PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Naomi”

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 Naomi a Market Researcher and self proclaimed “fat kid” who likes banana sushi rolls.

Name: Naomi

Age: 23

Occupation: Market Researcher

Where in Midtown do you Work?: Rock Center’ish

Favorite Kind of Food: String beans, red peppers, spinach, cheese, blueberries, grapes, dark chocolate, sushi, falafel, fro-yo, cheesecake, Thai, Indian, Greek, Mexican… oh I’m sorry, was I just supposed to just name one?

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Capers, olives, dill, anything pickled that isn’t a pickle, beets, zucchini, certain sea creatures (urchins, jellyfish and swordfish, to name a few), animal organs, tofu, Korean food and ham. Oh, and Jell-O… I just don’t trust the stuff.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: I’d say I probably have one place to go for each kind of ethnic cuisine, however Cafe Duke (on 51st btw. 6+7th) is always a convenient option — although the excess of choices can be very overwhelming (and expensive). Burger Joint in the Parker Meridien (on 56th btw. 6+7th) is where I go when I crave something greasy — which may or may not be after a late night out — but if you want to get a booth you had better go armed with a strategy. On that same block there is a restaurant called Topaz Thai that I just tried last week. It offers a satisfying pad thai lunch special for $7. La Bonne Soupe on 55th St. offers the most delicious French Onion soup around and has a nice, cozy atmosphere. Havana Central has great Cuban food (try the seafood paella), and Two Boots is usually my office’s pizza place of choice. Oh, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a Cosi card… those Signature salads add up!

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? It’s not exactly “go-to” since we order delivery, but Toyama Sushi makes some of the most phenomenal sushi rolls I have ever tasted. I’m personally a fan of the Dynamite and Banana rolls, but they also have great maki lunch specials, which happen to be relatively inexpensive. Also, I am pretty sure market researchers as a whole have a slightly inappropriate hankering for Daisy May’s BBQ… (and yes, I did just use the word “hankering.”)

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? I now tell everyone visiting New York about the Halal cart on the SE corner of 53rd St. and 6th Ave — gotta love that red sauce! I also tried Aoki sushi (on 48th btw. 7+8th), which is a great place to go for lunch, but I usually stick to Toyama and order delivery. I’ve also been meaning to try Taam Tov (on 47th btw. 5+6th) and Moshe’s Falafel (on 46th btw. 5+6th) cart but that hasn’t happened yet…

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I can honestly say that there is no place I would rather be during lunchtime than in Manhattan. Where else can you have your pick of sushi, Cuban sandwiches, pizza, crepes or Indian food all within a five-minute walk?

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? I’m looking for healthy food options — after all, it’s the first week of 2009 and I’ve got some resolutions to attend too…

Well… I’m sure nobody will be surprised to know that I am against food resolutions, but I’m sure alot of you have resolved to be a little healthier (for at least the next month or two).  So, I’ll let this one slide.  Got a recommendation for Naomi?  Feel free to 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


  • Fat kids don’t have pictures of themselves eating fruit, maybe donuts.

  • As part of my attempt to be “healthier in the new year”, I did 43 min of bike work and then busted out a salad for dinner last night. This made me feel pathetic and weak, so I busted out a hostess fruit pie!!!! A Lemon Fruit pie no less!!! Yeah, that’s right—I found them in NYC! Dagostino bitches!!! Dagostino!!!!!! I was sad that they didn’t have the hostess pudding pies or the apple or cherry flavors, but this farm animal will eat anything Hostess and fruit pie–even if it is lemon and strawberry!!!! Ranked one of the most unhealthy foods ever!!!! I think my “New” New Year’s resolution will be to eat as many hostess fruit pies as I can in 12 min–kobiyashi style!!!!!

  • well, i reckon people who use words like ‘hankerin’ don’t much have a liking for things like urchins.

    more for people like me!

    health food… hmm… cafe zaiya. can’t go wrong there.


    i heard cherry ones are the best. It’s been a while though. You gotta heat them up a little first, right?

  • how do you not like Korean food?! and beets?! they are the food of the gods. and no offal? i’m offended.

    can you get me a job?

  • Hostess fruit pies… mmmm… Cherry is the best… Damn pudding pies take me back, I miss those… but Naomi don’t like ham??? DAMN! At least I finally see someone who has a distaste for olives. I hate olives!

  • Naomi… is “I moan” spelled backwards.

  • No one was asking whether you just used the word hankering, but thanks for assuring us that you did.

  • My dearest “Naomi”

    Do I detect more than just a glimmer of rascality behind those cyclopean sunglasses? Indeed, you remind me of my wife (younger than me by many years) who started life as a small street urchin in Chicago. It was the impish twinkle in her eyes that won my heart.

    I am proud to say that she is now a woman of many talents. One of which is caberet.

    As I am a man given to extravagance, her Christmas gift this year was a collection of exquisite wigs, made (of course) from the finest human hair. One of the updos resembles Dionne Warwick so closely that my wife has added Miss Warwick to her act. Her sultry rendition of “Do You Know The Way to San Jose” is topped only by her heartwarming version of “This Girl’s in Love With You,” sung in a crowded club but still ONLY to me.

    But I digress….

    I have enjoyed the onion soup at La Bonne Soupe more than once and have on occassion shared some of their splendid fondue with the late Kitty Carlisle, a dear family friend and regular customer. Perhaps I will see you there, peeking out from those foppish specs, sometime soon.

    Chuck, PhD

  • What’s up Naomi? I love Taam Tov – found out about it through this site and have been there many times since. I think it is obvious that we should go together – It is hard to navigate Bukharian options on your first try. The fact that we frequent the same food blog means that it won’t be creepy at all! Send me an email!

  • I must correct my post above, one of my wife’s talents is her ability to guzzle cabernet. Sorry for any confusion.

    Chuck, PhD

  • @ Danny—you probably should heat the hostess up first—but I was greedy and ate mine cold. I think the strawberry would have been better heated up, but the lemon was good cold (I actually kept it in the fridge), as it tested very much like the lemon fillingin lemon Marangue pie—a personal favorite of the Goats!

    @ Naomi: How can you hate swordfish, nonetheless group it in with jellyfish and sea urchin? It’s a fish filet for chrissakes! I never realized swordfish has such an offensive taste as compared with other fish filets….Jellyfish and Sea Urchin I can understand, but swordfish??? I agree with a lot of your hated foods, but I can’t understand how swordfish made it on this list…We need background!

  • Finally someone mentions Topaz Thai. It’s so delicious!

  • havanna central? really?

  • Wilkens Farm apples, yum.

  • You don’t like Korean food? You mean you hate dogs? Oh you’re missing out, sweetcakes…. visit me in North Korea any time u like… wooof ;0P

  • She’s 23. Women her age in nyc are walking outfits and sunglasses w/ wacky opinions and viewpoints. I’m not surprised by anything anyone w/ welding glasses and an oversized handbag says. Not liking Korean food is odd. Maybe she just doesnt like Kim chi? It’s pickled, yet not a pickle. Pump alleges to sell healthy food, there are a few in Midtown.

  • You’ll note i didn’t do the Korean/Dog line.

    Ive been creatively Neutered.

    And Kim Chi is fermented, not pickled.

  • Ridiculous comment dubbinbklyn. Women her age tend, wearing what she’s wearing tend to be very smart since they somehow got very high-paying jobs in midtown at a very young age. Don’t hate.

  • I second the hate-worthiness of swordfish. I don’t know how anyone could pull the worms out of a swordfish steak and then still want to eat it. I’ll take sea urchin over that shit any day.

  • finally somebody mentions toyama. yay! me and my office mates have been going there for awhile now. it’s our favorite sushi lunch special in midtown.

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