Lunch Envy… and the end of the week wrap up

Bamn!opened this week.  Have you heard of this place?  It’s an old school automat, but with new school food (and design).  You go in, drop your money in the slot, open the compartment, and remove your food.  Bite size burgers, pizza, chicken fingers, mac & cheese croquettas, hot dogs, and (one of my person favorites) pork buns.  Man do I wish I worked in the East Village right now.

As a matter of fact, there are a lot of lunch places in other areas that I wish I worked near.  It’s a severe case of lunch envy… Sure, I have Oms/b now- but it doesn’t cover up the jealousy I feel towards those who get to work near the new Momofuku Saam bar.  To think, that for some people, this is their Chipotle- makes me want to cry.

But that’s ok.  That’s what long weekends are for… so in that spirit, here’s some pictures of one of my favorite lunch places, outside of Midtown- that I really wish I worked near….

Pictures and the wrap up, after the jump…

OTAFUKU, 236 E. 9th St. (btw.  2nd & 3rd)

Takoyaki… airy fried dough balls, each stuffed with a little piece of octopus.  Covered in a special sauce, drizzled with mayo (not pictured above), and covered in bonito flakes. (Not a big octopus fan?  You can get them plain or stuffed with cheese as well.)

Yakisoba.  It’s best to order this on top of the Okonomiyaki (the fried Japanese pancake), but alone these noodles with seafood are perfectly delicious. (And the iced barley tea is good too!)

What better way to spend your Labor Day Weekend than eating that great lunch you can’t get in Midtown.  It won’t make the lunch envy disappear (the deliciousness of the food might even make the jealousy more intense)… but it is certainly healthier then sitting in your cube staring longingly at pictures like the ones above.  (You know you’re doing it right now…)

Feel free to post your favorite lunch places outside of Midtown in the comments section below… but only the ones that would make you consider switching jobs.  Maybe it will help you to free yourself from the chains of this envy… if not, at least you’ll find comfort in knowing that we are all surrounded by those who long for a better lunch, in a different neighborhood.

Enjoy the long weekend…

4 Responses to Lunch Envy… and the end of the week wrap up

  1. Deb says:

    I’m very impressed with all your local Japanese entries – did you live in Japan at some point? If you like noodles, i.e., udon and soba (not ramen), right across the street from Otafuku is Sobaya – you must go. Great soba and udon! And then the authentic sake place, Decibel on the corner of 2nd Ave, has great Japanese snacks.

  2. sivart says:

    I went to Bamn! last week and it was disgusting. I’m generally in agreement with midtown lunch as far as food is concerned (duke cafe — OMG!), and i loves me a tasty burger, but it was as if bamn is taking crappy frozen hamburgers and sitting them under a heat lamp all day. I was hungry, but i threw away the last bit of my burger because it wasn’t worth the calories to consume. ditto the chix nuggets. if i had to guess what they were made of, chicken would not be high on the list.

    I was really really really excited about an automat opening in the city, but this is not the one i was hoping for.

  3. […] Sometimes on Fridays I like to recommend a place for lunch outside of Midtown for people looking for a weekend excursion.  The kind of place you wished you worked next to…  (A few weeks ago, it was Otafuku in the East Village).   So many people complain about not being able to find good Mexican food in New York City, and while Pampano Taqueria is ok, it’s far from being a foodie destination.  My new mecca for Central & South American food in NYC is the Ballfields in Red Hook… a line of stands circling a soccer field, serving amazing, freshly made food from Mexico, El Salvador, Columbia, and Ecuador (just to name a few of the countries represented.)  Originally set up just to feed hungry ball players, it has now become a genuine food destination for huaraches (pictured below), ceviche, pupusas, tacos, tamales, empenadas, roasted corn (drenched in butter, cheese and red chili pepper), and so much more.  […]

  4. Saku says:

    After reading your review, I was so excited to find that there was a Takoyaki shop in the city. So me and my friend took a trip to Otafuku and we were sadly disappointed by the customer service. Waiting to order, the guy who worked there told me nastly to wait 15 minutes so I did, in the cold. After freezing myself there I wnet back in to make my order and they told me they didnt have enough, that I should wait another 15 minutes…I already waited long enough, I want my takoyaki damn it. The other guy remebered and they mangaed to sell me a order of takoyaki. After about half an hour of waiting, I finally got my order and left. Me and my friend tried the takoyaki and It was not what we expected. Unlike the pictures you have, ours seemed poorly made as they couldn’t contain the round circular shape. (Perhaps undercooked?)

    I suggest those who want to go not go when its in its busiest hours because not only does the service sucks, they will sell you poorly made food >[

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