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I love New Orleans and it seems to come up a fair amount here on MidtownLunch.com. My wife and I were married there, I’ve written about it a few times, and 3 of our Profiled: Midtown Lunch’ers mentioned it as a place they’d rather be (Liz, Elizabeth and Nick). But for some reason, it didn’t sink in- until recently- that Two Boots was part Cajun. That’s right. The NY pizza chain with the strange decor and the weird, slightly overpriced slices of pie is actually half Italian, half Cajun… hence “Two Boots” (Italy & Louisiana).
Now, I’m sure some of you “smart” “observant” people, who don’t walk around with your “head up your ass” might be saying to yourself- “Gee Zach… what are you an idiot?” And to that I say, “Yes. Yes I am.” Alright, so I’m not that quick. I’ve gotten pizza from many of the various Two Boots locations around the city, and in all that time I never really noticed the Po’Boys or Jambalaya on the menu painted on the wall… just the pizzas in the glass case.
I’m not sure who clued me into the whole “Two Boots” thing, or the fact that they have things other than pizza… but as someone who is constantly on the lookout for quality New Orleans style food, I figured it was time to give the non pizza boot a try.
What I ordered, a run down of the pizzas and the +/- after the jump…
I don’t eat a ton of Pizza for lunch, so I haven’t written about too many pizza places. In my view, it’s hard to go horribly wrong ordering a slice of pie in this city. Sure there are better slices than others- but there aren’t too many horrible slices- even in Midtown. And if you think that isn’t true- try living in L.A. for two years. One of the only decent slices I had there was from a place that claimed to fly their water in twice a week from New York City… and it wasn’t even that good. Of course, if you are crazy enough to fly your water in from another city just to make pizza, you are creating expectations that are going to be too great to overcome. (“Really? They flew in water from New York and it tastes like this???”)
Well, if you are one of those people who only eats the “best” pizza this city has to offer Time Out New York has just released their Pizza issue. Ironically enough, I was planning on writing about Two Boots today- the New Orleans/Italy (hence the “Two Boots”) pizza place with locations all over NYC (and two in Midtown)… but it wasn’t even mentioned (not even in the “Oddball” category). Anyway, New Yorkers love arguing about what’s the best pie in the city. In fact, the “Best Hamburger” argument that has been raging lately is probably just people who got sick of arguing about the best slice. Rather than re-hash it all, I’ll just point out the Midtown slices worthy of Tony’s mention.
The list, after the jump…
I think I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again. I love food courts. What’s there not to like? It’s like 20 cheap restaurants, all under the same roof. Sure I always get the Chinese food, or the Chinese food knock off (bourbon chicken I’m looking at you)… but having the options (whether you use them or not) is great- because if you go with other people, everyone can get what they want. So when I want Chinese food (which I always do), my wife and I can go to a food court even if she doesn’t want Chinese food, because there’s other things for her to get! It’s a fool proof scheme…
There aren’t many food courts in Manhattan (you’ve gotta go to a mall in the suburbs for that), but there are a few. And one, that seems like it should be amazing, is the Grand Central Terminal Food Court. One walk through this place, and you’ll think you’ve died and gone to food court heaven. No wasted space on generic fast food joints like McDonalds or BK, and they have all the requisite food options (Chinese, Sushi, Indian, Cajun, Caribbean, BBQ, Pizza, and more.)
And yet, for a food court- with a ton of options- right in the middle of Midtown, it’s not nearly as crowded as you would think. None of the places have lines, and we didn’t have too much trouble finding a place to sit. To top it off, I get emails all the time recommending places to eat in Midtown. Very few “good” (a relative term of course) or popular places have gone unrecommended. And yet, nobody has ever recommended the food court, or singled out any of the choices in an email.
A superficial look at the options, more pictures, and a call to arms… after the jump.
MIDTOWN LUNCH HAS MOVED. WE ARE NOT LOCATED AT WWW.MIDTOWNLUNCH.COM
After only two days of being open (today is day 3) the backlash has already begun against Krunch Pizza, a new place serving “Grandma Style” pizza pies on 2nd Ave. and 52nd St. Complaints like not crunchy enough, too thick and “gummy” were tossed around… But for us in Midtown, looking for a cheap and decent lunch- beggars can’t be choosers, and a new place is always worth checking out. (Even if it is, slightly overpriced for the size, square pizza.)
Salads, panini, pasta and of course pizza is on the menu here with some really delicious choices, including: Bianchi Krunch (Ricotta, Marscapone & Truffle oil), Krunch Gamberi (Shrimp, oil cured olives, lemon, red onion tomato and mozzarella) Prosciutto Crudo (Prosciutto, arugula, mozzarella, and fresh tomato) and the Alla Funghi (Wild mushrooms, fresh tomato, garlic, mozzarella, fontina and thyme). The nutella krunch also sounds interesting (what fat guy wouldn’t like hazelnut spread pizza)- although I didn’t see it out when I was there. Slices range from $2.50 to $3.75, Salads are $7.50 to $14.00, the smallish looking panini are $6.50 to $9.00 and the pastas are $8.00 to $12.00. Expect a wait at lunch time, and the seating area is super small so expect to take your pizza to go.
Next week, we’ll tell you how to skip the line at ‘wichcraft in Bryant Park (if you like overpriced gourmet sandwiches), and give you a replacement for Variety Cafe that also has Korean food (!?!)- plus more…