PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Kristen”
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 Kristen, a vegetarian who seems to know a hell of alot about 45th St. btw. 6th & Broadway.
Occupation: Systems Associate
Where in Midtown do you Work?: An investment and technology development firm located near Times Square
Favorite Kind of Food: Middle Eastern, Mediterranean
Least Favorite Kind of Food: I can’t think of any cuisine that I categorically dislike, but I prefer savory food over sweets.
Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: I mostly patronize spots within a one-block radius of my office and I definitely have my regular dishes at each spot. I’m a vegetarian, a point which will soon become apparent. At Cranberry (on 45th btw. 6th+Bway) I like to get the avocado sandwich. The kind folk at Cranberry use a lot of avocado and also load the sandwich with other deli-type vegetables (lettuce, sprouts, cucumber, etc.) On mornings when I want a substantial breakfast, I’ll get the egg white wrap from Dunhill (also on 45th btw. 6+Bway). I believe it’s the #6. Dunhill puts an impressive amount of vegetables in the wrap and it costs something unholy like $3.50.
I’m going to give a shout-out to two kosher restaurants as they offer many great vegetarian options. My Most Favorite Food (also on 45th btw. 6+Bway) has a clandestine take-out room in the back that has great soup and salad options. Each day they typically offer two cold pasta salads, at least two vegetable salads, and two types of soup. The menu changes daily, so call in advance if foreknowledge matters to you. I usually just show up and order whatever they are offering that day. My favorite soup is the tomato basil. My favorite two salads are the fennel with parsley and celery salad and the broccoli slaw with almonds and dried cranberries. Milk & Honey (on 45th btw. 5+6th) has a great portobello mushroom panini aptly called “The Italian.” Every time I bring one back to my office, at least one coworker invariably asks about it. Basically, people can not control themselves around “The Italian.”
For Middle Eastern, there are two pretty good restaurants kind of nearby: Akdeniz (46th btw. 5+6th) and Marrakesh (53rd btw. 2+3rd). I usually order their food via Seamless Web because both are bona-fide restaurants and I don’t want to go in person to such places since I would have to wait for my food to be prepared. Also, who doesn’t like reading the expertly-composed descriptions on Seamless Web? Akdeniz has a great stuffed eggplant dish plus amazing complimentary bread. Marrakesh has a variety of delicious vegetarian platters.
Finally, I love the fruit stand (in my photo) on 44th near the northwest corner of 44th and 6th. First, they use no dairy or added sweeteners in their smoothies. Second, you can create your own smoothie selecting from almost any type of fruit you would typically find in the Northeast, plus savory spa-type ingredients, such as parsley. Third, they are insanely cheap ($3 for a small smoothie, $4 for a large.) Oh, and they’re really friendly.
More after the jump…
“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? A lot of my coworkers are fairly adventurous, so I would say most people try to switch it up. I do, however, share an office with a man who has food from Dunhill delivered daily.
Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Hm, well Midtown Lunch told me about the existence of Zen Burger, but I don’t work near it, so I’ve yet to eat there. I also discovered Green Symphony thanks to my very good friend and sorority little sister, Midtown Lunch’er Grace, but it is also a bit too far from where I work to be a practical option. While Midtown Lunch can be functional, I mostly read it for the pageantry and sense of camaraderie.
If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I like the food in So Cal because I find it’s really fresh. You could get many of the same dishes here that you get there but in So Cal the quality of the vegetables especially always seems so much better.
Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Whenever I go to Minar (on 46th btw. 6+7th), the server writes “Lady” on my container (presumably to identify the container as my own.) Most restaurants, if they use tags at all, will ask for my name. Have any groups of ladies ever gone to Minar together? If so, what do they write on your containers when there is more than one “lady” present?
Fascinating. I’m interested to hear if other people have this same experience at Minar. Please comment below… 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