Get the most out of your last lunch break of the work week by sampling some hearty Korean, delicious BBQ, or satisfying your sweet tooth. – Yvo Sin
Imperial Seoul3365 Hillside Ave.
New Hyde Park, NY 11040
See also: Best Korean BBQ In NYC
Korean food can be a little intimidating if you have little experience and walking into a place blindly isn’t your thing. However, the servers at Imperial Seoul speak comfortable English and are more than willing to help guide you through their lunch menu. Ignore the Japanese offerings, because though they’re perfectly satisfactory, the real treat here is the Korean items: for $7.99 seafood soft tofu stew, or soondubu, will fill you up without weighing you down, and is a great entry level dish for the Korean food novice. Ask for it mild if you’re not keen on spicy foods, and don’t worry when it comes screaming hot temperature-wise and bright red, the color is deceiving. Crack your raw egg into the soup, and stir vigorously – it’s hot enough to cook the egg completely such that it’ll look like egg drop soup, but the taste will blow you away. Careful, it’s hot, so be sure to mix it with some of the rice you received. As is customary with most Korean restaurants, don’t be surprised when a myriad of small dishes appear on your table soon after you’re seated; banchan, as the complimentary appetizer dishes are known, are abundant here. Run out of something you really enjoyed? Don’t be afraid to ask for more, and ask for the name, while you’re at it; if you particularly enjoyed it, most Korean restaurants will also sell you some of their treats, made in-house. Also try the dolsot bibimbap ($10.99) (pictured), or mixed vegetables over rice served in a hot stone bowl; the hot stone bowl continues cooking the rice so it forms a nice crust that is delicious to scrape off with your spoon. Once you feel comfortable with a few of the basics, you should move on to the BBQ, every meat lover’s dream come true.
Daisy May’s BBQ623 11th Avenue
New York, NY 212.977.1500
50th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues
See also: Best BBQ In NYC
It’s Friday, and you’re feeling a little decadent – maybe even a bit hungover from your St. Patrick’s Day celebration last night. You want meat, and lots of it. Well, you’ve come to the right place. At the restaurant itself, you can order Memphis dry rubbed ribs (pictured), or a jumbo beef rib that’s been described as Fred Flintstone’s brontosaurus-rib-big and chow down on such sides as the cheesy corn, the mashed potatoes, or the delicious beans with burnt ends. You can also go to the cart and order the chili, which will stick to your ribs and surely help cure what ails ya… or any of their saucy, messy sandwiches, with the meat (pulled pork, chopped Texas brisket, or BBQ chicken) coming in a separate container to prevent your sandwich from sogging up… but what you can’t miss at either location is the sweet tea with mint sprigs. Served in a Mason jar, it’s the only thing you can wash all this ‘cue down with.
Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10019
See also: New York’s Best Bakeries
Take a stroll up to the Time Warner Center for lunch at Bouchon Bakery. The first NYC outpost of Thomas Keller’s vaunted Yountville bakery – a second one coming soon to Rockefeller Center – sits happily on the mezzanine level of the Time Warner Center. On a bright day, the sun can be blinding, but in early spring, the light filtering in through the huge windows that front the TWC will be pleasant enough that you’ll want to linger over the quiche of the day, served with a salad for $12.50, or any of the wonderful soups, made in-house, along with the creative sandwiches, such as roasted butternut squash, fuji apples, brie, arugula and pear marmalade, served on pain de campagne (country bread) ($15), or the oven smoked turkey, Hook’s 5 year cheddar cheese, apple mustard, watercress & red onion all topped with whole wheat pecan bread ($14.25). Finish your lingering lunch with dessert – after all, you’re in a bakery! – choose from any of the gorgeous desserts in the display cases, made fresh daily, but be sure to take at least one pain au trois chocolats (bread of three chocolates) (pictured) to enjoy later. Perhaps during the afternoon slump, when you’re daydreaming back to your glorious lunch in the sun… grab a cup of coffee and get your weekend started properly: with chocolate.
Yvo is the founder and head writer of The Feisty Foodie.