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Two west midtown lunches: Han Bat and Dos Rancheros

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  • Alan Divack May 13, 1998 09:31 PM
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I was on West 36th st. for workshops for two days, and
had some lunches worth reporting on.

One day I went to Han Bat, a Korean place at around 55
W 36th St, and had excellent bibimbap. It had lots of
nicely sauteed beef and vegetables and an egg, and was
served in a stone crock, which kept it sizzling, and
best of all, left you with a lot of rice crust when you
were done eating -- kind of like the persian rice, but
actually a lot tastier. It came with about five sides
(good, but not great) and some excellent beef broth
with somen noodles. Definitely worth a visit if you are
in the neighborhood. (It is next door to the bean curd
dregs restaurant that Ruth Reichl wrote up a few months
ago -- has nayone been there yet?)

The other day we went to Dos Rancheros Mexicanos, and
38th and 9th. Good, but I think that La Espiga out in
Corona in Queens has better food, and I found it a
friendlier place as well. The biggest disappointment
were the enchiladas, esp. those in green sauce. The
sauce tasted like it was made from canned tomatillos,
and didn't have much flavor beyond sourness. But there
were some good dishes -- the plain tacos (esp. carne
enchilada); the tlacoyos (sp?) also made a big hit:
large pointy masa ovals, about 3/4 of an inch thick,
stuffed with beans, griddle fried, and topped with
cilantro and crumbled goat cheese. Best of all was the
goat soup , which was a very rich chile spiked broth
(maybe guajillo, but I wouldn't swear to it) with lots
of tender shredded goat meat and chick peas, served
with chopped onion, cilantro, and lime. It would be a
great hangover cure, but good enough not to wait for
such an occasion.

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