Archive for 'Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge'

Bacon Implosion Sandwich is Good… But Can’t Save C4


There’s a reason that most Midtown pubs are not considered Midtown Lunches.  First off, few serve lunch for under $10.  Tack on tax and tip, and you’re usually spending a ton of money for food that is fine by Midtown standards… but kind of boring.  And not better than what you can get for less at a real “Midtown Lunch” spot.  Sure, there is the added bonus of beer and TV during your lunch… but is that really worth paying $4 for a soda?  Yeah, that’s right… Channel Four (on 48th btw. 5+6th) charges $4 for a soda.  I know it’s expensive to run a restaurant in Midtown, and I won’t pretend to understand the financial difficulties of being in this high rent part of town. But $4 for a soda?  That says one thing to me… tourist trap. (Or, rich lawyer happy hour spot.) Either way it’s unforgivable.

But I’ll give credit where credit is due.  Channel Four stepped to the plate with this bacon explosion thing.  If you haven’t heard of the bacon explosion, it was one of those gross food sensations that hit the internets earlier in the year. Essentially a bacon wrapped, ground pork roll covered in BBQ sauce, Channel Four decided to recreate it for consumption in Midtown. (Amazing, right?)  Even more than that, they were willing to turn it into a sandwich (called the “Bacon Implosion”) and charge under $10 for it as part of our Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge.  So I swallowed my cheap bastard, Midtown Lunch’ing standards and stepped into Channel Four yesterday for a taste.

Be prepared to be rocked by the “Implosion” after the jump…

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Friday is the Last Day for Certe’s Mexican Torta


I finally got around to trying Certe’s May entry in the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge, the Mexican Torta.  “Tanman” and “Wayne” were kind of enough to send their reports earlier in the month, but in keeping with the rules of the Sandwich Challenge I should probably post something… so here it is.  Good sandwich.  Quality meat.  Love the avocado (always a sandwich bonus.)  Liked the bread, salsa and cheese.  All around a good sandwich.  I wouldn’t call it a torta though.  That’s a torta! This was more like a good steak sandwich with avocado.  Though for $8.95 it kind of lacks that wow factor that is required for me to spend this much on a sandwich- although I would definitely recommend trying it at least once. Another solid effort from Certe (on 55th btw. 5+6th).

If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, I think Friday may be the last day.

Certe’s Thanksgiving Dip is the Greatest Sandwich Ever Created
Underestimate Certe’s Vegetarian Sandwich at Your Own Risk

Channel Four Joins Sandwich Challenge With A “Bacon Implosion”

It’s official! This just in from Chef David Conn, from Channel Four (on 48th btw. 5+6th): “Starting this Friday (5/22), Bacon Implosion Sandwich: Two slices of our smoked, pork filled Implosion grilled and topped with green tomato chow chow relish and served with house fried spicy potato chips. $9.95″ Whoever said it was time to retire the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge was clearly a crazy person!

Lunchers Report: Certe’s Mexican Torta

Photo courtesy of Lunch’er Wayne

Last week two Midtown Lunch’ers sampled the newly introduced Mexican Torta from Certe (on 55th btw. 5+6th) and reported back. First, the tempered enthusiasm:

“Decided to try out the Sirloin Mexican Torta at Certe today. It looked delicious when I was picking it up and I think I was drooling all the way back to the office. The sandwich was decent-sized and came with a dill pickle on the side. My one complaint is that they skimped on the sirlion beef – I definitely would have liked more beef and less avocado. Other than that, it was quite tasty; not as good as last month’s Primavera but very good nonetheless. -Tanman”

Unbridled excitement, via Lunch’er Wayne, is after the jump.

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You Decided: Certe’s Mexican Torta Gets Introduced Today

After turning the decision over to you guys, the response was unanimous: keep the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge going, and bring on the torta! So, from Certe (on 55th btw. 5+6th) this morning: “Starting today we will offer our May Midtown Lunch Entry: Sirloin Mexican Torta. Sliced Roasted Sirloin of Beef with avocado, pico de gallo, queso blanco, fresh jalapeno and chipotle aioli on a soft Mexican torta. Also the Primavera (last month’s entry) will become one of our weekly specials starting next week. It will be available on Fridays (starting 5/15). And as always the Thanksgiving Dip is available on Thursdays.”

You Decide: Should Certe Do Another Sandwich?

Certe's "Primavera" Sandwich
The Primavera from Certe (on 55th btw. 5+6th)

Last week was it for Certe’s third entry in the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge, the Primavera.  If you missed out on this amazing sandwich, I’m sorry.  I feel bad I didn’t remind everybody last week when there was still time to go enjoy it.  I feel doubly bad because a Lunch’er tried to get one yesterday- only to be disappointed (especially because they had left the sign up for the sandwich despite not having it.)  Certe had this to say in response:

“We were unsure as to whether or not we should have a May lunch special and this led to our lack of communication about The Primavera ending. That being said, we didn’t want to over-stay in the “Sandwich Challenge” and keep entering sandwiches each month if it seems we have entered too many. What would you suggest? We are happy to offer a Sirloin Mexican Torta sandwich for the Month of May, as we really do enjoy meeting Midtown Lunch’ers and hearing their feedback each month. Please let us know if you’d like us to submit another entry.”

Now that Papa Perrone has answered my grease truck prayers, I’m tempted to retire the Sandwich Challenge.  I almost feel like there is nothing left to accomplish.  On the other hand, if places are still willing to make awesome sandwiches, I’m still willing to go eat them.  Yay or nay?  What do you guys think?

Underestimate Certe’s Vegetarian Sandwich at Your Own Risk
Certe’s Bayou Sandwich is All About No Expectations
Certe’s Thanksgiving Dip is the Greatest Sandwich Ever Created

An Inside Look at Papa Perrone’s Grease Truck Special

Papa Perrone's

Gee, do you think Midtown Lunch’ers would be interested in a truck that sells sandwiches modeled after the Rutgers grease trucks?  Uh… I’d say so.  Papa Perrone (on 55th btw. Mad+Park) answered the call of the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge yesterday by serving up a chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, and french fries sandwich with marinara- a well known combo made famous by the Rutgers grease Trucks.  I showed up just after Noon to get mine (knowing that if Papa Perrone only had enough mozzarella sticks and french fries for 20 sandwiches, these things were going to run out fast.)

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The “Rutgers Grease Truck” Special Finally Arrives!

I’ve been begging for it ever since the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge began, and word is the Papa Perrone Truck (on 55th btw. Mad+Park) is stepping up to the plate today. Chicken fingers. Mozzarella sticks. French Fries. Sauce. Roll.  If you’ve ever been to the Rutgers grease trucks you know exactly what I’m talking about.  This may or may not be a one time only deal (depending on how it’s received, how tough it is to make, etc.) so if you’re interested in trying this monstrosity, you might want to hit up the truck today.

Goodburger’s Steak & Egg Is Much Better Than My Wall Quote


I have nobody to blame for this but myself.  Do I think Goodburger has the best combo meal in the city?  Obviously not… but I did post those words on the site (unsurprisingly they didn’t care that it was a half-sarcastic attempt to get Midtown Lunch on their wall of fame.)  Of course they left out the “if only it was cheaper” part, a crucial impediment to fully enjoying Goodburger.  And, the quote is completely misleading now- because at the time I wrote it, it was meant to be kind of a joke- since they were the *only* burger place to offer combo meals in Midtown.  (Since I wrote that, City Burger has appeared with combo meals eerily similar to Goodburger, but Burger Joint and Five Guys still don’t offer them.)

Oh well.  You live and learn.  Now I’m immortalized on their wall as saying something nobody would agree with. (At least I am in good company.)  Awesome.  Well, as long as I’m here I might as well try their Steak & Egg Burger- which was just reintroduced to the menu as a lunchtime item (and an official entry in the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge.)

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Underestimate Certe’s Vegetarian Sandwich at Your Own Risk

Certe’s First Two Sandwich Challenge Entries

So, I’ll admit, it’s taken me awhile to go and check out “The Primavera”, Certe’s new entry to the Midtown Lunch Sandwich Challenge. Part of it is because it’s their *third* entry (they have done one every month since we started), but part of it had to do with the fact that it was a vegetarian entry. Don’t get me wrong, it sounded good and all (crispy eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash with basil ricotta, fresh mozzarella on a homemade garlic herb focaccia), but not blow-me-away good. Not so-good-I-felt-the-need-to-rush-over-there and stuff my fat face good (which presumably would get fatter and fatter just by looking at the sandwich.)

Yesterday, I finally found time to trek over to Certe (on 55th btw. 5+6th) and try the sandwich. And boy am I glad I did.

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