Profile: Midtown Lunch’er “Nancy”

Every Tuesday I turn the site over to a Midtown Lunch’er for their recommendations of places to eat Lunch in Midtown. Today it’s Nancy, a self described hater of “healthy” foods who not surprisingly, loves the street meat…

Name: Nancy


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Where in Midtown do you Work?:
52nd btw. Madison & 5th

Favorite Kind of Food:
It’s a tie between anything Asian and pizza. Asian definitely includes ghetto wok Chinese like Yips. I’m Chinese and I think I’m not supposed to admit that, but I’m brave so it’s okay.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Anything “fresh”, “light”, or “healthy”, euphemistic terms used only to describe those under-dressed salads usually consumed on Mondays that trick my mind into thinking my body didn’t gorge on delicious fried or cheese-covered nastiness over the weekend.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
I guess my guilty pleasure is Rafiqi’s, the halal lunch cart. My co-workers and I go to the one on Park and 52nd. It’s a gut bomb but totally worth it. Oh, but if one of us has a hangover, it’s Prime Burger all the way- with fries well done.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Digby’s (@ 52nd b/w 5+6th). After about an hour of tossing around possible lunch options, we typically resign ourselves to Digby’s. We end up walking out of there several times a week with our $9 lunches feeling like total Midtown chumps.

Place you discovered thanks to MidtownLunch: FIKA Swedish Bar. (Is it still around? Haven’t been in awhile). It’s pricey but good, especially if you’re looking to mix up your lunch routine a bit. I would recommend their coffee to those who spend time and good money in a Starbucks line. It is damn good.  I’m all about their Swedish meatball sandwich with beet salad and dill dressing. (Ed. Note:  It is definitely still there, Swedish Meatball sandwich and all.  I’ve actually been meaning to get back there too, and try their smoked salmon wrap.  Looks delicious!)

Dream job location for lunch purposes only, and why?: Chinatown/Soho, preferably directly across the street from Vietnam Banh Mi So #1 on Broome. Their Vietnamese sandwiches are an ingenious combination of textures and flavors. I could seriously eat a couple for each meal of the day, every day. I usually break into one of them while I’m walking through Soho and people have stopped me mid-bite to ask me where to get one. That’s how seductive they look. I’ve tried a lot of banh mi sandwiches around town and I love them all, but I stick with Bahn Mi So #1. Oh, banh mi.  I love you.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers?: Does anyone know where to find decent falafel anywhere in Midtown? My co-workers were recently disappointed by Bread & Olive. The sad looks on their faces as they chewed their first bites was heartbreaking.


Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of Bread & Olive complaints lately… but I haven’t given up on it yet- although the falafel is my least favorite thing they serve.  There are so many great falafel places in Midtown, you shouldn’t have any trouble.  I’ll revisit my favorites, plus how you can be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, after the jump…



The more I think about it, I have to say the falafel at Kosher Deluxe (45th btw. 5+6th) is my favorite in Midtown.  It’s only $4.50 and you get to fill a small plate up from their amazing Israeli pickle/veggie bar.  Such a great deal.  My favorite falafel from a cart is still Kwik Meal (although it is definitely not your standard falafel), and if you want a falafel sandwich stuffed with french fries, Pick-a-Pita will be your new favorite place.  More about that place tomorrow…

Until then, if you have any recs for Nancy, post them as comments below… and as always if you have any Midtown Lunch news or you’d like to be next weeks Profiled Midtown Lunch’er, just email me at


  • I love pick-a-pita, on 38th between 7 & 8th. Be sure to include the eggplant in your sandwich – its a great addition. Never tried the french fries stuffed into the sandwich though…good idea!

  • My favorite falafel is at the cart at the SW corner of Park and 54th. Not sure of the name but it’s very good.

  • If you can walk over to 51st between 9th and 10th, Azuri cafe has the best falafel (love the falafel platter), hands down. it’s worth the trip.

  • pick-a-pita on 38th is great for falafel like westsideluncher said. Plus you get to walk through the freight elevator area of some dumpy building.

    i like the shwarma too

  • Hey, Dirty,

    Speaking of shwarma: Seriously incredible Shwarma is Mr. Broadway on 37th and Broadway. They have a bad-ass relish bar full of garlicky shaved jalapenos, cole slaw, diced marinated cucumbers, olives and all that good stuff to accompany your sandwich. Heartburn heaven.

  • The Famous Chicken Place on 3rd between 38th and 39th has falafel now, too, though I haven’t tried it yet. Also, they’ve raised their prices by 50-60 cents (probably to pay for their renovations). The awesome gyro is now over 5 bucks with tax! The horror!

  • I like the falafel at the cart on the SW corner of 55th and Mad. Best in that 5-block radius.

  • Best falafel? – Moshe’s (cart) – 46th Street, just east of 6th, on the south side.

  • Although better known for their delicious lamb pita, Kwik Meal also makes a fine falafel. Bread & Olives too, as a backup when the Kwik Meal line is too long….

  • I think Kwik Meal’s falafel is a crime against humanity. It’s really dry and tastes very different from traditional middle eastern falafel. Chef Rahman makes his falafel Bengali style.
    As long as people know this, eat away.

  • Bread & Olives?! Not-uh. That place is Tuh-errible. In fact, one of Zach’s write-ups on it made me 1. go to B&O and 2. write into Zach to ask WTF was up with his positive write-up. Sour sourness. Lemon-drenched salad greens, sour hummus, runny (and sour) baba ganouj and rock-hard, sandy falafel on cold, brittle pita. Damn. Okay. I’ve officially said my peace on B&O. Over and out.

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