From the 15-odd vegetable spreads in Balkanika's eye-catching display case, josephsm picked four and hit the jackpot. Beet, leek, celery root, and walnut-paprika dips were all "fresh and absolutely bursting with flavor." With a few pitas it added up to a hound-worthy takeout lunch for less than $6.
The Balkan and Mediterranean menu also offers salads, including a fine one of elephant beans, as well as borek, says phoenikia (who recommends the mushroom borek but not the spinach one). Cheeses, cured meats, baked goods, and a small selection of groceries can be had here, too. For anyone seeking a better-than-average Midtown lunch or a before-or-after-theater bite, this might be the place. "In all, a fun addition to an already-diverse neighborhood," writes orthorunner.
Balkanika [Hell's Kitchen]
691 Ninth Avenue (near W. 48th Street), Manhattan