need new ideas for 44th & 5th lunch
I'm working a part-time midtown job (44th St & 5th Ave) and desperately need a decent lunch to look forward to. In my aimless walking I've found the Halal stand at 43rd & 6th, brazilian buffet on 45th, Margon (where they put salami in the cuban sandwich), the Red Flame coffee shop. I've resorted to the long walk to Rinconcito Peruano on 9th Ave and german cold cuts at the Grand Central market when I need the assurance of good eats. Must have more options...
When I worked in Midtown, I was very fond of Dosanko, a super-cheap assembly-line Japanese noodle joint, on Madison bet 47 & 48. Lines of takeout customers out the door, six kinds of noodle soup for 6.50 a quart. Other specials (fried oyster bento, sometimes tempura, etc.) daily.
Also Japanese, on, uh, 46th bet Mad & 5th, a place called something like Katsu-don, specializing in Japanese breaded cutlets. Sorta fun, also has a takeout sushi stand up front.
Welcome to the land of Ranch 1!
I think you've already sussed out the best eats in the area. The Halal cart is not as good as it used to be before they raised their prices and reduced their portions, but it's still one of the best things around. The salamied cubano at Margon has always creeped me out. The octopus salad, though, is just perfect.
Matzo ball soup at the Edison. The Afghan Kebab House on the Cabana Carioca block (that's still there, isn't it?). A pork sandwich from Virgil's is always a good thing, though not sublime. The falafel cart on 47th & 6th has a lot of partisans, but it's never convinced me. I've started going to Tandoori Club, a Bangladeshi steamtable on 39th just east of 6th. (Today my kingfish was frighteningly undercooked in the middle, but in a great tomato-cumin sauce; I'm still trying with this place.)
Yum, the Thai joint on 44th between 6th & 7th, very occasionally will do an OK pad thai, but most of the time it sucks, so I've stopped going. The Fresco Tortilla on 42nd btwn 6th & 7th is probably the best branch of this chain, and can often be a guilty pleasure. And (I know I'm gonna get slammed for this) the chicken (NOT pork) katsudon at Teriyaki Boy (aka "Chicken Cutlet Egg Bowl") sustains me more often than I care to admit.
There is Jewel of India (44th between 5th & 6th),
all you can eat buffet lunch.
Walk over to Little Brazil 46th between 5th & 6th.
There is Afgan Kebab House and many other restaurants
on 46th or 47th between 6th & Bwy.
Annie Moore's and Conways on 43rd Madison & Vanderbilt
for Irish stuff.
Hope this helps
Chikubu on 44th btwn 5th and Mad offers an incredible dish of eel and rice served in a sizzling pot (same used in gobdol bibimbap). it's not on the menu; just ask for the sizzling eel and rice dish.
Evergreen on 38th, again btwn 5th and Mad, has fresh dim sum and Shanghainese specialities like soup dumplings and rice cake stir fries. yum.
other than that, as a midtown luncher of 3 years standing, i must concur with the dismal prognosis of the area. good luck!
When I used to work on 42nd between 5th & 6th, I'd sometimes take the long walk to Good and Plenty To Go, on 43rd, between 9th & 10th. They have all kinds of delicious home cooking standards, sandwiches and soups, but my favorite is the Tortilla Flat, which is a tall, pie-like creation stuffed with veggies. It's very tasty. There's also a version with chicken. Their baked goods are great, they make their own doughnuts, cookies and cakes.
On 44th between 9th and 10th, there's a pretty good Caribbean place called Island Spice.
How about Wu Liang Ye on 48th st between 5th and 6th (closer to 5th)? It has presumably authentic Sichuan food (based on the clientele) and is quite good, in any case. Totally different flavors than most pseudo-Sichuan food served in other restaurants. Highly recommended.
re: jonathan sibley
I'm with you on that one, Jonathan. It's a bit more pricey and chi-chi and generally "midtownish" than most chowhounds look for when they're thinking Chinese food, but it's GOOD and surprisingly authentic. I like their branch on 96th street, too. We should all go there more (by the way, I'm just loving Grand Sichuan on 9th Ave these days).
Also, both Wu Liang Ye branches have good service. I fell ill (not their fault!) at the 96 st one a few weeks ago, and the waiter and manager could not have been kinder.
re: Jim Leff
Well, I prefer the food at Wu Liang Ye, but Grand Sichuan is no slouch, and the annotated menu is great.
Also, Cathay 22 (I know, not the right board) on route 22 in New Jersey (in or near Scotch Plains) seems to have authentic Sichuan food, but most of it is on a menu that is only in chinese :(
re: Jim Leff