Archive for April 2007

At Lunch Now: Jamaican Dutchy at 1 Week Old

Finally the line is getting shorter… If you haven’t been following the
saga, here’s the lowdown. Monday, new Jamaican cart pops up on 51st
just East of 7th ave. By Tuesday, the line is long and service is
excrutiatingly slow.

Wednesday, I wait for 45 minutes. The food is great, but the service
needs to improve. They have no system in place, too many items on the
menu, and not enough people helping. Did I mention the part about no

The cart is state of the art (with a flat screen that was playing Bob
Marley today!), but the system of serving food was and is still,
At least the lines are a little bit shorter and they’ve added a third
person in the cart. (Although, since I’ve been standing here, the line
is now twice as long.)

This cart has the potential be a Midtown powerhouse… when are they
going to get it together.

New Orleans Weekend Wrap Up and Midtown Links


I’m never going to eat again.  There are four reasons for this.

    1. Two full days of eating at Jazzfest.  You can see the live photo-blogged pictures of the Crabmeat Po’boy, Daquiri & Gospel, Crawfish Monica, Patton’s Catering Combo, Cafe Au Lait, & Crawfish Bread.  And that was just from Friday.  On Saturday, there was the beignets from Cafe du Monde (seen above), Soft Shelled Crawfish Po-Boy, a fried shrimp po-boy, shrimp bread, and two mango freezes.
    2. An out of this world dinner at Cochon, the new’ish restaurant from Donald Link, of Herbsaint fame.  This place is the real deal, and should win the James Beard award for Best New Restaurant (even though I love NYC Nominees A Voce & Momofuku Ssam Bar).  I only wish the lighting had been better so I could have taken pictures of the food.  Highlights include: spicy pork ribs with watermelon pickle, wood fired oysters, fried gator with chili garlic aioli, smoked ham hocks with grits and brown gravy, and of course, the signature Louisiana Cochon (roast pork).
    3. Two dozen raw oysters (half at Felix’s in the French Quarter on Friday night, and half at Acme Oyster House in the airport right before I boarded my plane home).
    4. And finally, lunch at Panda Express in the Houston Airport during my layover. It’s been awhile since I enjoyed their orange chicken and delcious noodles, so I was pretty excited.  Have I mentioned we need a Panda Express in Midtown? 

Needless to say it was an amazing weekend… oh, and I saw a little music too.  It also means, I didn’t post any Midtown Links at the end of last week.  So, while I recover- here’s some Midtown stuff for you to enjoy from last week:


At Lunch Now (N.O. Edition): Cochon de Lait Po-Boy

5:15 pm.  A roast pork po-boy, dressed of course (in New Orleans that means mayo,
lettuce and tomato). Salty, smokey and amazing. A great way to enjoy
pulled pork. I think that may be it for today… even at Jazzfest I
think eating at 5:15 may be considered dinner.   

These photos were live-blogged from the 1st weekendo of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.  Check out previous entries: Crabmeat Po’boy, Daquiri & Gospel, Crawfish Monica, Patton’s Catering Combo, Cafe Au Lait, & Crawfish Bread.

At Lunch Now (N.O. Edition): Crabmeat Po-Boy

3:45 PM. The first po-boy of the weekend. Can’t just jump right into the soft
shelled crawfish or cochon de lait po-boy. You gotta work your way up.
It’s 3:45 here. That’s still lunchtime, right?

At Lunch Now (N.O. Edition): Daquiri & Gospel

3:04 PM. A SoCo Frozen Daquiri (hurricane/lime mixture) in the Gospel Tent. Life
is good. 

At Lunch Now (New Orleans Edition): Crawfish Monica

2:49 PM. Ah yes. The famed crawfish monica (that name is trademarked by the
way). I think somebody referred to this as the hamburger helper of
crawfish. Um… if hamburger helper tasted like this, I’d be president
of the hamburger helper fan club. Pasta, cream sauce, cajun spices and
crawfish. What’s not to like.

At Lunch Now (New Orleans Edition): Patton’s Catering Combo

1:48 PM. Why choose one when you can get the combo! Crawfish Beignets, Crawfish Sack & the Oyster Pattie ($12). I think we’ve hit the motherload. Picking a favorite is impossible so why bother trying. Not spicy enough? They give you a little mini tabasco bottle. I think it may be time for a daquiri.

At Lunch Now (New Orleans Edition): Cafe Au Lait

12:43 PM.  We were in such a rush to get here we skipped breakfast (and caffeine). Can you follow crawfish bread with an iced Cafe Au Lait? Might lead to disaster. We’ll see.  Nothing like chickory coffee to get you going…

At Lunch Now (New Orleans Edition): Crawfish Bread

12:33 PM. Gotta kick Jazzfest 2007 off right. Straight to the crawfish bread. More like a cajun calzone than “bread”, it’s pretty freakin’ good. You may say the secret ingredient is cheese. Nothing like this in Midtown…

Midtown Lunch is going to New Orleans!

Tomorrow is a very special edition of Midtown Lunch.  I will be live photoblogging my lunch (normal)… at Jazzfest in New Orleans (not normal).  And by “lunch” I mean everything I eat between 11am (when the gates open) and 7pm (when they kick me out).  It’s my first trip to Jazzfest, but anyone who has ever been knows that it’s all about the food.  Who cares about seeing Rod Stewart and John Mayer… there’s crawfish bread to be had!  It’s time to see how another city lunches… and I’ll be bringing it to you live tomorrow starting around 1pm.

“But Zach.”  You say.  “Jazzfest is not in Midtown.  Seeing those pictures will just make me jealous and angry.”  To that, I say- too bad.  It’s a friday, and that’s where I’m having lunch.  So you will be forced to read about it.  Midtown Lunch is going to New Orleans!!!  (Not quite as exciting as “The Simpsons are going to Japan!”, but certainly more exciting than “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?”)

When it comes to New Orleans food, I feel as if Jazzfest is my final culinary stone left unturned.  Beignets at Cafe du Monde, Boiled Crawfish, Raw Oysters, Muffallatta at the Central Grocery, Fried Chicken at Dunbar’s, meals at Bayona, Jacques-Imo’s, Dick & Jenny’s, Lilette, Mother’s, Casamento’s, Commander’s Palace, Clancy’s, Upperline, Camellia Grill, Crabby Jack’s, Emeril’s, and of course- the meal served at my wedding.  But I’ve never had crawfish bread.  Or crawfish monica.  Jazzfest, here I come!

Not convinced that the food is more important than the music?  Check out the list of food vendors they publish *in advance* on the website.  Right now my must-haves are crawfish bread, crawfish monica, fried crawfish tails, and the soft-shelled crawfish po-boy (what????).  I guess it’s going to be a crawfish kind of weekend.  Got any suggestions (besides ‘Don’t die from overeating’)?  Feel free to leave them as comments…  photos will start around 1pm EST on Friday, and go up throughout the day (as I eat stuff), and maybe on Saturday if I haven’t exploded.