PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Nicholas”

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 Nicholas, a blogger/student/web guy who may be the only person in the world more addicted to Chinese food than I am.

Name: Nicholas

Age: 20

Occupation: Web Developer, American Express Publishing/Student, Columbia/Blogger

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

Favorite Kind of Food: I absolutely love Chinese food (I try to pay tribute to my cultural identity, specifically a good bowl of beef noodle soup, knife cut over hand pulled), which is followed closely by Korean barbecue. Add to the list Japanese ramen and you get the whole gamut of Asian foods! This isn’t to say I would say no to a finely crafted burger or slice.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I can’t stand the generic halal carts anymore, even though I used to adore the 53rd and 6th cart (before I started working in midtown and had immediate access). I will have the occasional chicken tikka from Biryani cart (on 46th & 6th), but only as a last ditch fallback when it’s impossible to walk more than a block. Oh, and vietnamese pho, it just pales in comparison to a good bowl of beef noodles…

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: In no particular order, the steam tray option at Ho Yip (on 45th btw. 5+6th) was the first place I went to on my interview date, and I fell in love. Greasy and cheap at its finest, especially after 2:15. Szechuan Gourmet (on 39th btw. 5+6th), as introduced by my coworkers, never disappoints with their double cooked pork… requested extra spicy of course. Hallo Berlin cart (on 54th & 5th) was pretty solid as I remember it for their ‘dictator special.’ Finally, perhaps the most versatile of all my midtown spots… Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th), their convenient placement of pastries next to bento holds a special place in my heart/stomach.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Have I mentioned my coworkers love Szechuan Gourmet a little too much? We order so much from there that the delivery guy is in the phonebook as ‘friend,’ and the specials menu has been memorized by letter/number combination. As for me, Cafe Zaiya FTW.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? To be completely honest, the only reason I took a job in midtown was because I was intrigued by the food (did I mention Morningside is pretty weak for food?), so I can confidently say that every place I’ve found is because of Midtown Lunch. Thanks for Homefront Deli (on 41st btw. Mad+Park)/Blarney Stone (on 3rd btw. 44+45th)/Ambrosia (on 45th btw. 5+6th)/ the list continues infinitely…

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Taiwan? Seriously, my love of Chinese food runs way too deep, but if it had to be close probably Chinatown. Dumplings, noodles, and Boba all at maybe 1/3 the price

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Are there any quality beef noodle places in midtown? I know of Main Noodle House (formerly Big Bowl Noodles), but variety is nice too.

Anybody got a beef noodle soup recommendation for Nicholas, put it in the comments.

Also, a week from today is St. Patty’s Day, so it’d be nice to have a Profile who gets us in the mood for some drinking and fighting. So, if you are a lush, an Irishman (or woman), pale, a big drinker, own a Boston Celtics jersey, you’re a leprechaun, or you like potatoes (any of the above/all of the above), PLUS you want to be next weeks’ Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody who fits the bill that you’d like to nomninate), email me at


  • Nice profile Nicholas – where’s the pic from? Hong Kong?

    Zach – Anastasia just said her parents were from Ireland and she qualifies for at least 5 of your criteria

  • Taipei, Taiwan… Shih Lin (士林), has a really famous night market. I think that kebab was only something like 25 cents?

  • People getting mad at Zach for painting with broad strokes in his description of the Irish in 4… 3… 2….

    I was hoping this student would give us some super cheap lunching recommendations for those of us who are– what is that term for people whose hours have been cut… oh yes– poor.

  • I could tell it was Asia by the precarious construction and squalor in the streets

  • another cool profile. I think Zach must have shuffled the deck of entries. I have been dying for a beef noodle soup as well.

  • Sarah – yeah, I caught that too. Here we hold back mentioning watermelon and Newport Menthols during black history month in Feb only to see Zach slam the irish in March

  • is it possible that we’ve tapped out midtown lunching secret spots? i miss the days when tuesday’s profile introduced us to some great new delicious deal no one had ever heard of…

  • Nicholas, your profile made me so hungry! I would like to know your favorite places in the whole city for beef noodle soup, ramen, and korean bbq.

  • sorry to disappoint on the cheap eats (for midtown) you guys can check my blog for cheap food in chinatown though, which really doesn’t help too much…

    as for best beef noodle soup: super taste hand cut (I’m a sucker for hand cut noodles over pulled)

    best ramen: ajisen is pretty solid (although if I had to give a nod to best midtown location I’d say Sapporo)

    best korean bbq: resides in flushing, it’s a buffet, but the name escapes me


  • My dearest Nicholas:

    Although I am mezmerized by your iridescent violet eyes, I find most everything about you to be rather uninteresting, particularly your food affinities.

    You like asian food. Who would have guessed?

    Chuck, PhD

  • Nicholas – re: Korean bbq in Flushing – can you make the name unescape you? How about cross streets?

  • Is the Korean bbq place in Flushing that you’re thinking of all you can eat? If so you might be talking about Picnic Garden.

  • Zach, do you have an Asian fetish, both for food and profilers for your blog?

  • @ DocChuck. Aren’t you going to say anything about the Irish as well? It’s stereotype day on midtownlunch.

  • DocChuck = Freak of the Century (and not in a good way)

  • I don’t think Zach has an Asian fetish. But I have noticed that there’s a disproportionate amount of Asian food bloggers and foodies (myself included). I think food is really important in Asian cultures. A lot of people have traditionally done their shopping daily every day to ensure the freshest of ingredients. So perhaps the environment they grew up in has turned them into discriminating eaters (not saying that nonAsians aren’t discriminating).

  • Pretty quiet in here today. Normally this wouldn’t happen if the one being profiled was a cute girl.

  • How do I get to be profiled? I’m a cute girl!

  • normal profile = boring profile

    18 comments….YAWN

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