Looking for a bite in Hell's Kitchen
I'll be at a conference at a hotel on 57th near 10th the weekend of the 17th, and I ought to have a little free time for lunch--about 45 minutes, I expect. I'd like to run out for a bite that's more than the usual grab-and-go.
I have atypical tastes: if Chinese food, I'll go for chicken feet and duck's neck rather than beef and broccoli. I don't like Italian food, though I'll go for a thin-crust pizza in the tradition of the best of New Haven style. No fast food--McD's and the like is out, as are your basic deli/Boar's Head cold cut sandwiches. A really great street cart would be in the running, but that doesn't include dirty water Sabrett's. Deep fried doesn't do it for me, though that's more a dislike of batter coating than deep frying itself--I've enjoyed rippers (which of course aren't battered).
I know the area isn't a gourmet destination, but I'm not looking for fancy, just interesting.
Also, I'll be coming in by LIRR in the early AM, so if anyone knows a place for GOOD coffee (along the lines of Gimme Coffee, or Joe the Art of Coffee) in the walk from Penn Station up and west, I'd like the tip.
Tehuitzingo on 10th Ave. between 47th and 48th should be doable within that time frame. It's a good place to hit up for well executed Mexican street food fare. They also have tongue, goat, dried beef, pig ear, tripe and beef belly tacos, among many other interesting offerings.
ETA: Oops, just realized that the OP has probably come and gone.
There are two great restaurants on West 56th between Broadway/8th: Basso56 and Sichuan Gourmet. Both are the real deal, but since time is an issue, Sichuan would be more efficient. Everything I've tried has been great, and the waiters are always helpful with good advice. Just be sure to try the duck fried rice - the duck is lightly smoked! Closer would be Aaheli and there's another post about this new Indian restaurant.
Thanks for the ideas. Can you get the regular (non-lunch) menu at Sichuan Gourmet all day? The regular menu looks fascinating:
but the lunch specials look more like typical suburban takeout:
Oh, the heck with it; I have to try the ox tongue & tripe w/ roasted chili-peanut vinaigrette, or the poached chicken & crispy soy beans w/ chili-sesame soy. At worst, I'll order ahead to pick up and they'll tell me I can't order from the regular menu. In that case, I'll swing by another find, El Papasito: