I don’t go to Chelsea that often, but I recently stopped by Chelsea Market to scope out Friedman’s Lunch, a cozy kitchen that boasts seasonal dishes and a large variety. Chelsea Market is a large part of New York’s history, starting out as the National Biscuit Company at the turn of the 20th century, baking “everything from Saltines to Oreos.” Today, Chelsea Market is still filled with multiple bakeries, as well as several gourmet food stores, boutiques and restaurants, such as Friedman’s Lunch. Chelsea Market is located on 9th Avenue, between 15th and 16th Streets. It’s a short walk from the 14th Street stop on the 1, 2, 3, A, C, or E lines or the 18th Street stop on the 1 line.
When we arrived at Friedman’s Lunch around noon last Saturday, there was already a crowd and a list going. The wait was about fifteen minutes, and the hostess was incredibly systematic and efficient about managing both the seating and the take-out lines. We finally snagged a table amidst the chaotic atmosphere.
Friedman’s Lunch has carefully arranged décor, much like the stylings of the Anthropologie at the other end of the market. A few weathered books pepper a shelf opposite the open kitchen, and the chalkboard at the front details specials and announcements. The glasses are short but slender, and each table begins with an elegant glass bottle full of water. Like many places in Chelsea, clientele ranged from trendy young professionals to families with young children.
The menu is simple and offers several gluten-free options, and so I was hoping that they would be able to accommodate a dairy and peanut allergy as well. Our server was incredibly knowledgeable about the ingredients of the menu, but there were very few options because many things were either made in butter or made in a fryer shared with their buttermilk chicken. After asking about several choices, I finally just went with his suggestion to order the Eggs with Style, with substituting the potatoes (made in butter) for a salad.
The Eggs with Style was indeed served with style. The portions were oversized, and the scrambled eggs and salad complemented the chicken sausage and toast well. Everything was delicious and eating was without incident. Once again, I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of my food before I ate it, all, but imagine the toast and the scrambled eggs on the plate below.
As their website details, Friedman’s Lunch was inspired by Milton Friedman’s famous quote, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” As a result, the restaurant strives to offer “healthy and delicious foods, yet reasonably priced.” In addition to affordable, the food was safe and delicious and I would recommend it if you are planning on meeting a friend at Chelsea Market or something similar. It’s not necessarily worth the trek down to Chelsea when I’m not already planning to be in the area but the rest of the market offers a lot of novelty and sensory input. Perhaps just going to look at everything may be worth an afternoon after all!