Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er “Jenn”

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 Jenn, a magazine minion who claims that Midtown Lunch may be responsible for her current state of employement…

Name: Jenn

Age: 22

Occupation: Magazine Publishing Minion

Where in Midtown do you Work?: 43rd & 6th Ave.

Favorite Kind of Food: The foods I inhale the most often fall into or across the following gastronomic categories: Spicy, Asian, Deep-fried, MEAT+BREAD, Molten Cheese, Foods That Can Be Eaten While Walking, Anything Topped With a Fried Egg, and Stinky Lunches That Cubicle Neighbors Secretly Complain About (sorry!). More specifically: cheeseburgers, hot dogs with everything on them (two Gray’s, one to eat on the spot, one for the walk home), cheesesteaks wit onions, carnitas tortas, prosciutto-mozzarella heroes, fried pork dumplings, sweetbreads, bi bim bap, okonomiyaki, lox with extra capers, rice balls, paratha rolls, sardines and rice, soon dobu, pa jun, breakfast burritos, mushroom pizza (with the canned slice mushrooms), potato/corn chips, charcuterie, ma po tofu, bento boxes, strong curries, sushi and ahi poke, banh mi, little onion rings, Difara’s, fideua, crab cake sandwiches, stinky cheese, fried oysters, shawarma kebabs with extra hot sauce, English breakfasts and Chinese food from my parents’ restaurant and my grandma. Also can’t forget condiments because with just a slather or a drizzle can make all the difference– favorites include: Sriracha, Dijon mustard, Chiu Chow chili oil, cocktail sauce, and garlic mayo.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Garden salads and raw celery

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: $5 bento boxes (especially the salted mackerel), inari, green tea beard papas and rice balls from Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th) I’m a slave to my mid-afternoon rice ball break addiction. Tuna Avocado over rice at Chiyoda (on 41st btw. Mad+5th) when I’m feeling un-poor, paratha rolls and chicken biriyani from the Biriyani Cart (on 46th & 6th), ma po tofu or roast pork over rice at Hing Won (on 48th btw. 5+6th), oyako don from Yagura (also on 41st btw. Mad+5th), veg combo from Minar (on 46th btw. 6+7th), Cubans and chicken sandwiches from Margon (on 46th btw. 6+7th), mini cheeseburgers with a pint of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout from Stout NYC on 33rd btw. 6+7th (more of a Happy Hour Meal). The day I had a mentaiko rice ball and miso soup from Washoku (on 37th btw. Mad+5th) for $2 was a very, very good day.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Pret, Hale & Hearty, Red Flame on 44th btw. 5+6th (A company favorite for impromptu lunch meetings, the Red Flame Wrap with chicken, cheese, and honey dijon is way better than expected).

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Since I’m a relative Midtown working noob, I’ll have to credit Zach for almost all the places I go to–he’s been my gastronomic guru from the start. But the first time I put my Midtown intel to use was when I got a Cuban from Margon the day before my interview for the job I hold now. I was unemployed and disillusioned, gazing longingly at the 9-5ers, wondering when I, too, could have health insurance and business casual street meat. Lo and behold, the next day, I got the job and my first post, detailing the meal, had gone up on Serious Eats New York. Clearly, I owe my current state of employment to Midtown MAGIC.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Honolulu because it’s a floating smorgasboard of the best Asian food. I’d gorge on ahi poke, sushi, Korean plate lunches, loco moco, malasada, linguica, garlic shrimp, Spam musubi, manapua, fried saimin, teriyaki burgers, Puka dogs, and open-faced avocado sandwiches (take a slice of toast, top with a buttery Hawaiian avocado cut into big thick slabs, and sprinkle with sea salt)– all while perfecting my island tan. If you’re not convinced yet, just check out Kathy YL Chan’s blog, and start drooling.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Sake Bar Hagi (on 49th btw. 6+7th) has become my favorite post-work bar for the cheap drinks and awesome izakaya goodies. There’s Blarney Stone, Rudy’s for the free hot dogs…but, Midtown Lunchers– any more suggestions for good cheap drink/food spots? (Aside from the ones posted on the Midtown Lunch happy hour column.)

Totally agree about the Sake Bar Hagi. One of my favorite paces in Midtown… shame it’s not open for lunch. Mamacita… we may need to hit that up soon for a Happy Hour post! Got any recommendations for Jenn? Feel free to post them 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


  • Never mind the guy trying to pawn off his Koala bear, who’s near Bed Stuy?

  • ben, meee fuckin’ ow.

    I’ll accept bids of €10m+ for Rudy.

    I know, I know…. but im a cheap bastard.

  • Jenn,

    Are you flipping us off?

    You have a cute as hell smile so I’ll look past that introduction.

    Tell me Jenn, do you like smooth jazz?

  • I shall be only too happy to snap up “ben” and continue your reign of vapidity! :-)

    That would certainly be a challenge.


    “I am NOT Amused!”

  • She has very good taste…and I like the fact that she is open minded about trying such variety. Keen profile !

  • Zach,

    Did Jenn just kill it? 85 POSTS for a mid-town luncher from Tuesday to Wednesday? Has anyone ever come close to that in the history of the Tuesday profile?

    Get this ‘lil hottie a chicken wing, a beer and a plaque or something…she belongs in the Hall of Fame, baby.

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