get one last vegan doughnut before the truck closes for good on Saturday.

Rhong-Tiam Opening Soon in Midtown East

Midtown East will soon get a new dose of Thai food, as the Rhong-Tiam Burger truck is opening a brick and mortar shop on Lexington Ave. and 39th. There’s no word yet on the menu, but by the looks of their website, it’ll be more than just Asian-inspired burgers and will focus on Thai food. So we know very little, but at least we have something new replacing Desi Shack. What do you all think? Excited?

Wasabi Sushi & Bento Celebrates Anniversary With Free Onigiri: Wasabi Sushi & Bento (on 7th Ave. and 40th Street) is celebrating their first NYC birthday. To commemorate the occasion – through February 28th – they'll be giving away one seaweed or salmon onigiri to any customer who tags @Wasabi_NYC on any of their social media accounts (Instagram/Facebook/Twitter).  All you have to do is show your post at checkout. Freeloaders, engage!

No Need to Wait at Sprawling Relocated Kunjip

Ktown mainstay Kunjip reopened on the south side of 32nd street a few months ago, slightly closer to 6th Avenue than before. I will admit to dining here regularly at 3 or 4am after drunken nights out. The worst part was always waiting for a table. Why so many people at that hour? We all knew it’s one of the better restaurants opened at that hour. But look at this new space of two sprawling floors!

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