Southern NYC Lunch Tour

Friday, December 22, 2006

Day 25
Circa NY
5 Dey St.
Dec. 15, 2006

Not very crowded at 12:45, but maybe that's standard for Friday afternoons in the holiday season.
Faded 60's green color scheme, somewhat overpriced selection. I actually enjoyed my $5.50 egg salad with chive sandwich. Slightly less expensive than a comparable sandwich from Pret, and better, too.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Day 24
2 Broadway
Dec. 11, 2006

Industrial brushed-metal Mexican? Galvanized, corrugated tin decor? Quirky wood-and-corrugated-tin faux-mechanical wall sculptures? Central seating with long line wrapping around it. Long line at 12:15. Long but fast? Fast. 5-person lunch assembly line, Henry Ford lives on underneath the christmas decorations hanging from the exaggeratedly exposed pipes. "Everything" on the Vegetarian Burrito includes the unbearably hot I discover later. But for now: in and out in 8 minutes despite the expectation of 20 given the line. Burrito: excellent. Drawback: hard to get to the exit at 12:23 because the line that now completely encircles the seating area meets those who have just paid; the galvanized lunch snake eats it's salsa flavored tail.

Day 23
China Chalet
90 Broad St. at Stone St.
Dec. 7, 2006

More along the lines of Au Mandarin - an actual restaurant as opposed to a take-out place. Very civilized experience. The upstairs waiting room is large, chairs, the hostess offered me a newspaper while I waited for my takeout to be prepared. Took a peek downstairs - it's sizeable, very busy, red paper dragons and pink indirect wall lighting - fun atmosphere. Despite the fact that it was around 1:00 - height of the lunch rush - and the restaurant was extremely busy, my waiting room experience was tranquil and fun. My tofu and mixed vegetable dish arrived in a reasonable amount of time and was truly excellent. This would be a fun place for an office group outing.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Day 22
110 Trinity pl.
Dec. 5, 2006

Charly's shares a long, extremely narrow space with Steve's Pizza. It's an extremely no-nonsense operation. No decor to speak of; in fact describing it is almost impossible, like describing a glass of water, a spork or an interstate highway at 3am. It does a great job at being exactly what it is.

I love this sort of Southern NYC Lunch Tour stop - I walked in at 12:45, told them I wanted a vegetable burrito, and was on my way by 12:48. It was a good $6.00 burrito, too, with plenty of guacamole. I recommend Charly's for an instantaneous no-frills lunch experience.

Day 21
Champ's Gourmet Deli
71 Broadway (at Trinity and Rector)
Dec. 4, 2006

One of the worst layouts of Lunch Tour so far - for some reason the salad bar leaves only enough room for a few people to cram in between it and the grill/sandwich stations, which are along the same counter as the multiple registers. There's no way for anyone to form a line or know when their turn is, so even though there were only a few people in there at 12:45 pm, there seemed to be much confusion. Highly irritating. And baffling; what could they possibly have been thinking when deciding where to put everything?

I was pleasantly surprised that they got my order right, and the veggie burger deluxe was decent and average priced.