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Pretzels at Southwest Porch. [Photographs: Reese Muntean]

Southwest Porch, located in a cozy corner of Bryant Park, celebrated the opening of its second season last week. This outdoor lounge and gourmet snack spot is an anomaly in Midtown, with porch swings, rocking chairs, and the only fire-pit on the island of Manhattan. It opened last year as a collaboration between 'wichcraft and Southwest Airlines and premiered this season with an impressive new menu of cocktails and bar snacks.

While all of the food available at the 'wichcraft kiosk across the park is available at Porch, the same is not true for Porch's snack menu. Exclusively available at Porch is the made-to-order fresh guacamole (perfectly chunky with a refreshing lemony pop), marinated olives, and popcorn with unique flavors such as cinnamon and sugar, butter and parmesan, and ancho chile and lime. Hopping on the DIY trend, they offer a make your own s'mores set equipped with a personal tabletop fire pit, rich dark chocolate, and homemade graham crackers.

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If you just want a simple snack to accompany your ginger margarita or your bourbon mint iced tea, then your best bet is the pretzels. They are imported from Sigmund Pretzel Shop in the East Village and there are be two types offered: the salted pretzel (which is in a different realm for the average street cart pretzel) and a second flavor that rotates daily. I'd venture a guess that those pretzels alone will draw repeat visits to Southwest Porch—add the ambiance and service, and you've found a one-of-a-kind post-work hangout in Midtown.

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