PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Anastasia”

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 Anastasia,  a Lawyer (and baker?) who loves anything at Just Salad and may or may not be a vegan (despite at one time loving the Burger Joint.)

Name: Anastasia



Where in Midtown do you Work?:
Most expensive stretch of retail rents in the world, with the fewest cheap and good food options (57th and Madison), I guess high retail rents do not equal cheap and good food. Maybe Obika will change that… (Doubtful.  The first mention of prices is not a good sign. -zach)

Favorite Kind of Food:

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Americanized Chinese, casseroles, chicken (a.k.a. sponge meat)

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Pescado taco at Pampano Taqueria (3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th); anything at Just Salad; lox and tofu cream cheese on a whole wheat everything bagel at Ess-a-Bagel (3rd btw. 49+50th); quinoa conqueror salad at Uncle Marky’s Organics (53rd btw. 2+3rd); black bean vegan burger at the newly opened Good Health Burgers (on 53rd btw. 2+3rd); grilled cheese and tomato soup at Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center (hold the grilled cheese these days); any slice/salad at Bella Vita (58th btw. 6+7th); anything at FIKA (58th btw. 5+6th); vegetable combo at Indian cart on 54th/53rd and Park; lobster bisque at Soup Man (great deal for a great bisque, a half baguette, a piece of fruit and a piece of chocolate).

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Europa Cafe (it’s close and fast, but eating food that has gone through a shredder gets less and less alluring); Hale and Hearty (decent salads, great carrot ginger dressing, and the best side of bread in midtown, after Pret); Chef’s Kitchen (generally, no good excuse for going to this place); Pret (always good, though bland and over-priced); Mangia.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Certe (amazing lobster bisque and brisket wrap were go-tos when I wasn’t a fish-eating vegan, but now I just stick to the mixed grain salad, also, the desserts here are out of this world); Topaz Thai (on 56th btw. 6+7th); Burger Joint (B.V. – before veganism); La Strada (on 56th btw. Lex+3rd); Men Kui Tei (on 56th btw. 5+6th), Pro Hot Bagel (on 56th btw. 5+6th).

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Does Wiley Dufresne’s kitchen count? Mexico City (or anywhere in Mexico, really), or Nice (can’t get enough bouillabaisse)

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Where can one find a great CASUAL bar in the 57th/Mad nabe? I am not looking for anything high end (there’s plenty of that around here), just a hole in the wall with affordable beers (sadly, P.J. Carney’s closed).

My favorite happy hour in Midtown is after the jump… 

It’s not in Anastasia’s range, but if you love New Orleans, the Bourbon St. Bar & Grille on 46th btw. 8+9th is not that bad- and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. all giant cocktails (including an ok hurricane) are $5. I can vouch for the red beans and rice (but that’s the only food I’ve had, so don’t hold it against me if their po’boys are terrible.) I normally hate Disney world crap like this, but there is something about this place that rubs me the right way. (And $5 hurricanes certainly doesn’t hurt their case.)

Got a bar to suggest? Put it in the comments. Maybe we need a Midtown Happy Hour correspondent to write about all the good bars. Any takers?  Email me. (This should be fun…)

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


  • Visceral doesn’t even come close to describing these reactions. Is this a red flag to anyone who volunteers for a profile? Maybe it’s because we share Zach’s guiding vision. Street meat and cheap Chinese are our staples and I’m very happy to say that I had a Margon Cuban yesterday and can’t wait to check out the Jamaican Dutchy in just a few more minutes.

  • Hands down – best casual bar is the Subway Inn on 60th and Lex.

    They’ve raised their prices a bit over the past 10 years, but if you want casual – look no further.

  • Ashton’s – 212 E. 50th between and Lex, between 2nd & 3rd (closer to 3rd) has a good (read: good specials, and friendly bartenders) and a FREE buffet on Wednesdays.

    It’s a shame about PJ Carneys on 56th….

  • Wait, backup a minute, Mamacita, were you serious about a ML Happy Hour tomorrow? I have a happy hour I have to go to around 7, but could probably hit up an earlier one before that should the occasion arise.

  • Veganism is the culinary technical virginity. I blame that hat for the Independence Day violence in Mexico City today.. I am totally down for the ML happy hour. Maybe have it at Rick’s and call it a Happy Ending Hour? ha ha.

  • Used to work for Merrill Lynch……if i go…can i stab a lawyer?

  • Now tomorrow guys, but maybe next week? Too much on my plate tomorrow.

  • Nice smile

    Nice eyes

    Nice cheekbones

    Nice eyebrows

    Nice hat

    Nice beads

    Lose the sweater

  • Bossman,enough about me.

  • I don’t get it … Anastasia’s full of oxymorons. Besides the vegan-fish thing, she calls chicken “sponge meat,” but eats lox tofu spread? What do yo think tofu is … a non-meat sponge!

    @ JoeR … Subway Inn is scary looking from the outside.

  • Thanks to everyone for all of the great suggestions!
    Point of clarification, I didn’t start cutting out meat, dairy and eggs from my diet until about six months ago, so some of my favorite dishes in midtown are things that I used to it but no longer eat. I just wanted to let everyone know about them, whether I eat them or not.
    People volunteer to be profiled because they love ML and want to spread the word about places they have found on ML or in midtown that are good. I think that’s what makes this community great, but when you start flaming people for no good reason, people are less likely to offer their views.
    (Does it really offend the sensibility of some of you fragile people that I use a not-100% accurate shorthand term for my food choices that you have to start attacking? Really?)

  • Who’s attacking? We are simply trying to understand you. Hey, count your blessings, wayne could be talking about your vegan melons.

  • Unless, of course, they’re egg bagels. Sugar, yeast, flour, and water are the basic ingredients. Not eggs.

  • My melons are not technically “vegan”.

  • Tasting is believing.

    ….and Rudy, you know I have a major mancrush but she’s an attorney, hence, much more experience screwing folk, besides her melons are nicer.

  • Lol!

  • Wasn’t this comment section supposed to be about “booze?” The only thing I enjoy more than food.

  • not sure if tehre are so many comments b/c of the fish-eating vegan controversy or that shes good looking…

    althought that weird oyster shucking guy from last week had alot of comments too…

  • I need a drink. I work for a bank that is on the verge of ruin and my job will soon become “obsolete”. I pretty much hammed my resume just to get the job so I am pretty screwed. I know that havana central has $3 pints till like 7 but its more restaurant than bar. Where can i go to get cheap booze and pity from pretty ladies?????

  • The Tuesday Freak is the highlight of many a cubical dwellers working week.

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