OK, so I posted on the site board a story about being disillusioned with the lunch options near work at 42nd and 3rd. Jim admonished me to post here so we could brainstorm some places.
So, here are the rules:
Rule #1 - location: any suggestions between Park Ave and FDR, 37th to 47th. (I know Grand Central fits into that, but it has been pretty well explored already. That said, if something new has sprung up and fits the bill of Rule 2, please fire away)
Rule #2 - inexpensive. Let's face it, I'm poor and I'm only looking for lunch options that are right around $5 or less. Yes, I know that greatly limits the midtown east options, but that is the reality that I live with.
So, let me start off by spouting off a few that I have frequented when I can't justify the long walk elsewhere or a subway ride (these are not listed in any order of preference). And my apologies for not knowing the name of almost any of these places - I just know where to go and I'm not at my office where I have menus... sorry.
1. pizza place on 3rd, between 38 and 39 on the West side of the street. (sorry, don't know the name). They serve a decent slice and a decent sicilian. I by no means claim this to be the creme de la creme of manhattan pizza. But for the area and in a pinch, it is a good option. If nothing else, the place is so small and gets so much business the slices are always freshly out of the oven at lunchtime. Slices are $1.50 and sicilians are $2 bucks.
2. Directly next to the pizza place I just mentioned is a chicken place. Called something like NY's best chicken, or something like that. They have a grill in the place and grill the chicken right there. It was a pretty good deal - quarter chicken for like $4.
3. Sandwich place just west of 3rd on 39th (I think). I think it is called Milano Gourmet Sanwiches, or something like that? Anyhow, they have daily lunch deals, with a really good sandwich and different soups for something like $4.50. Also, and very interestingly, there is a collection of odd packaged candies or snacks on the back wall. I haven't spent much time looking through them, so I don't know what country they herald from. At any rate, it is worth a look.
4. Ata-Ru. - 43rd between Lex and 3rd. It is a tiny little japanese cafe. I used to always see it walking back to Grand Central and finally tried it about a month or two ago. It was good. They have miso soup (not half bad, either) as well as different rice bowls of the day. I think the rice bowls run about $6, out of my range for this query, but there is plenty for less than that.
5. Gyro vendor at the corner of 46th and 3rd. The gyro is pretty good, but he doesn't shy away from the spiciness. Quite hot, which really hits the spot at times.
5. Better Burger - 2nd and 38-ish. My experience there was terrible and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. My burger was more cardboard like than McDonalds. Even the flavor was disappointing. Plus, if you get anything above the basic burger, the costs go up substantially.
I know I've been to others in the area, but can't think of any off the top of my head. So, what are your suggestions? And don't forget the two golden rules of this post :)
Any thoughts are appreciated.