PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’ers “Joyce & Sarah”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. This week it’s something we’ve never had before: a tag team profile.  I kind of like it.  Meet Joyce & Sarah, who from the sound of their answers have used Midtown Lunch as a  personal checklist.  I must say, I’m a little impressed with how thorough they’ve been, and this may be one of my favorite profiles of all time.  They also wanted everyone to know that the photo below is from Momofuku Ko (aka the ”best night of our lives”) which means these ladies spend alot of time (and money) eating together.

Name: Sarah (left) & Joyce (right)

Both 25


Where in Midtown do you Work?:
49th & 7th Ave.

Favorite Kind of Food:
We both enjoy street meat of all kinds (especially the hardcore chicken and rice cart at 53rd and 6th). Benihana (on 56th btw. 5+6th) is our new ‘splurge’ midtown lunch since it is just outside of the $10 range, a tie with the steak tips at Del Frisco’s which are also outside of Midtown Lunch range now. Joyce likes plantains, cupcakes and all desserts, while Sarah has a craving for Indian food every day, or at least on Tuesdays because that is when Spice Fusion is the tastiest.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Sandwiches in theory, with an exception for ‘wichcraft. They are a poor excuse for a real Midtown Lunch.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Much like the state of the economy, lunch in Midtown is subject to high volatility and uncertainty. We respond to these trends by being exceptionally cyclical Midtown Lunchers who are very fickle with our affections. Screw up once and we will never return. Our previous obsessions have included a month of only eating chapati rolls from the Biryani cart on 46th and 6th (Chennai for Sarah, Pune for Joyce), until the chef disappeared earlier this year and we were disappointed with the substitute chefs. We have yet to make a return to try out the new menu items due to the tremendous letdown in January. Last summer we braved the intense summer heat and waited inside City 75 at the “Man Bar”  (51st btw. 5+6th) just to have cheesesteaks and fries occasionally with seaweed salad and Black and White cookies (we know it sounds gross). We don’t want to spread rumors but there was definitely a noticeable correlation between the subprime blowup and the shuttering of our beloved Tuck Shop at the Cyber Cafe. Perhaps the Aussies decided Midtown was too saturated with other Midtown Lunch hotspots. Sarah spent one winter switching between salmon teriyaki and udon soup at Teriyaki Boy (on 49th and 7th). Sapporo  (on 49th btw. 6+7th) was also another 10-steps-away-from-the-office favorite for a while, before the credit crunch forced us to re-evaluate the sensibility of $9 fried rice. Indian food turned out to be a great fallback, especially since you tipped us off to Spice Fusion (on 8th Ave. btw. 47+48th) where you can get rice AND naan. Before that, we only frequented Minar (on 46th btw. 6+7th) periodically due to the soup kitchen like atmosphere. We were very excited when we discovered Azuri Cafe on 51st btw. 9+10th last year. It’s a bit of a trek but the delicious falafel and shwarma and shish kabob and everything else is worth the walk. Although we know in our heads that it is inefficient to waste part of our $10 Midtown Lunch resources on drinks, our hearts can’t resist the call of the succulent fruit nectar beverages at Azuri Cafe.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? There are too many lame places to list but some include the company cafeteria, Hale and Hearty despite the price gouging, and generic Midtown delis specifically BellyDelly Deli on 50th and Broadway.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Midtown Lunch as been a godsend to us and we have taken it upon ourselves to spread the gospel by going somewhere recommended by Midtown Lunch almost every day. Our favorite finds include our steak tips splurge (RIP), the “Man Bar”, and Madeleine the crepe lady at the Cyber Cafe (on 49th btw. 7+8th.)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Joyce: Boston, so I can eat lobster rolls and clam chowder for lunch every day. Sarah: Spain, because of the potential for variety in a meal made up of tapas. Plus, who wouldn’t enjoy a nice long post-lunch siesta?

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Although they are outside of Midtown Lunch price boundaries, what are the best lobster rolls in the city?

Funny you should ask that.  Thanks to a tip from a Midtown Lunch’er, I had what may be the best lobster roll deal in the city over the weekend.  Check it out after the jump… 


The lobster roll at the Fairway in Red Hook. Only $9, and it comes with chips, cole slaw, and a pickle. I wrote about it on Serious Eats: New York if you want to read more. I wonder if Downtown Lunch’ers could make it there and back for lunch in an hour by using the Water Taxi… hmmmmm.

As much as I love lobster rolls, I’m too much of a cheapo to spend the big money on the more famous versions around town. Got a better lobster roll suggestion than mine? 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


  • Between Ikea, ballfields, and Fairway, I think Red Hook is starting to become the place to be.

  • If you girls can deal with the double-popped collar vineyard vines crew, Bar Martignetti (SoHo / NoLita area) surprisingly has a pretty good lobster roll club sandwich. Drinks / people watching there are even better. It’s like an upscale Dorrians, except that you can go to regular bar after you’ve been had enough pearl necklaces and nantucket reds.

    It’s great to see some fellow finance/banking types who aren’t squares and eat at Pret / Mangia / H&H / Dishes everyday.

  • Go to the Lobster Place in Chelsea Market. The lobster rolls are made fresh.

  • I was hoping for a good box-lunch recommendation in the “Go-To” Lunch Place section ;-)

    Ed’s Lobster bar makes the best lobster rolls in the city but they aren’t cheap, averaging $25.

  • wow, bankers not spending a lazy afternoon swilling $15 martinis and pre-fixe lunches in midtown – impressed! looking for bargains? even more wowed.

    [just a little jealous]

    -downtown money-not-maker

  • I’d recommend my neighbors at The Black Pearl for their Lobster Roll and Happy Hour special of $1 Blue Points. Though it’s a trek down to 26th & 6th, the deal on oysters kind of balances out the hefty price of the sandwich – made fresh with your own lobster.

  • Callin You Out – I’m Calling You Out – Chelsea’s Lobster Place lobster rolls are “eh”. They don’t toast the bun and the portion is small. Plus, they have the audacity to charge SIXTY-TWO FUCKING DOLLARS A POUND for lobster salad (cap words used to make sure no one thinks it is a typo)

    Not much tail worth that price

    Ladies of ML & Rudy excepted of course

  • Hooray for these ladies giving a (favorable) mention to Teri Boy! Wish there was one near my wage-slavery location!

  • Hey Wayne … And what was your lobster roll recommendation? Oh right, you didn’t have one – just a rant.

  • My fave is served at Pearl Oyster Bar.

    Does the Fairway in UWS serve the lobster roll as well or is it just on the Red Hook menu?

  • They’re asking for a recommendation on Lobster Rolls and they don’t like sandwiches? Filling between bread.. sounds like a sandwich to me. No cubanos? No reubens? No cheesesteaks? No croque-madame? So sad.. :(

    Anyways, good lobster rolls that aren’t ridiculously priced (ie: $33 at Brooklyn Fish Camp) cannot be found in NYC. Take out your pocket change and head up to Maine.

  • Hey Calling – Zach already found the best local one. Yours needed a smackdown because it was wrong. That is all.

  • Thanks for the recommendations! I actually do like sandwiches like cubanos and cheesesteaks. I have an issue with plain deli meat/white bread sandwiches that are plain and boring.

  • Might want to start bringing your lunch. These girls are spending like Lehman Bros wasn’t going out of style!

    style = solvency

  • @ Sandwich Fanatic:
    Totally agree with you. Brooklyn Fish Camp is ridiculously overpriced and overrated. Argh. Their $33 lobster roll doesn’t taste nearly as good as the picture of the $9 Fairway one looks.

  • I can’t eat lobster rolls as I’m allergic to lobster, but Wharf on 3rd between 38th and 39th has one for $16.95. That includes a mountain of fries. I don’t know if that’s good or bad pricing wise!

    I mainly go to Wharf for the $3.50 pints.

  • Pearl Oyster’s Lobster Roll is pretty great and down the hatch is not far of so you can have half price pitchers…

  • Yes, yes, yes – all this is good and fine but now the important question – which one more closely resembles Liv Tyler?

  • My dearest Joyce:

    How considerate your employer must be, allowing you to wear a sundress (and a fetching one, at that!) on a workday!

    Allow me a brief introduction. My name is Charles, but I am known as DocChuck around here. I have several PhDs and am a retired “educator,” should my academic credentials be of interest to you. I am also a successful real estate investor.

    My tv will be turned on to the upcoming Bejing Olympics right from the opening ceremony (although I am sorely disappointed that our athleteswill be wearing Ralph Lauren). Will yours?

    Please tell your sister that the tunic she is wearing in your photo is rather unattractive and may lead one to assume she is employed in the fast food industry.

    Warmest Personal Regards,


    P.S. I absolutely LOVE cupcakes!

  • What makes Tuesday at Spice Fusion better than any other day?

    Why does Sara want to work in Spain if she craves Indian food every day?

    And how do you decide whether to return somewhere if only one of you thinks they screwed up? (I take it you guys haven’t been to wichcraft very often)

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