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


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