Archive for April 2007

At Lunch Now: Day 3 Jamaican Cart Madness

There is no doubt the food is good. The few people who are actually willing to wait in line for this food, are coming back (and telling their friends). But to say they are “working out the kinks” would be a gross understatement. In three days, no progress has been made to get the lines moving quicker… so sad. I want some damn Jamaican food! It’s now been 20 minutes, and 5 people have been served food. When will the madness end… 

UPDATE:  After a whopping 45 minutes of waiting in line, we finally got our food… and as predicted, it was delicious (we had the Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat & a beef patty).  Not worth the wait though.  I pray these people get their act together… more info (and some better pictures) next week.

Mandler’s Sausage Co: A Proper +/- (in pictures)

I finally made it out to the Midtown branch of Mandler’s Sausage Co. which finally opened a few weeks ago (after numerous delays).  I love it when new places open in Midtown, and it’s especially gratifying when that new place is a transplant from a better lunch’ing area of Manhattan.  If Midtown is good enough for the Mandler family, than maybe it will be good enough for Mamoun, or David Chang or any of those people who make cheap Banh Mi in Chinatown!

And now… for the first time ever- I present a Midtown Lunch +/- in pictures.  Who needs my terrible prose, when you can just see the food for yourself!

THE + (what people who like Mandler’s would say about it)

Sample Plates at the Front of Mandlers, Midtown NYC


(+)The selection.  With 11 different kinds of sausages, 12 different toppings, schnitzel, crepes, breakfast and more- there is something for everyone.  There’s also a Kosher sausage, a turkey sausage and a veggie sausage for people with dietary restrictions.

The Mustard Bar @ Mandlers, Midtown NYC


(+)The Mustard Bar.  If you are a fan of the dipping sauce (and quite frankly, who isn’t), then Mandler’s may be your favorite place in Midtown.  A whopping 6 different mustards (plus ketchup and mayo), and it’s self serve- so you don’t have to be embarassed asking the cashier for 17 sauces.  Horseradish, Vermont Maple, Roasted Garlic Dijon, Amber Ale Honey, Three Peppercorn Dijon & Smokey Garlic Dijon.

Sausage & Fries @ Mandler's, Midtown NYC


(+) The combo meals (and side dishes that come with them).  There’s something very comforting about a combo meal.  Even if it only saves you 50 cents (or zero cents, like at some places), I like it when places offer an option that *forces* you to eat more.  And the best part about Mandler’s is the side dishes that comes with the combo meals.  It makes it easier to forgive the $9 price tag when you are getting these sides!  With your choice of sausage, you can get regular fries (seen above)… or delicious zucchini fries! (seen below)

Sausage w/ Mushrooms & Onions, and a side order of Zucchini Fries, Mandlers, Midtown


You can also get your sausage with a cheese, zucchini or potato pancake (seen below)

Potato Pancake w/ Applesauce from Mandlers, Midtown NYC

Or the greatest side dish of all time…. after the jump Read more »

At Lunch Now: Day 2- New Jamaican Cart Mobbed


Are you kidding me? Day 2 and this cart already has a 20 person line at 12:30… and it’s not cheap either ($7 to $12 depending on what you order). They did remember the oil today, so there are plantians and beef patties to be had (if you don’t mind waiting).

Apparently they underestimated what the response would be to Jamaican food in Midtown so they are practically making things to order. They plan on getting there earlier tomorrow, and making a lot more food in advance. Tomorrow it is!

Anybody bother waititng on the line to actually try the food today?

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Laren Spirer”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a Midtown Lunch’er for their recommendations of places to eat Lunch in Midtown.  This week it’s Laren Spirer, who you may recognize as one of the main food bloggers on Gothamist.  What you may not know is, she’s also a Midtown Lunch’er.

Name: Laren Spirer


Pro Bono Manager (& Food Blogger at Gothamist

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
55th & 3rd Ave.

Favorite Kind of Food:
Do I really have to pick one kind? That’s just downright cruel.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Goat cheese. I want to like it, I really do, but I just don’t.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Sadly, my favorite place and dish are no more. I loved the truffled gnudi at the recently closed Dona, so I’m hoping that Michael Psilakis resurrects it at one of his other venues. For now, I can try to make it at home.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Our office cafeteria (which is pretty good, for the record). I also have a strange addiction to the salad sandwiches at Chop’t, mostly because I think it makes me feel like I’m eating something remotely healthy on my way back from the gym.

Place you discovered thanks to MidtownLunch: I read about Oms/B and am still hoping to try it, although the 10+ block walk from my office might be pushing it.

Dream job location, purely for lunch purposes?: Chinatown. I would love to be within walking distance of kick ass banh mi, pho, dumplings, and noodles.


Have you been outside the past few days?  Going to places less than 10 blocks away is just wasting the beautifulness!  I’m also intrigued by this office cafeteria thing.  Anybody else have one of these in their office?  More on that,  plus how you can be next weeks Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, after the jump… Read more »

At Lunch Now: New Jamaican Cart

It’s starting to get warm out, which means- more carts! Thanks to Josh at BBDO for tipping me off to the new Jamaican cart that popped up today on 51st just East of 7th ave called “The Jamaican Dutchy”. It looks pretty promising. Jerk chicken, stews, fishes, oxtails and curries are all on the menu, served with rice, peas, and plantains.The ordering is pretty confusing since they didn’t have a lot of what was on the menu (they forgot the oil, so no fried stuff), and they ran out of change- but I’m sure they’ll get their act together. Not sure how long it will last at this location, so I’ll try to keep you updated.

If you’ve spotted a new place, email me at

It’s good to have friends… (who make Fried Calamari Sandwiches)

I hate people.  Maybe hate is a strong word… but I don’t really like talking to people I don’t know.  That can be a positive and a negative when it comes to Midtown Lunch’ing.  On one hand, I can just get it in and out of a new place- eat my food, and take a few quick pictures, without getting influenced by a super nice cashier, or an overzealous manager trying to sell me on what they have to offer.  It can be all about the food!

On the other hand, if I asked a few questions and made a few friends I probably would get some useful information about the place I was writing about.  Here’s a perfect example of how a little friendliness will go a long way.  A few weeks ago I wrote about the fried calamari sandwich at Tuscan Square Marketplace.  I wrote that it was a good sandwich, but a little pricey ($9)- and only available on Tuesdays.  It also could suffer a little bit depending on when you got there- because the sandwich comes pre-packaged and you don’t know how much time has passed from fryer to counter.

The sandwich came recommended to me by Joann, a woman who works with my wife-  but the sandwich I ate, and the sandwich you might have eaten on the Tuesday after I wrote about this, was not the same sandwich she eats.  She gets a special sandwich.  And that sandwich is available any day she wants it.  And I’m pretty sure her sandwich has more calamari.  How does she do it?  She’s nice.  And she made friends with someone who works there.  And here’s the best part… you can have that sandwich too!  The “special” sandwich, and how to get it- after the jump. Read more »

Wagyu Beef Slider Day, Midtown Links and the end of the week wrap up…

Photo courtesy of Roboppy aka The Girl Who Ate Everything

Wagyu Beef Sliders, available today as a special at Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center (Columbus Circle, 57th & 8th).  Not sure how much the special is, but the last time it was offered, the damage was $15.  It’s Friday, so you have permission to splurge- but get there early, because my guess is they’re going to run out.  Tip came courtesy of A Hamburger Today.



Next week is going to be huge!!!  And it involves New Orleans food… more on this later.  Have a good weekend!

Midtown Lunch: Snapshots (NC-17 Edition)

This picture is wholesome (although the prospect of eating at Metro makes me feel dirty):


Has anybody tried this thing?  Am I going to have to eat at Metro?  Whatever happened to that Croque Monsieur Truck that was spotted back in January on 54th & Broadway for a week, but then disappeared.  Anybody seen that thing anywhere?

I felt the need to put the NC-17 picture after the jump.  WARNING:  May not be suitable for children (or people with dirty minds)… Read more »

The Manhattan Mall Food Court… home to the only Arby’s in Manhattan

If you are a fan of the blog, you know I don’t write about generic fast food chains too often.  Nobody needs to read about Burger King or Wendy’s, and I have a special hatred in my heart for McDonalds (and Chipotle, which I know isn’t technically owned by McDonalds anymore, but can still be accurately referred to as a McBurrito).  But occasionally there is something interesting to write about, like the return of Popeyes to Midtown (the greatest fried chicken in the history of the universe), or Ranch 1/Chicken Bar- a fast food chain that I think really has something tasty and unique to offer.  I also reserve the right to write about Pollo Tropical, In N Out Burger, Panda Express, Baja Fresh, and Chick-Fil-A* if they ever get their acts together and open up Manhattan locations!  (* I am aware that Chick-Fil-A has a location in the NYU student center food court… but it technically isn’t open to the public.)

Arby’s is one of those places in the middle.  For many people, Arby’s is held in that special place in their heart (ironically, the same place you are doing damage to when you eat at places like Arby’s).  I’m on the fence.  There are no other cheap fast food places specializing in roast beef, but according to my wife, Arby’s is the bologna of Roast Beef- so it’s a toss up.  But here’s the thing.  Midtown is home to the only Arby’s in New York City (there are two in Queens).  And that makes it worthy of a Midtown Lunch write up.  It’s also housed in the food court of the Manhattan Mall… and I will use any excuse I can to visit a food court.

How we got there, what we ate and the food court fiasco- after the jump… Read more »


From a co-worker (and confirmed by Gothamist)… today is Free Cone Day @ Ben & Jerry’s.  There are two locations in Midtown that I know of- the concourse under Rock Center, and Times Square on 43rd & 8th Ave.  Last year, I waited on line in the concourse, and it moved real fast- so don’t be discouraged!  Free cone lasts until 8pm.  Enjoy!!!