Archive for September 2006

No Soup For Me, Thank You… PLUS the end of the week wrap up

I snapped this photo the other day while walking by the Original Soup Man chain (franchised from the original Soup Nazi on Seinfeld)…

Get it?  If you go to the left you get “No Soup”, because on Seinfeld the Soup Nazi used to yell “No Soup For You!”.  Remember?!?!?!  Hilarious… in a franchising something to capitalize on a sit-com, soul crushing kind of way.  So sad…

A picture of the real Soup Kitchen International- plus the end of the week wrap up… after the jump…

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Chicken & Rice Cart on 43rd & 6th (aka The Trini Paki Boys)

So, Fashion Week is almost over, and despite it being only one block away from Bryant Park, I didn’t get my picture of a model eating at the Chicken & Rice Cart on 43rd and 6th ave.  But it didn’t stop me from enjoying a medium order of delicious chicken, served over rice, at this Midtown street meat institution.

There are many halal carts, serving many things in Midtown.  And if you are one of the adventurous lunch eaters willing to eat at the Midtown carts, you know that they are not all created equal.  Not only do they all serve their own “type” of halal food, the quality can vary immensely depending on what cart you decide to get your street meat from.  The undisputed “Chicken & Rice” king, seems to be the cart on 53rd and 6th (it was a Vendy Award runner up for best cart last year).  But unfortunately, that cart doesn’t open up until 7pm.  So for lunch, the cart that comes up the most is the Chicken & Rice cart on the SE corner of 43rd & 6th.

Pictures and the +/- after the jump…

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First Look: (The New?) Sapporo

Sapporo, after being closed for two weeks for “repair work”, finally re-opened this past Friday.  While the food at this Midtown Ramen institution is delicious, I always felt like it was on the “dingy” side (especially when compared to Men Kui Teior Menchenkotei)- but with these “repairs” I was amped for a cleaned up version of one of my favorite Midtown lunch destinations.  Who knows what they would do?  New floors?  New Ramen Bar?  The possibilities were endless… especially considering what it looked like last Thursday afternoon.

Well, yesterday, I finally stopped by for my “First Look” at the new Sapporo…. and was surprised to find, the old Sapporo.  Actually, that’s not entirely true.  I thought it looked really nice… new tables, new chairs, the light seemed warmer and more inviting.  But then when I got home, and compared the new picture, to the old picture- it looked pretty much the same- (except for some minor changes).

Have you ever played Photo Hunt before?  The touch screen bar game where you have to find the little differences between two pictures before time runs out.  Well, it’s time for the first ever Midtown Lunch Photo Hunt! 

Find the differences between the Old and New Sapporo… after the jump.

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Fashion Soup Corp.

Continuing our Fashion Week theme, I decided to give the full +/- treatment to a place I discovered on Friday, and mentioned briefly in yesterday’s post.  Walking back to work from taking pictures of ‘wichcraft for my Fashion Week guide to Midtown Lunch, I randomly stumbled upon this weird little soup place- and based on the name alone, and what was going on half a block away in Bryant Park, I figured I had to check it out.  As big and strange as NYC is, it really is a small world.  Coincidentally enough, I ran into a friend of mine from college who I’ve maybe seen twice in the past 7 years, who was picking up lunch in the weird soup place.. so I asked him if it was any good, and on his recommendation I decided to check it out.

Whatever pre-conceived notion you might have about a place called “Fashion Soup Corp” it’s definitely wrong.  There’s nothing about this place that is fashionable (unless you count the fashion magazines strewn around the counter for patrons to read).  It’s actually so bare bones, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they opened up just for Fashion Week attendees once a year (like those Halloween stores in the mall)… but that is not the case.  Fashion Soup has been on 41st St. btw. 6th & Broadway for years- and the brother and sister duo who run it make a delicious array of homemade soups, sandwiches, quesadillas and empanadas for a menu that changes every single day.

What I got, and the +/- after the jump…

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Midtown Lunch’s Fashion Week Guide to Midtown Lunch

Oh how those fashion people love to eat!  Fashion Week is invading Bryant Park all week long, so to be a welcoming neighbor, I’ve decided to recommend some quick and cheap places to eat between fashion shows.  Now admittedly, I know nothing about fashion week, or the people who attend, or about the fashion industry in general… but how much different from you and I could these people possibly be.  I like food.  They must like food (who woudn’t, right?).  I’m a fat man.  They all think they’re fat.

Despite the gigantic tent taking up most of Bryant Park, ‘wichcraft is in fact open to the public.  The sandwich kiosk is just outside the northwest corner of the tent, and the soup and online order pick-up kiosk is just outside the southwest corner of the tent.  This would seem like the obvious choice for a reasonably cheap, and good meal for anybody attending one of the Fashion Week events…  after all ‘wichcraft could be considered the couture of midtown lunch sandwich shops (I don’t even know what that means- but it sounded pretty good right?). 

Because of its location, I’m guessing the lines will be long- and I’m not quite sure if the ‘wichcraft online ordering system works on Sidekicks, so… here’s some suggestions for food that will clearly show how little I know about people who attend fashion week.

The list of suggestions… and the first Midtown Lunch Photo Challenge- after the jump…

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Sapporo to re-open today (or will it???)… and the end of the week wrap-up

Apparently the Sapporo redux is totally on schedule.  As reported here on ML, they’ve been renovating for the past two weeks and had claimed that they would re-open today.   Well, these two signs were being put up last night around 6:30pm. 


The signs say they are going to be ready, but from the looks of things inside, they’re cutting it pretty close.  (Though the new chairs wrapped, and stacked in front of the window look lovely!)

A shot of the not quite done “New Look Sapporo”, plus a preview of next week- after the jump…

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The Asian Noodle Bar @ Dishes

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you know I’m not a huge fan of the “Midtown Deli”.  You know the place I’m talking about- salad bar, pre-made sandwiches, there’s one on every block.  So when my friend Joanne emailed a link to a New Yorker article about one of these very places, I was pretty surprised.  The New Yorker was writing about a Midtown Lunch deli???  I expected more from you, oh high-brow’d New Yorker…

In their defense Dishes is a little more “high brow’d” then your typical Midtown Deli, but still a deli nonetheless.  The article is more about some sort of staff issue then about the food- but they did slip this intuitive observation into the opening:

A decent midtown lunch spot—not the expense-account sort but a good, clean sandwich shop, with a fresh salad bar, and maybe some seafood tom yum, if that’s your thing—can be hard to come by. Once you find one, you tend to stick with it. You learn the hourly cycles, in terms of both customer flow (twelve-forty-five equals chaos) and servers’ shifts, and you begin to time your visits accordingly.” 

True enough.  Well, against my better judgement, I decided to head over to Dishes at 12:45pm yesterday and check out the chaos.  I’ve walked by this place a million times (usually on my way to Oms/b) and thought it looked like an above average deli.  It’s been recommended to me by a few readers- but it wasn’t until the New Yorker described it as a “a sleek, vaguely Asian-themed cafeteria”, I decided it was time for a visit… after all, I love the Asian food.  Of course, I saw only “Asian”, and missed the “vaguely” part.  Very important distinction.

Pictures, what I ate, and the +/- after the jump…

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All sorts of free goodies @ Jamba Juice, Midtown Location

More free stuff in Midtown… I never in my life thought I would drink a smoothie- but after spending two years in L.A. I sort of got hooked, thanks to Jamba Juice.  If you’ve never tried one today is the day.  On the cover of the NY Post (not sure if it’s every NY Post or just the ones at this store) there’s coupon for a free smoothie at any participating NYC Jamba Juice location.  Go to the one in Midtown on 7th (or Broadway) btw. 47th & 48th and they are giving out free copies of the NY Post right outside the store (with the free coupon!).  To top it off, on your way out they give you a free Jamba Juice gift card that may have anywhere from $2 to $50 on it.

The coupon is good until September 9th, but the free newspapers and free gift cards are while supplies last (or 11am- whichever comes first).  The coupon works anywhere in NYC, but I’m pretty sure the free gift cards are only at the Midtown Location on Broadway btw. 47th & 48th.  If you have any more info, please post as a comment below.

As always, if you have any info about free food in Midtown… don’t be selfish!  Pass it on to

Taam Tov

I’m not sure how it happened but Jews love Chinese food.  I’m sure there are exceptions, but it seems to be a stereotype that holds true.  I’m Jewish.  I love Chinese food.  Therefore all Jews must love Chinese food.  It’s fool proof logic.  Actually, it’s strange when you think about it.  Pork and shellfish are a staple of Chinese cuisine, yet for some reason, Jewish mothers everywhere chose it as THE meal to order when they didn’t feel like cooking (usually on Sunday nights).  Of course the boneless spareribs, and pork fried rice ensured that while Jewish, I would never end up being Kosher.  (I wonder if Chinese food had something to do with the rise in the number of reform Jews?)

This doesn’t really have anything to do with today’s review except for the fact that a) it’s a Kosher restaurant, b) I’m pretty sure it used to be home to Kosher Chinese restaurant, and c) what I ordered seemed strikingly similar to Chicken fried rice. 

Thanks to the Diamond District, people who keep Kosher are probably psyched to work in Midtown.  The pickings are probably slim for those who work in other areas of NYC like Tribeca, the Village, or god forbid Chinatown.  (I’m pretty sure the hanging slabs of roast pork alone, make Chinatown a house of horrors for someone who keeps kosher.)  Midtown, on the other hand, has tons of Kosher options- and one of the best is Taam Tov… and you don’t even have to keep kosher to enjoy it!

Pictures, what I ate, and the +/- after the jump…

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Um…. It’s an Extended Labor Day

If you are at work yesterday, and were hoping for a post, I’m really sorry.  Not for neglecting to post… just sorry that you had to work.  That sucks.  No review for today either.  Sorry, I’m taking an extra day off after the long weekend.  Back on Wednesday.

In the meantime, please enjoy the voluminous archives!  Start from the very beginning and work your way up, or check out the Index of restaurants (always available as a link from the top bar).

If you’ve already read everything, then consider it an extra day off for you as well! (Although I can’t imagine how anyone would be able to stomach reading my ranting every single day since the beginning).

See you tomorrow.  I’ll +/- Taam Tov and their Green Chicken Fried Rice (or as they call it “Baksh”).