Archive for March 2009

A New Low: Lunch in Midtown is Worse Than Jersey

“I have been reading your blog for a few years while working in midtown. The reason for your blog is justifiable since the food is so average at best and the pricing is just hilarious. Now that I am working in Jersey and eating great food again from real italian delis, crazy authentic korean restaurants, thai, getting real bagels for breakfast, etc i am going to stop reading your blog as it serves no purpose for me anymore accept to feel bad that you still have to resort to eating stuff like the above sandwiches for $10. It’s kind of pathetic. Brown bag it dude. Not to mention the cockroaches and rats in all of those establishments. -rocky”

That… uh… makes me feel really shitty. Wait! You know what… I’m not going to let this “rocky” get me down. FUCK… YOU… GUY. Let’s get one thing straight: Midtown lunching is like a family. It’s perfectly ok to bad mouth it (or call it a food wasteland), if you’re related by blood (or lunchtime misery.) You, however, now work in Jersey… so keep your damn opinions (and your “real Italian delis” and “crazy authentic restaurants”) to yourself!

Top Chef Winner is Midtown Lunch’ing Right Now

About 30 minutes ago I spotted Hosea, the winner of the latest season of Top Chef, strolling up 5th Ave. toward the Apple Store. Channeling Gary Vaynerchuk, I stopped him to “hustle” a bit for Midtown Lunch (urgh, I seriously hate myself and don’t know what made me do it.) He in turn asked me for a lunch rec near 53rd and 5th where he could sit down and answer emails. The “sitting down” part ruled out some good street meat, so I suggested that if he wanted to “Top Chef” it up, he should get the lamb burger at Anthos (he can afford it, right!) on 52nd btw. 5+6th, and if he wanted to slum with the Midtown Lunchers he should go to Five Guys (on 55th btw. 5+6th). Don’t know which one he chose, but if there are any Top Chef stalkers out there you may still be able to catch him…

Update from “Sam” in the Comments: “I saw him coming out of BLT Steak”


Last Day for $1 Jamba Oatmeal: I guess it's a little late in the day to post this, but who knows. I'll bet some of you freaks eat oatmeal for lunch (or a late afternoon snack!) via Twitter: "@talida: last day for $1 Jamba Oatmeal... delicious."

PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Rebecca”

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, meet Rebecca- an executive receptionist who loves chili fries, and needs help tracking down a Mongolian BBQ place.

Name: Rebecca

Age: 30

Occupation: Executive Receptionist

Where in Midtown do you Work?: Private equity firm in midtown; 56th and 5th avenue

Favorite Kind of Food: Indian, Thai, French fries, BBQ, Cheese, Steak, Cheesesteaks! Don’t forget Chili Cheese fries…so gross, so GOOD…. ANYTHING with bacon.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Italian and Sushi (i know, i know!) These are good foods in my book, but if I had to prioritize, they would be my LEAST favorite.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: I love the Asia Grill (on 65th & 2nd) for their marinated beef cubes and Bun Xao with beef, Tina’s Cuban (on 56th btw. 5+6th) for their pork and plantains sandwich, the Tofu BLT from Uncle Marky’s Organics (on 53rd btw. 2+3rd) and I’m not nuts for tofu, Pita Grill’s Fish tacos (on 2nd Ave. btw. 50+51st), Kati Rolls, Scallion pancakes from Joe’s Shanghai (on 56th btw. 5+6th), Bibimbap from Korean Pro (on 56th btw. 5+6th), the Mexican and Jalapeno hummus from Crisp (on 3rd Ave. btw. 43+44th), the Woody Allen from the Carnegie Deli (on 7th Ave. and 55th), big noodle bowls from Lili’s 57 (on 57th & 7th).

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Papa Perrone’s Pizza Truck Has Easter Pizza Rustica Today

Got a message from Papa Perrone’s Pizza Truck (on 55th btw. Mad+Park) this morning: “We have Easter pie today.”  My response: “What exactly is Easter pie?”  (What can I say?  I’m a short fat Jew.)  The response: “It’s a meat pie made with sweet and hot sausage, proscuitto, pepperoni, mixed with ricotta, mozzarella, and provolone, baked in a dough. Also called pizza rustica.”  Oh my… I was a big fan of their artichoke pie, and this seems to take it to a different level. I can feel the boring meatball sliders becoming a distant memory…

Biryani Cart Also Loves the Bee Gees

Meru, the owner of the Biryani Cart (on 46th & 6th), may have claimed to love country music in the Vendy Award program last year, but when it came time to choose a song for the official Biryani Cart website, he went with the Bee Gees “Too Much Heaven”.  NSFW people.  NSFW. [Biryani Cart/Sandwich Land Official Website] (make sure your sound is on)

Update: Erin from Serious Eats: New York sent along a Bee Gees video that makes me wonder if Barry Gibb used to hide kati rolls in his chest hair. (That *must* be the connection!) The video is after the jump…

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Certe Replacing Bayou Sandwich With Something For the Vegetarians

Certe's "Bayou" Sandwich
If you wanted this, today is your last chance.

Today is the last day for Certe’s catfish sandwich, so if you’ve been putting off trying their second entry in the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge- this is your last chance. Tomorrow they’ll introduce an April sandwich, The Primavera: featuring crispy eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash with basil ricotta, fresh mozzarella on a homemade garlic herb focaccia for $8.95. Compared to most of our entries, this seems a tad bit standard- but I guess if you’re a vegetarian, a sandwich with fried eggplant and basil ricotta on fancy garlic bread would be as good as it’s going to get! Certe is on 55th btw. 5+6th.

Are Stomach Aches a Rite of Passage for the True Midtown Lunch’er?

That was twittered @midtownlunch last week. What do you think? I don’t want to jinx it but I have never gotten food poisoning or any sort of really bad stomach ache from my Midtown Lunch’ing. That’s not to say I’ve avoided “issues” entirely. (If you eat at carts often you are bound to have had an assplosion at some point, right?)

Pinche Fail: From a commenter: "Just stopped over by Mantra, no Pinche. Went El Rey del Sabor (on 60th and 3rd) for salty beef tacos and a chicken empanada instead!"

A.J. Maxwell’s Gives You Good Steak for $10

In a lot of ways steak is like sushi.  You can find it cheap, but if you want the good stuff you’re going to have to shell out the cash.  It’s tough to get good versions of both for under $10 in Midtown, but at least in the steak category there have been a few exceptions.  Surprising everybody, my trip to Tad’s Steak brought me a lot of joy- but clearly the best option is when a nice steakhouse offers up some sort of special.  The Del Frisco’s bar menu loophole was the best by far, but as soon as Midtown Lunch’ers got on that, they raised the price from $9.99 to an understandable, but out of the ML price range, $11.95 $12.95.

Well, with a recession comes the recession specials… and A.J. Maxwell’s (on 49th btw. 5+6th) has created a take-out-only lunch special for those of us who’d like to enjoy a steak sandwich made with quality steak (or mini burgers, or a chicken sandwich) for just $10.  You get your choice of any one of the three, plus a soup or salad, for $10.

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