Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er “Vanessa” (& Big Apple BBQ Fast Pass 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 it’s Vanessa, a marketing person who has the enviable position of being involved with the Big Apple BBQ Block Party this weekend in Madison Square Park.  She even snagged us a Fast Pass to give away to one lucky Midtown Lunch reader.  ($100 value, the pass will entitle you to food, and shorter lines.) 

Profiled: Midotwn Lunch'er VanessaName: Vanessa


Associate Publisher Marketing, Every Day with Rachael Ray

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
34th and Madison (just close enough to the Treats Truck and not too far away from Gramercy Tavern) I work at Every Day with Rachael Ray so there is definitely no shortage of excellent food. It seems like you’d never have to leave, but sometimes you do have to.

Favorite Kind of Food:
Asian (sushi, chinese, the like–anywhere that serves sticky rice), also love just about everything else including sweetbreads.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Peanut Butter & Jelly and Yogurt (just can’t get past the first bite)

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
I like the chicken rice bowl at Au Bon Pain. When I have time to travel, I’m quick to get soup at Hale & Hearty. Feeling like I need food fast, I’ll do chicken dumplings at Eden Wok (34th btw. Mad+Park), which may be Kosher but seriously they have the best chicken dumplings. If it’s a sit-down fast lunch I’m looking for, I like Todai (32nd btw. Mad+5th), the one city block Japanese all you can eat buffet. It’s the best buffet I’ve ever encountered. Finally, when I want to go out with a group for a fun Friday lunch it’s always Blue Smoke (27th btw. Park+Lex). I know it’s out of Midtown Lunch boundaries, but it’s the best BBQ in the city. This weekend I might get my fill though, given that I’ll be eating the best BBQ in the country at Madison Square Park for two days.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Why and Gallard?…(really Guy & Gallard, but constantly asking myself why I can’t go a block or two further to wich craft)

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Woorjiip (32nd btw. B’way+5th) literally makes me feel like I’ve left New York and ventured to another country. Once you can navigate the space, its the best lunch ever. Love, love, love the eel.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I have to say, I miss working close to Dishes on 45th. Although it is perhaps one of the priciest go-to lunches I never got bored. Sushi on Friday, soup anytime and summer rolls when you could time it correctly. It was my all-in-one. If I really had to dream though, I’d say Paris (although I’d probably eat a little too much)…the bread alone is worth working there for, not to metion, pate and L’aduree. (I didn’t mean to rhyme)

Now for the good stuff.  It’s not Midtown, but if you read this site (and you’re not a vegetarian), I’m guessing you like BBQ, and if you like BBQ the Big Apple BBQ Block Party is the biggest NYC BBQ event of the year.  Some of the best pitmasters from around the country converge on Madison Square Park and sell the best dish they have to offer (go here for a complete list of pitmasters and the dish they’ll be serving.) The event is free, and you only pay for what you eat- but the lines can get pretty long. That’s why we’re giving away a fast pass, after the jump…

bbqThe Big Apple BBQ Block Party sells a limited number of fast passes, which give you $100 worth of food, and allow you to skip the lines, but they stopped selling them this past Friday… there may be limited number available at the event on Saturday, but if you don’t want to leave it chance, Vanessa has graciously donated a Fast Pass for one lucky Midtown Lunch reader courtesy of  Every Day With Rachel Ray. All you have to do is comment below with your favorite BBQ dish and place (from anywhere in the country… doesn’t have to be Midtown), and you’re entered to win.  Make sure to include your email address in the “email” field.  It won’t show up on the site, but I’ll need it to contact the randomnly drawn winner.  Good luck!   This contest is now closed.  The winner was chosen at random and has been contacted.  Thanks for entering!

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


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