Finally a Midtown West Savior- The Pennsy

There's nothing fun about working over on the far west side of 34th Street.  The wind whips off the water creating a frozen wind tunnel in the winter, the sidewalks are constantly jammed with tourists trying to find Macy's and the food scene is virtually nonexistent. Enter The Pennsy; a brand new food hall hoping to change the landscape of this awful zone.

I didn't have high hopes when two of the six lights were already burned out when I walked up opening day.  However once inside the big airy space that used to hold Borders was actually quite clean and welcoming with tons of exciting new lunch options.

Pat LaFrieda was churning out all kinds of sandwiches; Meatball, Turkey and Steak to name a few along with more veggie friendly items like warm Polenta Fries with Parmesan cheese and Romaine Cesar Salad.

Marc Forgione had the corner on seafood with his stall featuring everything lobster including mac and cheese, salad and bisque while Little Beet Table focused on gluten free bowls and lunch boxes.  I almost grabbed a piping hot cup of Italian Wedding Soup from Mario Batali's stall but in the end vegan food sensation The Cinnamon Snail won out.

One look at the menu and I knew I had to order the Thai BBQ Tempeh Samich with pickled red onion, basil, arugula, smoked chili peanuts and sriracha mayo.

This beast of a sandwich was filled with so many crazy flavors and textures from sweet and sour to crunchy and spicy.  I don't have a huge tolerance for heat so my mouth really felt like it was on fire but it was worth every single second for the delicious nasal clearing flavors going on here.  I mean really...smoked chili roasted peanuts inside a sandwich?  Life is just really great sometimes.

So the wind is still terrible on my walk and the crowds of tourists make me grit my teeth daily but at least the food scene has started to be looking up thanks to The Pennsy.

The Pennsy
2 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10121