PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Lou”

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 Lou- an XPL convert who is scared of Indian food and Mongolian BBQ.

Name: Lou



Where in Midtown do you Work?:
42nd & Lex.

Favorite Kind of Food:
Waffles and Gyros… I love them, and I’ll try any suggestion that gets a good review. 53rd and 6th cart is timeless… but XPL (on 48th & Park) has found a new place in my heart. Wafels and Dinges is truly amazing… I wish I worked close enough to get them for breakfast! Seeing as I’m Puerto Rican, I love my roast pork… especially the Cuban sandwiches. But I haven’t gotten around to trying Cafe Cello (46th btw. 5+6th)… have been to Margon (on 46th btw. 6+7th) and their Morir Sonando is great! On a side note… I don’t know how many of you love your bacon, egg, and cheeses, I know I do… but Stella Deli over on 3rd Avenue between 43rd and 44th sells $2 bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches on rolls and bagels. Granted, it can be light on the bacon and heavy on the carbs, but seeing as most places charge at least $3, I thought I HAD to mention this place.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Falafel Sandwiches… I’ve tried a few highly recommended places from this website, and I just don’t see the fuss. Although I did kind of enjoy the Mexican falafel sandwich from Crisp… it’s just too expensive. I just don’t like the strong flavors in these things, but I do love the laffa… Sandwiches can seem so generic at times, and unfortunately I haven’t tried Milant and it’s been closed…

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
I enjoy the atmosphere at Taki Sushi (on 48th btw. 5+6th)… service time can sometimes be a little long, but it’s a pretty comfy spot with good prices… 53rd and 6th is always a pleasure… I’ll just sit on the ledge right next to it and enjoy my food fresh. I don’t usually eat AT the places suggested by this site. Rather I get my food and go… but 90% of the places on this site I have re-visited… so hell you can say that a lot of the places I’ve been to are equally as good in my stomach! (Not sure what that means, but whatever. -zach)

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? I go to Del Monico Deli (on Park btw. 41+42nd) way too much. I don’t know, I feel like their buffet seems pretty high quality… but yea, I definitely go there way too often for my liking… And it’s always packed so I don’t even really like it when I eat there…

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Well, XPL certainly was a huge find that I credit this site for… same goes for Margon… ummm, Wafels and Dinges… jeez, to be honest, I get on this site every freakin day and check out the index and try to venture out anywhere cause 1) it can be good exercise walking to these places, and 2) I love reading about food, cooking food, eating food and apparently, as evidenced by this profile, writing about it! But seriously… aside from the generic buffet/delis that seem to have all the same food, and fast food spots, every place I’ve had lunch I credit this blog for luring me there…

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? If I could work anywhere, I’d have to say Los Angeles… I don’t know why, but from all the comments I’ve seen about the seriously authentic Mexican carts and shacks, this place seems intriguing…

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? I have a two questions so I hope everyone can deal with that! Indian food scares me most, so if someone can help clearly explain what some of the meat dishes are, I’d probably try it more often. And my second question has to do with this place called Food World… It is a huge buffet place that I noticed has a Mongolian buffet where you choose what you want, bring it to the cook and they make it in front of you. Something about raw meat sitting on a buffet in Midtown waiting to be cooked scares me… has anyone ventured into this place… I can’t remember where it is exactly…

Oh Lou. All your questions are answered- after the jump…

Let’s talk about Indian food first.  Nothing to be scared of Lou.  I’d recommend going to a buffet (like Spice Fusion on 8th Ave. btw. 47+48th)  Pay your $11 and just try little bits of everything.  Chicken tikka masala is a good gateway curry (literally, it was invented in England as a more mild, creamy option for the British palate.)  Good luck and godspeed.

Chicken & Beef from the Mongolian BBQ @ Food World, Midtown NYC

As for Mongolian BBQ, you should be less afraid of that than normal by the pound buffets, which you just pick up and eat.  At least at a Mongolian BBQ they cook the hell out of the food between the time it sits in the tray, and when you eat it.  Personally, I have a love hate relationship with the stuff.  I love the variety, and the fresh cooked aspect, but hate the pay by the pound part- which is a deal breaker for fat guys everywhere.  You never know how much it’s going to be, and it’s always either more money than you wanted to spend, or not enough food.  That being said, I have eaten at Food World, and lived to tell about it.

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


  • Its out of midtown bounds, but for Indian, take a stroll down Lex to the curry hill area. They have lots of indian lunch buffets for $6-8. You can samples tons of food and figure out what you like. Personally, my favorite, although they dont have a lunch buffet is Saravaanas on 26th and Lex. Its all vegetarian but its one of the few places where i’m fine not eating meat. Their south indian thali is great (even though i have no idea what i’m actually eating) and filling.

  • I’m totally crushin’ on Lou for his enthusiasm, his profile wordiness, and his PR-ness. Near Margon is the Indian steam table joint Minar. Always crowded with Indians and non-Indians. As Zach mentioned, chicken tikka masala is definitely the gateway curry for Indian food novices, and Minar has a serviceable one. Chicken tikka masala is basically a marinated chicken chunks in a tomatoey/creamy yogurty sauce with spices.

  • tiffin wallah is another great choice. or, if you want an even easier intro to indian go to one of those indo-chinese fusion places in curry hill (like indo munch) that has chinese food but with some indian flare.

  • Tuesday 1.45 pm: New profile, only 3 responses, no sexual harassment from the ladies or CockChug…

    Zach, your advertisers are getting worried

  • I understand Lou’s skittishness to Indian, as I was the same way for years. Lou, don’t be scared; it’s quite delicious!! Haven’t had tikka marsala though so I can’t vouch for it, but I can say Kati Roll is the shizz.

  • Are you Borat… you have chickens in your suitcase?

  • It’s not so much that I worry about Indian food… I probably should have been more clear in my question now that I re-read it… but I look at Indian food, and to me, most of it seems like a brown, or reddish brown stew with meat or vegetables in it… Like I kind of expect one dish from the next to taste VERY familiar… maybe it’s just me… i guess i should have asked what dishes have distincy flavors that don’t compare to others… if anyone understands where im going with this.


  • LOL, JEEZ NOT EVEN SOME KUDOS FOR FINDING A $2.00 Bacon, egg and cheese in Midtown!

  • Leave it to the accountant to find a $2.00 bacon egg and cheese. lol. A better question for Lou would be where is the place that you go to the most for those late night dinners during busy season.

  • Suitcase? Lou is Puerto Rican – the chickens are more likely on his lawn

    And the roosters are fighting in his basement

  • “so hell you can say that a lot of the places I’ve been to are equally as good in my stomach! (Not sure what that means, but whatever. -zach)”

    Just noticed this… and to clarify, since i had credited this site for sending me to a LOT of the places i go to for lunch, i meant that i dont really have a favorite, as a LOT of the places ive gone to thru this site have all been equally good to me… and my stomach… lol

  • That’s a new one… a lunch’er inviting comments. Lou, if I were you, I’d just be happy they hadn’t turned on me yet… (although they seem dangerously close)

  • Lou, thanks for the discount breakfast sandwich suggestion. How did you score on TOEFL?

  • Find a place that serves Thali..lots of little tasting dishes.

    If you’ve never tried Chicken Tikka wrapped in a hot fresh naan straight from the tandoor with lime pickle and mango, you’ve not lived.

    I prefered you as Ali G.

  • LOL, yea I invite all comments… negative and positive… I’m a big boy… lol

  • @ DDR: ouch man…good one.

  • Ok, so now I know that borat/ali g comment was directed at me… lol that’s a first… probably a last too.

    How long before I start getting questions about good mexican food? lol

    And I actually happened to come across a fuckin rooster on a random walk through my south bronx hood… although im sure no one will find that surprising… lol

  • How was it?

  • Another Santeria ritual gone wrong

  • Is that how you dress to go to work? Are you an accountant for Burger King?

    (I’m really quite nice in person, ask Zach ;-P

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