To break out of the typical Midtown lunch routine, consider Murray's Cheese inside the Grand Central Market. A smaller offshoot of their West Village location, this midtown Murray's nonetheless manages to stock a massive array of savory and sweet goods into one small space.
Pick up a crusty Tom Cat baguette and a mix of cheese and cured meats, and voila, lunch! If the options are overwhelming, explain to the cheesemonger that you're looking to put together a simple lunch for one and they'll be glad to recommend a pairing and know to cut smaller portions of cheese. One visit yielded prosciutto and Quadrello di Bufala, a wonderfully creamy and sweet cow's milk cheese, bold though not overly aggressive. Yet another trip coupled a quarter pound of the raw cow's milk Krummenswiler, a meaty number appropriately described as an "intensely pungent, bacony, oniony behemoth." The leftovers make a great melting cheese over potatoes. Coupled with a side of buttery mortadella slices studded in pistachios and black pepper and a fresh baguette, who needs the chicken and rice cart?
About the author: Originally from Honolulu, Kathy YL Chan writes A Passion For Food, where she chronicles her eats and travels adventures between Hawai'i, New York and beyond. She firmly believes that there is always room for dessert.