PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Shayna”

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’s Lunch’er is a Marketing Manager at the Wall St. Journal who can’t wait for it to get warmer so she can eat outside at Bryant Park.  I think she might also be friends with Superman

Name: Shayna


Marketing Manager & Blogger (

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
The Wall Street Journal – 45th & 6th

Favorite Kind of Food:
Tie between BBQ and Mexican. Growing up in Atlanta, I was surrounded by a lot of great BBQ places. Sure, people have their favorites in NYC, but it’s just not the same when the food isn’t served with a side of Southern charm by a waitress calling you “Sugar!”

Least Favorite Kind of Food:

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: 1 – Pad See Ew at Pam Real Thai Encore at 47th btw. 9+10th. This is my favorite Pad See Ew in the city. The sauce is so flavorful, and the huge portion is only $6.50. Definitely worth the walk over to 9th Ave. 2 – Falafel over rice from the cart at 48th & Park.  The falafel is fresh and is served with rice, lettuce/tomato, and chickpeas that were prepared in a really tasty sauce. All of that plus a can of soda for only 5 bucks. 3 – Hunan chicken with brown rice at Ho Yip at 45th & 5th.  The dish has great flavor and doesn’t skimp on veggies.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Cranberry Deli on 45th btw. B’way+6th. I remember going there when I was visiting NYC with my family a long time ago. I was fascinated by the concept of so many different types of food all under one roof. Let me tell you, after being innundated by these delis for the last 5 years, the novelty quickly wore off. I will say that Cranberry may be one tiny notch up from the rest of the delis in the immediate area. You have to choose wisely if you do end up there, though. My go-to orders: The udon and soba soups, and sandwich #15 – grilled chicken with roasted red peppers, mozzarella, and pesto.

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch (if any)? House of Pita on 48th b/t 5th & 6th. It was a sad day when I went there to get lunch and saw it had closed. While it wasn’t the best falafel I’ve had, I really loved their hummus and salad selections…especially the Israeli and bean salads. I heard they opened a location on 8th Ave. Unfortunately for me, it’s a little bit more of a hike, so I won’t be able to make it there as often as the original location.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I’d live in Paris so I could order a galette oeuf fromage from a crepe stand every day for lunch. It’s a buckwheat crepe filled with Emmenthal cheese and a fried egg. This thing puts even the best egg & cheese on a roll to shame.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers?: I work a few blocks from Bryant Park and love eating lunch there when the weather is nice. Aside from the obvious options (‘wichcraft, Chipotle, Pret a Manger, etc), does anyone have any suggestions for great (and maybe lesser known) places to pick up lunch before heading to the park?

I too can’t wait for Bryant Park to become a lunch’ing option again.  For a pretty good list of lunches in the immediate vicinity, check out my Fashion Week Guide to Midtown Lunch’ing around Bryant Park.  What’s your favorite Bryant Park lunch?  Feel free to post it as 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


  • A million places around Bryant Park if you go a little south of 42nd:

    Zeytinz on 40th between 5th and 6th
    Le Pain Quotidien on 40th between 5th and 6th
    Kati Roll on 39th between 5th and 6th
    Le Croissant Shop Tacos on 38th and 6th
    Latin and Indian veg on 38th and 6th
    Cafe Zaiya, Chiyoda, Yagura on 41st between 5th and Mad
    Berger’s Deli on 39th and 5th

  • How can someone not like Indian?
    Rudy, shed some light on this for me?

  • I am with Mamacita on this, there are so many great Indian options around the city (ok, maybe not necessarily in midtown nor for lunch but that’s neither here nor there).

    What’s the Superman’s take on this? Take her to some swanky Indian joints!

  • My heart sank when I saw “Least Favorite Kind of Food: Indian”. Glad I wasn’t the only one. How can so much goodness come out of one country?

  • I feel like we’ve had this discussion before. My coworker also hates Indian. I can’t fathom it, but whatevs. I’m just happy Shayna isn’t just all “I Love Cheeseburgers!” Also I want this parisian lunch you’ve described basically more than anything right now. Buckwheat crepe? That exists? And with a fried egg??? Yes please!

  • I don’t like Indian… except for my fiancée. She’s cool.

  • What I’d like to know is…

    did last week’s midtown luncher get any dates?

  • I, too, love Pam Real Thai Encore. Best. Thai. Ever.

  • Oh yeah – I forgot about that magician/date-seeker! Good follow up, Moose!

  • the salads at pax are the best. i know it is one of the generic lunch chains but this pax specifically makes a great salad. other pax’s don’t do as good of a job.

  • Don’t like indian food?

    Bloody freak.

  • The Green Pea deli on 5th by 39th has a surprisingly good steam table selection that I just cannot resist. I hop over there at least a couple of times a week to get a little of this and a little of that or grab their salads.

    Cafe Bonjour, closer to Madison on 39th, also has a really good selection of hot foods in their grill line that varies day to day. Of course, I might be biased because the guys are really nice.

    Actually, if I were a Profiled Lunch-er, those two would be my “go-to” places.

    And I’m not even touching the issue of not liking Indian food. Had to do it once already this weekend with a friend who declared, “Well, I just don’t like curry.” I’m still cleaning bits of my brain matter out of the carpet.

  • the pax on the corner of 40th and 6th ave used to be this adorable little parkside deli, back when i worked near there in ’02-’03. the staff was so lovely, they always hooked up the salads and omelets and soft-serve ice cream… then pax pounced on them, and now.. well. i can’t go back. :(

    zeytinz is pricy, but they do have a lotta options. their service used to suck, but i’d grin and bear it for those exotic paninis (back before the novelty of a panini had worn off).

  • I can’t wait until she’s eating in bryant park too!

    Lets see… there used to be a Burek place on 41st 1-2 blocks west of bryant park, but I havent been over there in a while…

    Why not order atomic wings and have them delivered to ‘the north east corner of bryant park’

    Tio Pio isnt toooo far on a nice day..

  • Lots of peeps have different tastes. One might like Indian, while another doesn’t. That’s what makes cuisine, especially in NY, so great. The vast amounts of places to eat and the different tastes that people have. IMHO.

  • The Kebabs and the Taco Bowls and Zeytinz are addicting…

  • Bloody freak?! Yikes! I’m definitely not trying to offend anyone with the choice of Indian as my least favorite food, guys! But, when given the option, I’m going to choose something else.

  • I do have to say, Shayna, ‘bloody freak’ is pretty mild coming from Rudy. Actually I’m not sure but it might be a compliment. You know how Brits are with their nutty senses of humor….

  • HumoUr ;)

  • Soupman and Brava Pizza are right on the edge of Bryant Park.

    I think it would be hilarious to do a meal at the Soupman one day, Zach. For $10 you get 3 fl. oz. of bisque with a piece of lobster. It’s just like eating nothing at all!

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