If the Shake Shack line doesn't fit into your lunch break schedule, there's a new quick-service kiosk nearby that might fit the bill. Welcome ilili Box—a offshoot of nearby Middle Eastern restaurant ilili—that's operating out of a refurbished shipping container. Chef Philippe Massoud adapted recipes from his Lebanese roots and mixed them with other Mediterranean cuisines and a few more far-flung destinations to create sandwiches and other items for a quick meal on the go.
Choose from sandwiches like Duck Shawarma with a fig garlic whip ($14), Lamb Shawarma with roasted tomatoes, sumac and tahini or the New York-ified Lamb Pastrami with a wasabi eggplant mayo. There are also falafel sandwiches with Beiruti (turnips, tomatoes, tahini), Korean (cucumber kimchee, scallion, basil) and Mexican (olive garlic whip, cilantro, jalapeno) flavor profiles.
Sides like Phoenician Fries ($4) with sumac salt and Aleppo garlic whip and hummus in both plain ($4) and spiced ($5) varieties supplement a sandwich while Butterscotch Panna Cotta ($5) and Ashta—a creamy Lebanese treat made here with roasted pineapple, mustard seed, hibiscus and orange blossom syrup—provide a sweet cap to your lunch.
Flatiron Public Plaza North at 24th and Broadway, (646) 771-4090; ililibox.com