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


  • I just posted about this on another ML thread
    but my favorites around town for Peruvian are Mancora in the E Vill, Pardo’s chicken in Chelsea, and my absolute favorite is Chimu in Williamsburg (Union & Metropolitan)

  • hi all, if you’re looking for good peruvian, you can go to this little hole called PICO RICO by Northern Boulevard/104 St in Jackson Heights. It is quite a hike but the portions are VERY generous and the food is as close as you can get to the authentic deal – me being Peruvian – got to share, VERY GOOD. ‘Mancora’ tried too hard to stylize, no self-respecting Peruvian would really go there, PIO PIO got the chicken right but they offer a limited menu, at least if you’re craving other Peruvian dishes such as ANTICUCHOS, etc… I don’t agree them serving saffron rice/beans – that’s not a Peruvian cuisine item, more of a caribbean dish, but it’s good. Anyhoo, PICO RICO is recommended here to you guys who might be interested.

  • Try Pardo on 7th Avenue just north of Bleecker. They have the chicken and anticuchos.

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