Midtown Lunch has a new home located at
Please update all your incoming links and rss feeds.
The new rss feed for Midtown Lunch is:
Everybody in Midtown has a goto lunch, and although I try to eat at new places every week, my wife and I usually fall back on Cafe Duke. Last week, we hit up Cafe Duke for a quick lunch, and I decided to forgo my usual Bi Bim Bap in favor of a few things from the buffet by the lb. I don’t normally do the whole by the lb. thing, because although I love the variety, I can’t stand feeling the need to hold back. Scooping tiny portions, all the time worrying that my lunch is going to end up costing $17. While loading up with my normal items, something amazing stood out to me. They had these amazing looking Jumbo Shrimp that had me wondering “How they hell can they afford to serve Jumbo Shrimp for $7 a lb.????”
I got two, and discovered one of the greatest scams I had ever fallen prey to. They’re not real shrimp!!! I couldn’t believe it. Actually, I could believe it. It reminded me of this thing I once learned about Professional Gamblers. There are teams of gamblers who when a new table game opens up anywhere in the world, they find out about it, and run the numbers, trying to find a single wager that will beat the game. While most are games are tirelessly tested before being put into a casino, every once in awhile a game’s creator will make a mathematical error that leaves the game open to being “broken”. The team will fly to his location, bet the one wager for hours and hours, until the casino realizes their mistake and shuts the game down.
I guess that’s why I wasn’t surprised about the shrimp. Can you imagine if the Jumbo shrimp were real? For $6.99 a lb? Hoards of fat guys (like me) would be crowded around the buffet, loading up on jumbo shrimp… trying to “beat the game”. Thankfully, the fake shrimp were delicious so I wasn’t too upset about being duped. I’m not sure exactly what they are made of, but I’m guessing it is a rice cake type of mixture (or imitation crab meat… although it didn’t have that fake fishy flavor that imitation crab has). The best part about the scam… the “shrimp” are not only colored and shaped to look like shrimp, they even have the indentation where the tail was pulled off. Such detail. It’s like art.
The Midtown Lunch guide to eating at a Buffet by the lb… after the jump.
When Chipotle opened up in the bottom of my building I spent a full week lamenting how bad Midtown (and even New York in general) had become for finding good Mexican food. Of course, “Good Mexican food” can mean alot of things to alot of different people. For me, it means there are a) no good burritos (hold the “cilantro and lime rice” please), and b) no good authentic tacos.
If you need an example of what I’m talking about, go to Tehuitzinga on 10th Ave. (btw. 47th & 48th) after work one night. It’s far west, but worth the trip. It’s a tiny bodega that happens to have a small window in the back, where these two women turn out some of the best tacos I’ve ever had. And by “best” I mean done the way they do them on every street corner in L.A. (where I spent the two years before I moved to NYC). Nothing fancy… just good. Two soft corn tortillas, some delicious meat (roast pork, delicious stringy beef, stewed chicken, etc), onions, cilantro and some salsa verde on the side. Delicious! No hard shell tacos served from a cart with a sombrero. No fancy rice or grilled vegetables. The real deal.
When I wrote these things a month ago, I got a number of suggestions for good Mexican food in Midtown- and they all pointed me to the same place: Pampano Taqueria. It was recommended to me as a great place, with delicious tacos and burritos, in the basement of this building on 3rd Ave. btw. 49th & 50th. With visions of Tehuitzinga East running through my head… I ventured cross town in search of some decent Midtown Mexican!
My disappointment, happy surprise, pictures, and the +/- all after the jump…