PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Dave Cook”
Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. Today it’s Dave Cook, the proprietor of Eating in Translation, who has amassed what is probably the largest collection of cheap eats food porn, from all 5 boroughs, in existence. It also happens to be one of my favorite food blogs (naturally).
Name: Dave Cook
Occupation: Food writer/photojournalist (www.eatingintranslation.com)
Where in Midtown do you Work?:I’m a recent emigrant from West 57th St., near Sixth Ave. But these days, when I’m not out and about (which is most of the time), I work from my apartment in Morningside Heights.
Favorite Kind of Food: All those amazing hand-crafted choices in Singapore’s food courts, or maybe red-sauce Italian
Least Favorite Kind of Food: Corporate-seminar rubber chicken
Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Housemade ham lard (preferably spread on something crusty) from Koglin Royal Hams in the Grand Central Market. Ramen in “sesame paste hot soup” from Sapporo(on 49th btw. 6+7th). The Mercedes (aka bratwurst on a bun, with all the fixin’s) from the Hallo Berlin Juicy Food Stand (on 54th St. & 5th). Kam ja tang (pork bone soup) with a tableful of panchan at Kunjip (32nd btw. 5+6th). Octopus salad, and maybe a tamarindo, from Margon (46th btw. 6+7th). Lo mein with meat sauce “Peking style” from Bo’s Bar-B-Q and Noodle Shop (8th Ave. & 55th).
The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Mangia, the upscale, fully tricked-out salad bar and cafe with very charming takeout shopping bags, on West 57th.
Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: The tamale lady in front of the Mexican embassy, on 39th near Park Ave. (Do any other Midtown embassies draw that kind of crowd?)
If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Newww…York is where I’d rather stay; since I work on my own schedule, that and an unlimited MetroCard puts me in reach of more fascinating food than I can possibly eat. For that matter, since I’m more of a grazer than a three-meals-a-day kind of guy, in a way I’m on permanent lunchtime.
Anything else you’d like to ask, or share with, the Midtown Lunch readers? Have you ever considered that Zlata Praha (28-48 31st St., in Astoria), which has a huge, $6.95 Tuesday-through-Friday lunch special, is just a 15-minute ride from Midtown on the N or W?
Funny you should mention that. On Friday I took the Subway down to 34th St. for some rotisserie chicken that I’ll be posting about soon- and while on the F train, pondered how easy and quick it would be to go one extra stop and hit up the Shake Shack. Now that they’re accepting phone orders, I think it could easily be done in under an hour.
My one go-to Subway lunch, after the jump…
I love food courts, and one of the few in Midtown is right at the 34th St. exit of the BDFV line. Chicken Bar, Arby’s, Bourbon Chicken and the obligatory cheap chinese food, and cheap teriyaki grill. (Both with free samples of course). All we need is a Chick-Fil-A and a Baja Fresh and it would be the greatest place in all of New York City.
Anybody else rock the Subway lunches? It may have to become a regular feature of Midtown Lunch, and I’m open for suggestions. Post them as comments 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 firstname.lastname@example.org