Hipster

Food Merchants (Murray Hill)

Food Merchants[CLOSED]

For some reason the word ”merchant” always makes me think of a sea shanty or a big floating barge filled with rusty, old junk. That’s the fun thing about word association. Of course Food Merchants is on dry land, and there are no buoys or pirate looking guys anywhere in site. What there is is a nice selection of tasty sandwiches and other lunch grub. The place itself is a chain of what are basically storefronts for a lunch catering business. I’m not sure if the restaurant is the horse or the cart, but either the retail space exists to support and promote the catering business, or the catering business was a natural outcropping of the flourishing restaurant. Or maybe the space was doing so poorly that they needed to start catering to pay the rent. Whatever the case, the place exists, and their stuff is tasty. I had a pressed chicken sandwich with a nice artichoke spread that absolutely rocked. Despite this, this joint is easily forgettable, and blends in with a lot of the other lunch places in the area. I wouldn’t make a special trip, in other words. But maybe someday when I’m a big exec somewhere, I’ll tell them to f’ Mangia and get me 40 of them sweet pollo sandwiches from the Merchants. [MF]