Archive for January 2007

Midtown Lunch: Snapshots (Kati Roll, Dumplings, Sweet Potato Donut and more…)

If you haven’t joined the Midtown Lunch Flickr Photo Group, you are missing out!  Join now, and add your own Midtown Lunch’ing pics.  See if you can keep from drooling while looking at these recently added shots…

A Sweet Potato Pie donut thingy from Cafe Zaiya (41st btw. Mad & 5th), courtesy of hellokitty893112.  Man that thing looks good…


My pictures of Kati Roll suck ass.  This pic, courtesy of Roboppy (aka The Girl Who Ate Everything), makes it look as delicious as it is (unless you don’t like onions, which- as you can tell from the pic, are in full effect.)  Kati Roll (46th btw. 6th & 7th) is the most popular post on Midtown Lunch… this picture makes you understand why.

But if you are regular reader of this blog, than you know about these two places.  Pics from a few places you may not have heard of, after the jump…

Read more »

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Josh”

So it’s Tuesday… which means I turn over the site to a Midtown Lunch’er for their recommendations of places to eat in Midtown. This week, it’s Josh- an Interactive Marketing guy who just realized his lifelong goal of helping people gain the ability to turn themselves into M&M’s.

Name: Josh


Interactive Marketing Executive (recently oversaw the launch of

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
BBDO New York (51st & 6th Ave.)

Favorite Kind of Food:
Pasta — especially Ziti with meat sauce and two meatballs from a place near White Plains named LaMandas — it’s PURE red sauce, checkered box table cloths, and familiy-owned for 60 years.  Greatness and well worth the trip!

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Sweet dishes — ya know, the ones that mix lamb with prunes or chicken with orange, etc. I’m a savory foods guy; keep your prunes away from my meal!

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Burger Joint at the Parker Meridian hotel — any of their burgers.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Cafe Duke (51st btw. 6&7th)— it’s across the street, easy, and it feels like they have some new stuff everyday, although I always end up with the same Mac-n-Cheese and peas….

Place you discovered on Daisy May’s BBQ cart. Great pulled pork!

What would be your dream job location for Lunch purposes? Providence, R.I. – THE best sandwich shop, Geoff’s, serves one called THE JUGGS; turkey, bacon laid on top, swiss melted over the two, pumpernickel bread, CRANBERRY SAUCE, onions, lettuce and something called “sheds sauce” – a garlicky mayonnaise! OH MY!.  (Editor’s Note:  The cranberry sauce contradicts your dislike of sweet and savory my friend.  It’s time to join the dark side.  A round of orange chicken for everyone!!!!)

Anything you’d like to ask our Midtown Lunch readers? As a founding member of Chowhound, I’ve always tried to find an answer to WHERE ARE THE BEST BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS? The closest I’ve come to perfection is on Central Ave. in Scarsdale at a place called CANDLELIGHT INN…any thoughts Midtown Eaters??


Hmmm… I’ve never had buffalo wings in Midtown.  Good question.  As far as Mac & Cheese at Cafe Duke goes, I don’t know if you are talking about the by the lb. M&C or the order at the counter M&C; but if you’re talking about the stuff at the buffet, then you have found one of my favorite little jems of Midtown. 

It’s no S’Mac or Supermac, but the by the lb. Mac & Cheese at Cafe Duke’s is better then you would think.  Downside… it’s by the pound, and you know how much trouble that crap can get me into.  One of my co-workers found out the hard way last week when he loaded up one of those big plastic containers with Mac & Cheese, and the bill came out to $10!!!  Want to see what $10 worth of Mac & Cheese looks like?  The pic is after the jump…   

Read more »

The Blarney Stone Burger

Nothing gets New Yorkers going like a good Hamburger post.  You could argue about the best burger forever, and there would never be consensus.  It all comes down to what is most important to you?  Size?  Value?  Quality of meat?  Toppings?  Fries?  Location?  I don’t know what is most important to me.  I’d like to think it’s value, but the Burger Joint in the Parker Meridien is no deal, yet because of the quality of the meat, and the cool “hidden” location, I seem to ignore the price. Prime Burger is one of the older places in Midtown, makes there burger with quality meat, and has a great atmosphere, yet but because you have to order from a menu, and the burger comes totally plain I didn’t like it as much because the value wasn’t there.  When the Prime Burger post went up in September, a lot of people commented on it, pointing me towards “The Blarney Stone”, a place where atmosphere and value come together in a gigantic burger, where the quality may not be good enough for some- but was good enough for me! 

It’s fun to revisit comments and suggestions after trying a place for yourself, and in retrospect they were all right on.  Here are a few of them:

Comment from Alex

I have a suggestion for burgers. Try the burgers at Blarney Stone on 3rd Ave near 45th st. The burgers here are just as good as any joint out there.

This was the first comment… and at the time, I sort of ignored it because it sounded like an Irish Pub, where you had to sit at a table and order from a menu (not really a Midtown Lunch kind of thing).  The Blarney Stone is an Irish Pub, and there are tables- but there are no waiters.  You order from a counter, and then take your food to one of the tables in the back.

Comment from Christopher

Another Blarney fan! FOUR DOLLARS and you get this big, beautiful, burger. Plus, if you throw in the extra .50 for cheese, they don’t skimp, and they never overcook a medium rare request, which is very important.

Two very important details in this comment (aside from the $4 price tag).  First, my burger was cooked a noticeably perfect Medium rare.  Second, they give you a ridiculous amount of cheese.  It’s only 50 cents, and they really don’t skimp.  I don’t know if you can tell from the pic, but the thick white layer above the burger is actually cheese.  I can’t be sure, but I feel pretty confident in saying there could possibly be an unheard of, 2 to 1 meat to cheese ratio. 

The +/-, more comments, and the 2/3 meat, 1/3 cheese burger pic, after the jump…

Read more »

BREAKING NEWS: Katie Couric Ruins Australia Day at the Tuck Shop…

Australia Day at the Tuck Shop was a little hectic today during lunchtime (and not in the good way you’d expect).  The whole back of the Cyber Cafe (where there are usually tables) was packed with TV equipment, there was nowhere to sit, and the the Ashes were not being played (as promised).  Not quite the party we were expecting (although I still managed to enjoy my delicious, but lukewarm, Thai Chicken Curry Pie).  Normally the pies are awesome, so I was pretty surprised- until I got this explanation from one of the owners:

Disaster struck in the form of Katie Couric who at the last moment
overtook the cyber cafe for an interview and guaranteed she’d be finished
interviewing by 12:30.  Unfortunately the crew decided that they’d take
lunch before clearing the space, hence all the camera shit around.
We were also not able to screen the Ashes due to Katie’s crew.
The pies sold so quickly that we were unable to get them to the right
temperature before serving. 

I would like to extend my unreserved apologies to you and all your readers.

To make it up to your readers, print this webpage out and bring it to the Tuck Shop all next week for a 10% discount (on all pies from the Tuck Shop).

There is still time for Australia Day to be saved!  Stop by on your way home from work and enjoy a pie until 8pm!  (“Coupon” is only good next week 1/29-2/2)

It’s Aussie Day at Tuck Shop, Midtown Links and the end of the week wrap up…



Apparently today is Australia Day (whatever the hell that means), so if you want to whoop it up Aussie style, the guys at Tuck Shop (on 49th btw. B’way & 8th) will be partying all day long from 12:30 to 8pm! (Despite what the sign above says, on my walk to work this morning I saw a new sign saying they won’t be opening until 12:30pm) They’ll be serving Australian beers (Coopers & Boags) and their delicious meat pies and sausage rolls, but the real treat appears to be the “Lammos”.  Short for Lammingtons, Lammos are an Aussie sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and covered in coconut.  Holy mackerel! Maybe today will be Aussie day for me too!

They’ll also have highlights from the Ashes on all day long.  For those who don’t know what that is (which I’m guessing is everyone born in this country), it’s a cricket tournament held every other year between Australia and England.  This year Australia destroyed England (they won all 5 test matches), so if you would like to re-live that event, the Tuck Shop is the place to be today!  You can go for lunch, or for after work beers and meat pies… they’ll be partying until 8pm.

More Midtown Info (in the form of links), plus the end of the week wrap up, and a preview of my new favorite Midtown burger, after the jump…

Read more »

The Pot Roast Sandwich @ Cosi (and my love of “Limited Time Only” fast food)

I don’t often eat at (or write about) generic fast food chains, but every once in awhile something will catch my eye, and I just can’t resist.  This blog was practically launched on my reporting about the craziness surrounding the opening of Chipotle in my building.  I also wrote about the one Europa Cafe with a burrito bar, the new oil at KFC, and that weird Wasabi Salmon Bagel thing at Au Bon Pain.  This particular item highlights my weakness for those fast food “Limited Time Only” menu items. 

I think it started back in Junior High when Burger King introduced the first and original Bullseye BBQ Burger.  Man, that thing was awesome.  It seems commonplace now, but doing that cross promotion thing with Bullseye was total genius (I’m pretty sure I forced my mom to buy that sauce for years afterwards).  I remember seeing it on the menu and ordering it for the first time.  Two bacon cheeseburgers, side by side- covered in Bullseye BBQ sauce.  How could it be bad? And then one day it was gone.  Oh boy was I pissed. And yet- even now, all these years later I forget that anger, and get suckered in once again;  falling in love with these crazy menu items that disappear without warning, leaving you wanting just one more taste… (Has anybody had that fried chicken finger wrapped in a tortilla that McDonald’s has?  I really want to try it but I know my wife won’t ever let me live it down)

Enter Cosi.  I was walking by Cosi the other day and noticed a sign in their window for two new sandwiches.  I’ve written about Cosi before.  I know I rail against paying $8 for a sandwich, but for some reason Cosi is the one place I’m willing to do it (I’m pretty sure it’s the bread.  They must put crack in it.)  So when I saw their new Pot Roast Nuevo Sandwich in the window, I was like “I like pot roast!”, and it’s freezing cold.  What better way to enjoy pot roast then in delicious “Only for a Limited Time” sandwich form.

The picture of the sandwich, and the +/- after the jump…

Read more »

The Bulgogi Cart on 49th St. (Finally, a proper review…)

Who says 4 posts about a mediocre Bulgogi cart is overkill??? (Clearly you didn’t see me the week Chipotle opened in my building) Well, I said on Monday I would post more info about the food- but I promise this is the last one (until the $1 “bulgogi sandwiches” arrive in a few weeks).  I wanted to post some real pictures of the cart, and tell you a little bit about what they’re doing along with a proper +/-.  Despite the $1 Bulgogi Sandwiches not being available, what they are serving is a pretty amazing deal.

They have Bulgogi (Korean BBQ’d beef) or Chicken, served with rice, & salad for $5.  But here’s the real kicker… they throw in a drink for free!  (Soda or water)  It is a pretty amazing deal.  The menu has spicy and non-spicy versions of each of the two dishes posted, but if you order it “spicy” they just give you a cup of red hot sauce to pour over it yourself.  They also give you a very small cup of kimchi (fermented cabbage), which is a real nice touch.

What I ordered, a picture of the not yet available $1 bulgogi sandwiches, and the +/- after the jump…

Read more »

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Dan”

So it’s Tuesday… which means I turn over the site to a Midtown Lunch’er for their recommendations of places to eat in Midtown. This week, it’s Dan- a Legal something or other, who is eagerly awaiting the opening of the new Sophie’s Cuban.

Name: Dan


Legal Technology Admin

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
Bond Traders on 58th & Park.

Favorite Kind of Food:
Soup Dumplings.  If you’ve never had them, go to Chinatown and find out.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
The $8 Midtown Cold Cut sandwich. Make them wraps, and I like them even less.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
La Strada (54th 56th btw 3rd and lex) is hands down the best place in my area. It started out as a pizza joint, but after the owners started bringing in their homemade Latin food that’s all people get. The homemade food is so good the one pizza pie is shoved to the back and hardly ever moves. You get 2 sides and a main course for $6.00. My combo is the chicken stew w/ rice, fresh vegetables and maduros (sweet fried plantains). Just get there early if you want maduros.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Our subsidized company café. Horrible food for really cheap. Of course we do get subsidized Hale and Hearty Soup.

Place you discovered on Daisy May’s BBQ cart. We need more BBQ places up here. Also, Sophie’s Cuban. It better be open this Friday like you promised.

What would be your dream job location for Lunch purposes? New Orleans. The great thing about New Orleans is that nothing is healthy, so you can just throw your hands up in the air and eat whatever you want.


Er… about the whole new Sophie’s Cuban on 56th St.  Some bad news- after the jump…

Read more »

FOUND! The $1 Bulgogi Cart Resurfaces

That’s right.  The $1 Bulgogi Cart that I was tipped off about a week and a half ago, that then disappeared, has resurfaced on 49th btw. 6th & 7th (in front of Del Friscos).  Apparently they had to fix the cart, and now it’s back for good.  Thanks to Gothamist & Eater for helping in the search, and tipsters Johanna & Lisa for emailing me this morning.



Unfortunately the good news ends there… they aren’t going to have the mysterious $1 Bul Go Gi sandwiches for another two weeks! (Despite being featured on the signage)  Right now it’s just Bul Go Gi & Rice or Chicken & Rice… Full report w/ pictures coming on Wednesday!

In related news, the French Croque Monsiur cart reported on Friday by tipster Teen Wolf was not on 54th & Broadway today.  Anybody seen this one?  Here we go again…

Sukhadia’s Indian Buffet (or… The Search for a New Rangole)

Ever since Rangole closed last month I have been searching for an under $10 Indian Buffet in Midtown.  After weeks of searching (and asking for suggestions) I have come up with the conclusion that it just doesn’t exist.  There is one on 9th Ave. and one on 2nd Ave., but these are both out of my eating range… And while I have been known to travel very far distances for the face stuffing that only a buffet can provide, my goal is to find a cheap Indian Buffet in Midtown proper.  There is no question that there are some great Indian buffets in Midtown if you are willing to fork over $15+ bucks… but I’m not quite at that level of desperation. 

But, I am still a little bit desperate- so with no $10 buffets left, I decided to up my price to $10.95 and check out Sukhadia’s, a Vegetarian Indian Buffet on 45th btw. 5th & 6th Ave.  Now, I am not an Indian food expert, and I am not exactly sure what kind of Indian food Sukhadia serves- but I can say this… if you are looking for Tandoori Chicken, or some sort of Tikka Masala with Naan- you are going to be very disappointed.  In fact, if you are looking for meat at all, or even any of the standard Northern Indian dishes you find at most American Indian restaurants, you are going to be disappointed.  I believe the cuisine is mostly from the area of Rājasthān, but you can find Northern and Southern Indian food at the restaurant, in addition to Jain dishes (a religion/philosophy from Ancient India whose followers are vegetarian).

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You show up at an Indian Buffet, and it costs $10.95 and they got no meat, it’s going to make you say “Yo Goober! Where’s the meat?”  Well, here’s my theory…  With most Indian Buffets, you get what you pay for.  If a buffet costs $15 or more, chances are it’s going to be of decent quality.  Pay $9 (i.e. Rangole), and there may be meat dishes, but the curry it’s covered in is probably going to be watery- and the veggie dishes are usually crap too.  If you are charging $11, and serving NO meat, than you are probably going to take extra special care to make sure that your veggie dishes are pretty tasty.  So, as much as I love lamb, and beef and Tandoori Chicken- I headed over to this Vegetarian Indian buffet to fork over my $11 and check it out.

What they had, a picture of my first plate and the +/- after the jump…

Read more »