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quit my crappy job, lunch near new job (41st/Mad)?

I'm still very new to the city and I've tried to do some research, but it's hard to figure out what is really nearby. I work near the Library by 41st and Madison.

Where are the good lunch time eats? Delis gross me out sometimes, as do those giant salad bars/bufffets. I'm happy with cheap eats, and I'll do carts (I'm a big fan of the Kwik cart) and I wouldn't mind a couple of suggestions for a sit-down lunchtime meal when I need a real break from the office.

Any tips for me?

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  1. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/507698 - some of these suggestions might be a bit far afield, but hopefully some won't.

    Searching for lunch and "Grand Central" might help as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      Oh - and if you like tamales, you might want to check out this cart:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/525970

    2. I can't offer recs on carts since I don't go to them but the one lunch place that I think is worth going to (I work on 40th and 5th) is Dishes on 45th between 5th and Madison. It has soups, salads, sandwiches and a hot/cold food bar but they do it in a much nicer way that the usual deli; it's a bit more expensive but it's totally worth it. On a rough day, or even a good day at work, their coconut crusted chicken fingers are really good. The place gets packed at prime lunch times and best described as zoo-like but it's worth going through the crowd to buy food there. They have tables to stay there but I've always taken food out.

      Otherwise there are a bunch of chain lunch places like Pret a Manger, Hale and Hearty, etc. on 42nd between 5th and 6th which are all about the same in terms of quality.

      If you need a nicer sit down meal, there is Pera on Madison and 41st which I think has very good Mediterranean food (pricey but good). There is also Naples 45 for pizza which I haven't tried yet but have heard very good things about. There is also Bryant Park Grille which up until recently I thought was pretty underwhelming but recently had a surprisingly good meal there (it was expensed so probably that helped lessen expectations).

      Hope this helps!

      1 Reply
      1. re: pellegrino31

        I second Dishes. Our office got sandwiches, salad, and cookies catered from there. Excellent! Especially the cookies, which were amazing. They had possibly the best oatmeal raisin cookies I've ever eaten, sweetened with fruit juice and pieces of fruit. I later found out that these are apparently diabetic-friendly, too. I'll have to pick up some of those for my father sometime.

        I didn't know they were expensive, though, as I've never walked down there. That's disappointing, but I'd say their food is worth it. Anyway, just about everything is expensive here in Midtown. I hate working here.

      2. Definitely hit up the "food court" in Grand Central, lower level.
        Everything and anything you could possibly want is there.
        Sit down, Naples 45..45th and Vanderbilt.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kcijones001

          Yes - and while I know the OP isn't a huge fan of Murray's, there's one in GC.

        2. You are literally right by Cafe Zaiya, one of my favorite places in Midtown for a cheap lunch. Love the spicy chicken sandwich. There are seats, but it's kind of hard to get them during lunch time. If you can't get a seat, you can take your lunch to Bryant Park and eat it there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Miss Needle

            zaiya is seriously ridiculously perfect for what you need.

          2. There's also Madison and Vine for a sit down or Pershing Square.