PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Niko”

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 Niko- a Healthy Promotion Director with a serious sweet tooth.

Name: Niko

Age: 39

Occupation: Day job: Health Promotion Director. Labor of love: Running

Where in Midtown do you Work?: 53rd & Park

Favorite Kind of Food: I view eating real food, including lunch, as simply something that stands in the way of eating dessert. A necessary evil to prevent my body from decaying from too much sugar and butter… but since this is Midtown Lunch, I’ll play along. I really like sushi, soba noodles and most other Japanese as well as a lot of Korean food, especially Bibimbap (it’s best when they burn the rice at the bottom of a cast iron pot). In fact, the ML post about the $7 fancy Bibimbap made my month. And then its on to dessert, where my true heart lies. Its great to see how many of your readers (like myself) are willing to skip a wholesome meal for a full-on, intended-for-after-dinner, dessert. The options for doing this in midtown have really blown up even in the last few months.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: After a few years without much red meat – the thought of steak just makes me want to laugh in technicolor. Also, anything with Chinese eggplant – I had a bad experience once and since I assume many of you are a) eating lunch right now or b) about to eat lunch, I’ll just leave it that.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: I love Oms/B (on 45th btw. Lex+3rd), Pret a Manger (for the cookies), and I sometimes rock the Ed’s Tofu from Whole Foods that you talked about in a feature- but Whole Foods is a marathon walk for me at lunch. The last 2 months I have hit the Dessert Truck, since it moved to right outside my work.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Dishes. Too expensive but good. Killer baked goods. But definitely will go BROKE eating at this place. You can barely get out of there under the $10 minimum.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Your feature on Oms/B is the how I first discovered ML. I had a mad craving for a good rice ball and I think I Googled something like “Rice Ball midtown New York” and then I walked there the same day. It’s about a mile round trip. I thought I was the only jackass who walked all over this island in search of palatable food, but then I read that ML is geared for people who were willing to walk to get good value or for a specific craving. I knew I had found a blog I would go to every day. The most important thing I discovered from ML is the Vendys. I was unaware of the event prior to this year and really enjoyed attending and reviewing the dessert trucks so – thanks Zach.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? This might be considered “fighting the hypothetical” but I guess I would like to work as food street vendor in Provence because I know I could live a very good life eating lunch every day at their open air markets. They have everything from 200 different cheeses to fish to tapenades, bread vendors…fish etc.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? If you had to spend the whole ML budget ($10.00) on a dessert or sweet dish, what would you purchase and where? Also if anyone has a suggestion as to the best chocolate chip cookie in New York that isn’t already on my list I would love to hear about it.

I think I may have the opposite philosophy as you Niko.  As much I love desserts (quite frankly, what fat guy doesn’t), I usually eat so much savory food I’m too full for dessert. That whole “stop eating to save room” thing that you dessert freaks have, doesn’t exist in my brain. That being said, a 3pm chocolate chip cookie break has been an on and off part of my repertoire for awhile now… and my favorite cookies may surprise you:

The chocolate chip cookie from Au Bon Pain (also acceptable is the m&m cookie from ABP).  Don’t get me wrong… there are some amazing cookies in Midtown, and if given the choice I will patronize the Treats Truck over a soul-less chain any day.  It may not hold up to some of the fancy, more expensive options out there- but the simple fact is, Au Bon Pain’s cookies are really freakin’ good.

Feel free to post your resonses 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


  • Abrain, you fail at Japanese. ねこ (neko) is cat.

  • Wow you are all really mean, and I don’t mean to say that to sound like a whiny 5th grader but geeze. I had some great ideas and even half filled out the questions for the profile but who wants to open themselves up to this kind of criticism? Ridiculous. I’d suggest that some kind of moderation be done in these sections because this is a little ridiculous! Implying someone is gay based on an extremely small look at their life and discussing their personal wardrobe choices has nothing to do with their lunching, etc. How about a little class here people.

  • DocChuck is too stupid to realize that problems at *one* chinese restaurant does not mean the same problem exists at *all* chinese restaurants; more or less along the same lines of him being a foul-smelling inbred retard married to a manatee of a wife does not mean that all people from Arkansas are foul smelling inbred retards with manatee-sized spouses.

  • @fedthefish: I think you mean sacrilicious

  • Jeeze Anon, don’t take it so seriously. In Nikos defense, his blog looks pretty good and I like the glasses.

    Zach, can you throw the gals a bone and profile the hot asian Dessert Truck guy??

  • i’m a fan of any man who can discuss NYC’s dessert options. The boys are just jealous that Niko can eat so much and yet stay so thin.

  • Niko/Neko…..or Nikko…have seen several variations of it in anime….got a trust something. :)

    Nothing about a good lemon bar? :(

  • Hah, no worries. Niko means nobody in Croatian, but Niko is famous now so it doesn’t really work.

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