PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Maressa”

Every Tuesday I turn over Midtown Lunch to a random worker, for their favorite places to eat lunch in Midtown. Today, it’s Maressa- a Magazine Editor who hates fried food (?!?!).  Must… allow… differing… opinions… and yet… it’s… very… difficult… to… post this… profile. 

Name: Maressa


Magazine Editor

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
The epicenter of this culinary wasteland, Times Square (But no, I don’t work in the same building as the reputed “Devil” who wears Prada.)

Favorite Kind of Food:
Generally healthy twists on chicken, seafood, veggies, huge fan of the Tex-Mex (and by default, Chipotle) as well as Greek, Middle Eastern, Indian, & sushi. Fresh fillings wrapped up with some form of carb, be it a pita, tortilla, lavash, etc… I’m usually interested. Or, chocolate, but that’s a whole different story. ;)

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Anything fried, unnecessarily greasy, dark or red meat.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Sorry to say, Zach, but given my lack of nearby choices, I gotta go with Chipotle. I get the burrito bol (glorified salad, yeah yeah) with black beans, no rice, fajita veggies, chicken, all the salsas (sans the hottest one), lots of lettuce and sour cream OR guac on the side. But I gotta shout out to La Paloma on 45th btwn 8+9th. Muy bueno Mexican delivery!

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Can’t speak for my co-workers; they’re all about Europa and I’m havin’ none-a-dat $11 salad BS. But my personal choice for default deli is Star Lite on 44th btwn 7th & 8th, where I usually get a chicken caesar wrap or salad. (They have a good low-fat caesar dressing, but make sure you say “low-fat”, cuz if you say “light”, then they just put a smaller amount of the regular kind. Drrgh.)

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: Kwik Meal & Pick-a-Pita! Yum and yummier! Unfortch, Chef Rahman makes fun of me when I want pita instead of rice on my chicken platter, and sometimes the street-meat-ness of it all skeeves me. And Pick-a-Pita is sorta a schlep, and on the pricier side. I know—I’m such a kvetch.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? West Village/SoHo. Because then a) I would be near my apartment and save $ by eating my non-existant groceries, b) I could get amazing cart Mex from Calexico, or c) there are just a helluva lot better places that deliver downtown. Like you didn’t already know that. (Ed Note:  Still no word on when the Midtown Calexico cart will be arriving)

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Where can I get decent on-the-cheap(er) Greek, namely a chicken gyro and tzatziki sauce?


Well… finally some common ground.  I don’t know about Chicken Gyros… but a real honest to goodness Greek gyro is something I have yet to find in Midtown- and I’m not talking about the gyro they serve on the halal carts.  The meat may look the same on that spit, but once you chop it up into bits, and saute it on a griddle, it becomes something else.  Real greek gyro is left alone, rotated and cooked on the actual spit; cut off in slices *only* when it has become dark on the outside.  And a real gyro has to be topped with tzatziki (greek yogurt sauce).

Forget about shawarma, and halal… I’m talking real honest to goodness Greek gyro.  Anybody had one?  I’ve heard rumors of two carts (one on 44th & 6th Ave., and one on 7th Ave. btw. 33+34th), but I haven’t been to either.  If you have got a suggestion, post it as a comment below…

And, as always, if you have news, suggestions, or you want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er- email me at


  • Unfortch, snooze.

  • Well excuse me, but what makes you so damn interesting? :)

  • When did “favorite kind of food” become a laundry list? It’s not “list every kind of food that you like.” Favorite kind of food – singular. Pick one. Or maybe two. Not nine. We want to know what you are really into.

    Everything else was decent (not spectacular).

  • No red or dark meat?….no fried food?

    Zach, where are you getting these from? Bel Vue?

  • yum! tzatziki! This is amazing, and I’m so glad you sent me the link! Ha ha ha. Too much. First stop, (good domain, btw ;-) ), next stop, the world! Or at least Hearst or Conde Nast.

    Love you!

  • Do we have Maressa’s boyfriend PM’ing her in the comments section now? What the hell is going on here?

  • there used to be a place on 45th and 6th called “Deli Burger” that made awesome real gyros. They closed some time ago and that spot is now Little Italy pizza. I am still bummed…

  • It’s not PM-ing if it’s in the comments! It’s just TMI.

    As to the Greek gyro question: I’m not sure how legit it is, and, as Zach has pointed out before, it’s slightly outside the Midtown Lunch perimeter, but there’s always the gyro at Famous Chicken Place on 3rd between 38th and 39th. LOVE it. I get it at least once a month. The price went up about 50-75 cents a few months ago, so you can’t get one for under five bucks with tax anymore, but you get a lot of meat, sauce, and onions.

  • There used to be a great gyro place on 7th not far from the Ziegfeld. I stumbled over there in a famished stupor once before a movie but I’ve never been able to find that little deli again. Does anyone know what I am talkign about and if it still exists?

  • OMFG I love you, too, Keith!!!

  • ML Commentors want their profiled lunchers: single, bloated with fried meat, but still celeb-level beauteous. Otherwise they are boring. Why can’t you find these people week after week, Zach???? Aparantly Maressa’s cute smile and insistence on “fresh” food isn’t good enough for some ppl.

  • I think I’m at the epicenter of Midtown food suck: 52nd and Madison. Everything good is a solid walk away.

  • Well put Sarah.

  • Looks fuck all like liv tyler either.

  • Well, I’m a little afraid to mention it here for fear of Midtownluncher invasion, but there is a pretty good Greek place in Olympic Tower (51st or 52nd between Fifth and Madison) called Atrium Cafe. It’s sit-down but not pricey, most things under $10. I think the chicken gyro (yes, with lots of tzatziki) is around $7 or $8.

  • A bit outside the midtownlunch perimeter, but Gyro II on 7th Ave between 33rd and 34th has amazing Gyro’s. Its right across from Penn Station. I’ve heard some people complain that their sauce isn’t good, but I thought the whole Gyro “package” was top notch.


    That’s one of the two places I had mentioned hearing about.  Now I’ll have to check it out… -zach

  • “magazine editor” . . . . get real — maybe assistant fact checker. assistant copy editor would be a stretch — given the poor writing and inability to answer the questions posed.

  • Zach – can you make it to 9th b/w 50th and 51st? Uncle Nicks has some of the best Greek food I’ve had in NYC – not just in midtown. Although it’s also a sit down restau, when you walk in, you can just go straightup to a front counter to get a takeaway sandwich. Lamb, chicken, and beef gyros are only $4.95 and the meet is perfectly done and seasoned to perfection. Sandwiches may not be officially on the menu – but they have become standard. Please try it out!

    PS This blog is terrific!

  • Awesome street cart: 47th btw 2nd and 3rd. Fresh grilled chicken breast, real gyros, souvlaki, and burgers. Also the salad and rice are both served fresh with a choice of dressing for the former. Good Tatziki (sp.) as well.

  • Unfortch, Stan’s comment is just plain mean.

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