It's hard to go a few blocks without tripping over a Duane Reade drugstore. I can't count all of the times I've rushed to the Rock Center branch for one random item or another on my lunch break. But go Duane Reade for lunch? Um, no. Until now...
In the past couple of months the concourse level Duane Reade at Rock Center has revamped their food aisles and I was delighted to discover, it's now more like mini-grocery store within a drugstore.
The Rock Center Duane Reade always carried a small selection of beer and a dried packaged stuff (peanut butter, cup o' noodles, tuna) and of course chips, cookies, and candy. Good for if you have the mid day munchies but not much in the way of lunch stuff unless you want a Power Bar or a Butterscotch Krimpet washed down with Mountain Dew. Imagine my surprise to see that Duane Reade is now carrying frozen entrees--Celeste Pizzas, Bagel Bites, Hot Pockets, White Castle Burgers, and Lean Cuisines.
Forgot breakfast? They have a decent selection cereal, yogurt, cream cheese, milk, and juice.
Brought a salad but no dressing? Duane Reade has you covered with individual salad dressing packets, salad spritzers, and small bottles of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Mmm. Some olive oil and balsamic would go nicely with fresh tomatoes and bread from the Rock Center Farmer's Market.
Impromptu happy hour with co-workers? Chilled cans and bottles of beer (Heineken, Coors, Coors Light, Bud, Bud Light, Corona, Fosters, Stella, start at $2.50 per bottle or can). Chilled 6 packs starting at $5.99 for Stella. $8.99 for Corona. If you have room in your office fridge to chill your own, they have six and twelve packs of Blue Moon, Samuel Adams Lager, Light & Summer Ale, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Amstel Light, Bacardi Mojito, Corona Light and more.
Value Rite drugstore in Rock Center has some good grocery items as well, but I think the retooled selection at Duane Reade is better. If you work in the center of Midtown, you know grocery options aren't all that readily available. I wish I could eat delicious cart food every day, but sometimes I have to go for a lighter option and I don't want it to cost me an arm an a leg. Say what you will about Lean Cuisine, but if you don't have time to make your lunch at home or maybe a certain individual in your office with a proclivity for kleptomania has hijacked your lunch--soup stealer, I'm looking at you!--it's nice to have an easy decently healthy meal option under $5. Plus you get Duane Reade rewards point on your DR card.
Duane Reade Rock Center
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
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