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Cheapish takeout lunch in Midtown East (53rd & 3rd)

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I have been working around here for a little over a year and I think I just hit the end of my rope. I am hungry and for the life of me I can't think of an appealing place to go get lunch. The thought of anything on Seamless or any of the chi-chi make-your-own-salad places (Tossed, Starwich, Chopt, etc.) is making me depressed.

Does anyone out there have any suggestions for where to find lunch around here that is fresh, tasty and healthy? Take-out is a must, and price range is preferably around $12 or less.

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  1. How about Pampano Taqueria? I've not been but have heard good things about it. (Note: I have eaten at Pampano. Delicious!)

    http://www.modernmexican.com/pampano/...

    1. Well, there's always Ess-A-Bagel on 51st and 3rd...

      For some great Japanese, go to Katagiri on 59th b/t 2nd & 3rd. It's a Japanese grocery with a deli-type counter on the left as you walk in - there's tempura and other things in the case (I've never ordered from it, though I hear good things) and different types of sushi, sashimi, bento boxes, etc. right next to it. Very fresh, delicious, and relatively cheap compared to a lot of other places.

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        1. Thanks for the responses so far! Pampano and Katagiri are on my short list now.

          ...and yes, Pupster, I have done my best to explore the neighborhood on the days when I can sneak out of the office for at least a few minutes. There are a lot of chains and mini-chains around here, but some of them have proven to be better than I expected. At various times, I've enjoyed:

          -Spoons (though our office usually caters meetings from here so it has lost its luster a bit)
          -Ess-a (I have tremendous affection for the counter guys but I got some bad tuna this summer and it's been hard to get myself back there since)
          -Hale & Hearty
          -Organic Harvest
          -Chop't
          -Tanaka
          -Burritoville (I'd need an afternoon nap if I got a burrito for lunch, but the white chicken chili is pretty good)
          -Lenny's (where I ended up today - #11, add fresh turkey)

          I have much less trouble with dinner, as there are many tasty higher-end SeamlessWeb options available (Shun Lee, PJ Clarke's, Hatsuhana, Wild Edibles, Da Antonio, etc.), and I usually get to expense that meal. I tend to agonize more over meals on my own dime.

          1. Our Place Shanghai Tea Garden (chinese and soup dumplings), Luscious Thai (great curry and pad thai), Zip Burger, Go Sushi, TAKSIM (excellent Turkish salads), Indigo (Indian), YAMA (sushi), Lipstick Cafe