PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Grace”

Every Tuesday I turn the site over to a Midtown Lunch’er for their recommendations of places to eat Lunch in Midtown.  Ideally I like to post a picture of the person in their Midtown working environment, to give you a real sense of their Midtown Lunch experience.  Surprisingly, the picture of Grace (this week’s Lunch’er), is of her at “work”.

Name: Grace


Senior Test Kitchen Associate (and a cookbook author)

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
Food & Wine Magazine, 6th Ave & 43rd St.

Favorite Kind of Food:
I love Korean food (as well as most Asian cuisines) and my favorite all time Korean dish is kimchi jigae, a super spicy stew of pork, kimchi and rice cakes; Italian (especially Neopolitan pizza, fresh pasta and any kind of cheese); and in the winter, Matzoh Ball soup.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Peruvian Potato dishes (they tend to be kind of bland with lots of sweet mayo), headcheese, and anything Icelandic (bland boiled meats), dried airpuffed cod bits, and fish spread in a tube. (That list is strangely specific. -zach)

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
My new favorite Korean place is Kunjip (9 w. 32nd st). I was intrigued by this dish, Kam Ja Tang (pork bone and potato stew) that listed pork bones as its first ingredient. It was delicious, and true to its name, had loads of pork bones (the trimmings from the back bone where you really have to dig in the get at the meat), topped with this very light, not-sweet-at-all sauce.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Dae Dong–Korean, of course on 32nd st., and Grand Sichuan on 9th Ave (now closed by the board of health, wahhhh). The shrimp dumplings in chile sauce and dan dan noodles are the best. They also have really great sour string beans that are dangerously addictive. (Actually, I think Grand Sichuan is closed for good. I passed by it on Sunday, and it was totally stripped empty inside. -zach)

Place you discovered thanks to MidtownLunch: The Kati Roll Company on 46th (the review of the food was so tantalizing–it made the recipe for kati roll that I tested look like child’s play). The paneer (Indian-style ricotta) is my favorite–spicy, sweet, milky, and creamy (mmmm) followed closely by the potato and egg. I found them all (i did actually try everything on the menu) to be delicious, fresh and extremely well balanced–but maybe I was the first customer of the day? That will definitely become my go-to place for food to-go.

Dream job location, purely for lunch purposes?: Aside from my test kitchen at Food & Wine (the food is almost always excellent and free–and I know with certainty that the cooks wash their hands)… Chinatown, Jackson Heights or Redhook Brooklyn (but only during soccer season)- all for their ethnic diversity and superb cheap street food.


Is there any sweeter job than working in the kitchen of a food magazine?  Holy mackerel am I jealous.  The pie picture above, is a picture of Grace *at work*!  That’s craziness.  Where’s the cubicle?  The annoying co-workers?  The computer screen to stare at hour after hour as your brain and eyes fight over which one is going to degenerate faster?  And you get to go to fancy parties with free food and booze!  Not jealous yet?  A picture of Grace at last years James Beard awards, after the jump…

Admittedly this shot doesn’t actually add anything food wise to the profile.  I just put it up for all the dudes who come to the site every Tuesday hoping for a profile with a picture of a hot chick…   Sorry guys- the proof is in the stats.  The ladies are just more popular.

Now, back to the food.  Grace… aside from being jealous of your job, there is just one problem I have with your Profile.  Your hatred of Peruvian potato dishes.  Have you ever had saltado before?  It’s a Peruvian dish of Meat or seafood sauteed with tomatoes, onion and potatoes (usually french fries).  I fell in love with it at Mario’s Peruvian when I lived in L.A.  And no “sweet mayo” in sight.  Amazing!  Anybody know where I can get this in Midtown?

Photo Courtesy of The Best of LA

If you know where I can find Saltado in Midtown, post it as a comment below.  If you have any Midtown Lunch news or you’d like to be next weeks Profiled Midtown Lunch’er, just email me at


  • Now you just need to add whether or not your midtown lunchers are single or not! Of course then the site might degenerate into some odd foodie dating site….

    Sadly Grace is not for me, I -love- fish spread in a tube. Then again…. that -might- be something I could give up.

  • Is the Grand Sichuan your talking about on 24th and 8th or the one in the 40s?


    The one on 9th Ave. in the 40s.  Eater seems to have confirmed that they are in fact closed.  -zach

  • I think the fact the guy’s are checking out the site every tuesday incase there’s a fit bird pic means they’re single and/or ugly :)

  • Grace,
    How does one become a test kitchen associate? I need to be on the road to becoming one like, today! Best Midtown Luncher interview yet.

  • I sure do have a cubicle–it’s so maddeningly small, (since my “real” office is a 250 sq. foot kitchen with 4 ovens, 3 fridges and lots and lots of sharp knives) and yeah, my eyes do go blurry all the time sitting in front of my computer. Unfortunately, most of my close co-workers have access to knives as well, so we try to respect eachother’s space and not piss eachother off.
    Zach, I actually do like saltado–scrambled eggs, shrimp, tomatoes, cheese and french fries. It is pretty awesome. (anything with french fries in it or on it is alright by me) If I find a place nearby I’ll be sure to post it.
    I can’t wait to try more of these fantastic finds of yours! Especially now that Grand Sichuan is closed for good—grrrr.

  • Oh, and Wu Liang Ye has great dan-dan noodles… lex and 39th.

    Right and Kujip is fantastic for their Spam Bacon and Sausage soup…a total lunchime bargain.

    I guess Rinconcito Peruano closed?


    Yeah… they closed the 9th Ave. location, and moved to Queens or the Bronx- I can’t remember which.  Very sad…  -zach

  • Ummm… Grace is my wife. So back off dudes. Oh and she cooks at home too. Food I mean…

  • DUDE, I want her job! Damnnnnnnnnnnnn. Seriously, Grace, I’m with Nancy, how do we apply to be your next coworkers?

    PS The proximity of sharp knives helping people respect your personal space idea is brilliant. I should try that at work, but I think I might run into bigger issues before that. Whoops!

  • Sounds like a very interesting concept! I want everyone to know about my forward clinic Do you want a joke? :) Why do cows wear bells? Because their horns don’t work.

  • Zach!!! How did you NOT tell me about Mario’s !!! You know I’m going to LA!! Anyways, I will torture you now with photos of my saltado when I go there.

  • …i want in ‘n’ out porn.

    In black & white….with bossman waving in the background.

    And the hamster serving liv tyler.

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