PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Matt”

Every Tuesday I turn over Midtown Lunch to a random worker, for their favorite places to eat lunch in Midtown.  After the commenting spree that Maressa endured last week, I’m surprised I could find anyone to be profiled.  Last week a request was made for a fat guy… so here’s Matt.  He doesn’t look fat, but he puts down the equivalent of *two* lunches a day. 

Name: Matt


Licensing & Footage Researcher

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
HBO Sports on 42nd & 6th.

Favorite Kind of Food:
Italian – favorite dish: Frutti di Mare. I will eat anything that has the ability to survive in water, and to me there is nothing like a bowl of fresh homemade pasta with quality parmesan reggiano. Throw some mussels, littleneck clams, sauteed calamari, lump crab meat and shrimp over linguine with a nice fra diavolo sauce and I’m in heaven.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
I will eat anything you put in front of me. Live to eat, not eat to live mentality. The only thing that bothers me is small portions. I have a very fast metabolism and am very active, so I eat a lot – usually ordering 2 dishes and averaging $12-15 a day for lunch.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
45th street between 5th and 6th ave. This street pretty much hits all of my needs, and does so in an enjoyable, affordable way. Kwik Meal Cart by the corner of 5th ave – much less crowded than the 6th Ave cart – for chicken over rice and a lamb pita ($11.50). Park Italian for chicken parm hero and a side of baked ziti ($7.00, great deal). Note: Little Italy Pizza does have a great variety of slices, but their CP hero is nowhere near as good as Park’s. Manhattan Cafe is probably my favorite food-by-the-pound stop for 2 reasons – better quality, and the food that is supposed to be hot, IS hot, what a concept (I believe $8/lb). Bread & Olive isn’t amazing, but since this is Lebanese food, at least it’s got a little twist to it. Chicken kebabs and Zaatar ($11.00). Ambrosia for Bi Bim Bap, tucked away in the back of this deli and as Zach has reported, is probably the best version you can get of this dish without going to Koreatown (too far for me). $6.95 for Bi Bim Bap plus I’ll get a little something from the food-by-the-pound trays for a solid $10.00 meal.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: We have a cafe for employees in our building, and the majority of people go down there every day for the convenience and fairly cheap price. I’m usually on my own, but I don’t mind because eating should be an adventure.

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: I know it’s been said before on other profiles, but I have to go with Margon. I was born and raised in Miami and know good Cuban food, but having this place a few blocks away has definitely made the transition to New York easier this past year. Their staples are great, but I have to highly recommend their guanabana batido (a smoothie made with guanabana nectar and milk). If you’ve never had guanabana before, you’re in for a treat.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Key Largo/Key West. Forget the sun and relaxed lifestyle, I’d work here solely for the abundance of fresh seafood coming in off the boats every morning. I could eat cracked conch and a blackened dolphin sandwich every day for the rest of my life.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? I don’t think it’s been brought up before, but are there any options in midtown for authentic Peruvian cuisine? Even menupages doesn’t have anything. Authentic ceviche, anticuchos, Huancayo potatoes, Peruvian empanadas, chili chicken, and all the goodness that makes Peruvian food so perfect. Thanks!


Actually, in April I asked the same question at the end of another profile… but didn’t find one.  I think we’re out of luck.  But, if you want to post a good place for quantity (i.e. 2 lunch Midtown lunch’ing spots where you can stuff your face for under $12) feel free…

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


  • what alil cutie! Glad to see a profile with a bit more “beef” to it. [though he talked a bunch about seafood!] Can’t wait to see what comments midtowners come up with today.

  • i’m a little freaked out by your desire to eat dolphin sandwiches everyday…

  • Nothing wrong with a good dolphin (okay, mahi mahi in PC terms) sandwich. But nothing beats the grilled dolphin at the Oistins fish market in Barbados.

  • Typical, at last a profile of someone whom isnt a tofu eating yoga freak…and then he admits he eats Flipper!!!

  • The two lunches per day is a habit you’ve got to kick. At 22, I guess you’ll be OK for a while, but try something healthier, like smoking crack or shooting smack.

    Another person sings the praises of Park Italian’s highly mediocre chicken parm sub? What is with you people?

    Agree on Bread & Olive – it’s decent, yet still the most consistently disappointing lunch in Midtown. Lebanese food is among the tastiest on Earth, and fairly simple to boot. These guys never do a bad job, but they never wow me, either.

    Also, there may be a Peruvian joint in Little Brasil – not sure.

  • Futurama Quote:

    Bender: Who wants dolphin?
    Leela: Dolphin? But dolphins are intelligent.
    Bender: Not this one. He blew all his money on instant lottery tickets.
    Fry: OK.
    Leela: Oh, OK.
    Amy: That’s different.
    Farnsworth: Good, good.
    Leela: Pass the blowhole.
    Amy: Can I have a fluke?
    Hermes: Hey, quit hogging the bottle-nose.
    Farnsworth: Toss me the speech centre of the brain

  • Re: the Park Italian Chicken Parm. I agree with the poster who said it was very average. I had a much better chicken parm from Bravo Pizza on 41st and 5th.

  • Mmmm….i wouldn’t mind accompanying Matt on his solo lunch adventures.

  • wait, people eat dolphin?? seriously?? i’m slightly appalled, slightly curious. off to google this to see if all y’all are just pulling my leg here…

  • This guys likes pasta + seafood AND Cuban food??? I’m sold! :)

  • HOLY CRAP! Zach is featured in a full page interview spread in today’s New York Law Journal Magazine! “The Golden Age for carts” indeed!
    Congratulations on hitting the big time!
    P.S. for some reason, I always pictured you with a beard.

  • re: commenters above

    First, I should note that “dolphin” is also known as “mahi-mahi,” which is a fish. No, I am not eating Flipper.

    Second, I never stated that Park Italian has ‘the best’ chicken parm hero. It’s a good hero, which is better than Little Italy’s, and fits the bill of being located on 45th between 5th and 6th.

    Last, I eat 2 lunches a day because I either go to the gym, run or go swimming every morning, and therefore need more energy and protein throughout my day. And how could anyone (DDR, looking at you) possibly discourage eating on a blog dedicated to food!?

  • You got me, Matt! I am going to lash myself repeatedly for discouraging over-eating! What the hell was I thinking? Half my life is devoted to the joys of over-eating. My sincere apologies.

    On the other hand, no one claimed you said Park Italian was the “best,” so I’m not sure where you got that one.

  • DDR-do you have a link to NYLJ that circumvents needing to log into subscription privileges? I can’t find the paper copy….

  • whoever requested “fat guys” is nuts…i think we need more male cuties like matt as the midtown profilers. it’s ’bout time the women got a chance to comment on looks…

  • OH MY GOD, put CHEESE on SEAFOOD?!?!?! Blasphemy!!! Hahaha… I am totally being sarcastic although that is one of the big Italian rules on food…. Yumm….
    Zach, are the profiles open to non-midtown ppls? :)

  • First of all, congrats to Zach on the feature in the NY Law Journal Magazine! :o) We are so proud of you. Are you going to load a copy in here for us? :o)

    2nd of all – Drooling at Matt … SLAP (myself) … haha I should be drooling at the food not Matt! … ha ha. Btw, have you searched for the peruvian restaurants on, you might find something good in there. Good to see a young man with good appetite! :o)

  • Seeing this NY Law article (and Zach’s mug) has made me positively giddy!

  • re: cheese on seafood…from my 1/4-Italian perspective, I think parmesan or pecorino is acceptable. Alfredo sauce is pushing it. Anything else borders on blasphemy. Wow, now I really want some fruitti di mare.

  • Liv Tyler’s Brother?

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