Chick Fil A Opens Amid Much Fanfare in Midtown Southwest

In case you live under a rock, Chick Fil A finally opened up their first ‘real’ NYC location at 37th and 6th Avenue. Lines have been crazy long but well-organized based on some things I’ve seen on my Facebook feed, so I imagine the protesters and controversy surrounding the chain hasn’t really done much to dampen the enthusiasm for fried chicken sandwiches.

There was a crazy opening ceremony that included their giving away “Chicken For A Year” to 100 lucky winners, which is described in explicit detail over at Gawker. Be warned – that’s a super long story that is entertaining and fun to read, but the bottom line is: that Gawker reporter is a genius for masking his (her?) Maker’s Mark as sweet tea by using lots of ice, but that Gawker reporter is also a complete moron for ruining his/her $4000 Macbook by waiting in the rain to be a part of the contest and winning what amounts to roughly $400 of fast food fried chicken sandwiches.

In any case, any early adopters out there? Let us know in comments what you think about Chick Fil A, or where we can find really delicious fried chicken sandwiches elsewhere in midtown that are under the $10 mark… and I will eat them all.

Chick Fil A, 1000 Avenue of the Americas (and 6th Avenue), New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 704-9920

Midtown East Clarke’s Standard Shuttered

On my Midtown wanderings yesterday, I passed by Clarke’s Standard and was greeted by this horrifying sight! You guys may remember me battling it out with y’all for what really is in the spirit of ML – calling you complainers and whiners, and mocking you when my lunch went over the $10 limit by 7c.

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Cachapas On Wheels Rolls In with Venezuelan Sandwiches

The best thing about food blogging is you get to straight-face talk about some really awesome stuff to the normies. It’s awesome to be able to kvell about Serbian kebabs back when Cevap Truck was still around, and even though we’ve reached Peak Korean Fusion, there’s few things better than describing Korilla or Kimchi Taco to non-Manhattanites. Now we get to throw another fun thing in: Venezuelan sandwiches. Cachapas on Wheels premiered in Manhattan earlier this week and they are making their way to Midtown. We’ve got the skinny on these super-dense sandwich bombs – check out below the jump for more.

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Video Break: Street Vendors Continue to Work to Lift the Permit Caps

We’ve been through this before on this site, but it bears repeating. Mobile food vendors in this city face a major hardship because the city has set a cap on the number of permits available. This, of course, has created a black market and forced many hard working food entrepreneurs to pay upwards of $25,000 to find a permit or in many cases, not operate at all. This is why we sadly lost The Cinnamon Snail earlier this year.

Last week there was a rally at City Hall, organized by Street Vendor Project, to push for a bill that would eliminate this cap. Our friends over at One Minute Meals documented the situation and the event in their newest video “You Can’t Feed City Hall.” Check out the video by clicking this link. As advertised, it’s just one minute but packed with important information.

1 Minute Meal: “You Can’t Feed City Hall” from James Boo on Vimeo.

Where To Go Today For Your Free Panda Express Orange Chicken: Just a reminder, we'll be hanging out with Panda Express in Midtown today giving out free orange chicken samples along with a bunch of gear and gift certificates. From Noon to 1pm the truck will be on 40th btw. B'way + 6th. And then from 4-5pm they'll be somewhere around 5th Ave. and 24th St. Tag @midtownlunch on social with the hashtag #orangechickenlove and then come find Zach and he'll hook you up.

Free Orange Chicken Is Coming to Midtown (And Panda Express is Bringing Me Along With Them)

It might have taken years, but Panda Express has finally listened to my plea! This week the New York Times reported that Panda Express is coming to NYC.  They have plans to open up locations on the Upper East Side (69th and 1st) followed by the Bronx, and then potentially Midtown next year (on 8th Ave. and 31st).  My love of Chinese steam tables is well documented, and here in Los Angeles Panda Express is hands down the best there is (see: orange chicken burrito). Some are skeptical (I’m looking at you Chang + Sietsema) and I admit that Panda will probably not replace your favorite egg roll/pork fried rice/general tso’s delivery spot.  But they’ve perfected the Chinese food fast food point-to-what-you-want model, specifically the orange chicken/chow mein combo that so few steam tables manage to get right.

Anyway, when I saw that they’d be bringing a food truck to Midtown to hand out free orange chicken in my favorite neighborhood in the country I begged them to take me with… and they agreed! (What can I say.  I miss you guys… and if shilling for my favorite fast food place in L.A. gets me a trip to hang with you, I’ll take it.)

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Pret A Manger Freebie Alert: Pret A Manger is opening its 42nd location in New York on Friday at 52nd and 7th, and to celebrate they're giving away free breakfast or lunch (or both). Stop by the newest location today from 8am to 10am and get a voucher for free breakfast and between 12 pm and 2pm to receive a voucher for free lunch (while supplies last). The shop itself doesn't actually open until Friday. Freeloaders, engage! Pret A Manger, 787 7th Avenue, between 51st and 52nd Streets

UrbanSpace Vanderbilt Is Seriously Crazy

As reported by Brian earlier, UrbanSpace Vanderbilt is CRAZY. His first words “The things we do for you, dear readers” could not ring more true because I HATE CROWDS (and when he reported how bad it was via email on Friday, I considered bailing). My impression was slightly different than his – crazier in some aspects, less crazy in others – what I ate, what I thought, and all of that after the jump.

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UrbanSpace Continues to Take Over Midtown with Garment District

As if the madness surrounding the overpriced Vanderbilt food court wasn’t enough, UrbanSpace has brought back another one of their outdoor food markets. Yesterday marked the first day of a new version of UrbanSpace Garment District along Broadway around 41st Street. Many familiar vendors, like Hill Country, Taco Bono, and Black Iron Burger return. They’re joined by this year’s Vendy Award winner Home Frite, Batter & Cream whoopie pies, Big Papa Smoke’M Smoked Meats, and many more. For a complete list of vendors, click here. The market runs through October 24.

UrbanSpace Vanderbilt Is Even Crazier Than You’d Expect

The things we do for you, dear readers. On Friday, I entered the belly of the beast by attempting to find some affordable food at UrbanSpace Vanderbilt on its second official day of business. I was anticipating crowds and waits in line, but I had not braced myself for total mass chaos.

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