Little Italy Pizza
2 E 33rd Street New York, NY 10016
I decided to go to a happy hour the other night with my friends to support another friend’s charity www.lustgarten.org/helpblairrun (help a sister out) at Galway Hooker on 36th between 5th and Madison. I had just gotten a haircut, and it seemed appropriate to show it off. I met my friends there, and I kept texting them to see if they were there as I waited awkwardly at the bar. Turns out they were there the whole time and just weren’t answering their phones…awesome.
I lasted approximately 2 beers in. That allowed for 1 conversation about whether or not my friend will be moving in with her boyfriend, another conversation about my friend’s shoes, and about 5 mentions of how hungry I was to my friends until they got the hint. My other friend was flirting with a new man, and gave us the “leave without me” eyes, which we eventually learned were the “meet me outside” eyes (I couldn’t tell the difference).
Where should we go? It’s 9:00, we’re hungry, but we’re not looking to sit for a long time. All of us whipped out our iphones and pulled up: AroundMe, Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Foodspotting.
“What do you want to eat?”
“I don’t care I’m just hungry.”
“Totally up to you.”
“The app says there are like 10 Asian restaurants nearby”
“I don’t want Asian”
“There is a pizza place too”
“I could do pizza.”
“Lets do pizza.”
Ok, pizza it is. The app said it was on 31st and 5th so like 5 blocks away whatever. One dummy wore heels to the happy hour (sorry I said it, it was dumb) so every 5 seconds I would a hear a little whimper of “how about here?” The answer is no, we are not going to Pret a Manger, and we are NOT going to McDonalds. I didn’t drink THAT much to be ok with that choice.
Then as we are 2 blocks away we walk by “Papaya King” and “Little Italy Pizza” on 33rd and 5th.
“I love Little Italy Pizza!” My friend screams. Place looks like a dump, but I haven’t had great pizza in a while, so let’s do this thing. Why didn’t our dumb Iphone apps advise of this place OR Papaya King? Thank goodness you all have me.
I point to a slice, “what’s that?” I ask.
“I don’t know” the pizza guy responds.
“Great, I’ll have that and a ‘shroom slice.” It was actually a chicken parm slice with ricotta cheese.
We all order and awkwardly pace until our pizza comes out of the oven. I am a two beer queer, so I am not sure if I am giving an accurate review here, but there were no complaints. I finished my slices, and my friends liked theirs.
“Who uses oregano?”
“I brought it to the table” (guilty)
“Oh, I don’t like herbs.”
Miss Heels opted out saying she would eat a Lean Cuisine later.
“What are you anorexic?” my friend screams.
Peer pressure, she got a slice.
“I have to pee”
“You go first and tell me how it is.” (guilty, that was me…selfish)
It wasn’t a nice bathroom, but the pizza hit the spot.
“Hey, you should put this on your blog!”
Little Italy Pizza (buffalo chicken pizza)
This is without ricotta cheese, but something that fattening is hard to be bad: breaded chicken, cheese, sauce…
Little Italy Pizza (Sicilian slice)
I did not personally taste this pizza, but my friend dies for Sicilian slices, and she ate it right up.
Little Italy Pizza (mushroom slice)
The shrooms were a little cold, but I covered it in crushed red pepper so I didn’t notice. I love when pizza is so big it doesn’t fit on the plate (is that just me?).
Num Pang [Click the photo above to go to Num Pang’s website]
140 East 41st Street (between 3rd and Lexington Ave), New York, NY 10017
21 East 12th Street (between University and 5th Ave), New York, NY 10003
Even though National Sandwich Day is a long way away (November 3…WRITE IT DOWN) it does not mean I still don’t crave a great sandwich. What up Num Pang! My favorite sandwich place in town. I went on Frisky Friday as a carb gift to myself.
I went with my 2 coworkers again as well as a newbie to our lunch crew. The newbie had been to Num Pang before, and I immediately hated him for not allowing me to brag about this sandwich place…”I used to work next door…” Did you? … Did you?? … because now I hate you.
Why couldn’t you let me say my usual monologue when referencing this place, “It’s this great Vietnamese sandwich place. It’s sandwich in Cambodian! I know, isn’t that crazy? It’s really meant for pick-up even though there’s a small area to wait for your sandwich…they give you free water too! All sandwiches come with the same basic ingredients, and there are no substitutions, but it doesn’t matter because it so good!” WHY COULDN’T YOU LET ME SAY THAT!
As we walked I visualized my order at this Vietnamese delight: shrimp, no brisket, should I get the figs? I wonder if I want a side. I want a side.
My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by… “How do you nicely tell someone they should go to the gym?” my male coworker asks.
I’m sorry…what are you getting at?? I need to go to the gym? This walk to the sandwich place is not enough? Walk away right now.
I immediately counter, “Well I already go to the gym, so you don’t have to say it to me” (defensive much?).
“I don’t go to the gym, so he must be talking about me,” said my female friend (must be, because it can’t be me). Shes NOT fat, not even a little, but you know how we get….
We immediately start yelling at my friend to do suicides down 41st street, while we pick up the sandwiches. “Run! Don’t stop!”
I guess that might come across as mean, but it made me laugh hysterically (I’m mean). He clearly was not talking about either of us, because he knows better…at least I think he knows better.
My stroll was turning into a cantor as we made our way closer to the midtown lunch spot. I was soon walking alone, because my friends could not keep up. (Are you confused? We’re going to get lunch! Pick it up people!)
I see a guy walking ahead of me..I instinctively know he’s going to NumPang. He has the look of hunger on his face. I must beat him. Unfortunately my friends did not feel the same way, and I had to slow down so they could catch up to me. I watched as he turned to wait on line…I KNEW IT!
I ordered the tiger shrimp with a side of grilled vegetables. Done and done. None of their sandwiches come with cheese (+1), and they all come with veggies. I opted for shrimp. I made a private oath to myself to eat less red meat (ok it’s not so private) in order to feel healthier and feel like I was having a Frisky Friday and not a Fat Friday (well not TOO fat).
My Lent girl friend ordered the catfish (it’s not my favorite, but I love the whole menu an appropriate amount considering there are no substitutions or changes..That’s because they’re masterpieces…) The newbie copied me with the tiger shrimp (ok I liked him a little more after that), and Mr. “how do you tell someone they’re fat” ordered the chicken. I finished mine first of course, but we all loved our meals, and then we had to go back to the office. Wah!
Num Pang (coconut tiger shrimp)
Num Pang (peppercorn catfish)
Num Pang (grilled vegetables)
Grand Central Market [Click the photo above to go to Grand Central Market’s website]
105 E 42nd St (between De Pew Pl & Park Ave), New York, NY 10017
I was really on a mission today during my lunch break. I had shidizzle to do. Well, really I just had to use an Amex giftcard before I forgot about it, and then I lost money on it (why do they do that?), so off I went with two coworkers to the nearest Sephora. Picked up some Benefit cosmetics, had to replenish my stash, and we were done (I know what I want, and I get it). On the way back, we passed by a Modell’s (gotta go to Mo’s), so we slipped right in there. My friend gave into the LINsanity craze and purchased a Lin t-shirt for her little brother. I on the other hand balled out and bought a Carmelo Anthony jersey (over $90…what the eff? I already used my Amex money). I will finally be attending a game, and I like to be prepared.
“It’s a jersey. You’ll have it forever,” my other friend pipes in (he’s a guy by the way. Can you tell?)
“Or until he gets traded…” too late now.
My bag is now stuffed with Sephora make-up and a Knick’s jersey, but I have yet to get lunch. Where shall we go?
We were right by Grand Central, so off to Grand Central Market we went. A market, grand central, lunch time, it won’t be crowded (yes it will!)…I should have had a smaller bag so people would have to try harder to bump into me (but then where would I put my new goodies?). This market has everything: salad, fruit, prepared meals, fresh fish, CHEESE.
“I know if I wander for too long I will end up getting a mac ‘n cheese soufflé (because I have done that) so I’m just going to get this,” and I order a small seaweed salad and a steamed shrimp spring roll (made with that gooey rice stuff so it’s not super dough-y..is that a word? It is now).
My friend completely tuned me out as she stared at all the food (sort of like me in Eataly), and proceeded to have a panic attack over her meal.
“Oh my G-d look! It’s mac n’ cheese. Yum!” (does she ignore me???) “Will I like this quinoa?”
“Do you like mint?”
“Then don’t get the quinoa* with mint.”
She ended up getting another quinoa, and a shrimp spring roll as well. Just as we were about to hightail it out of there, Miss Mac ‘n Cheese screams, “There’s grapes!”
I roll my eyes, and am about to make a sarcastic comment when I spot cut-up mango. “Add this!” I scream, as she goes to get rung up (snack for later of course. I get very cranky at around 3:30pm, and I try to avoid that with a fruit pick me up).
Back to the office we went to enjoy our meal. The seaweed salad was standard, and the shrimp roll had great crunch. There was purple cabbage in it that gave it a little something. Grand Central Market is a good stop for (in my mind) quality dishes when you’re running around. It would not be a spot I’d run to (only when you’re running around?? Does that make sense??). Is it 3:30 yet for my mango?
*Quinoa:grain with an extremely high amount of protein. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa
Grand Central Market (seaweed salad doesn’t photograph well through glass, and the rolls, they’re sorta pretty)
Grand Central Market (I looked but didn’t touch)
Grand Central Market
Sip Sak [Click the photo above to go to Sip Sak’s website]
928 2nd Ave (between 49th & 50th St), New York 10022
Finding a good lunch spot is hard. It is so difficult to strike the perfect balance between undereating and stuffing yourself to the point of no return.
Undereating means feeling like a savaged beast by 3pm clawing at paperwork and pens at your desk, while overeating can lead you to wanting to take a nap under your desk. Not to mention you don’t want to have wasted all your calories before dinner. I bring you Sip Sak!
Sip Sak is technically a Turkish restaurant, but I like to say Mediterranean, because it sounds way less intimidating. I have been there a bunch of times, and it is always a great alternative to my usual salad.
Their appetizers are delic’. The bread comes toasted (I try to avoid the carbs during the work week, but sometimes I give in), and their hummus is SOOOO good. It tastes authentic and it’s also on the creamier side (i hate when you get hummus that is stiff like a pate). Their spinach appetizer is my favorite (it’s cold by the way)! I don’t even think it tastes like spinach (it tastes like crack. No it doesn’t. It does. No, but it’s good) It comes with a dollup of yogurt on the top too (I will sometimes just get this and a soup and call it a day).
I actually ordered spinach again as my main too, but this time it came hot and with mushrooms (relax, Popeye). Mushrooms and spinach are a super filling option if you don’t want meat (I do not observe Lent but some peeps do. I am one of the chosen people, but it is also a vegetarian option too. I am just trying to stay current).
My sister got lamb kebabs that I was pretty jealous of. They were perfectly spiced and had great texture. It also came with rice and cabbage. I am a weird sucker for a good cabbage salad (I really don’t know), and I reached my fork across the table and scooped it off her plate, eventually screaming “JUST PUT IT ON MY PLATE ALREADY”
My mom went for a traditional greek salad with grilled chicken. SipSak just added some fava beans. She has been here before, and if she likes a place…we go back.
There are seriously a ton of options. I drag everyone in my office to this restaurant. I think they’ve had enough of me.
Sip Sak (interior)
It’s just too cute.
Sip Sak (lamb with rice and side salad)
There are no words. I know some people are not lamb lovers, but this is legit. You can see my cabbage salad peeking over the lamb’s left shoulder (was that weird?).
Sip Sak (greek salad with grilled chicken)
They gave a ridiculous amount of grilled chicken, and my mom was definitely full.
Sip Sak (spinach with mushrooms topped with peppers and tomatoes)
You know how I feel about their spinach. No need to beat a dead horse.
Sip Sak (toasted bread)
I could fill up on this alone, but I held myself back and let my mom and sister take some too (they’re so selfish sometimes).