Variety Cafe – 48th Street Middle Eastern, Sandwiches, Salads, etc.

Days w/o Camera battery: 20

Variety Cafe 46th Street bwtn 5th and 6th Ave

Sandwiches, Salads, Asian, Mexican, Middle Eastern

Working in Midtown has some advantages – easy access for all subways, commutes are relatively easy wherever you live, convenient shopping, and nice parks to hang out during / after work. The disadvantage however is that the food selection out here sucks. It’s either overly expensive or you’re looking at cheap Chinese and/or fast food. Everything else in between is just the same repackaged sandwiches and salad joints with different names and locations. You’ll usually find these at one of the many delis sprinkled throughout midtown.

One of the largest of these mega-cafes delis is Variety down on 46th street between 5th and 6th avenue. It’s another one of those Korean mafia type places that stuff every type of food into one location for you to quickly run in and run out. I once got a custom order non pre-made turkey hero sandwich, grilled, sliced and handed to me within 2 minutes. I just discovered the other day however that in the back is a middle eastern booth that fully rocks. (By the way, the sandwiches are good here and cheaper than most places. $5 for a grilled pre-made sandwich with a bag of chips and a pickles.) Walk past the sandwich counter, past the steaming mystery meat buffet trays and hang a left to the Middle Eastern Place booth (there’s a neon sign that points you in the right direction as well). The dude who works the booth is pretty cool – he’ll usually hook you up with a free fresh falafel to munch on while he prepares your dishes. I got the Lamb Schwarma. This is a real schwarma, not the imitation ones made with day old pita bread. He hand rolls the schwarma, stuffs it with all kinds of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc and lots of tzatziki sauce and hot sauce as well. Then he grills it on the panini press. For $6.49 it’s a pretty good deal – it’s a a huge sandwich that I had to eat for lunch and dinner. I also noticed they had a Soba noodle booth in the very back that I may go back and try. For now though I want to try the other options on the Middle Eastern menu.

1 thought on “Variety Cafe – 48th Street Middle Eastern, Sandwiches, Salads, etc.”

  • Hi Simon,

    Glad you enjoyed visiting my blog. I love rich food as well as plain food but sometimes all the complex things we make today can make us forget the basic, simple pleasures of white bread, in all its infinite varieties (my current favourite is Greek bread, you know those big round loaves covered in sesame seeds, hmm delicious, but practically impossible to find in Southern Spain) or other basic foodstuffs.

    Also, eating simple Tapa sized dishes is really helping me to control my weight.

    Your blog must be great fun; I have eaten in New York many times an d love eating out there. There is so much choice and great quality – and the service is great.

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