Archive for November 2009

Bourdain Calls NYC Street Food “Shameful, Terrible, and Indefensible”

I love it when Anthony Bourdain gets all vitriolic on the things that bother him (I find myself agreeing with him pretty much every single time) but I can’t stand by his (totally surprising) opinion about New York City street food.  A few weeks ago, after heaping praise on a hot dog cart in Denver for an upcoming episode of No Reservations, Bourdain was quoted saying some not so nice things about his hometown street meat options:

["Really awesome"] is not how he’d describe the frankfurters in New York, which are “standard dirty water dogs” and “completely forgettable,” Bourdain said, a snub that he extended to New York street food in general. “The street food in New York is shameful, terrible and indefensible,” he complained. “It’s absolutely appalling.”

He does clarify the statement a bit to exclude the street food of the outer boroughs.

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File This Under Things I Don’t Want to Know


Not sure how new this is, but it’s the first time I’ve noticed it… calorie counts posted in the Church’s Fried Chicken/Subway/Nathan’s food court on 8th Ave. btw. 44+45th St. They’ve been shut down a number of times by the DOH in the past year or two, and I can’t help but wonder if it was for not complying with the city’s calorie count laws.  In a related story, the New York Daily News gets a bunch of tourists on the record talking about how much they hate seeing the calories on the menus of their favorite upscale chains in Midtown, like The Palm and McCormick & Schmick’s.

Personally I’d rather not know how many calories are in that Church’s fried chicken meal I’m eating, but I also take a bit of joy in knowing how much pain the calorie counts inflict upon those who think that eating a cobb Salad is healthy.

Basic Math Blows Holes in Chipotle’s Absurd “Calorie Range”
There is a Downside to Massive Cupcake Expansion

Win A Beer & Mussels Tasting at Landmarc

This Thursday night, Circle of Taste (the new Time Warner Center culinary club) will be having another of their members only, exclusive free food events at Landmarc in Columbus Circle- and they’ve been nice enough to set aside a pair of passes for one lucky Midtown Lunch’er.  The winner and their guest will be treated to five different mussel preparations, plus a Belgian beer.  To enter, just comment below why you think you deserve it.  A winner will be drawn at random on Wednesday morning, at 10am (and in order to attend you have to be signed up for the Circle of Taste exclusive events and tastings email, so if you haven’t signed up yet be sure to go do that now.) Freeloaders… engage.

Time Warner Center Wants to Give You Free Food

Hawaiian Island Grill Adds Steam Table Craziness

It was practically a year ago this week that I first wrote about Hawaiian Island Grill, the plate lunch arm of a three headed take out spot that also includes Chinese (Gordon Chen’s Kitchen) and Japanese (Hakata Grill) food (on 53rd btw. 2+3rd).  Seeing as I knew nothing about Hawaiian food, I roped in native Kathy YL Chan to join me- and we sampled practically the entire menu.  The Verdict:  It wasn’t going to replace any of Kathy’s favorite hometown spots, but with good menu management you could end up with a decent lunch.

Well it’s a year later, and Gordon’s Hawaiian Hakata has added a fourth option to their repertoire… the steam table lunch special!  $6.50 gets you pretty much whatever you want. (No joke!) And ironically enough the options are mostly Korean food.

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Mantao Reopens w/ New Soup Deal: via Twitter: Mantao Chinese Sandwiches has reopened and is now doing a soup/sandwich/shrimp crackers lunch special for $9.95. Also on the ML Twitter Tracker: Schnitzel & Things is on 52nd and Street Sweets is on 50th.

New Katsuhama Has $5.50 Monday Special

Photo Courtesy of Lunch’er “Miche”

Thanks to Lunch’er “Miche” for posting this great deal in the ML forums (and sending along the photo above).  The new location of Katsuhama (on 55th btw. 5+6th) is offering a Monday lunch special.  $5.50 gets you “curry over rice with your choice of katsu – chicken, pork tenderloin or pork loin- plus all you can eat salad.”  And what do you know?  Today is Monday! (Note: The special is only available at the 55th Street location.)

Katsuhama 55 is Now Open

Le Pain Quotidien Continues Midtown Expansion


A fifth Midtown LPQ (and second this year) has just opened up on 50th street btw. 6+7th. Rock Center is already pretty saturated with sandwich/salad/soup spots like this, but Le Pain Quotidien is far better than any of the other options and I’m guessing a lot of people in the area won’t mind paying the extra $1 or $2 for their baguettes. Be afraid Au Bon Pain, be very very afraid.

A look at their sandwich board is after the jump.

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Street Sweets Gets Their Moment in the VendrTV Sun

If I see one more thing about turkey, or stuffing, or leftovers I’m going to barf… but there’s always room for pumpkin bread! VendrTV hit up the Street Sweets Truck last week for their Thanksgiving episode and sampled the macarella, the pumpkin whoopie pies, and a pumpkin loaf. I don’t know what I enjoyed more, seeing Samira rib host Dan Delaney while they made pumpkin bread or her husband Grant saying “Christian Louboutin” (?) with a straight face. (Smile Grant! I know you can do it…)

Check out the video after the jump…

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Midtown Links (The “If You’re Still at Work, Your Boss Sucks” Edition)

City 75′s Fresh Carved Turkey Sandwich (if this doesn’t put you in the mood for the weekend, I don’t know what will.)

New “WTF” Burger Concept: 4Food To Bring Doughnut-Like Burgers (With Vegetable Centers) to Midtown


Midtown is no stranger to weird new fast food concepts (Kolache Mama anybody?) but this one could take the cake. It’s called 4Food, it plans to “de-junk fast food” starting in March on Madison and 40th Street. Their website creates more questions than answers, but I think the gist of it is this: they plan on making fast food (burgers, nuggets, fries, etc.) in a natural and more nutritious way (think Zen Burger, but with grass fed beef?) I suppose I can get behind a more sustainable and accountable McDonald’s, but their signature dish sounds positively out there- and I believe involves a hamburger patty with a hole cut in the center and filled with something more healthy?

Meet the “W(hole) Burger”

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