Archive for 'Fast Food Chains'

SUBWAY VS. QUIZNOS: Got this email request today: "Subway has been doing a $5 footlong promotion for a while now... and [now Quiznos] too, are selling foot long sandwiches for $5! I know that you are not a fan of chain ANYTHING, but I was curious to see if maybe you could do a comparison and let us know which sandwich you preferred." Uh... I think I'll pass.  But if anybody else wants to weigh in, feel free to do so in the comments.

MISSING LINK (Chick-Fil-A Edition): Ooops... how could I forget to post this gem! Adam Kuban (possibly after being inspired by our post?) does a side by side comparison of Chick Fil A's Chicken Sandwich and the new McDonald's Southern Style Chicken Sandwich on Serious Eats.  Beware though- there are photos of uncovered breasts on the other end of that link.

McDonald’s Attempts to Bring Chick-Fil-A to Manhattan

While most typical fast food places (McD’s, BK, Wendy’s) are not considered for this site, there are a few chains that would be welcomed with open arms into the canon of acceptable Midtown Lunches if they were to decide to grace us with a franchise.  In N Out Burger, Baja Fresh, and Panda Express would be my personal dreams come true, and I know for a fact that there are alot of you who feel the same way about Chick Fil A.  As many commenters have mentioned, there is one in the NYU dining hall, but “technically” you need to be a student to check it out.

Last year, to steal business compete with Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s introduced the “Southern Style Chicken Sandwich” to their menu, which stealsis supposed to replicate the Chick-Fil-A experience.  Well, after months of trying the sandwich out in various markets, Midtown Lunch’er Andre Mika (who writes one of my favorite blogs- has brought to our attention that the sandwich has arrived in New York City.  I haven’t had Chick-Fil-A in over 20 years (and I freaking hate McDonald’s), so to investigate this one, I’ve turned the case over to Andre, who is not only from the south (Louisiana), he is also a huge Chick-Fil-A fan.   Here is what he discovered…

The premise was too good to be true. McDonald’s, king of the “clone and sell a billion” fast food culture had introduced their new “Southern Style” chicken sandwich. To those of us who understand the McDonald’s mentality, it meant one thing. They had knocked off the famous Chick-Fil-A sandwich.

So let’s cut to the chase… Read more »

Office Lunch Club: Fantastic Fast Food Fridays

At the beginning of the year, a bunch of my co-workers decided it would be fun to form a lunch club.  Its purpose… to enjoy lunch, with your friends from work, under the constraints of a theme!  Very exciting.  I’m all for anything that gets people going to lunch more often, so I thought it would be fun to profile some of these lunch clubs on the site (I know there’s alot of you out there!)…

Name:  Fantastic Fast Food Fridays

Workplace: Sirius Satellite Radio (49th & 6th)

Established:  January 2008  

Members: Approx. 10-12

Frequency: Once a week, on Fridays

Credo: The purpose of Fantastic Fast Food Fridays is to get together for lunch at the end of the week and have fun going somewhere different. We mostly all try to eat healthy during the week (except for Zach, obviously), so this is the one cheat meal where we can enjoy a little greasy food. We also enjoy discussing our meal… the highs and low points, and of course- what may “happen” as a result of our decision to eat at this establishment (think Taco Bell or White Castle). We have a strict rule of only “fast food”, which means you have to walk in and give your order at a counter, and it must be a chain (deli’s don’t count). The big coup is finding the fast food combo stores (i.e KFC/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut under one roof) because then everyone can choose a different place if they want.

Places Visited: Wendy’s, Burger King, Arby’s (RIP), White Castle (8th Ave. btw. 36+37th), Taco Bell (3rd Ave. btw. 44+45th or 8th Ave. btw. 36+37th), KFC, Nathan’s, Roy Rogers

Places we Plan on Visiting: McDonalds, Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits, Chick-fil-A (there is supposedly one on the NYU campus), Goodburger, Subway

I attended the trip to White Castle (yes, there is one in Midtown on 8th Ave. btw. 35+36th).  Some fast food porn, after the jump… Read more »

R.I.P. Manhattan Mall Food Court (and the only Arby’s In Manhattan)

It’s a sad day for fans of the food court, as Midtown loses it’s only true collection of fast food kiosks under one roof.  (How do you know you’re in a real food court?  At least two places handing out pieces of chicken on toothpics.)  The Manhattan Mall on 34th St. & 7th Ave. has sold the food court space in their basement to J.C. Penny, and most of the places have already closed.  The biggest casualty, Manhattan’s only Arby’s , the undisputed favorite for fans of fast food roast beef flavored bologna.  It will be missed.

Also closed, Wok & Roll, Chicken Bar/Ranch 1, Sbarro’s & Cajun Cafe (home to the world famous “bourbon chicken”).  Still open, the Japanese stir fry place, the Nathan’s/Arthur Treacher’s Combo, Subway, Charlies and the Desert Moon Mexican place… but I wouldn’t count on them being opened for much longer.

My sad, final lunch at the Manhattan Mall Food Court after the jump… Read more »

The Mystery of the Nathan’s Not Dog

One of the contest winners picked up their book yesterday, and brought me this gift…



“It seemed like something you would like,” she said.  Is this what you think of me people?  I don’t know if “like” is the proper term, but I was certainly intrigued.  The term “Not Dog” seems easy enough to understand… until you see the picture on the right.  What the hell is that thing? Is that supposed to look appetizing?  It’s clearly not a vegetarian Hot Dog.

The Nathan’s website provided absolutely no information on “Not Dogs”, so I was forced to go to the Nathan’s on 8th Ave. & 44+45th St. to check it out.

What I found, is after the jump.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid. Read more »

At Lunch Yesterday: McDonald’s Angus Burger Edition


  Yesterday two of my life philosophies came into direct contradiction. 

    1. Never eat at McDonald’s (implemented immediately after reading “Fast Food Nation“)
    2. Never turn down free food (implemented at birth, encoded in my DNA)

I was offered a chance to try the new Angus Burger, which was just introduced here in NYC at the two McDonald’s locations in Times Sq.  The last time I ate food from McDonald’s was 3 1/2 years ago, when unemployed in L.A. I took $40 to participate in a McDonalds Focus Group (before reading FFN, obviously).  I figure, if I can try their weirdo test hamburgers, I can deal with an Angus Burger, right? 

Not so much.  There’s no denying fast food like this tastes good…  it’s engineered that way!  But, it’s funny how easily my stomach of steel crumpled at the introduction of a burger from McDonalds.  Although in fairness to the Golden Arches, I have always held the belief that the more you eat something, the more your stomach becomes accustomed to it.  After 3+ years of no McDonalds, my stomach was clearly not ready for the Angus Burger onslaught.

An hour later, not feeling altogether right, my mouth was watering the same strange way it did 3 1/2 years ago during that Focus Group.  I mentioned how much I didn’t like it on my comment card.  I guess they didn’t listen.

The food at McDonald’s always tastes good going down, and I figured this would be a great excuse to break my rule #1, and give McDonalds a chance to redeem themselves.  Unfortunately, one Angus Burger and 30 minutes with Mickey D’s version of Aaron Eckhart in “Thank You For Not Smoking”, didn’t do the trick.  Hopefully the next time I’m offered free McDonald’s, I will remember Rule #1.  Of course it would help if they stopped advertising that amazing looking snack wrap!

If you are into McDonald’s, than True People’s Champion Adam Kuban from A Hamburger Today should be your new hero (he is definitely mine).  Check out his comparison of the Angus Burger to the rest of their line-up…

Midtown Lunch: Snapshots (NC-17 Edition)

This picture is wholesome (although the prospect of eating at Metro makes me feel dirty):


Has anybody tried this thing?  Am I going to have to eat at Metro?  Whatever happened to that Croque Monsieur Truck that was spotted back in January on 54th & Broadway for a week, but then disappeared.  Anybody seen that thing anywhere?

I felt the need to put the NC-17 picture after the jump.  WARNING:  May not be suitable for children (or people with dirty minds)… Read more »

The Manhattan Mall Food Court… home to the only Arby’s in Manhattan

If you are a fan of the blog, you know I don’t write about generic fast food chains too often.  Nobody needs to read about Burger King or Wendy’s, and I have a special hatred in my heart for McDonalds (and Chipotle, which I know isn’t technically owned by McDonalds anymore, but can still be accurately referred to as a McBurrito).  But occasionally there is something interesting to write about, like the return of Popeyes to Midtown (the greatest fried chicken in the history of the universe), or Ranch 1/Chicken Bar- a fast food chain that I think really has something tasty and unique to offer.  I also reserve the right to write about Pollo Tropical, In N Out Burger, Panda Express, Baja Fresh, and Chick-Fil-A* if they ever get their acts together and open up Manhattan locations!  (* I am aware that Chick-Fil-A has a location in the NYU student center food court… but it technically isn’t open to the public.)

Arby’s is one of those places in the middle.  For many people, Arby’s is held in that special place in their heart (ironically, the same place you are doing damage to when you eat at places like Arby’s).  I’m on the fence.  There are no other cheap fast food places specializing in roast beef, but according to my wife, Arby’s is the bologna of Roast Beef- so it’s a toss up.  But here’s the thing.  Midtown is home to the only Arby’s in New York City (there are two in Queens).  And that makes it worthy of a Midtown Lunch write up.  It’s also housed in the food court of the Manhattan Mall… and I will use any excuse I can to visit a food court.

How we got there, what we ate and the food court fiasco- after the jump… Read more »

Ask Midtown Lunch: Shamrock Shakes

Got this question emailed to me by “Esther” the other day:

“I really want to have a Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s….so last night, I walked into the McDonald’s on 52nd and Broadway to get one. (They have them every year in the month of March until St. Patrick’s Day for as long as I can remember.) The girl at the register looked at me like I was insane!! She had never even heard of it.  I’m so disappointed!!! Maybe someone in the midtown lunch community knows of a location in NYC??”

Anybody seen one of these things in a McDonalds in Midtown?  If you have, help Esther out by posting the location as a comment below.  If you are like me, and didn’t even know this Shamrock Shake existed, there’s a great piece about them here.