Port Authority can be a hard place to grab a bite. If you only have an hour, you don’t have enough time to run to 9th Avenue, and maybe you don’t feel like ramen that day. That’s when you need to know about Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen.
Schnipper’s is a casual restaurant with 2 locations run by the brothers who started Hale and Hearty. It is a joint where you order at the counter, take a buzzer, and are paged when your food is ready. Then you go get your food and eat it in either the large, serviceable dining room or the outside patio area. The patio area overlooks Port Authority, so it isn’t exactly scenic, but it can make for some great people watching. The food here is classic diner-meets-burger joint, and there is something for everyone, from gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to fish tacos to the best milkshakes in the city.
Fresh Market Salad with beets, corn, avocado, radish sprouts, toasted almonds, croutons,
tomatoes, chick peas, parmesan, and vinaigrette
For a casual burger-oriented spot, this salad was surprisingly tasty. Fresh, crisp vegetables with special items like peppery radish sprouts and buttery hunks of avocado. The vinaigrette is creamy and mild, a perfect addition to the salty parmesan on the salad. This isn’t enough for a meal, but it is a good way to get in your vegetables. Especially if you also get an order of…
Chicken Fingers and Fries
This isn’t fancy, but it is fantastic. Crispy, light breading that breaks apart with an audible crunch to reveal moist meat. The chicken fingers taste indulgent, but not at all greasy or heavy. Seasoned well, with a slight kick from just enough pepper, these are dynamite when dipped in the restaurant’s homemade honey mustard sauce that is sweet, thick, and tangy. The fries are also excellent – universally crispy and well salted, the only suitable accompaniment for chicken fingers. The fires are also delicious when ordered “Sloppy” style, topped with a loose, hearty chili that is similar to Cincinnati style chili.
Vanilla Malt Milkshake
*photo is of a different milkshake, but you get the idea*
This alone is worth the trip to midtown. The perfect consistency – thick enough to scoop with a spoon but not so thick that it stalls in the straw. Creamy, not icy. Sweet and aromatic with real vanilla flavor. Ask to add a scoop of malt powder for an additional layer of nutty, almost umami flavor. The other flavors are good, especially the coffee, but the vanilla milkshake is by far the best. The malt really brings this milkshake over the top, and is the best that I have had in Manhattan.
Schnipper’s has its pros and cons. Unfortunately, it can be insanely busy at lunchtime, it is a little pricey, and though the chicken fingers are great, I can’t say it’s worth a trip from another part of town. But, if you are in midtown and want a meal that is tasty but isn’t fast food, I would absolutely say head to Schnipper’s.
And, if you are a milkshake fiend, ignore any of the cons. It is worth the money, it is worth the subway or cab fare. Just go there.
Port Authority never had it so good.