PROFILED: Midtown Lunch’er “Clayton”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown.  Todays Lunch’er is Clayton, a Public Relations Specialist who was nominated by his co-worker Kelly:

Clayton is a serious lover of food, has a great sense of humor, and often entertains the office on culinary topics. I think he’d make a great profile for you. He’s half Texan, half New Yorker, so as you can imagine, he’s got a style all his own. -Kelly

Judging by the photo, I’d say you are definitely right Kelly. And judging by the profile, I’d say this guy knows his way around a few pubs…

Name: Clayton


Public Relations Specialist

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
49th & Madison Ave.

Favorite Kind of Food:
Dry Rub/Texas BBQ or Tex-Mex

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Korean Kimchee Stew… that was a hell of a 4 a.m. mistake

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Steak Burrito Alambre at Pampano Taqueria (3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th). Cheeseburger or a Grilled Cheese from Burger Heaven (been eating there since I was 3). The Chef’s Salad at Eamonn’s (45th btw. Mad+5th). Sashimi Platter from Sushiden (Two Locations in Midtown). And, St. Andrew’s for a few fingers of scotch with a plate of Haggis (44th btw. 6+7th).

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Pret A Manger, it’s literally in our building (sigh)

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch (if any)? Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? If not Manhattan (the restaurant capital of the world), I’d have to say Rome, Italy. I can’t even begin to think of the number of cafés and simply fun places to eat. Loads of palazzos make for plenty of space to dine outside if you want. I’d never get tired of exploring the mix of modern and traditional Venetian, Bolognese, Florentine, and Milanese cuisine pouring into the city. And let’s not forget that all of those lovely Roman women have to eat lunch too.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers?: Where’s the best Guacamole in Midtown?  Sure Dos Caminos is good… but there’s got to be a better hole-in-the-wall joint I where I can get my fix

With Cinco de Mayo less than a week away, you gotta get the guacamole question in, right?  This is a tough one.  It seems crazy, but I don’t usually order guac at any of those high end Mexican places, where they make the guac in front of you.  Something about spending $12 for chips and guacamole just bugs me. (Of course once the margaritas start flowing, I end up splurging, but who remembers what anything tastes like after that.)  If I’m going to splurge for Mexican food, I’d leave the Dos Caminos of the world behind, and go to some place really special, like Toloache (50th btw. Bway+8th) or Hell’s Kitchen (9th Ave. btw. 46+47th).  Toloache has got a crazy guac list, but I haven’t tried any of them. As for cheap places, I’ll turn this one over to the Midtown Lunch’ers.  Got a recommendation for Clayton?  Feel free to post it in the comments.

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


  • One of my favorite guacamoles is at El Maguey y La Tuna on Houston near B. Mole on A just south of Houston is solid too. They ‘salt’ their rims there with the chili mixture usually found on roasted corn. And they have huitlacoche crepes in a tasty green pumpkin seed sauce. All around, my favorite reasonably priced Mexican in Manhattan.

  • It’s a bit out of bounds for the midtown lunchers set, but I like Burrito Box’s guac on 9th ave between 57th and 58th. I haven’t been there since I used to live in HK over a year ago, but I remember getting a rather large sized container with chips for $3.

  • Wha? No likey kimchee stew? BUT IT IS SO GOOD!

    Hey Clayton, what is your take on the Daisy May cart?

  • Yo Clayton – make the guac yourself! In this day & age every ingredient is available in almost any grocer. The most critical aspect is having just-right-ripeness of the avocados, the rest is simple. You’ll never be disappointed again. (I personally like the Mark Bittman recipe, but you can add/drop ingredients to your own taste).

  • My dearest Clayton:

    My, but you do strike a fanciful pose in that photo.

    You remind me of a young … ME!

    My advice to you, young man, is to enjoy your youth and to ignore most health warnings except those that advise against eating from bacteria-infested food trucks and from performing your own dental work.

    Salut, Chuck T., PhD

  • I’m a sucker for the guac at El Rio Grande on 38th and 3rd. A little out of Midtown Lunch bounds, but well worth it. My coworkers and I go there often; it’s one of our standard haunts. However, if you want to spend less than $10 and still get the table side fresh prep, I’d actually suggest…a CHAIN. GASP! Chevy’s on 42nd pulls off a pretty good fresh guac and charges less than the fancy places.

  • Never understand Guac.

    Was going to do my usual profile rejoinder, but after Chucky compairing Clayton to a younger version of himself even I cannot be that mean.

    Poor kid.

  • Mi Nidito does a great guac… as well as mexican meal. I haven’t been there in ages but I have many fond memories of their food. 852 8th Ave. btw 51st & 52nd

  • Toloache’s guacamole is pretty good (and they served it as three different varieties), but a little on the pricey side.

  • Clayton:

    Please tell us about your mancave.

    I have only recently taken over the guest bedroom and am in the process of converting it to mine. I need ideas.

  • Thanks for all the suggestions everyone and to Wayne’s point, I do indeed make my own guac on occasion- most commonly a smash-up of avocados, lime juice, a pinch of salt and cumen, and the following diced- red onions, habaneros, red bell peppers and cilantro.

    As for Daisy May’s cart, I’ve not yet tried it. I’m a Hill Country man and I live above the new Texan eatery down on 26th, so usually I hold off on the BBQ until dinner or bring in some leftovers. But I’ll be sure to make a pilgramage across town soon.

    As for my mancave… What can I say? Chicks dig black lights-

  • slightly outta, but empanada mama on 9th ave b/w 51st and 52nd has a solid guac served with long and thin, salted and toasted plaintain chips. a little cilantro and red sauce mixed in and the heat’s perfection! cute seating and always a good soundtrack bumpin. even more out of range is de mole’s guacamole in woodside (just over the sunnyside border). they really understand the importance of texture and the chips are homemade. MONEY.

  • Did i miss the Tom Clancy convention again this year. drat.

  • There’s a wonderful little bistro called the ManHole. Your penchant for smoking the pipe and enjoying the feel of a tight turtleneck makes it a must for someone of your caliber.

  • I’d hate to see the pictures he rejected.

  • There is no way that this person is 25 years old. 35 or 40, yes. 25, no.

  • Is that a hairpiece in the photo? Looks like a pretty good fit.

  • It is NOT a hairpiece! It’s the sophisticated look provided only by Hair Club for Men.

    It seems damp because Clayton may have swum laps or jetskied right before the photo was taken. You can do that thanks to Hair Club’s patented technique. It is sheer genius.

    Believe me, folks, I KNOW what I am talking about here.

    I am off to the appliance store for those black lights. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • I like your style Clayton and I appreciate DocChuck for entertaining me while I wait for recess- aka lunch hour :)

  • And they said a shorter, older, gayer version of Tom Cruise was impossible…

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