Usher In Summer Outside at Bryant Park’s Swanky “Southwest Porch”

Date July 13, 2009

There’s finally a reason to remain in Midtown when the clock strikes 5PM on weekdays (and starting at 12PM weekends): the new “Southwest Porch” at 40th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan’s Bryant Park. The venture combines Southwest Airlines, who’s celebrating their first flights out of LaGuardia, with a menu from Tom Colicchio and his two partners in the ‘wichcraft sandwich shops.

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Sandwiches (2 for $9), cheese, cured meats, and cookies are all served on small plates intended for sharing while the drink menu features 3 mixology-quality cocktails ($9 each), a “Southwest Summer Ale” specially brewed by Blue Point beer, two beers from Six Point ($7/beer), and 2 types each of red and white wine ($8/glass).

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Surprising value and the backyard chic setting (pillowed Adirondack chairs, porch swings and couches) make it easy to forget you’re a block from Times Square. Read on for food reviews and all the info on being a part of the summer fun at “The Southwest Porch.”

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FOOD & DRINK MENUS

Although it doesn’t say it on the menu (click to expand), Chef Sisha Ortuzar, who with Tom Colicchio created the menus at the Southwest Porch and ‘wichcraft, told me that $9 will afford you two of the small yet filling sandwiches, each one served on delicious and fresh Sullivan Street Bakery rolls. The drinks are strong and well crafted. My favorite was the Vodka Watermelon (lemon vodka, fresh watermelon juice, lemon and a vodka infused watermelon ball). The Manhattan, featuring maraschino cherries macerated (soaked) in caramel bourbon syrup, is a serious whiskey drink. I didn’t get a chance to try the Canton Ginger Margarita.

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SANDWICHES

The four sandwiches on the menu highlight the partnership between Southwest Airlines and LaGuardia Airport. Chicago and Baltimore, Southwest’s first two destinations from LGA, inspired the Bratwurst and Soft Shell Crab sandwiches, respectively. The Meatball Parm is an homage to New York while the Southwestern Pork honors Southwest’s main hub in Dallas.

BRATWURST

Thank you Chicago for inspiring this creation, my favorite of the three sandwiches I tasted. The bratwurst is a credit to the inimitable Schaller & Weber. Sauerkraut and onion, found at the Greenmarket, are sauteed in butter before the entire sandwich is slathered with a sharp Dijon mustard.

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MEATBALL PARM

My second favorite sandwich features a tender, airy meatball combines with tasty, sweet tomato sauce all topped with parmesan cream sauce. The chewy yet firm roll really enhanced the meatball parm.

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SOUTHWESTERN PORK

Great in concept, poor in execution, thanks mainly to the overbearing creamy-ness of the sour cream, pickled onion and lime slaw. The pork itself is delicious; slow roasted for 12 hours, it’s seasoned with ancho and chipotle Chile and cinnamon, providing a nice balance between spicy and sweet. The avocado alone would have been an apt topping for the standout pork.

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SOFT SHELL CRAB

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to taste this good looking sandwich. Everyone who did had nothing but praise for the Old Bay and lemon seasoned soft shell crab topped with remoulade.

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MANCHEGO & MEMBRILLO CHEESE PLATE

Sheep milk manchego, smoked Spanish almonds, membrillo (quince paste), and crostini from Pain D’Avignon round out this plate. I didn’t get a chance to try this one either, it went fast.

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CURED MEATS

The meat plate is comprised of Saucisson sec (French hard sausage), peppercorn salami from Schaller & Weber and smoked pork loin.

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MARINATED OLIVES

I’m not really a fan of olives but on my quest to provide the world with as much food porn as possible, below you’ll find olives with chili flakes, garlic and herbs.

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SWEETS

‘wichcraft provides the dessert in the form of several “cream’wiches”: Chocolate chip cookie with milk frosting, peanut butter with peanut butter frosting, and chocolate cookie with chocolate frosting. These buttery, decadent cookies went so fast I didn’t even get a chance to snap a photo, but I did taste them and they are simply delicious.

ATMOSPHERE & HOURS OF OPERATION

The space itself is creatively planned and if you sit on one of the couches, lawn chairs, or swing chairs, you really feel separate from the rest of Bryant Park and its bustling surroundings.

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The hours of operation for the Southwest Porch are 12PM to 9PM Monday through Saturday and 12PM to 6PM Sunday. As of now, the Porch is closed on Saturdays and Sundays but that may change in the future.

SOUTHWEST PORCH

40th Street at 6th Avenue in Bryant Park
Monday to Saturday 12PM – 9PM
Sunday 12PM to 6PM
Closed Saturday and Sunday


56 Responses to “Usher In Summer Outside at Bryant Park’s Swanky “Southwest Porch””

  1. FN said:

    Food Guy, that bratwurst sandwich looks damned good! Nice shots of the seating area, it looks comfortable. Hey, I remember that park about 20 years ago – you wouldn’t go in there unless you were looking to buy crack. It sure has changed…..

  2. miguel said:

    wow, you should try manchego and membrillo, I live in Spain, and that´s quite a traditional plate here, and…I have to say it, my father makes the best carne de membrillo (is how we call it, membrillo meat) I´ve ever tried. For me the best is with a semicurado cheese, wich will be a cheese curated i think at least 6 months….but people prefer it with queso fresco, cheese non curated

  3. phil-ate said:

    i wish it was 20 years ago…

  4. noelle said:

    i’m down for the meatball parm and the softshell crab!!!

  5. angela said:

    i love this!!! any opportunity to dine outside is one to follow through with and this one looks perfect!!

    love the scenery and all the folliage!! so important in this concrete jungle they call New York City!! the food looks scrumptious!!!

    and once again your way with words make me want to get there right when the clock stikes five!!!

  6. jeanine r. said:

    I absolutely love eating outside when the weathers nice- I’m going to have to try this place!

  7. Scott said:

    so a budget airline, known for its lack of food service (peanuts only), is sponsoring a chic midtown manhattan dining experience? sounds to me more like something for the jetblue demographic…

  8. Phil said:

    looks great. kind of agree with scott though, as i’m not sure what the hell southwest airlines is thinking. that joke of an airline has holes in its planes.

  9. kristen said:

    FOOD GUY!!!!!!!!! I AM HAMMERED RIGHT NOWWWW and totally havent been akeeping up w/ my postss——PLEASE please pleeeeeeeeeeaaasssssssse review more places in murray hill/midtown—and not carls cheesesteaks because everyone nos about that place [email protected][email protected]@

  10. Raj said:

    If the reviews on the soft shell crab are true, it is rare to find such a gem in Manhattan, let alone, Midtown. Thanks for another great idea!

  11. Phil said:

    Food Guy – where are you? I wish you would update your site more often!

  12. Phil said:

    Ummmmm, so it’s been 3 days and still no sign of Food Guy. Should we put out an alert? Does anyone here know Food Guy in person and can ask him where he’s been? I truly rely on this site for its great food knowledge.. to make a long story short, I’m LOST!

  13. Phil said:

    Jeez, looks like I’m the only one posting anything around here 🙁 !!!!!

  14. Starved Eater said:

    where the heck are you food guy? are you sick??

  15. Phil said:

    Food Guy WHERE R U?!?!?!?! It has been a whole 16 days since you last posted…… this is border line ridiculous!!!!!!!

  16. Phil said:

    @NYCFoodGuy Starting to doubt why i check this site day in and day out…..

  17. johnsonsrus said:

    nycfg posts on this site once a month. this is the last time i check this POS

  18. The NYC Food Guy said:

    My apologies to all the loyal readers. Things have been tumultuous in my personal life and that’s why I haven’t posted. I have not given up and I apologize for the inconsistency. I will get some new stuff up ASAP, god knows I have enough food photos to last months! Has anyone eaten anything good lately?

  19. Phil said:

    ladies and gentlemen….. HE’S BACK!

    what’s up food guy? nice to see you’re alive and kickin’… I ate at the famous blue ribbon sushi the other day, and to be honest, found it EXTREMELY overrated!

  20. francis said:

    a friend of mine just ate at el parador in midtown — mexican — said it was phenomenal, have you been there???

  21. Phil said:

    Francis, that place is awesome. The Mole chicken is one of the greatest things I have ever tried.

  22. Eug said:

    Big L you the man

  23. CheesyPagan said:

    I just walked past here today and wondered about this new porch, which was no porch at all!

    Thanks for the enlightenment! Can’t wait to tell you the details Guy.

  24. Phil said:

    I don’t get why there aren’t consistent posts to this site. I’m pretty confident when I say this website is an excellent resource for all of us and we all appreciate what you do. With that being said, is something wrong? Is it getting too expensive? Maybe you should establish a fund whereby your readers can tell you where, and what to eat, and actually pay for your meal? I would be more than happy to do that!

    Not trying to insult by any means… just a though.

    Phil

  25. Phil said:

    thought*

  26. Phil said:

    PS – I think the new on the right side of the page look great.

  27. Master said:

    Foodguy, this should have been you!!

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/08/05/us/AP-US-NY-Times-Restaurant-Critic.html

    I’m sure if you applied for this job, all of your fellow food followers would voice our support. 🙂

  28. nycfoodguykillah! said:

    yummmy

  29. Phil said:

    Hmmm… posts, and even reader acknowledgment continue to lack ’round here….

  30. Anonymous said:

    I think NYFG has been gaying it up on Fire Island all month.

  31. Bobby said:

    Yo NYCFG what’s the deal man, I have been waiting for close to a month already for you to post a new story. Your reviews are normally extremely on point and the majority of your photos make me hungry the second I see them. I think i speak for the majority of people who come to your website that new material and content needs to be added as soon as possible. Anyway hope all is well and look forward to hopefully reading a new article soon.

  32. Ben said:

    YUM SANDWICHES. Are they better than wichcraft (next door)?

  33. [email protected] said:

    Hey NYCFoodGuy, my cousin in law Andrew told me he met you! Hope everything is ok. BTW, I just had the worst meal at Trattoria Pesce Pasta so don’t go there!

  34. Anonymous said:

    Yeah FG, I heard you met Andrew at the Manhole on FIre Island.

  35. itsjust me said:

    The recipe sounds great! want me some cookie recipe! Thanks

  36. Waz said:

    Can I get the cockie recipe for the sandwich? It looks so goos and I want to make it at [email protected]!!

  37. phil-ate said:

    NYCFG, i just wanted to personally thank you for not posting. I think time off is the best things for this site. everyday where i dont have to read about potatos being potato-ey and bacon being bacony is a blessing. keep up the good work!

  38. Phil said:

    What is going on here?!?!?!?!? Is Food Guy even dedicated to his site any longer?

  39. Phil said:

    DUDE!!!!!! YOU HAVEN’T POSTED SINCE MID-JULY. IT’S ALMOST SEPTEMBER. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!!?!?

  40. ratbuddy said:

    Whoa. I only check this site every month or so, hoping to see a few new posts. Came on today to the same thing I saw a month and a half ago. Everything OK NYCFG??

  41. ChubbyChineseGirl said:

    I would totally go to this place after work… great tip! thanks!

  42. lauren said:

    The writing was on the wall that this was a fad for NYCFG, but this must be the end. Somebody on here called him out for being Larry the picky eater from Greatneck, and I guess that is what he is going back to, forever giving up his hopes of transforming into “Lawrence the NYC Foodguy”…

  43. Phil said:

    NYCFG – GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!

  44. Anonymous said:

    Larry has permentantly moved to San Francisco with his mini poodle named Bubbles and his life partner Andrew. All are doing well.

  45. Phil said:

    What a shame. This site is basically non-existent.

  46. joe said:

    We’ve lost another jew food blog – there are only a few left!

  47. food guy is a joke said:

    The NYC Food Guy said:
    July 30th, 2009 at 4:33 pm
    My apologies to all the loyal readers. Things have been tumultuous in my personal life and that’s why I haven’t posted. I have not given up and I apologize for the inconsistency. I will get some new stuff up ASAP, god knows I have enough food photos to last months! Has anyone eaten anything good lately?

    “ASAP”? I find it hard to believe that nycfg’s personal life is so “tumultuous” that he can’t update his site over a 2 month period. I’m officially done checking this site and will stick with sites that respect their readerships.

  48. Danielle said:

    Hey NYCFG! If you’re still up for food blogging, go to JPAN in Park Slope. Best sushi for the price! And they have delicious innovative appetizers.

  49. boooogie said:

    thank goodness for serious eats: new york (google it). it’s waaay more pretentious than NYCFG, but good nonetheless.

  50. penis said:

    is yummy

  51. Phil said:

    I took off an entire 2 weeks from reading your site food guy. Figured if I came back after 2 weeks, there would most certainly be some new material for me to read. I was WRONG. This is absolutely sickening at this point.

  52. Phyllis said:

    Phil, what kind of food do you like, and where do you live? I’m looking for a nice man who appreciates food (and doesn’t weigh 1000 pounds!), and you seem like a dedicated foodie. Hopefully you return to this site and read my message, even though it appears the site is dead. Hope to hear from you soon!

  53. Anonymous said:

    Hey Phil, you should think about taking over this site. In the past you have been passionate about the reviews and comments. I think if Lawrence had email capabilities in Thailand he would agree. Unfortunatly he is too busy on his underage Asian boy sex tour to blog.

  54. Phil said:

    Phyllis – I like all types of food, but as of late, I’ve been on a bit of an eclectic kick (particularly ethiopian and indian). Happy to report that I don’t weight 1,000 pounds yet! How about yourself, what kind of food do you like? If you’re interested, maybe we could exchange e-mails and grab a bite together?

    Anonymous – thanks for the compliments but I don’t think I have the wallet to be a dedicated food critic like our friend Lawrence. With regards to the underage asian boy sex tour that he’s allegedly on, yikes.

  55. Phyllis said:

    Hey Phil! I’d love to meat up and grab a bite. Shoot me an email at [email protected] and we will discuss in a more private arena! Looking forward to meeting you Philip!

  56. Phyllis said:

    Phil, just wanted to let everyone here know that you have EXCELLENT taste!!! 😉

    call me this weekend, you are a great guy!

    xoxo
    P

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