Tag Archives: Union Square

NYC Best: Num Num, Num Pang

num pang spread

num pang spread

Num num num num — ‘nough said. Num Pang is a Cambodian sandwich shop in NYC and is the Cambodian term for bread or sandwich. A midweek lunch excursion took me from our flatiron office down to their union square outpost for one of the better lunch discoveries I’ve had in a long time. Their menu lists several mainstay made to order options, as well as a few special seasonals.

All the sandwiches are served with cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro and chili mayo on freshly baked bread. My choice? The grilled khmer sausage with asian slaw, a cup of greenmarket gazpacho soup and a blood orange lemonade to wash it all down. I probably don’t need to provide much of a detailed explanation for you to read that list and need more convincing of its deliciousness — the perfect combinations of fresh ingredients, married together with Cambodian seasonings for 15 minutes of simple eating enjoyment. My only advice: go early and midweek to avoid the lines.

Map: 140 East 41st or 21 East 12th Street
Reservations: Not Taken
Delivery: Yes!
Phone: 212-255-3271

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Curly’s Comfortable Quirky {and Vegetarian} Cafe

Curly's Coloring Wall

Sometimes you just want a good lunch spot that doesn’t involve greasy burgers or burritos. Thanks to a lovely lunch with a vegetarian friend I was introduced to Curly’s, a new meat-free twist on the classic diner menu. Before you run in the other direction, let me assure you it’s not just all lettuce and celery sticks.

Curly’s was originally a cafe that opened in 1927 in Manchester, NH and served the locals a traditional menu of bacon & eggs, meatloaf & beans, among other hearty items. Inspired by the comfort quotient, but with the desire to lighten the fare, a new kind of Curly’s was opened in Manhattan to rave reviews.

As you scroll down the menu you’ll see sections for burgers and burritos, which may make you take pause with the understanding that this was supposed to be vegetarian. But upon closer examination you’ll notice the items listed include a fauxphilly cheesesteak, crabfake po’ boy or a TLT sandwich {made of tofu bacon, lettuce, tomato and soy nayo, naturally}. No, these are not typos, but clever riffs on classics. Sure, you may need to swallow your protein pride in favor of tofu and soy, but I promise that these items do not fall short on flavor or satisfaction…or a sense of humor for that matter.

The Skim: Beyond just the comfort of the menu, Curly’s is cozied by the placemat art wallpapering its sunshine yellow walls. Each one-of-a-kind has been designed by patrons while they patiently wait for lunch, making use of the crayons that grace each table alongside the salt and pepper. Curly’s is a place with personality and it won’t leave you in a post-noon food coma — a refreshingly recast dining option.

Map: 328 East 14th {Btw 1st and 2nd ave}
Reservations: Not Taken
Phone: 212.598.9998

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