PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Mike”

All week long I’ll be in England, so every day I’m turning over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er.  Today, it’s Mike.  Mike is in Finance.  Mike loves vegetarian food, but his profile picture has him towering over a nice looking whole lobster.  Let the weirdness begin… 

Name: Mike



Where in Midtown do you Work?:
45th & Park at Grand Central

Favorite Kind of Food:
Indian (naan, rice, curry, meat, sauce, stop me please), and vegetarian/vegan (equal opportunity eater)

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Turkey or Ham sandwiches with American cheese with embarassing iceberg and a green tomato on a stale white bread hero (especially if it’s not a crusty hero). Food that makes the bread/pita drip with oil and fall apart. Can we stoop any lower?.

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Joy Curry and Tandoor (46th, 3rd+Lex). One Meat One Vegetable (Chicken Korma and Spinach for me) combo for 7.95 (with naan and rice) and Ras Malai for $2.50 on special days (special for me, but they have it every day). When I get stuffed from the Indian and need redemption, I head to Amish Market on 45th east of Third for a salad from the salad bar ($7).

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: My coworkers obsess over Dishes on 45th (i.e. $10+). Myself: Bistro on Lex (btw. 45th+46th). Dependable deal for a choice of two of the following (small salad, soup, half sandwich, or half burrito) and a soda (ask for bagel chips for free at the counter)($7). The cream of tomato with chicken and orzo is killer, chicken pot pie soup rocks, and they will stuff your burrito (whole wheat, even) to your gut’s content with guacamole, rice, chicken or steak, pico de gallo, vegetables, etc.

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: The $1.25-after-2pm pizza slice at Naples 45 on 45th btw. Mad+Lex. (is it more now?).  (I believe it is $1.50 now.  -zach)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? East Village/Alphabet City, since I live there and have a good grasp of the little places to eat like a king for 5 bucks (or a little more).  Nicki’s Vietnamese Sandwich (2nd St & Ave A) for a $4.50 chicken or pork bun with carrot, mayo, fresh crusty just baked bread, cilantro, and spicy peppers.  Café Rakka (Ave B btw. 3rd+4th) for their falafel sandwiches, vegetable platters, and some baklava for dessert for under 10 bucks.  Gracefully (Ave. A btw. 2+3rd), for their fresh deli with fresh baked breads to choose from, should you want.  Get the Hummy (hummus, avocado, sprouts, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber on seven grain).  That, or Cape Cod / Hamptons / Montauk.  Per my picture, and per one of the previous ML’ers featuring a lobster roll in front of her face, I likewise would love to savor fresh cod in a Fish ‘n’ Chips or a meaty lobster roll at a roadside shack.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers?  I am clearly a conflicted luncher, going from powerful Indian to vegan fare, and wish to expand either side of my palate. Anybody have any midtown east gems around Grand Central?  What about a great street cart in the area?

I have yet to explore the various street meat options on the East Side of Midtown.  Rafiqi (w/ multiple carts in Midtown) is obviously on my list.  Anybody like to add to that?  Post it as a comment below. 

And as always, if you want to be the next Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, email me at  (Back on Monday!  Have a nice weekend…)


  • Yo, the Kwik Gourmet location at 47th and Park is deadly. There’s a nuttiness to the chicken that is pretty special, although Raffiqi’s is a nice choice for standard chicken/lamb/rice on the lighter side. Less commented on is the cheesesteak cart on the NE corner of 46th and Park, but the lines speak for themselves. When feeling extra-gluttonous, I’d suggest the chicken/sausage/rice WITH CHEESE ON TOP.

  • Yagura is within walking distance of Grand Central. If you like curry and fried goodness (and who doesn’t), this place is a good bet.

  • In Grand Central in and of itself, Brother Jimmy’s is reliable BBQ. I like the South Carolina Pulled Pork and the Buffalo Wings. Golden Krust is always good as well.

    Little bit of a walk, but on 39th and 3rd you’ve got the Famous Chicken Place which has great gyros and a terrific rotissirie chicken. Similar style place to Chriping Chicken, but much better IMO.

  • Ahhhhhh, I love this photo! I want to wear onesies and lobster bibs every freaking day.

  • Let me also put up votes for the Kwik Gourmet (although I go to 45th and 5th…and I always go for the lamb over rice….yum) and Golden Krust for great jamaican dishes.

    Other options are:
    Oms/B on 45th between Lex and 3rd which might have been mentioned once or twice in these pages.

    AQ Cafe, which is on Park just south of 38th. High quality Swedish Meatballs with creamy mashed potatoes and ligonberries. Can’t argue with those! Also has all sorts of other $10 goodies, which I’ll have to try when I can force myself not to order the meatballs.

  • Mike, I think your selflessness along with Sam on Mount Doom was very moving.

  • Yes! AQ Cafe! How come no one ever mentions that place? Love it – I always go for the salmon and asparagus sandwich. Comes with a big pile of potato chips and fancy side salad.

  • I’m ok with no one mentioning AQ Cafe. Great good, reasonably priced, rarey long lines, nice seating area, ligonberries. As long as they have enough business to keep them going, I’m in no rush for any other to know about it.

  • Why to Irish guys wear two condoms?

    T’be sure, t’be sure.

    Nice weekend everyone.

    ‘Part from the french.

  • I nominate Rudy’s Frodo remark for Comment of the Year.

  • AQ Cafe – I did break the $10 rule (10.30) for the meatballs. Amazing. So many meatballs.

    Mount Doom was no laughing matter.

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