Archive for April 2013

Lunch’er Copyboy Reports: Indus Express is Now Masala Junction

Earlier this month we reported that Indus Express (on 48th btw. 5+6th) had been shut down by the marshalls and put up for rent. Today Lunch’er Copyboy checked in with this update…

Monday the former Indus Express, 48 W. 48th St. reopened as Masala Junction. It’s pretty much the same restaurant but with a new owner, new lease, and new signage. The prices are basically the same – $8.99 for a vegetable box, $9.99 for meat, $6.99 for a samosa chaat, the only thing I order here. Gone is the misguided sub sandwich kiosk, restored is the plastic cutlery self-service stand. The cashier told me that they fixed a lot of kitchen issues, changed some recipes. She’s a holdover from Indus Express as are most of the other employees.

My chaat was somehow different – I think the samosa recipe has changed subtly. But it’s still tangy and delicious, heavy on the chana masala.

Check out the photo after the jump…

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We Like Bunn’s Big Buns (and We Cannot Lie)

The fluffy pork bun is a miracle of portable food no matter how you slice (or steam) it. Cheap, filling, cheap, tasty, cheap, and also inexpensive, you can stuff yourself with stuffed goodness at a bevy of places around Midtown. There’s been good ones at places with otherwise questionable food, places that do amazing noodle soup, and old-guard name-changer stalwarts. When we got word that Bunn had popped up in the old Bunch space at ML favorite and William Gibsonesque vertical food court Food Gallery 32, we wanted to strike while the steamer was hot.
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Hung Yip Still Has the Best Chinese Buffet in Midtown

In 2008, the last time we took a look at Hung Yip, located on 45th street between 5th and 6th, it was called Sun Yip and/or Ho Yip. Several years and another name change later, the buffet is still going strong, so I figured it was worth revisiting.

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The Steel Cart Sells Sandwiches, Not Knives

I was very confused when I walked by 53rd Street and Park Avenue on Friday. It looked like a new cart, right next to the King of Falafel and Schwarma, was hawking slice ‘em and dice ‘em knives. As I got closer, I noticed a food menu and started chatting with the guys on the cart.

Friday was their first day in Midtown, but they have been setting up downtown and in Dumbo for the last few weeks. They plan to make this a regular Friday (and possibly Tuesday) location. I had already ordered lunch, otherwise I would have been all over the Bourgois Pig sandwich (honey ham, brie, and baked pear).

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Shakshuka, Shawarma and More at Chopita

When I was visiting 99 Miles to Philly last week, I noticed a lunch spot next door that I’d never heard of, Chopita (45th St. btw. 1st+2nd), and decided to check it out this week. Specializing in kosher Mediterranean food with a decidedly Israeli bent (the owners spent time in Israel), Chopita offers falafel, shawarma, schnitzel, and shakshuka, among other things.

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Lunch Links (The “You Can Never Have Enough Dough” Edition)

Treehaus - dough donuts and latte
Photo courtesy of Chubby Chinese Girl

  • Treehaus also sells doughnuts from DOUGH!?! [Chubby Chinese Girl]
  • Burger Join wins Eater’s Burger Week poll [Eater]
  • Chop’t opened a new location at Bryant Park last week.  [Eater]
  • Here’s another look at the new Xi’an Famous Foods [Miss Menu]
  • Mayson Kaiser is also taking over the AQ Kafe space near Columbus Circle [NYT]

Midtown Happy Hour: Overlook Has a Great Early Happy Hour Slightly Out of Bounds

If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so I thought maybe it was time to introduce a happy hour column to the site. Every week, our Happy Hour Correspondent posts about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap.

On my quest to find some decent places to grab a beer al fresco in honor of spring, I hit up Overlook (44th btw. 2nd + 3rd Ave.) a few times in the last few weeks to see what it has to offer. After my experience at Pod 39 Hotel/Salvation Taco’s rooftop lounge I was eager to find an outdoor spot that can pass the Midtown Happy Hour test of cheapness.

Overlook is a bar I had seen mentioned in Midtown Lunch but never covered. I wondered why, and it seems the place is slightly out of bounds. The good news is this: Overlook has one of the best deals for happy hour- two for one drinks! The bad news: it runs from 2:00 – 6:00. So it’s an early one, but it’s not often you can score a decent draft for $3. After 6:00, they offer weekday specials, but they aren’t that amazing.

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What’s Not Standard at Clarke’s Standard – The Banh Mi Hot Dog

When I saw Blondie’s review a few months ago about Clarke’s Standard, I’d been meaning to check out the burgers for myself to compare how they would stack up against my Shake Shack and Burger Joint leaning preferences. However, as I browsed the menu one thing certainly wasn’t standard: what’s this “Banh Mi Dog” doing on here? Naturally, my game plan for lunch changed.

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Flatiron Lunch: Anjappar Thali Lunch a Welcome Addition to the Neighborhood

Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.

Here at Midtown Lunch, we have grown accustomed to restaurants pricing themselves out of the ML budget. (I’m looking at you No. 7 Sub!) So it makes us happy when a restaurant bucks the trend and adds a $10 and under option to the menu.

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Flatiron News: Tres Carnes Opens With Lines Out the Door

Here’s a bit of Flatiron Lunch news before we lay this week’s review on you…

Last week, Tres Carnes joined our neighborhood on the corner of 22nd Street and 6th Avenue. When I walked by this week, it was apparent by the line out the door that word got out. I picked up a menu  while walking by and the good news is it looks like everything is under $10. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the three meats in the name are: smoked brisket, chicken adobo and BBQ pork shoulder (and a no carne option). Each of these meats can be served in a burrito, 2 soft tacos, or a bowl.  Early adopters, let us know how it is in the comments.

Tres Carnes, 688 Sixth Ave (at 22nd St.) 212-989-8737