Viva el Cinco de Mayo! You don’t need an excuse to eat Mexican food, but May 5th is a good day as any to eat it. Near work, I’m partial to Tehuitzingo. The food is tasty and cheap, the condiments — as long as you serve yourself — are free for the taking (unlike the deli next door that charges an extra $1 for salsa), and the menu is extensive. Extensive meaning they have your typical items like chicken tacos, but they also have tacos filled with barbacoa (goat), tripa (pork intestine), and oreja (beef ear). And if you prefer sopes over tacos, like I do, they have that as well. My personal favorite is the sope con tripa (sope with intestine). MORE »
There’s an inordinate number of Thai restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen. Even more than Duane Reade pharmacies. Not sure why. There isn’t a large Thai community in the area. I assume the restaurants are there to cater to the non-Asian office workers in Midtown who want something similar to Chinese take-out, but nothing too exotic. Something safe. I say this because most of the Thai restaurants are bad. On one fateful lunch, I went to a very popular Thai restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen, and everything tasted like it had been tossed in sugar before it came out. Horrible. Last year, Pure Thai Shophouse opened on 9th Avenue amid all the bad Thai restaurants, and I admit, I had my doubts. However, those doubts were quickly cast aside after my first visit, and now I’ve become a lunchtime regular. MORE »
The bad thing about ever denying yourself anything, is that you’ll crave it even more and overindulge when given the chance. Case in point, the end of last year, I decided to reduce my carbohydrate intake. Subsequently, two weeks ago, I finally gave in to my cravings and ate three Chinese pastries immediately after eating a bowl of pho. Yeah, not so good. So instead of delaying the inevitable, I decided to forgo the carb diet nonsense, and have been happily spending my lunches at Sullivan Street Bakery, aka Carb Heaven. MORE »
Las Poblanitas is a tiny hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant with an unbelievably small kitchen that’s usually filled with Mexican guys having a Negra Modelo at all times of the day. I found it last year on the way to Noodles 36 after seeing a man holding a sign for the place on the corner of 38th and 8th Avenue. Yes, show me a somewhat scary nondescript sign for tacos and I will follow.
Soon after, I was going to Las Poblanitas at least once a week for their delicious fried sopes and fresh tacos. Then one day after multiple visits, I got a bad sope that was reheated and served to me when it really should have been tossed out. I guess I should have forgiven then, since it was just one time, but instead, like a spurned lover, I cheated on Las Poblanitas not once but four times. Last week, after swinging by Ying Du to see if the ducks were back (they’re not and should be back next week according to Midtown Lunch), I found myself hungry and near Las Poblanitas and decided to give them another chance. Perhaps still remembering the bad sope from last year though, I decided to go the all taco route and ordered three tacos: Taco De Chorizo, Taco De Barbacoa De Chivo, and Taco De Lengua (3 for $7.50). MORE »
Not so strangely, Ying Du is closed again. This time it’s for renovations. I don’t think it’s DOH-related since they aren’t listed on the main DOH site, but who knows. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. I just hope they aren’t planning another price hike. I don’t need ambiance at a Chinese take-out restaurant.
Fortunately, there are other places to get authentic Chinese in Midtown. My favorite is Hing Won, but recently with the cold weather, I’ve been trying to stay west of Fifth Avenue and south of 42nd Street, which is closer to work. Also, I notice there tends to be less suits south of 42nd St, especially west of 7th Avenue. It’s not exactly downtown, but there’s definitely a different vibe, which is nice. I see enough suits and khakis at work. The two places I’ve been going to a lot recently are Noodles 36 and Big Bowl Noodles. MORE »