On a particularly chilly day in NYC I was bustling around Midtown East and after hitting up the
5th avenue departments stores I had worked up quite an appetite. I shuffled over to a corner and secretly whipped out my Lonely Planet guide (after all no one wants to be caught looking like a tourist) to see what was around the area to eat. First thing I see: Dishes, 4 stars, an upmarket cafeteria offering salads, soups, sandwiches and hot dishes; sounded pretty good to me.
Catering to the work-hard, eat-fast midtown crowd, this bustling lunch spot was as slick and polished as you’d expect. Quirky lime accents brighten a sleek white and stainless steel interior and aside from the high ceilings the place was packed. A few tables surround the entrance, and there’s a small dining area in back, but most of the space is given over to a vast state-of-the-art steam table and stations for every lunch staple imaginable. Apparently Condé Nast workers frequent the place so I felt I was in good, if not extremely fashionable, company for lunch.
As I roamed around the mountainous offerings of food I saw at least 20 different types of salad, noodles dishes, soups, sandwiches and even some comfort food like crispy chicken and mac n’ cheese. Who knew magazine waifs could even stand to be in the same room as this calorie loaded food; my guess is they were there for the salads. I picked up a takeaway container and started to fill up. I had some sesame tahini noodles, organic devilled egg salad, Chinese noodles, grilled salmon and quinoa salad. It all looked so amazing I just had a try a bit of everything and here was my rookie mistake… There were two takeaway container sizes which I figured had set prices so I filled mine to the brim thinking I could snack on the leftovers later, after all, pounding the
Manhattan pavements does work up quite an appetite. It wasn’t until I reached the counter I saw the set of scales – you pay by weight. Whoops, by then it was too late to turn back so $15 later I had an amazing lunch which considering the prices here in Australia I still thought it was a bargain and so delicious!
I would definitely recommend stopping here if you ever find your feet weary and you’re your stomach growling after spending a few too many $$’s in Henri Bendel. You can browse Dishes' full menu here. 4/5.