Archive for February 2009

FreeFoods’ Duck Reuben Extended, But Is the Quality Still There?

FreeFoods NYC Duck ReubenMore Sandwich Challenge News: As you know Friday is the last day for Certe’s Thanksgiving Dip, but FreeFoods NYC has decided to extend their Duck Pastrami Reuben into March.  Originally the sandwich was going to be a Feburary special but the response has been so great they’ve decided to keep it on the menu for the time being.  The real question is, is it the same sandwich I had 3 weeks ago?  A few commenters say no:

I had the opportunity to try this today [and] mine looks nothing like the picture. not pink and fatty duck, but dry, grayish, and liver-y tasting meat. duck, cheese, bread, cannot go wrong, but i have to say i was disappointed. and probably would go as far to say that if one goes to freefoods expecting it to look like the picture above, they’d be let down. the bread in one half of it was falling apart and for a few bites i was holding the duck itself. not sure if this is a trend or a few instances of negligence, but i’d say to anyone looking to try this sandwich to keep your expectations in check

There are definitely people who got sandwiches that looked like mine, but recently there have been a couple complaints like this one, and it corresponded with a rumor that FreeFoods was no longer making the sandwiches to order.  I emailed FreeFoods to make sure they were still making the same sandwich I got on day one, and the General Manager’s response is after the jump…

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Inakaya Opens to the Public on Thursday Night: It's not cheap enough to be a Midtown Lunch, but if you are into robatayaki, the Japanese style of eating simple food grilled right in front of you, Inakaya is opening tomorrow night in the New York Times Building.  Eater has the first photos of the place, plus a look at their lunch menu. Sadly the lunch boxes are $18 to $32, but it looks like this place would be a fun splurge.

Serious Eats Invades the Lunch Box Buffet

The Serious Eats: New York crew attacked the $5 for 5 items lunch special at the Lunch Box Buffet (on 34th btw. 7+8th), awarding the Midtown branch of the cheap Chinese steam table chain a “B”. Ed Levine got two plates (10 items) and decided that three items were worth “at least double or triple the dollar they cost.”  Barbecued spareribs, chicken with oyster sauce, and the curried fried chicken drumsticks.

Fay Da Bakery Elevates the Lunch Box Buffet

Midtown’s Only Popeye’s Gets Shut Down On Fat Tuesday

Terrible news from Midtown’s only branch of Popeye’s (on 40th btw. 7+8th): “The location… was shut down due to a tax/rent levy issue. The notice on the door had yesterday’s date. First MG in many years without Popeye’s red beans & rice.” That is very upsetting. Nobody answered a call to the location… we’ll keep an eye out, and let you know as soon as it reopens. (Thanks to nolafunknyc for the tip, they are always appreciated.)

Cucina & Co’s Brisket Burrito is Pretty Good (For a Chain Deli)


Another day… another entry in the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge.  The Cucino & Co next to Naples 45 (inside the Met Life Building on 45th btw. Mad+Park) announced last week that their entry would be “brisket of beef, sauteed onions, guacamole, jack cheese wrapped in flour tortilla”.  A brisket burrito sounds pretty amazing in theory, but how would it be in practice?  I stopped by the other day to test it out.

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You Can Get Meat Sauce on Mondello’s Chicken Parm!?!

Photo courtesy of Ultraclay dot com

Back in September my quest to find the best chicken parm in Midtown took me to Mondello (on 37th btw. Mad+5th).  It was “satisfying, but nothing to write home about.”  And yet, it appears as if I missed something crucial that would increase the awesomeness of their chicken parm tenfold.

From the blog Ultraclay:

Where other places may dump pizza sauce on top, they offer a choice of regular and a meat sauce. Both have a salty, sweet flavor, but the meat sauce has a richness that adds another dimension to the sandwich.

Shut up! Meat sauce on a chicken parm!?! That… is… awesome. I don’t remember them giving me a choice, because if they had I would have obviously gone with the meat sauce.  Clearly it’s time to revisit this one.

Mondello Pizzeria & Restaurant, 3 East 37th (btw. Mad+5th), 212-684-2411

Friday is the Last Day for the Thanksgiving Dip: If you've been putting off trying Certe's entry in the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge (the Thanksgiving Dip), now is the time.  The turkey, mashed potato, cranberry sauce, and cornbread stuffing burrito will only be available through Friday (on 55th btw. 5+6th).

Is Your Job Getting in the Way of You Reading Blogs?

What fun is the Tuesday profile, if you can’t see a photo of the luncher!

WTF is up with workplaces that block access to internet sites?  I’m getting a number of complaints today from people who can’t see the photos on Midtown Lunch because over the weekend Flickr was blocked by their IT departments.  Is this really necessary? Sites like Facebook, or apps like Instant Messenger are going to survive the workplace IT onslaught because so many different kinds of people use them throughout the day from home, etc.  But Midtown Lunch depends on the procrastination of office workers, in particular those who are looking for a way to spend their (god forbid) *entire* one hour lunch break.

If you are having issues like this, one reader suggested using this solution posted by Lifehacker (although another reader commented that his IT department has already blocked against that.) If there are any other tech savvy folks who know of ways around this, please post them in the comments.  What does your work have against you finding lunch?!? Fight the power!  Find ways around it!  Hack your office computers! Buy an iPhone! (That’s all I’ve got.)

Free Sub Alert (is complete BS… or is it?): I can't stand Quizno's, but you know how I feel about free food, so if you're into it they're giving away free subs on their website. Freeloaders engage! (And thanks to Lunch'er Jesse for the tip.) UPDATE: According to a commenter, NYC Quiznos are not accepting these coupons. What a load of horseshit.  UPDATE #2: Two others have claimed that it works.  One on Wall Street, and another who used it in Grand Central. If you try to use it, let us know what happens.

Confirmed: Five Guys is Back Open

Photo by occam

The Five Guys (on 55th btw. 5+6th) has been confirmed by lunch’er Daniel, who sent along this photo. Menchanko Tei, which is just to the West and was closed by the same fire last month, is saying they will reopen in March.

Fire Closes Menchanko Tei & Five Guys