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


  • Hi Anastasia, you were at my table at the wedding in Chicago the other weekend. funny seeing you on here. The best authentic mexican i’ve had in nyc is Palacio Azteca. its a tiny little place on 73rd and york. maybe they’ll deliver to your office. if not, its worth the venture up there after work sometime… I moved out of the neighborhood and haven’t been there in a little while but pretty sure its still BYOB

  • For some odd reason, shortly after DocChuck viewed Anatasia’s photo, he put a sombero and a sarape on me and then went at it, his catheter bag sloshing about madly bck and forth. The worst part was the finishing “dirty sanchez”, if such things interest you.

  • Disturbing… lol

  • @ Lou: SO disturbing!

    @ Sean: Great to hear from you! Palacio Azteca is pretty awesome, and completely unassuming. Have had a few great meals there. El Paso Taqueria is also good on the UES/East Harlem (one on 97th, off Park, one on 103rd and Lex, and another further north) I love Baby Bo’s Cantina on 34th and 2nd (great fresh salsa/pic, great margaritas), and just discovered Pinche Taqueria on Mott, b/w Prince and Spring. Oh, the fish tacos there are phenomenal, and the yucca fries are fantastic. The agua fresca there is also pretty tasty (so is the agua fresca at Pompano).

  • i can eat 50 eggs

  • in an hour

  • I’m 6 months preg so no drinking for me now, this blog is like a God send, food food and more food in midown for cheap pluss all the food porn I need to get me through the day :)
    But yeah happy hour blog…I’ll take notes. My mom did tell me that when she had me in the 70′s they used to say dark German beer was good for boobie feeding. I wonder if that’s still true….

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