FoodParc, Jeffrey Chodorow and Ed Schoenfeld's much anticipated food hall in the Eventi Hotel, opened last week to the public. This sleek, technically inclined food mecca is something of a cross between Italian mega-emporium Eataly with its multiple food stands and 4Food with its reliance on technology to handle ordering and notification of when the food is ready. Only a week or so in and there's no shortage of opinions on the place so off we go to the early word:
The Good News: Located at 6th Ave and 30th St, this is totally in Midtown Lunch's wheelhouse and they don't disappoint, filing a very thorough look. They're digging the streamlined ordering, saying that it "defuses the lines that might otherwise accumulate at any given stand and makes it a lot easier to get through the ordering process quickly." The food generally garners compliments when it comes to appearance and taste though they do note that some things are certainly not inexpensive: the shrimp pops ($4.95) "aren’t cheap for three ‘pops,’ but they are awesome nonetheless." But there seems to be a balance, summarizing that " it also has plenty of cheap options as well, that could occupy a Midtown Lunch’er for weeks." They also make note of the seating. "The seating is still fancified and serves as a dining area for the guests of the hotel upstairs. For all the space they take up, it doesn’t accommodate too many people. " [ML]
The Mostly Good News: Feisty Foodie visits and it seems like a mixed bag here. It starts off well with a nod to the "very smart and efficient ordering system that was working well even in the first few days of opening." But then they get their food and it's disappointment for the most part. There's the oft-mentioned bacon snack. "I had one piece and found the bacon tasty, but a little limp. I like my bacon to be crispy." More disappointment from the stuffed hash browns. "The menu said there is bacon, cheddar, and potatoes. I detected zero bacon inside, disappointing." Also, more bacon sadness. " The bacon egg roll was a fail. As you can see, the bacon looks undercooked. It was also not very “baconey.”" It's not all disappointment as redemption was found in another selection from the egg rolls. "The pastrami egg roll made up for the bacon one. It was stuffed full of yummy Katz’s pastrami. It was quite good and very unique." The Italian Roast Pork sandwich from Fornetti also gets some love. "It was a hot, juicy mess with a nice spicy kick from the peppers. Quite a tasty sandwich." And, in what is becoming a recurring theme, they knock the seating. "The dining area was weird with its stadium seating and white tablecloths. I am not sure what they were thinking when they designed this aspect of the place, but it was totally off. They also serve all food in take away bags even if you want to stay and eat there. It was quite weird to eat out of a brown paper bag on a white tablecloth." [Feisty Foodie]
The AMAZING News: Food blog NOTCOT stops in and is a happy camper. Not even mistakenly described sandwiches can stop their happy buzz. "I thought this was a grilled chicken sandwich with mozzarella cheese, but the closest thing I could find on the Fornetti menu was a roast turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, crispy onions and sage mayo with provolone cheese. Whatever it was, it was AMAZING?.." [NOTCOT]
The No Complaints News: Yelper Juan C. thinks that it's "kinda awesome," stating that it's "the perfect place to go if you're not sure what you want b/c you can walk in, see what catches your eye and then simply put in your order on the Kiosk screen. They send you a text when it's ready which is cool." Clearly, he loves the food. "I had the eggplant, mozzerella & basil sandwich and it was TASTY! I paid 9 bucks for it (the 1/2 order is only 5 something). It was a big order, very filling, no complaints!" [Yelp]
The Utterly Unexciting News: Yelper Don W. does not like anything about the place at all. "food court in manhattan. how utterly unexciting. only tried the chinese food, and everything i sampling was 2nd rate. will not be returning to try any of the other options." [Yelp]
The Fraudulent News: Some Eater commenters certainly didn't hold back in their distaste for the place though this one makes sure to include Chodorow in his epic takedown. "Jeffrey Chodorow is a complete fraud and so are ALL of his places. Foodparc was incredibly gross, i couldnt eat my sandwich last week and they forgot my $3.00 soda. The pork sandwich was not edible. This place is for tourists to be ripped off, any New Yorker who knows anything about food should not be duped into going to this sham of a place which is quite fancy and white and tech savvy but utterly gross. Congrats Chodorow You fooled them all once again. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice well...." [ENY Commenter]
The Tweet News: Metromix New York doesn't touch upon the food but rather what they come in, backing it up with a photo. "Why this much paper waste for 4 dishes!? Completely tone deaf." Gael Greene tweets her favorable impression. "Used terminal to order.Grt burger,lst rate egg cream.Bacon snack.Had to hv Rueben again." Blog Foodie Call has a first impression directed at Jeffrey Chodorow. "First thought - not bad, El Chod, not bad at all." Huffington Post writer Tony Sachs is a big fan. "Lunch with Mrs. RetroMan at Food Parc, the greatest place in the world."