PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Andrew” (aka the Guy Who Ate the Walgreens Sandwich)

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 Andy the blogger behind Wined and Dined, and the first person to show me up by eating the Walgreens Sandwich. Judging by his comments below, I feel like I made the right decision. I figured you’d want to know more about this ML hero (or suicidal maniac, depending on how you look at it I suppose…)

Name: Andy

Age: 33

Occupation: Attorney/Food Blogger/Food Daredevil

Where in Midtown do you Work?: 55th between Park & Mad (home of the 100% Halal & Healthy Food, aka Cart with the Greek Salad, Papa Perrone’s Pizza Truck and the best hot dog stand in Midtown)

Favorite Kind of Food: Steak, shaved truffles (could have used some to mask the taste of that freakish bulkie burger), burgers, bbq, french fries of all varieties, spicy thai, smoked salmon, bacon and corned beef, fried zucchini sticks, plus I’ve been eating these low-fat donuts lately called ‘holey donuts.’

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Olives, tofu, anything at overpriced diners like Burger Heaven, pre-packaged sandwiches, anything bland, sardines, anchovies, anything with the name Beantown on it.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Pasta bar at Fresco on the Go (on 52nd btw. Mad+Park), greek salad with spicy grilled chicken from my man at the cart on 55th and Park, the $8.50 sesame chicken lunch special at Fusia (56th and Lex… not to be confused with Fusha or the other Fusia on 2nd Ave), mexican falafel from Crisp (on 3rd Ave. & 43rd), grilled chicken salad at Houston’s (or is it Hillstone?) and the off-the-menu chicken fingers there- which are insanely good, a Carnegie Deli corned beef sandwich split 3 ways with co-workers (like Serious Eats: New York did with the Carnegie pastrami), alambre and carne asada tacos from Pampano Taqueria (3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th), and the southwestern chicken wrap at Pig n’ Whistle on 3rd (btw. 55+56th).

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Chop’t which I’m thoroughly sick of, City Market Cafe on 55th, Pret, Stale and Farty Soups, Pig n’ Whistle on 3rd, Europa Cafe and my co-workers continue to eat at the Cosi on 56th despite the fruit flies and the horrendous service (I haven’t been since ’06.)

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? El Rey del Sabor Cart on 60th & 3rd (me and everybody else), Crisp, Biryani Cart (on 46th & 6th), Jamaican Dutchy Cart (on 51st and 7th), Olympic Pita (on 38th btw. 5+6th) and Walgreens (yeah, thanks alot)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? San Sebastian (Spain). Because, in the words of travel and food writer John Carlin, it’s “where every local bar is a culinary heaven and Michelin stars grow on trees.” Because of the Pintxos (Basque equivalent of Tapas). Because of the Wine. And because la comida (the name for the midday meal) lasts between 3-4 hours.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? I love spicy food. What is the best and spiciest Midtown Lunch dish you’ve had? Phaal curry anyone? Oh yeah, and why is the Midtown version of a restaurant never as good as the original location, i.e. Peking Duck House, Brick Lane Curry, Nobu 57, etc.

Ma "Paul" Tofu @ Szechuan Gourmet, Midtown

The ma po tofu at Szechuan Gourmet (on 39th btw. 5+6th) is easily the spiciest thing I’ve had for lunch in Midtown. Lake….of….fire. Although I haven’t take the phaal curry challenge at Brick Lane Curry Too. Has anybody else? El Rey De Sabor’s habanero steak is pretty spicy too, if you let the guy go all out.

Got a spicy recommendation for Andy? 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


  • Wined & Dined! Awesome!
    excellent profile. can’t help you on the spiciest food rec. after all I keep a hot sauce bottle in my desk drawer because most things are not hot enough for me.

    Ps… Join me for happy hour sometime!

  • Kaeng Tai Pla is about as extreme as it gets for spicy thai, and you can get it at Pam Real Thai on 49th and 9th.

  • It’s fermented fish kidney by the way.

  • Phaall Curry…Made with Naga/Dorset chilis a ‘proper’ indian curry house will do it for you.

    Mind, you’ll be walking like Goerge Michael for a week afterwards.

  • DocChuck is rather, uhm, busy at the moment but as soon as he finishes with me, I am sure he’ll be on to compare his looks favorably to Andy’s. After all, when you’ve already told tens of thousands of lies about yourself online, what’s one more?

  • Just get some of those little hot sauce containers from the real deal chicken & rice guys on 53rd and 6th, and whatever you add them to, automatically makes it the spicyest dish you can find. Seriously, that hot sauce is no friggin joke (to which Zach will attest to).

  • Zach, I see your ma po tofu and I raise you the szechuan brisket with noodles in soup at Szechuan Gourmet. The spiciest thing I’ve had on their menu.

    Also, the florescent green hot sauces at any of the Kwik Meal carts. They dont put it on as a normal course of business and you have to insist on it since they tend to forget even after you ask, but once they do, you’ll see what i’m saying..

  • Ha, I work on the same block. Glad you gave props to the hot dog man on the corner–solid grilled dog.

    Also, have you tried the halal cart that does fried chicken on the corner of 55 and mad? Had it yesterday…I wanted to dislike it (based on its provencance) but I found myself scraping the container for the delish crispy bits.

    Still can’t find a decent bagel or slice around here–any ideas?

  • Kudo’s for living a great life and not leaving me w/ the impression that you’re a D-bag. I do the ghetto hot sauce in the desk as well. Nothing a bottle can’t fix. The most ridiculous things I’ve had are the hot wing sauces at Atomic, and the salsa that the Ecuadorian hole in the wall sprinkles on if you ask.

  • Taken? *sigh*

  • The hot sauce from the famous chicken and rice cart on 53rd & Sixth is definitely freakin’ hot. They only put a little on out of the bottle but will gladly give you extra in little containers to apply at your leisure. One whole container and I’m verging on a seizure.

    Also, thanks again for manning up and eating the little sandwich that Zach couldn’t. ML Hero of 2009!

  • No worries, Stevep or Andy, it was a innocent invitation, you can bring the wife, I’ll bring my other half too!

  • stop the bickering people. Do you think anyone takes what Mamcita says seriously. No guy can take serious a gal who’s still obsessed with the happy hour scene. Grow up girl. This aint no sorority party anymore. And do some work instead of sitting on midtown lunch all day.

  • Wow, still a virgin there, eh steve?

  • Foursome!

    Mama, this just gets kinkier and kinkier!!

  • ummmm not quite….but just found it amusuing how you threw in the “oh ill bring my other half” once you knew Andy was taken. Prior to that seemed you were lookin to step out on “your other half” LOL. Didnt see you making those offers to other Tuesday Profiled Lunchers. Anyhow, once a whore always a whore.

  • Err… you have issues.. been cuckolded too many time huh?

  • My dearest Andy:

    Food daredevil you! You DO very much resemble the character on the Underwood logo.

    I am wondering why you keep what looks to be a jeroboam in a kennel. My wife reserves her for the show-quality dachshunds we lovingly breed right here in our townhouse.
    It is an excellent way to supplement your income, by the way.

  • maybe, but at least im not a whore

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