PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “David”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. This week, it’s David, a Photo Retoucher who has got a good number of recs for those of you south of Bryant Park.

Name: David


Commercial Photo Retoucher

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
Ever exciting midtown south…

Favorite Kind of Food:
At the moment I’m really excited by Korean whether its noodle soup, dumplings, bi bim bop, or BBQ. There’s nothing like those savory, spicy, flavors once the cold weather hits. I have to admit though I’m pretty much a sucker for anything spicy that comes with chopsticks.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
EGGPLANT. A couple years back I got the chinese chicken and eggplant at Pow Wok (7th Ave. btw. 36+37th) and just got hit in a BAAAD way. The experience has ruined it for me (and much less tragically Pow Wok as well), although if its breaded, fried, and covered with cheese and tomato sauce I’ll use my powers of self-trickery and still eat it.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Mandoo Ramen Soup at Mandoo (32nd St), Katsu Curry at Go Go Curry (38th St btw. 7+8th– only a block away from the office woot!), and finally any number of things at Soul Fixin’s — meatloaf, fried chicken, stewed okra, mac n cheese, cornbread etc. (34th st @ 9th Ave)

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often:
My coworkers tend to hit up a lot of chain places which I generally try to avoid, although I will hit Pax for breakfast every now and again. But this isn’t Midtown breakfeast so… I guess I’d have to say the chicken parm hero at La Bellezza Pizza (40th st @ 7th ave) or the spicy beef soba soup at New Star Cafe (7th btw. 39+40th)

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch:
I was finally convinced to walk into the 38th St Restaurant and bakery after reading about it on this site. But when I walked by a week or so ago, the windows had been covered in newspaper. What gives? Health violations, renovations due to the enhanced business from this blogs review, discovery of an illegal immigration ring in the basement… One can only theorize.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why?
This is one of those impossible questions because I think eventually I’d get bored anywhere. How about the kitchen at Le Bernardin?

Well David, you’ll be happy to know that the 38th St. Restaurant and Bakery has been rechristened Ying Du, and re-opened with a brand new sign, and a cleaner, brighter, nicer interior.

The interior, complete with new tables, and fancy lighting fixtures, after the jump…

The inside is different, but the food is exactly the same (and looking delicious as ever!).  Despite the positive changes, you will never confuse this place with a Manchu Wok or Panda Express.

I couldn’t find any evidence of the DOH being there, so I think this closing was totally self imposed.  Rong Bao, across the street, on the other hand- now that’s a different story.  (They’re score from a year ago was barely passing…)

As always, if you want to be the next Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or you’d like to invite me to the Hearst Bldg. Cafeteria!), email me at


  • In addition to the new fixtures and tables, 38th St Restaurant also managed to clean some of the duck grease off of the windows. Good for them, but I still refuse to eat there.

    I am a fan of New Star Cafe as far as the midtown delis go. It’s one of the few places that has a breakfast buffet (hey, once in a while you need your bacon in bulk) and their Korean soups are good.

  • since you are in the area, you may want to check out Fuji bakery on 25th between 7th and 8th for some pretty good pork buns. Also, be sure to grab a rocky custard bun too.

    Show some love to Pick a Pita and Lazzara’s both on 38th also between 7th and 8th.

    Regarding the 38th bakery……. Fresh paint and new name aside, I dont think i will go back again.

  • @David whom do you work for?

    @Pickled Herring I think you mean 35th St.

  • ….strange smile…have you had a stroke?

  • i just had chicken katsu from Go Go and i feel like i’m about to have a stroke…

  • Good recommendations.

    Question: at what age does one stop using the phrase “woot”?

    P.S. Rudy’s done it again!

  • i think “balls out” should replace woot:

    Katsu Curry at Go Go Curry (38th St btw. 7+8th– only a block away from the office, balls out dude!)

  • hey guys, thx for the comments

    i’m interested in pick a pita, although i usually do sahara grill for my middle eastern. is it much better/different? i’ll be sure to try out fuji bakery though!

    ps – i have no problem using internet slang on the internet at any age… but hey, to each their own

  • wow, that’s a respectable store front. i hope the food is still ridiculously cheap.

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