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


  • First Zach needs someone to take Mamacita’s ball-gag out of his mouth

  • LMAO @ the Santeria comment, that was a good one… lol i wish i could dress casually at work… uh oh… that probably opened the door to more flaming lol.

  • Spandex halter tops and day-glow micro-minis are now considered formal wear?

    Ay yi yi

  • Geez, Doc Chuck didn’t even have to set off the wave of ethnic slurring.. Chicken Tikka Marsala is the Chop Suey of India. It was made to appease narrow minded Brits. The most approachable foods are the snacks (samosa’s , etc), street foods(kati, frankie rolls), and the roasted meats, (tandoori). The breads are great as well. The vegetarian selections are probably the most intimidating. A $2 bacon, egg and cheese is a hell of a find. I only eat crap like that on hangover fridays though, ha ha..

  • Wayne………your wish……..Lou + spandex..

    Chick tikka masalla was invented in Birmingham c 1970.(Glasgow also claims the rights, but the jocks will claim anything just so people don’t forget them)

    Narrow minded? Bloody Colonials.

  • Hey! Us indians happily eat a good chicken tikka masala when the mood strikes!

    Wayne, the santeria comment was hysterical…

    Rudy, you’ve been off your game recently. Sun been out too long in Blighty making you happy? What gives?

  • Haha, Wayne that was Lou accidentally posting under my name:

    “LMAO @ the Santeria comment, that was a good one… lol i wish i could dress casually at work… uh oh… that probably opened the door to more flaming lol.”

    But if you want to see him in a mini working your man-cave……

  • Starting to think the guys on this site are intimidated by my dashing good looks… lol

    I’ve had some good Chicken Tikka Masala in the Bronx… a lot of small, family owned Indian places opening up around the Castle Hill Section for anyone that’s familiar… There was one spot I managed to snag a huge piece of Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, a lot of naan, ance rice for $7.00

  • Rudy, is that the swimsuit winner of the Miss Puerto Rico pageant?

  • Wayne, it’s miss Shropshire 2007.

    Lrao,ever since i received a package of catfish from “angry of Arkansas” ive had to curtail my activities.

  • Ball gags, chicken, and spandex, oh my!

  • Lou’s a good sport.
    I’ll definitely check out Stella Deli for breakfast tomorrow. Cheers.

  • I’ve had their Cuban sandwich before too… It was really good. For 5.50 I believe it was a foot-long hero… The bread wasn’t as toasty as I’d like… but the roast pork was flavorful. Again, I haven’t had Cafe Cello… but I AM Puerto Rican, so basically every family outing, there is a “pernil” for those fluent in Spanish… Roast pork shoulder for those that don’t… so I’d like to think I have a good sense of what good roast pork is… which is why I need to make a trip to Cello lol…

  • Applek: I def went into Minar once, and said… fuck it… i want a Cuban and Morir Sonando… lol…

    lol so any other random suggestions? not pertaining to indian food? Hell, I have a unlimited metro card and am not scared to go below 33rd street… granted I cant go to far down, but if anyone has any good suggestions for anywhere between 14th and 32nd, I’d be willing to get my monies’ worth from this damn MTA and make the trip…

    And lastly… how dare you ladies not sexually harass my profile? Shame on you all… LOL!

  • BTW… is there such thing as a coconut icy guy in midtown? hell, even a piragua for those that know spanish??? SNow cone guy for those that dont…

  • i’ve spotted a coconut icy cart on 8th or 9th ave in the 50-51st st. range a few times, though i’ve yet to try it. the daisy mae’s cart was friggin ridiculous today, but damned if a $4 sweet tea with fresh mint didn’t sound delish.

  • If you don’t like the nuts on your phad thai, I will be happy to bite your nuts off

  • Damn you know I went last week to catch the daisy mae cart and couldn’t find it on 50th… where exactly is this cart at???? Does it change??? If anyone can update me so i can go tomorrow, that’d help.

  • Daisy Mae cart is usually on the south side of 50th, closer to 6th than 7th…right next to the Time / Life building.

  • No one took bossman’s comment for a ride. Funny stuff. As Lou would say: LOL

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