December 10, 2006


Midtown Lunch has a new home located at



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The new rss feed for Midtown Lunch is:



Chiyoda Sushi (aka more Japanese fun!!!)

December 7, 2006

Midtown Lunch has a new home located at


If you are interested in reading about Chiyoda, you can go directly to this page:


Pumpkin Three Ways from Chiyoda Sushi

November 20, 2006

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving.  Yes, I am a fat man.  Yes I love to stuff my face.  Me & Thanksgiving sound like a match made in heaven.  But as you can tell from this blog, I love ethnic food, so turkey and stuffing just don’t do it for me.  American Thanksgiving is boring.  Thankfully, America is full of immigrants, not satisfied with putting just turkey out on the table.  My step-mom cooks great Italian food- so Thanksgiving at my Dad’s includes Lasagna.  I think I would like Cuban Thanksgiving too.  One of my co-workers (who is Cuban) said they have roast pork, in addition to Turkey.  I’ve never been to a Chinese Thanksgiving, but if they had roast duck (or General Tso’s chicken) in addition to their turkey, I’d probably like that too. 

I didn’t plan on writing about Thanksgiving this week, but on Friday I found a little treat that was perfect to write about this week- and of course it was at a Japanese place.  On Friday I was walking down what is becoming one of my favorite streets to eat lunch in Midtown- 41st btw. Madison & 5th.  There are only three places, and they are all Japanese- but each place offers up it’s own distinct experience of take-out Japanese fare.  There is Yagura (a no frills supermarket with a small and cheap selection of made to order bento boxes), Cafe Zaiya (a slightly nicer, always packed bakery with pre-made bento boxes, rice balls and tons of other treats) and Chiyoda- the place I decided to pop into on Friday.

When I first found this amazing street, Cafe Zaiya was like a dream come true.  Fun, exciting and packed with tons of amazing foods at super cheap prices.  Chiyoda, in contrast,  seemed like a slightly nicer sushi place, that was trying to mimic the success of Cafe Zaiya by offering a limited selection of rice balls and bento boxes in addition to pre-made sushi.  In the past few months they have undergone a subtle makeover, and have now come into their own- offering upscale (but still inexpensive) treat, including small dishes like an avocado and salmon tartare, interesting looking Omusubi (rice balls) and an assortment of delicious looking salads, tempura, odon and more… all available to go.  But more on Chiyoda another time… this is my Thanksgiving post!

I found three delicious looking Pumpkin treats at Chiyoda… and decided they would make for a great pre-Thanksgiving post.  Check it out… after the jump:

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Todai (aka the buffet formerly known as Minado)

November 6, 2006

Midtown Lunch has a new home located at


If you are interested in reading about Todai, you can go directly to this page:


Kiiroi Hana (To Go)

November 1, 2006

After snapping the picture of the new Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine set to open on 56th St. I happened upon a place that caught my interest.  What appeared to be a generic middle of the road Midtown sushi joint, had placed a cooler/glass case in front of their restaurant and were selling pre-made little boxes of sushi and other Japanese food… and there was a line.  I love sushi, and am always looking for good, cheap sushi at lunch, but I usually avoid the restaurant places because they are a little bit more money then I want to spend, and I don’t really eat at sit down places for lunch.  I’ll make exceptions for buffets, and really good ramen places… but sushi restaurants, I tend to avoid.

But this one was selling boxes of sushi out front, and that makes it exciting!  I don’t know what it is about setting up shop on a sidewalk that makes something more appetizing to me, but it just does.   Sell fresh made delicious sushi (or BBQ, or falafel, or gyro or teriyaki for that matter), in a restaurant where I have to sit, order, wait and then tip, and I’ll hesitate.  But take the same food, put it in a to go container, and sell it on the sidewalk for the same price- and I’ll be the first one on line.   

What they’ve got, the pictures, and the +/- after the jump…

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October 23, 2006

In my quest to search out the best Ramen in Midtown, I feel like I’ve gone backwards… Sapporo was first, because it was right next to my office building.  A longtime favorite of the area, the Miso Ramen is delicious- but the quality of the ingredients (especially the pork) I found to be less than great.  I followed that up with Men Kui Tei, which I found to be a notch above Sapporo.  The Miso Ramen was also delicious, but the pork and other ingredients in the soup were of a much higher quality.  It probably worked out better this way- because if I had gone to Menchanko-Tei first, I might not have enjoyed the other two as much…

Menchanko-Tei has two locations in Midtown (one on 45th btw. Lex & 3rd and the other on 55th btw. 5+6th) which have a few differences, but are essentially the same.  They both have a small front room with a bar, and they both have a second small room… the one on 55th is in the back, the one on 45th is an upstairs balcony.  Much like Sapporo & Men Kui Tei, you have to get there early or you are going to wait.  By 12:30pm, both locations are full.

But enough about the similarities.  The differences that set Menchanko-Tei above the fray, more food porn and the +/-, after the jump…

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Happy Teriyaki BBQ Cart

October 12, 2006

Food carts are a funny thing.  Some people love them, some people hate them.  They are universally accepted for some things, like hot dogs, or pretzels but seem mysterious for other things (the term “street meat” comes to mind).  I’ve seen very few restaurants that specialize in the “Halal Food” you get at a cart, and there are not many carts that stray from serving some form of Gyro, Falafel, Hot Dog or Pretzels.  You’ve got your breakfast carts (bagels, donuts and coffee) which are popular for their price, and the fruit carts, which offer people who love to be healthy a chance to eat at a cart.  (Those people don’t tend to enjoy skillet fried lamb, covered in white sauce.)

Midtown Lunch Bali.... sorry- this one isn't in NYCSome carts are destinations (Hello Berlin Cart, Daisy May’s BBQ Cart, The Arepa Lady in Queens, or the Carts at the Ballfields in Red Hook), while others remain nameless, taking advantage of a highly populated corner of the city.  I love eating at carts.  It’s not because the food is so great, but it just seems like more fun.  There something about the immediate gratification, the fact that their kitchen is on the side of the road, and of course- weird meat sort of excites me (that didn’t come out right).  (My favorite street meat ever… the lady on the right selling street meat on a stick- in Bali)

A little over a month ago, I walked by a new cart near my office… Happy Teriyaki BBQ on 50th between 6+7th.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Teriyaki Cart before in Midtown… and because of my love of Asian food I was immediately interested.  Shortly after, I started to receive the emails… the first one said it was terrible.  Worst food ever.  But then I got two more, one that recommended the spicy pork and another that swore by the BBQ Tofu.  I’m always up for trying a new cart… so yesterday I headed over with my reluctant wife to check out this new cart.

What we ordered, the pictures and the +/- after the jump…

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