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


  • It’s people like Chucky that gives the Pro Life movement a bad name.

    Also Sarah; totally agree Spain and spanish food are incredible.

  • Hey Rudy, I bashed super-moe on his site yesterday after he posted a characteristically incompetent pig-roast review

  • Check it out guys…metromix just did a story on the city’s best lobster rolls…

  • Need more info on the Wharf lobster roll… anyone who doesnt need an epiPen to indulge have a description? (no offense Mala ;P and seriously thanks for the suggestion).

    By the way, the duo profiled are damn attractive (outfits and all)… good looking girls who actual eat.. yummy! Zach, I think I just came up with your next website idea… might take your term “food porn” to a whole new level!


  • Oddly enough I really Like Warf for their salads. I like their Cobb Salad, which is simply turkey, bacon and ham over a salad, or something like that. The portions at Warf are moderate to large so You feel like you get your money’s worth. Also I liked it when they had their Warf Beer, but they don’t anymore, and that makes me sad. The waffle fries are also worth getting.

  • All this talk of food is appetizing, but Joyce is moreso. Talk about good eats! (I know, I know, tsk tsk, but she’s beautiful!).

  • Glad to hear you enjoyed the Fairway lobster roll, Zach. Now if we could just get the Manhattan locations to add it to the menu…

    Instead of holding our breath for that to happen, though, I suggest that the next luncher meet-up should be a field trip to Red Hook.

    Many thanks to the Wharf tipsters – I’ll be sampling their wares before this week is out. I freaking live for lobster rolls (and have my own rolls to prove it).

    For anyone up for the trek, I’ve also heard rumor of an elusive $15 lobster roll out in Sheepshead Bay at Jordan’s Lobster Dock (3165 Harkness Ave, Brooklyn). I haven’t made it out there yet, but once I do, I promise to provide a full report…

  • “Much like the state of the economy, lunch in Midtown is subject to high volatility and uncertainty.”

    that was great. well done ladies.

  • The lobster roll at the Mermaid Inn is really good and they give you free chocolate pudding for dessert. Closer to Midtown, Wild Edibles on 3rd Avenue serves up a great lobster roll that comes with a huge portion of delicious salty fries.

  • Hey Doc Chuck…

    This is a blog/ website about food asshole. No one should be concerned about who wears what…

  • Jane, you’re making $15 vodka martinis and prix-fixe lunches sound like a bad thing. With the market where it is right now, along with the 4th of July through Labor Day slowdown, I may be up for a 3 martini lunch today.

  • DocChuck currently has me dressed up as an Olympic swimmer – speedo and swim cap and all – specifically for the “butterfly” event. Notably, my mouth (in it’s permanant “OH” shape – though the Doc has has to crimp the aperture down due to his diametric limitations, if such things exasperate you) makes me look a lot like the butterfly competitors when they come up to gasp for air – a resemblance which I think is intentional while he watches said events

  • Jeff – Yeah, I love Midtown Lunch, but I’m not willing to die for the site! LOL.

    AL@1PP – I’ve tried a lot of stuff on Wharf’s menu and really never been disappointed. I love the Surf Shack salad, their mac & cheese is really good (though the mac down the street at Duke’s holds my heart), and their 30 cent wing specials on Sunday and Monday nights are a regular thing for me… though 10 cent wings would be better!

  • I was going to say, ladies, be careful with that lunch budget…where will you eat when Lehman folds?

  • Mala–nice work. Just got back from Wharf. Lobster Roll hit the spot and the moutain of nicely spiced curly fries… ahhhh, summer…. :> But you’re right, tons of other things on the menu (so we’ll keep you alive just a bit longer ;> ) More importantly there are some stellar deals… maybe even ML worthy… specifically my friend had the Bud & Burger for $7 deal.. basically a juicy burger (i think cheese included) and a pint of beer. They also had great drink specials running like all day… definitely a terrific happy hour haunt. So Joyce and Sarah (profiled) get your passports together and head to the eastside to check out Wharf’s lobster roll. (Mala, don’t even smell it.. too risky)

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