December 10, 2006


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Kosher Deluxe (aka the beauty of the laffa- and free salad bar!)

December 4, 2006

With nothing in mind to eat last week, I was wandering down 46th St. (btw. 5th & 6th) when I stumbled upon another one of those Kosher versions of the ubiquitous midtown deli.  Sandwiches, Salad bar, etc… but a quick look at the menu in the window, and I discovered they had Chinese food!  Now, I was brought up Jewish (a reform Jew, so we didn’t keep Kosher at all)- which means I love Chinese food (the goto meal on Sunday nights and Christmas).  But what’s Chinese food without pork (and shrimp for that matter)???  I love pork.  A lot.  As a matter of fact, with all the pork I’ve eaten in my lifetime, I was sort of surprised that an alarm didn’t go off when I walked into Kosher Deluxe.

I bypassed the salad bar and shwarma station on the right, and headed straight to the back, where they serve a variety of sandwiches, dinner type dishes and of course- the Chinese food.  The menu had most typical Americanized Chinese dishes (all served with chicken or beef)- like Lo Mein, General Chow’s, Beef or Chicken and Broccoli, Moo Goo Gai Pan, and my personal favorite- Pastrami Fried Rice, in case you had forgotten where you were.  The big problem was the price.  Almost every Chinese food item was over $12!!!! (And you didn’t even get shrimp!)  I did a quick u-turn, figuring that it wasn’t worth the money- but something caught my eye on the way out.  On the menu above the Shwarma station I saw it…. “Shnitzel in Pita”.  Helllllllo???

Now, I’m a big fan of wiener schnitzel (german fried veal cutlets), so how could Shnitzel be bad???  I spotted some delicious looking fried stuff below the Shwarma, next to the falafel that I was betting was the Shnitzel.  I ordered it- and was not disappointed… (It is actually a misconception that wiener schnitzel is some sort of sausage- despite “wiener” being part of the name.  In German wiener actually means vealServes me right for just assuming crap.  Wiener actually means Viennese… and a traditional cutlet from Vienna is usually Veal.)

The pics, +/- and the Midtown deal of the century… after the jump.

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Ranch 1 Grilled Chicken (…it’s better than you think)

August 23, 2006

I must have walked by this place a million times in the past month and a half since it opened (it’s on the same street as Rangole & Cafe Cello) but I’ve never eaten there.  Take one look, and it’s not hard to figure out why… Look at the sign.  Bright yellow, with some weird semi-chicken looking thing for a logo.  Nothing appealing at all and certainly nothing about it that says, “Hey, there’s good food in here”.  PLUS, there’s my fear of gigantic chickens- especially ones who hand out cooked pieces of themselves for free.  Very strange.

Then of course there’s the fact that it shares a space with City Cafe.  I don’t know what that is, or what their affiliation is with the other million places in Midtown with “City” or “Cafe” in their title, but if you do decide to check this place out you’ll be able to tell which part is the “City Cafe” by the generic salad bar and paninis behind the glass counter.  Go directly past that counter, the Ranch 1 part is in the back… 

In a weird role reversal, the guy who sits next to me at work actually knew about Ranch 1 (this is the same guy who thought a chicken sandwich from Cosi, was a falafel)… but seemed fairly unimpressed.  It seems to me, that many who have eaten at Ranch 1 in the past think it’s fine but don’t necessarily consider it worthy of mention.  Well, lucky for me, my wife and her co-workers were not discouraged by the sign (or the big chicken).  They went, and highly recommended it to me- and I’m here to say- give it another shot!  Or, if you’ve never been, try it for the first time.  Never having been to any of the other locations (it’s a chain that started 16 years ago next to the Late Show w/ David Letterman theater), I can only vouch for the newest location, opened last month on 46th street btw. 5th & 6th.

What I ate, the pictures and the +/- after the jump…

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Rangole Indian Buffet

August 2, 2006

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Cafe Cello

July 10, 2006

There are very few things I enjoy eating more then pork.  Any kind of pork really, but my favorite is definetely the roasted kind where the skin gets super crispy.  It usually comes from the shoulder, and you can get it at Cuban restaurants, or Christmas parties in Miami (my hometown).  But I have had delicious roast pork in other places too (if you’re ever in Bali I can recommend a great place for roast suckling pig).

On Friday, with Margon closed (great Cuban food on 46th between 6th & 7th) I headed to Cafe Cello- a similar type of place recommended to me by numerous people… The sign out front was not exactly reassuring. It had clearly been dumbed down to attract a less then adventurous New York food crowd, who would be more likely to go into a place if it sees the words “cafe”, “deli” and “American”. 

But, once inside, my fears disappeared.  The food looked really fresh and delicious (in contrast to Margon, which for all it’s positives, can sometimes not look so great depending on the day.)  All the food is in trays under glass, so ordering is as easy as looking, deciding and pointing.  The day I was there, it wasn’t too crowded- but I’ve heard you want to get there early, because once they run out of something, they don’t make more.  And by something, I mean the maduros (fried ripe plantains) which apparently are the first things to go!

Anyway, once I laid eyes on the roast pork (with the crispiest most perfect skin), ordering was pretty easy.  Along with a nice size portion of pork (pulled with tongs off what appeared to be a shoulder), they give you your choice of white rice w/ black bean soup, or yellow rice with pinto beans already mixed in, and maduros (there was still some left at 1pm)- all for $7.  PLUS, they threw in a piece of the skin on top.  Delicious!!!  And the skin was perfect.  If you love roast pork, then Cafe Cello is your new favorite place.

The rest of the menu, and a +/- you’ll definetely want to read, after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »