The Two Jakes, Part 4: The Bryant Park Lunch Experience for SD Summer Hires

Both of us are very excited because we finally get to write a post about our favorite part of the day: lunch! We’ve realized how lucky we are that SD is located at Bryant Park since there are many restaurants of all different cuisines within walking distance. We aim to give you a “taste” of what it’s like to dine around the SD office by putting together a list of our favorite places to eat.

Untamed Sandwiches

As the name of the restaurant conveys, their sandwiches are off the hook! For this very reason, we constantly find ourselves making the long trek to 39th St for these quickly served, tasty, and truly ‘untamed’ sandwiches.

 – Rating: 5/5
 – JB’s Favorite: The Butt — Cider braised pork butt, sharp cheddar, broccoli rabe, pepper jelly, dijon mustard
 – JR’s Favorite: The Hot Goldie — Beer braised beef brisket, red onions, sweet and sour cabbage, black pepper aioli

Tip: There’s not much seating inside, so order ‘to go’ and enjoy the delicious food sitting in Bryant Park!


This chain has awesome customizable salads, sandwiches, and more. We liked the food so much we even hosted a Chopt catered lunch at the office last week!

 – Rating: 4/5
 – JB’s Favorite: Classic Cobb Salad
 – JR’s Favorite: Mexican Caesar Salad

Tip: The more the merrier when it comes to toppings!

Pret a Manger

If you want great food as quickly as possible, stop by Pret overlooking Bryant Park on 42nd St. Enjoy eating the pre-made sandwiches, salads, wraps, soups, and desserts while sitting in the park!

 – Rating: 4/5
 – JB’s Favorite: Chicken and Bacon Sandwich and chicken noodle soup
 – JR’s Favorite: Caprese sandwich and chicken noodle soup

Tip: Definitely include a cookie in your order because if there are two stuck together, they give you the extra one for free!

Szechuan Gourmet

This 39th St Szechuan joint is always packed out the door during lunch because of its tasty food. If you don’t mind the wait to get seated, there’s so much variety to choose from!

 – Rating: 5/5
 – JB’s Favorite: Cashew Chicken lunch special
 – JR’s Favorite: General Tso Chicken lunch special

Tip: It’s always packed, so get there early for lunch or you’ll have to wait to be seated!

Zest Szechuan

This szechuan restaurant, just down the street from Szechuan Gourmet, has some great, cheap lunch options. You’re always seated quickly even if the place is packed! One time, the hostess even sat us upstairs in their special party room when there weren’t enough tables in the main dining room.

 – Rating: 4/5
 – JB’s Favorite: General Tso Chicken lunch special
 – JR’s Favorite: General Tso Chicken lunch special

Tip: Wear a coat because it’s a little chilly inside!


This restaurant on 40th st, which has generous seating, serves cuisines from all over the world, forming great burgers, salads, and flatbreads.

 – Rating: 5/5
 – JB’s Favorite: BBQ Burger — yams, BBQ sauce, and pickles
 – JR’s Favorite: BBQ Burger — yams, BBQ sauce, and pickles

Tip: Most people wait on the long line for the cashier to order, but you can skip the line and put your order in yourself on one of the touchscreens against the wall!

Pax Wholesome Foods

If you’re really not sure what to eat, stop by Pax Wholesome Foods on the corner of 40th and 6th since they have a little bit of everything. There are some awesome ‘make-your-own’ options, a variety of drink selections, and plenty of seating to enjoy your lunch.

 – Rating: 4/5
 – JB’s Favorite: Make your own burrito
 – JR’s Favorite: Make your own burrito

Tip: There are so many options, so look around all the menus posted on the walls before you decide!


Japanese-American Fusion: what is it? We still don’t really know. We do know that it was an awesome combination of cultures, though. In fact, while eating our burgers, both of us became immediately reminded of sushi.

 – Rating: 5/5
 – JB’s Favorite: Kobeyaki Burger
 – JR’s Favorite: Kobeyaki Burger and sweet potato tempura fries

Tip: You are given a buzzer to let you know when your food is ready. Hang out at a table instead of waiting by the counter like everyone else so you can snatch a seat!

Over the past 5 weeks, we’ve worked on many different projects, met many new people, and worked with various SD teams. However, there is one thing that has been constant throughout the summer: the great food in the Bryant Park area. If you’ve been following our blog series, you’re aware that we’ve gained many skills throughout the summer. We like to think that developing expertise as restaurant critics is one of these skills that will surely come in handy for the rest of our lives. We hope that this list is convenient for you if you ever find yourself at the SD office or in the Bryant Park area!

Be sure to stay tuned for Part 5 next week!

Written By: Jake Berkson and Jake Reifer

Brittany Wheeler

Brittany is a huge foodie and you can find her searching for the best 'anything' in town. When she's not eating you can find her spending time with her family or traveling.