PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Scott ‘The Shameless Carnivore’ Gold” (& Book Giveaway)

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 I welcome Scott Gold, author of the new book “The Shameless Carnivore”, a must read for any meat lover looking to justify their animalistic cravings.  Sorry Vegetarians, next week’s profile will be for you…  (wait- what am I apologizing for!  Scott, I’m sorry.  I clearly need to spend more time studying your almighty teachings.) 

 Name: Scott Gold, The Shameless Carnivore


Author, blogger, musician, lover of all things meaty and delicious.

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
I live and work in Brooklyn, but for years I worked in Midtown, and I’m often up that way to meet with my publishing team at the Random House building on 55th and Broadway.

Favorite Kind of Food:
Everything, but particularly (and obviously) most any dish involving meat. For the book, I attempted to eat 31 different animals in the span of a month, from beef, chicken, pork and turkey to yak, squirrel, llama and rattlesnake. You name it. As far as personal favorites, I have to say that I’m hopelessly addicted to my hometown cuisine (I’m from New Orleans), especially red beans and rice with sausage, jambalaya, and po-boys.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
In all seriousness: Tofu. Blech. I’ve heard that really well prepared, aged bean curd prepared in the authentic Japanese way is something wonderful to taste, but I’m not buying it. In my experience — and I’ve tried it numerous times — it just tastes like slimy lumps of bland nonsense to me.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: I’ve long been a huge fan of the streetcorner halal carts — I’ll just have them load that styrofoam dish up with whatever they’ve got, usually lamb, chicken or turkey (and on a good day a combination of these), rice, vegetables and salad, dress it with some hot sauce, bring it back to the office and go to town. Marvelous. When I was working near Columbus Circle, I fell in love with this tiny little deli on 57th St. between 7th and Broadway, called the Crystal Cafe. They make some really wonderful sandwiches there, which is what I truly adore about living in NYC: the delis. There are so many good ones that the ability to compete in the sandwich-to-order game has become something akin to nuclear weapons proliferation, only in this case the weapons are lovingly crafted sandwiches of fierce deliciousness. At Crystal Cafe, one of their specialties is rare (read: red and a little bloody..mmmmm…) roast beef, sliced thinly and piled high on a Portuguese roll with lettuce, tomato, and a squirt of horseradish sauce. And naturally I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Shake Shack (is that considered mid-town?). I don’t know whether or not they use actual magic to make those hamburgers, but there’s definitely something supernatural going on in that little kitchen. Maybe they’re hiding a genie down there? A leprechaun? Why else would I — or anyone else — spend an entire lunch break waiting in line for a burger? (Sorry Scott. Shake Shack isn’t in Midtown… although with their new advanced ordering system, I’m contemplating a subway lunch trip. -zach)

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: For some reason, when I was working in the 30′s near the Empire State Building, we’d always tend to wind up at Benny’s Burritos. I think it has something to do with the fact that their mascot is a sock monkey. Who knows? But when we were feeling like spending just a little more dough, we’d treat ourselves to a tongue or pastrami sandwich from Mendy’s. Which was great, not just for the great kosher fare, but also because we’d get to quote Kenny Banya from Seinfeld: “Mendy’s, Jerry! You owe me another dinner at Mendy’s!”

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Wow, that’s a tough question. Yikes. Lunch is my favorite meal of the day, so let me give this a little thought… Okay, now that I’ve treated this inquiry with all the seriousness it deserves, I have to say: downtown New Orleans. It’s like the “perfect storm” of eateries, everything from fine dining to open air markets, “Lucky Dog” carts and oyster shacks. But New York is an easy second.

Well, I don’t think I’m going to agree with you on the tofu.  Not only have I had delicious Vegetarian food, but more importantly than that, Vegetarians can be a very scary bunch, and I don’t want to anger them.  I do, however, have to back you up on the New Orleans thing. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world (heck, I was married there), and has some of the best food ever.

Now onto the meat! To enter to win the book, and read about Scott’s quest to eat 31 different animals in a month, just post your favorite Midtown meat dish (and location) in the comments… if you are a vegetarian and interested in reading the book, just post something clever. Winner will be drawn at random.

My favorite Midtown meat, after the jump…

There is plenty of meat to choose from (shit, we even have a “Steak Truck“), but hands down, my favorite meat dish in Midtown is the roast pork from Cafe Cello on 46th btw. 5+6th.  Not only is it cheap, and delicious, but they always top the whole plate of food with a big piece of crispy pork skin.  Sure, the meat may be dry on some days, but who cares when you’re topping it with a gigantic piece of super crisp pork fat.  I love it so much, it’s the official photo of Midtown Lunch.  (Although the rare roast beef sandwich at the Crystal Cafe sounds pretty sweet.  I need to check that out…)

What’s your favorite meat?  Post it as a comment below, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a copy of Scott’s book “The Shameless Carnivore”, which goes on sale today.

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


  • Bowl o’ Texas Red Chili from the Daisy May’s cart, with hot sauce, washed down with that huge mason jar of sweet tea.

  • The aunt kim’s bulgogi cart is my fav by far.

    And Zach, “Vegetarians can be a very scary bunch, and I don’t want to anger them.”

    ANGER THEM!!!!

  • Daisy May’s ribs! They deliver to midtown!

  • Vegetarians are naturally angry.It’s what happens when one worries more about ones lower colon than enjoying your food.Very Angsty

    I’d go for the full English @ Porters,Covent Garden.

    I don’t think they’ll deliver to midtown.

  • A big serving of Kalbi (not LA style), freshly grilled on a smoky grill in front of you, wrapped in romaine lettuce, a thin slice of ricecake, scallions and dipping sauce. DROOL!

  • Flap steak from Buenos Aires (the EVil restaurant, not the city). Neither midtown nor lunch, true.

  • Moose – I’ve been wondering what makes kalbi la style and what’s not la style. My Korean food knowledge is sadly remiss. Help?

    PS – I already have a copy of the book, so please don’t enter me. Thanks.

  • Does Guinness count as meat?

  • the sock puppet mascot is Blockheads, not Benny’s

  • Jerk chicken at the Dutchy. Those people are geniuses.

    Seems to me that the anti-vegetarians here are pretty scary, or at least harsh. Less judging needed on both sides…

    Food politics aside, tofu doesn’t have to be prepared in some ancient japanese style. Marinated, grilled, it’s good stuff.

  • Avocados! Closely followed by buffalo mozzarella.

    Yes, I am a vegetarian… but not an angry one!

  • God bless your predator soul, Scott. Eating anything that moves and dissing tofu in one fell swoop. Me likey. And for a big honkin’ meat fix, you have to love the oxtail at Margon. Mmmmmmm….

  • Both of these are over the midtown limit but what the hell both are meat and both are in midtown. Crackling pork shank at Maloney and Porcellis – deep fried pork shank with skin on over saurkrat with a jalenpeno apple sauce. So good.

    Second nod is Plataforma was there last week and every bite was better than the next.

  • What the F#@

    Quote:”Comment from Mamacita
    Time: March 18, 2008, 11:41 am

    the sock puppet mascot is Blockheads, not Benny’s”

    That was NOT ME. Whomever the fuk you are it is not mature or even sane to impersonate people on message boards. Get a life.

  • I agree dog

  • Chale homes. I take it all back.

    (I think it was a mistake from the posting form script)

  • I have been duly corrected — yes, Blockhead’s is the one with the sock monkey mascot, not Benny’s. Not that it makes it any less brilliantly creepy…

    Here’s a question for you message boarders: what in the world to sock monkeys and tex-mex cuisine have in common? I have a few snappy answers, but I thought you might like to weigh in on this one.

  • I think sophie’s needs it do, I had there roast pork last night and mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. The pork ramen at mencho te is pretty great to.

  • I will third or fourth the pernil/roast pork at Sophies. Delish!

  • who wins book?

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