It always pays to have a lunch buddy. Today, My Lady Dining Partner (MLDP) invited me to lunch with her at a spot I’d never been: Friedman’s. Known for their bustling ambiance and delectable comfort fare, I knew I had to take her up on the offer.
We trekked up to lower Midtown West, just above Flatiron where we work, and made our way to Friedman’s. The facade is unassuming, but the moment you enter, you realize you’re in for something good. It was packed and everyone’s food looked incredible. We snagged a few stools at the counter and got down to checking out the menu, but I had already done my due diligence and selected a sandwich to order prior to setting foot in the restaurant (as usual).
I ordered the B.L.A.T. (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato) with grilled chicken. “Phenomenal” is too empty a word to even describe how good this sandwich was. The bread was toasted just enough to offer a crisp exterior to hold onto, and the mayonnaise was dill-inflected, offering up a robust and fresh flavor. My only complaint would be that the grilled chicken piece was dwarfed by all the green leaf lettuce (no iceberg at this place), but that’s a small qualm. I asked for their housemade chips to accompany my dish (for $2 extra – one thing about Friedman’s is that it ain’t cheap), and they were paper thin and delicious.
MLDP opted for the adobo chicken salad, which comes with grilled chicken, black beans, tortilla crisps, pepperjack and an amazing chipotle dressing. I snuck a bite of it and was impressed.
Since our entrees were so good, we knew we had to get dessert. The limited menu does not disappoint. We opted for the carrot cake. When it came out, we marveled at the gigantic chunk of cake in front of us and the waiter said, “This is half the size we used to serve.” I can’t even imagine what that serving looked like–and I don’t even want to think about what kind of person consumed the whole thing. This carrot cake is supremely special: it’s moist, chock full of carrots and covered with coconut flakes that offer a new dimension of flavor and texture. I was quite pleased with our selection, and MLDP liked it so much, she took the enormous leftovers to go! (She later shared the piece with me as the afternoon wore on.)
Friedman’s is definitely worthy of a true destination venture to try their offerings. I’d like to go there for dinner, too, but I fear there may be a wait. Though they do not take reservations, it’s certainly worth hanging around for a table, whether you like it or not. Trust me.
132 W. 31st Street (bet. 6th and 7th avenues)
Midtown West, NY
Take the orange or yellow to 34th Street, walk south a few blocks and toward 7th Avenue on 31st Street.