Broadway Bites opened earlier this month, with pop-up restaurants in Greeley Square, right near Herald Square/Macy’s and the Manhattan Mall). It’s just like Madison Square Eats (which just closed down a few weeks ago) and from the same team at UrbanSpace.
There are a lot of vendors (full list here), and we went with some friends to try a few and I went back on a few days (since it’s so close to my office… dangerous).
I first went with Red Hook Lobster Pound and tried the Lobster Roll “Maine Style.” Maine Style to them meant with a lemon mayo (though it also had some paprika or Old Bay on it, which was an issue for me since I’m allergic, but I scraped it off and made it work). This was just okay. The lobster wasn’t as flavorful as I would have liked, but I AM super spoiled.
I also tried the lobster macaroni and cheese from there, which was very good. The lobster was more flavorful in there and the pasta was nice and cheesy without being soupy. They took a torch to crisp up the top, but it felt more for show than for taste. It was barely scorched when I opened it up, and I would have preferred much more, but it was still quite tasty.
Mike went with a brisket sandwich from Mayhem & Stout. He said it was tasty but it was served a bit cold.
One of our friends stopped at Mrs Dorsey’s Kitchen for a smoked gouda grilled cheese sandwich. She enjoyed it, but I was surprised to see that the cheese was hardly melted at all. A grilled cheese sandwich is not merely cheese on toasted bread. It must be melty!
Her take: “Tasty ingredients in the grilled cheese (good cheese, good crispy bread), but it wasn’t melty at all. All in all, just an average grilled cheese, I’d say…”
And our other friend went with the veggie meatballs from Mighty Balls. His feedback: “I’d say the balls themselves could have used a bit more taste and crust. The bread made up for the crunch, but it was a bit too mushy in texture. A bit more spring in the bite would have been welcomed. The jalapeño jelly though was delicious. Would like to try it separately. I believe they sell it in jars. Could see it being great on other sandwiches, and even lamb.”
I don’t know if any of us were overly impressed, and there seemed to be a heating problem across the board. But it’s a nice way to try some restaurants without having to travel too far and it’s great to go as a group so there is something for everyone. We happened to go on a very warm November day, so most of the hot food was not overly appealing to me. I went back a few days later when it was quite chilly and I was more in the mood for hot food.
I chose a butternut squash and pine nut arancini (fried rice ball) from Arancini Bros.
It had a great crisp and wasn’t at all greasy (a problem I sometimes have with arnacini). The rice was perfectly al dente and there was a mild cheesiness in combination with the squash and pine nut flavors. A really great dish, and could probably be a meal in itself.
But I also went in search of vegetables. You know… to be healthy. I didn’t find much. But I did find a zucchini and mozz sandwich from Cannibal (where I previously had a great pig’s head). Zucchini counts as a vegetable right? Even when on toasted bread with cheese? Say yes…
Back to the sandwich. I unwrapped it and was immediately displeased. I like the idea of wrapping in brown paper, but it always shows just how greasy it is. And I was trying to tell myself that this was healthy!
I opened it up and noticed that while the pesto and mozzarella looked good, I was surprised at the skimpy amount of zucchini. Two thin slices on the entire thing? Lame!
But holy hell. This was DELICIOUS. Super duper ooper delicious.
The bread and cheese and pesto and zucchini mixed together into something that didn’t seem feasible by the sum of its parts. I guess this was the power of damn good ingredients.
I would definitely stop by before it closes up at the end of November. It was also lovely that there were very short lines across the board every time I went!