PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Emily”

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 Emily, a freelance writer looking for a little UK love.

Name: Emily

25 in a month!

Editor, freelance writer (and blogger at

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
41at & Lex

Favorite Kind of Food:
Too much. I’ve been on a Cuban food kick lately and crave empanadas and platanos. But I also love Mexican, Thai, sushi, lots of pizza, anything with peanut butter or pumpkin, and I have a really bad sweet tooth.

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
I can be picky about seafood. I don’t really care for shellfish that lacks a specific texture other than slime, like raw oysters. I also don’t like monkfish and really didn’t like it after I Googled what it looks like naturally. I’m a very visual person so sometimes I don’t want to know what my food looks like before it’s ready to be eaten. Also, “a big salad” for lunch. I loathe all those Chopt and Just Salad spots. BO-RING!

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Do desserts count too? I have on occasion traded out lunch for dessert, and by occasion, I mean pretty frequently. The Mexican chocolate brownie or apricot oatmeal jammy from the Treats Truck and the PB&J cupcake from The Buttercup Bake Shop (one avenue over the Midtown Lunch limit on 2nd Ave.) are my favorite ways to indulge my sweet tooth. I am also pleased to report that I have become a pro at unwrapping onigiri purchased from Café Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th). I used to love the gravlax club at the AQ Café in the Scandinavia House before it was replaced by the Smorgas Chef, and my friend Kristine and I still cry tears of joy over our memories of the lobster roll and pulled pork sandwiches from our free lunch at The Volstead!

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Old Bridge Deli on Lex btw. 40+41st (though I’m am interested in trying one of those rolly wrap, calzone-alternative things Zach found), Prete A Manger, and the Café Metro that’s in my building. I also frequent the 99 cent pizza place on 43rd btw. Lex+3rd, but I’m the only one in my office who has no shame and will run out for the really cheap finds or freebies. I will literally duck and run out of my office with exact change in my hand.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? The pizza deal at Naples 45 (on 45th & Madison) and the 99 cent pizza place, Woorijip (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th_ when I find myself near Penn Station, Café Zaiya and Chiyoda Sushi (on 41st btw. Mad+5th), and the Kwik Meal cart (on 45th & 6th). Mmm falafel.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Lately, out of nostalgia, I’ve been craving a lot of the comfort food/pub grub from when I studied in England a few years ago. High teas with scones, fish and chips loaded with vinegar, and hot Cornish pasties—flaky pastries filled and baked with some sort of meat, potato, corn, onions, etc.—millions of varieties—fast, hearty and cheap!

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Does anyone know where to find decent English pub grub in Midtown or anywhere in Manhattan? Maybe even one of those Cornish pasties I miss so much? Or genuine fish and chips?? Thanks!!

Chicken House

Good question.  The only fish and chips I’ve had is at Chicken House (on 36th btw. 7+8th), which has absolutely nothing in common with a proper chip shop (although I’d still recommend it.)  I also stay away from the pubs in Midtown, because a) they’re sit down (i.e. you have to tip) and b) so many of them seem like touristy garbage.  But if somebody has a good recommendation, I’d be all ears.  As for cornish pasties, you can’t really beat Myers of Keswick.  Shame that it’s not in Midtown.

Got a recommendation for Emily? Put it in the comments. 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


  • The closest I know of is the fried flounder + fries at Kim’s Aunt’s Kitchen. They’ll put vinegar on if you ask, but it is more like vinaigrette

  • Its not midtown but A Salt & Battery has great fish and chips. Its right next to Tea & Sympathy in Greenwich Village, where you can buy minstrels and cadbury flake and steak-and-onion-flavored-crisps!!

    St. Andrew’s (120 W.44th, btwn 6th and Broadway) is a Scottish restaurant with fish and chips on their lunch menu for $16. I heard from some Scotsmen that its pretty decent. Good luck.

  • The Magpie Cafe,Whitby,N Yorkshire.Done in beef dripping…and you add your own vinegar(will have to have haddock, i had the last cod in july).

    Then a drive down to Berkshire for dinner at Heston Blumenthals Fat Duck in Bray.

    Lovely looking filly.

  • I second the A Salt and Battery/Tea & Sympathy rec. You don’t have to sit down. You can take the newspaper wrapped fish and chips into the park to eat. Tea & Sympathy tends to get crowded and there’s often a line, but they make absolutely fantastic mac and cheese and I love their sticky toffee pudding.

    To go closer to Midtown, the Black Sheep on 3rd between 38th and 38th has fish and chips, but I’ve somehow managed to get in and out of there without ever trying it.

  • finnegan’s wake is towards the top for F&C. Burgers are great there too, and it won’t break the bank. Not midtown though, sorry.

    Molly’s also has good Pub Grub and F&C.

  • I always thought “UK Love” involved getting as pissed as a fart and shagging a random. The “pubfare” at Stout is actually pretty good. iirc, they serve fish and chips there. Otherwise you’d have to travel downtown, or to Brooklyn.

  • I like the fish taco from Pinche; top it with McDonald’s french fries and you have Southwestern Fish and Chips! Dip it in chocolate and you have an orgasm in your hands!

  • My dearest Emily (what a lovely name):

    How you remind me of my own dear wife about half a lifetime ago.

    Please take the time to see the many photos of her I have posted at my My Space page.

    If you swept that gorgeous hair into an updo, you could be Sarah Palin for Halloween!


    Chuck, PhD and Freemason

  • I like the fish & chips at Prime Burger… $9.95 last time I was there over the summer, and I can’t vouch for their likeness to the real English thing. Maybe not worth the 10+ block walk for you.

  • Damn! DocChuck just dissed the profiled luncher! Palin!?!

    Well obviously there’s no use for me here.

  • …but one must ask…..why do you have dried banana hanging from your ears?

  • hey, same-age-buddy, likes woorijip and chicken house is posted in here, it’s like the girl twin of me!

  • Well, here we are, you know the drill. DocChuck printed a hi-res version of Emily’s face (with an “OH” shaped hole at the mouth) and taped it over my hown face. He hung some earrings hastily made out of Honeycomb cereal on me, and a shoulder-length auburn wig before he — yep. At least the catheter bag did not bust this time, nor did Twitchy escape from his tightly-clenched abode.

  • Am i the only one who finds Rudy Mcbagel and DockChuck scary….???

    I luv Tea and Sympathy…I am going to take my friends their for the holidays in December.

  • Thanks everyone for the great suggestions! I’ve heard about A Salt and Battery before and will have to check that out with all the others, and definitely Myers!

  • The most normal Tuesday profile yet and Zach has to go and ruin it with a guerrilla shill of Chicken House

    It’s like you’re watching a great porn movie and suddenly the camera pans over to DocChuck, the doll & the hamster doing a reverse cowgirl

  • Emily, I checked out your site…I did not know about the DD promotion…Thanks a bunch…especially since I hate Starbucks!

    I am sure to check up on ur site from now on!

  • On a crusade to get Americans to stop saying “high tea”. The thing with the scones and fancy cups is afternoon tea. Thanks!

  • Some pretty funny stuff on the blog

  • Nobody puts Baby, ah, Emily in a corner. There’s a great f&c stand, inside an old red double decker bus, in the heart of the eclectic Fairhaven neighborhood of Bellingham. Airfare might offset the cheap fish & chip price and you’ll need a hippy stick, but wade thru, place that order and enjoy.

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