For all the great food that New York City has to offer, there are areas that we often refer to as dead zones. They aren’t necessarily isolate or void of activity, but when it comes to finding good food, they become areas that you either venture out of or settle for a lot less than what you would normally like.
Because I commute into the city a lot from Penn Station (34th and 7th), I know all too well what a dead zone that midtown area is. There are very few places that I would really venture into, and they are mostly salad bars or coffee stops. Really, not a lot to look forward to.
So imagine my surprise when late last night, on my way home, I came across a chic eatery smack in the middle of no (eating) man’s land: 31st street between 7th and 6th avenues. I had no plans on eating out, and my husband wasn’t even really all that hungry, but there’s no way this girl was going to bypass the opportunity to check out this place.
It was cold outside and rainy and the menu offered comfort and warmth. Don’t let the name, Friedman’s Lunch, confuse you. This ain’t no cheap corner deli. This is comfort food of the good, seasonally sourced kind, with plenty of gluten-free options to boot that don’t break the bank. It’s the kind of place that New Yorkers hate talking about because it’ll be hard to get a table next time we go…but, alas.
So, what to eat? That might be a bit harder to decide, considering how good the options are.
I had a chicken burger that wasn’t even on the menu, but was a special that night. It came with bacon, pepper jack cheese and guacamole on a warmed brioche and with herb seasoned fries. My husband had the turkey burger, also pretty incredible.
Other menu options that will make your mouth water:
The Fish Tacos (blackened pollock, corn tortillas, citrus fennel slaw, tomatillo salsa, sriracha aioli, cilantro). The guy next to me ordered this and it took everything I had to not want to sniff his plate…and maybe lick it a little.
Grilled Salmon Salad (Atlantic salmon, romaine, gigantes beans, kalamata olives, red onion, cucumber, feta cheese, creamy dill dressing) and, you know what? If you’re going to have a salad, go for the gold and get their tomato soup too.
And because this is New York City and we just can’t do without our beloved pastrami, you have to try their pastrami on rye. In addition to the classic, they gEt a little more creative and offer the Turkey & Pastrami with all the toppings,
coleslaw, potato chips, Russian dressing on rye bread.
I had my fill of really great food in an area where I wouldn’t normally get to say that. If not in Midtown, but find yourself by the Chelsea Market, make sure to check them out there too. If you work in the area, note that they cater and deliver. But, really, the full experience is better had in the restaurant itself. This locale has only been opened for about six weeks and I am super excited about this yummy NYC find. Just please be sure to save me a chair.
Check them out and happy eating!
Photos courtesy of Friedman’s Lunch