PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Rosie”
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 Rosie, an IT Director for a non-profit, looking for a place to relax in Herald Square.
Occupation: Nonprofit IT Director
Where in Midtown do you Work?:Herald Square
Favorite Kind of Food: Japanese, French, Southern Food/Comfort Food. Sometimes it’s a combination of those (Japanese comfort food for example). I think I’m partial to Japanese in particular because of the great food discoveries I’ve enjoyed while exploring that cuisine. Doing so kind of opened the door to a lot of heightened flavors and textures that I don’t think I’d been aware of before and it translated right back into other cuisines once I started paying attention. As for the French and Southern/Comfort, I grew up with those at home and so they’re kind of second nature to love.
Least Favorite Kind of Food: Uninspired food. I’m drawing a blank thinking of a particular cuisine I actively dislike. I do, however, harbor a strong bias against boring food. If I can tell that it’s been treated like an afterthought or the cook/chef could care less then I’ve really got a problem with that. By contrast, you usually can tell you’ve hit on something good when the people take pride in the food they’re offering.
Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Chiyoda Sushi on 41st btw. 5th+Madison (been enjoying their negitoro-don lately) and Woo Ri Jip on 32nd btw. 5+6th (love the variety and I’m about to win something with my point card). On the rare occasion that I can make it that far I love dropping in to Oms/b as well. Artisanal is another favorite which is just a little too far away most days.
The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Mandoo Bar on 32nd between 5th and 6th is a mainstay. I often take new colleagues there. The menu is short and sweet, the prices are very reasonable and the atmosphere is rather comfortable as well. It’s a simple introduction to K-Town for those who don’t know a lot about Korean food but are interested to find out. And now there’s Pinkberry across the street for dessert afterwards if you’re feeling indulgent.
Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: I only just discovered Midtown Lunch so I haven’t gotten a chance to test out any of the new places I’ve found yet but Sakae Sushi (on 43rd btw. Lex+3rd) is right up there on my list. I used to live in Japan and conveyor-belt sushi (aka kaiten-zushi) is near and dear to my heart. Sushi East on 3rd between 26th and 27th is just too far to be a viable lunchtime destination so I’m kind of excited about Sakae. (I’m pretty excited too. The word is, it’s opening this month but I’ll believe it when I see it. -zach)
If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? San Francisco. I went there for work this summer and the Ferry Terminal Market was a lunchtime paradise. They don’t mess around there. Freshly shucked raw oysters, Vietnamese noodle dishes to go, roast duck sandwiches, crab po boys… it was terrific. I also got the sense that the purveyors themselves were real food people. They appreciated customers who they could tell were passionate about food too.
Anything you’d like to ask the midtown lunch readers???: Anyone know of any hidden gem cafes in the 30s or low 40s, preferably within striking distance of Herald Square? The best one I’ve been able to find so far is Cafe Keko on Madison and 30th. Every once in a while I need to take a break in a quiet place, not necessarily for lunch, but pretty much every cafe near where I work is noisy, has uncomfortable seating or is called Starbucks.
Aside from Koreatown, which you seem pretty well versed in, I’m not much of a Herald Square expert. I’ll turn this one over to the Midtown Lunch faithful. Got a suggestion for Rosie? Leave a comment below.
And as always, if you want to be the next Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, or you’d like to nominate somebody in your office, email me at email@example.com