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


  • MM: Subway Inn looks scary on the inside as well. That doesn’t make it a bad place….It is in midtown.

    When you go in, be sure to tip your hat to Charlie, the owner. He’s usually in the back booth with his forehead on the table.

    He’s not wasted, just old.

  • words for you to look up in the dictionary in addition to “vegan:” flaming.

  • My dearest Anastasia:

    I commend you for having the courage to become a vegan. One’s health should always come first, though it may not matter since over 25% of all NYC residents have infectious herpes. Or so I’m told.

    That “hat” you are wearing very much resembles a serving platter my wife (much younger than I am — lucky ME!) purchased on a trip we took a few years back.

    If it weren’t so heavy, she could wear it while she performs (she has a WILDLY successful caberet act).

    She is NOT a vegan, yet has preserved her youthful figure and good looks, wouldn’t you say?

    Here she is:

  • I think i just threw up in my mouth….alot.

  • hlb!!

  • I once had an eventful St. Pat’s Day in Subway Inn. It involved a bagpipe, an Irishman, and a drunken 17-year-old Blondie stealing Heinekens from behind the bar. I’ve avoided it like the plague ever since.

  • Tried a salad from hale and hearty wth carrot ginger just cause i was runing out of new options… good stuff Anastasia. Nice name by the way.

  • @ Lou: Good to hear! Also, the sunflower seeds with the carrot ginger dressing seal the deal.

  • Do they sell this dressing in bottle form? Sounds intriguing.

  • Good shit… I’ll have to give that a try when I’m feeling Vegan for a day again… In the meantime my goal is to find the new hotspot happy hour like so many others on this site…

  • Judge Roy Bean
    38 W. 56th St.
    (5th & 6th Aves.)
    Food is a couple steps above average pub grub, and with a weekly happy hour (5pm-8:30pm), eight beers on tap, and 17 bottle selections.

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned!

  • best kept secret in the land of midtown happy hours (not for price, but for experience) is sipping a cocktail poolside at the bar in the QT on 45th street. prices aren’t really bad, just not a steal. and if you’re inspired, slip into your suit and swim on up to the bar!

  • actually, apparently it is now known as hotel grace, but i believe the poolside bar still exists.

  • mmmm hot vegan attorney lawyer i am in love

  • Also; for anyone who had to listen to a lehman employee talking loudly about their bonus so everyone one else in the fucking place could hear….it’s pay back time….find some drunk crying banker…and mention your new aston martin and upper beach front villa in the e.hamptons.

  • Marina, because Rosa Mexicana is right next door, and you can get margs and tequilla there

  • wednesdays turtle bay
    1$ drafts and 50 cent wings

    those are like college prices…cant beat that!

    or black finn 20$ open bar

    or naples 45 …4.50 beers and free pizza

    i drink alot.

  • When I bailed on the vegan/veggie camp by eating fish, I felt that Pesco-vegetarian was a real “I’m a wussy in denial” term.

    Now I call my self a highly selective omnivore. More honest.

    I advise it for you, Anastasia.

  • @noni: … or I could just stop defining my eating habits and let people think that I am a picky eater.

  • But Rosa Mexicana does not have a happy hour. I rather have a large strong $3 G&T at the Judge then a $10 weak-ass margarita

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