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East Midtown -- please save me from another Oriental Noodle lunch!

First let me start by saying that I did a board search and not much came up. The leads I found were old or too far to travel for lunch, around E. 30s and such.

I'm new to this E40s/Lexington area and I'm therefore looking to built a list of affordable places with good food for lunch. Following a recommendation I got lunch at Oriental Noodle on 45th St/Lexington which was not merely bad, but vile. The salty, greasy, and plain unedible lunch from Oriental Noodle was the worse Chinese food I have ever had in my life!

Today I walked around and gathered menus from Diwan, Raffles and Chiam.
I ended up buying lunch at Diwan and the food was OK, but at $10.65 I think it was expensive for what it was some rice, some pured lentil dish, and 3-pieces of chicken tandoori. (plus two tiny plastic containers with chutney, and a green sauce, and naan)

Chiam's lunch specials are even pricier at $12.75-15.75. Raffles' prices run the same gamut as Chiam's and up. So am I just out of luck and this is a "can't find a good lunch for less than $10 neighborhood"?

I want to stay within the 42nd Street and 50th Street area.
I don't really care for pizza or pasta, and I don't want to depend on the Soup Nazi on 42nd Street--especially with Summer coming soon. Is there somewhere else good and reasonable in this area?

Thanks in advance for any leads.

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  1. Check out: Dishes & David Burke @ Bloomingdales

    1. RICE is on Lexington and 28th, I think you're inside their delivery catchment. That's my favorite lunch spot in that area.

      I've heard other Chowhounds recommend Grand Sichuan on Lexington between 33rd & 34th.

      If you're near a Hale & Hearty their toss-your-own-salads are really good.

      1. Bloomingdale's is on 59th St. -- well north of your stated geographical parameters. And the Grand Sichuan in the 30's doesn't meet them either.

        Wu Liang Ye, another very good Szechuan restaurant, is in the area you want. It's on 48th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs.

        http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

        You could check out 'wichcraft. There are kiosks in Bryant Park, and you can eat at tables there when the weather is conducive. There is also a 'wichcraft on 5th Av., near 44th St. (Note: They offer free wi-fi.

        )

        http://www.wichcraftnyc.com/locations/

        Akdeniz is a Turkish restaurant on 46th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs. I've not eaten there but have heard very good things about the food. Although many items on the menu may be too costly for your budget, there are a few that are moderately-priced.

        http://www.wichcraftnyc.com/locations/

        2 Replies
        1. re: RGR

          I tried Wu Liang Ye and liked the food. It was such a joy to find an affordable Chinese place for lunch. I wanted to also add to the list a place which a lot of you may already know about it's on 40 (or 41 can't remember exactly) west 47th street (bet. 5/6 Avenues) It's an Israeli/Jewish restaurant located on the second floor. The menu is small, but their dishes taste home-made. I would recommend their soups and rice dishes, and I also like their mashed potatoes. The roasted chicken can have a bit too fatty, but the meat is nice and moist.
          On my way home I went by China Moon (on E. 47th Street) they have Chinese and Thai menus. I'll be trying the PadThai here next.

          1. re: RGR

            There is a Wu Liang ye on 39th and Lex too. I think it compares favorable to the other braches. Love the chicken with spicy capiscum, double cooked pork and dan dan noodles.

            Also:
            goodburger on 43rd and 2nd.
            Sophies Cuban on 41st and Lex.
            Kwik Meal cart on 45th and 5th and there used to be one on 46th and Madison but I dont think he is there any more. If you like spicy food, ask for some extra hot sauce, the florescent green one that you have to ask special for.

          2. If you care for Indian food try JOY on 46th btwn Lex & 3rd. Lunch meals start around $6.95 and they serve up good sized portions.

            1. If you're willing to walk over 2 blocks, Cafe Zaiya on 41st between Madison and 5th is amazingly cheap and has awesome bento boxes and sandwiches. Also have a great bakery.