PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Nathan”
Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er to get his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. Today it’s Nathan, a Financial Analyst who after 5 years of toiling away in Midtown is moving to Philly, and wanted his Midtown Lunch moment in the sun before he takes off. (Oh, and yes- that is him posing in front of Morimoto.)
Occupation: Financial Analyst
Where in Midtown do you Work?: For the last five years, I have toiled diligently between 50th+57th Streets and between 7th+Madison Avenues
Favorite Kind of Food: Anything Tasty (see below)
Least Favorite Kind of Food: 1) Burrittos – something about the double-starch whammy of rice and tortilla just does not sit well with my palate, 2) Caesar Salad – especially when my co-worker orders it as a “healthy” option, 3) Average or not-fresh sushi
Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: 1) The vegetarian lunchbox at Bay Leaf Indian Brasserie (on 56th btw. 5+6th.) Since the dishes rotate on a daily basis, you never know what you are going to get!) 2) The Pad Si Ew noodles, Crispy Pork with Chinese Broccoli and Thai Iced Tea at Wondee Siam II (9th Ave. btw. 53+54th) 3) Beef Tendon with Hot Sauce from Grand Sichuan (on 9th ave., now closed) 4) Swedish Meatballs, Truffle Frites and Homeade Lemonade from F&B Gudtfood (also now closed) 5) Grilled Tofu Steak with Lemongrass from Saigon 48 (48th btw. 7+8th) 6) Beef Empanada, Breaded Chicken with Yellow Rice and Beans from Sophie’s Cuban on 56th btw. 5+6th which has now Morphed Into Tina’s Restaurant, 7) Ramen and Gyoza at Sapporo (49th btw. 6+7th) or Men Kui Tai (56th btw. 5+6th), 8) Lentil or Lobster Bisque Soup at the Soupman (Multiple Locations). Oh- and pretty much everything on the menu at Izakaya Hagi (aka Sake Bar Hagi on 49th btw. 6+7th), but they are not open for lunch.
“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? I answer with “your co-workers” as the key phrase in the prompt: Blockheads, Chop’t Salad (WAY OVERPRICED), Delmonico Gourmet (and other similar generic delis), The Great American Health Bar, Mangia, Cafe Europa, The Pump Energy Kitchen, Hale and Hearty Soups
Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Bon Appetit Pop Up Cafe (Now Gone), Pro Korean (56th btw. 5+6th), FIKA Swedish Espresso Bar (58th btw. 5+6th), Five Guys Burgers (55th btw. 5+6th), Go Go Curry (38th btw. 7+8th), Hallo Berlin Cart (54th & 5th)
If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I have not been there yet, but Singapore with its mix of Asian cultures and its gauntlet of hawker stalls.
Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? One of my favorite dishes is Za Jiang Mein, the Chinese (and also Korean) answer to Spaghetti Bolognese, consisting
of noodles served with a salty black bean / ground meat sauce and garnished with raw vegetables. But I have had trouble finding this dish in New York City, let alone in Midtown. Anybody know of restaurants that feature this dish? Plus- I will be moving to Philadelphia for a few years. Now
that you have read about my favorite New York lunch haunts, do you have any tips on surviving lunchhour in Philadelphia?
So, I don’t know about Za Jiang Mein (the Chinese version) but we tackled the jjajangmyeon question a few weeks ago after I had an ok Korean version at Han Ah Reum (on 32nd btw. 5th+B’way.) There are some good suggestions in the comments of that post. Since then, I had a good (and cheap) version at Shanghai Mong on 32nd btw. 5+6th which I’ll be posting about soon.
As for the Philly thing, that’s a-whole-nother question. Anybody used to work in Philly (or currently work in Philly) and have good suggestions for Nathan? Feel free to post them 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 firstname.lastname@example.org