Archive for February 2009

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Michael”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. This week it’s Michael, a PR guy who loves Sinatra but hates generic delis…

Name: Michael

Age: 24

Occupation: Public Relations – Food Blogger – Eating Enthusiast

Where in Midtown do you Work?: The Daily News Building (42nd between 2nd and 3rd Ave)

Favorite Kind of Food: I could spend hours writing my favorites, but some that come to mind are: Italian, Japanese, Kosher/Jewish Deli, and standard American fare (who doesn’t love burgers/fries/dogs/cheese steaks/etc)

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I don’t do Indian… I’ve tried, and just can’t handle it

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: – The Old Bridge Deli (on Lex btw. 40+41st) is my go-to place. I share a similar sentiment as everyone else… I HATE GENERIC NY DELIS. However, I really find their sandwiches to be fresh and original, the hot/cold bar is clean and appears fresh, and the rolly wraps, which have disappeared of late, are one of midtown’s best lunch options. Boi to Go (on 2nd btw. 42+43rd) is a great quick/healthy option. I go for the Chicken/Soft Rice Noodle/Veggie combo. At Carl’s Steaks (on 3rd Ave. btw. 34+35th). I get the Chicken Steak with all the toppings you could imagine. As close as you can come to Philly in NYC. And Oms/B (on 45th btw. Lex+3rd) for Japanese Rice Balls. I will typically dive into anything with tuna or shrimp.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Pret-a-Manger. It’s good and being located right across the street makes it super-convenient. However, how many chicken/avocado somethings can one person have?

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The Polpetini at Naples 45 is Tasty, But Way Too Small & Expensive


Naples 45, which was voted “Best Pizza” in this year’s Midtown Lunch Readers’ Poll, has entered the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge with a “Polpetini” sandwich (which just means mini-meatballs). When I first posted about the sandwich last week, commenters remarked (correctly) that a meatball sub wasn’t exactly “sandwich challenge” material, but a deal is a deal. So last week, I went to check out this “polpetini”, thinking that this better be the best meatball sub ever if they want to impress the Midtown Lunch eating public…

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Your First Look at Flip Burger in Bloomingdales

Sign Translation: “Fuck You Midtown Lunch’ers Between 12-3:30″  Photo by Robyn Lee

A Hamburger Today was on hand for opening day of the new Flip Burger inside Bloomingdales (on Lexington btw. 59+60th) yesterday, and their report was less than stellar.  I don’t know how fair it is to judge a place on the first day they’re open, but if you’re into burger porn you may want to take a quick look. (Few do it better than Robyn Lee.) I was initially going to give them a chance, despite the prices, but now I don’t feel the need to rush over there. And that douchey sign above is enough to keep me away for now… early adopters/burger aficionados who can’t stay away- feel free to put your opinion in the comments.

Celebrate Fat Tuesday With a Fried Oyster Po’Boy


If you’ve been reading Midtown Lunch since the beginning, you know that I never pass up a chance to talk about how amazing New Orleans is (for example, my senseless, nothing to do with Midtown, live blogging of Jazzfest). And since today is the final day of Mardi Gras, it’s time for my obligatory “this is where you should eat lunch on Fat Tuesday” post. I suppose you could go to Bourbon Street Bar & Grill for the faux N.O. atmosphere and not authentic at all muffuletta, but if food is what you care about there is really only one choice: the under-appreciated, not mentioned nearly enough, take out window of the Grand Central Oyster Bar (just off the under ground food court in the basement of the Grand Central Terminal).

Sure, the restaurant is super expensive, but the take-out window has got a bunch of sandwiches under $10… including a fried oyster po’boy ($8.25) that doesn’t quite transport you to New Orleans, but gets you pretty damn close. (And is certainly the best option in Midtown.)  I had it last year on Fat Tuesday (along with a good buddy of mind originally from Nawlins), and the only other place I’d recommend on a day like today would be the Popeye’s (on 40th btw. 7+8th), which incidentally enough is celebrating its 2 year anniversary today! (Provided you count years from one Fat Tuesday to the next.)  Either way it’s going to be a fat tuesday…

Traitor Radio: A Passion for Food blogger (and ML correspondent) Kathy YL Chan appeared on WNYC radio today, and the clip has just been posted to their site. It's kind of shameful to have a Midtown Lunch'er go on the radio to talk about bringing bagged lunches to work, but we love Kathy and appreciated the ML shoutout. Now, to find this magical "spam musubi" she talked about. I wonder if Hawaiian Island Grill has it... or maybe we could get Cafe Zaiya or Oms/b on the case! [WYNC]

Free Foods’ Vegan Chef Explains Why Duck Sandwich?

Matt Kenney, chef of FreeFoods NYC and well known vegan chef, responds to the question of how he could submit a duck sandwich to the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge: “Competitive spirit perhaps — I felt it was important to show our diversity and attention to detail with all of our cuisine, not just that which is vegan.  It was a personal challenge as well; creating something that would be publicly judged without ever having tasted it myself.  Fortunately, our Chef de Cuisine, Leo Monroy, has an amazing palate.”  That sandwich was created by a vegan? That’s freakin’ crazy…

FreeFoods Duck Pastrami Sandwich is a Triumph. A Freakin’ Expensive Triumph

Herald & Greeley Square ‘wichcraft Closed Until Spring

Danny from Food in Mouth sent along this photo from the ‘wichcraft kiosks in Herald and Greeley Squares (on Broadway btw. 32nd and 35th).

Related: Fat Man’s Guide to Eating at ‘wichcraft for Under $10

First Look: Biryani Cart’s New “Sandwich Land”


After its Vendy Award nomination, and people’s choice victory, the Biryani Cart on 46th btw. 6+7th flirted with a second cart (parked next to the original cart) to accommodate the demand. It was a little confusing for customers, who didn’t realize which cart was serving kati rolls and which cart was serving their chicken tikka masala and chicken biryani. Once the lines died down, the second cart disappeared… but last week it  reappeared right next to the original Biryani Cart as “Sandwich Land”, a cart dedicated to sandwiches.

The new sandwich land cart (which is parked directly to the right of the original cart) features two burgers, two cheesesteak sandwiches, a variety of pita sandwiches, and their non-Indian spiced chicken and lamb over rice plates. And of course… an entry for the Midtown Lunch sandwich challenge.

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Ordering the Kids Meal is the Only Way to Make Flip a Midtown Lunch

Grub Street has your first look at Flip, the new burger joint that is supposed to open today inside of Bloomingdales (on Lex. btw. 59+60th).  They also posted a copy of the menu, and the cheapest burger on there (a plain short rib blend or brisket blend burger) is $12.  Toppings are $2 each (like a fried egg, or bacon), and cheese is $1.  Order one of the signature pre-designed burgers, and it will cost you $16 to $23. The sauces, one free per burger, look pretty damn good though… so I may have to suck it up and drop the $15 to try this place.  There is however, a kids menu where you can get sliders, fries, soda and a cookie for $9.  I wonder how strict they’ll be with the “Ages 10 and Under” rule.  (My baby is under 10 years old, and I’m not afraid to use him!)

Slumdog Lunch: If last night's Oscars put you in the mood for some pani poori for lunch today, you can hit up Indus Express (on 48th btw. 5+6th) or Sukhadia's Gokul (on 45th btw. 5+6th)... but if you want the best chaat in Midtown, I'd go to Khodiar Lunch Services/Taj Delhi Chaat on 6th Ave. btw. 37+38th.