PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Doug”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. My request last week for a St. Paddy’s day themed profiled luncher went unanswered… so you’ll have to settle for Doug, a technology and investment firm guy who can’t understand why anybody would say they don’t like Thai food.

Name: Doug

Age: 24

Occupation: Technology and Investment Firm

Where in Midtown do you Work?: 45th btw. 6+7th

Favorite Kind of Food: Thai (seriously, the guy who “couldn’t handle Thai” is insane; it isn’t even that spicy or heavy), Indian, Mexican (authentic, i.e.: I hate Chipotle), porterhouse steaks, anything with duck, Italian appetizers (mussels, clams, bruschetta, mozzarella), any type of fried rice, couscous, pork and chicken dumplings, turkey chili, brussel sprouts, sushi, any and all types of breads, roast beef, waffles, chocolate chip cookies and muffins. I am also on a constant search for the best hamburger in the city. Right now, J.G. Mellon is probably in the lead.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I really dislike celery and broccoli. I’m also not a huge fan of Korean (kimchee makes me gag) or German food.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Chicken over rice with a side of pita or falafel with extra white sauce from Kwik Meal (on 45th & 6th). Chicken tikka masala with extra white sauce (I have an addiction) from Biryani Cart (on 46th & 6th). Half rotisserie-chicken with rice and beans and mashed potatoes on the side from Tio Pio (on 36th btw. 5+6th). Make sure to pick up extra green sauce. Any oven-baked flatbread sandwich at Café Duke (on 51st btw. 6+7th). Thai fried rice with pineapple and chicken from Wondee Siam (out of bounds on 9th Ave.). I’ll also head to Dishes and get the by-the-pound buffet, but its ridiculously expensive. Just load up on coconut-encrusted chicken fingers and forgo any rice or noodle to get more bang for your buck. Recently started hitting up Minar (on 46th btw. 6+7th) for their two meat, one veggie lunch special.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? I eat Kwik meal 2-3 times a week and Biryani Cart for dinner often. Too much? Not sure there is a thing as too much Kwik Meal. I used to go to Café Duke on a daily basis, but I moved offices. Their udon and chicken parm oven-baked flat-bread sandwich are great.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Tio Pio was a huge discovery. $7.75 for a half chicken and two huge helpings of any side is just plain awesome. Minar was also thanks to Midtown lunch.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I guess it’d be right here. Where else do you get this kind of variety? I like variety more than any one type of food which is why I’m constantly on this website.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? How can midtown have so few Thai places when the rest of the city has one on literally every street corner? What is the best Thai take-out place (I have no problem ordering and picking up from a sit-down) in mid-town. Ninth ave. is too much of a hike (but worth it for Wondee Siam and Yum Yum Bangkok).

I’ve never tried the chicken parm on flat bread at Cafe Duke… I may have to hit that up. Anybody have a Thai food rec for Doug that’s not on 9th Ave? I’ve got nothing…

And as always if you want to be next weeks’ Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nomninate), email me at


  • I particularly enjoyed Doug’s inclusion of turkey chili in his favorite foods. I personally prefer filet mignon chili, but turkey is a close 2nd. Ground beef chili is boring at this point! LOL

  • I’d have to say Corner Bistro is the best burger in the city (although I might be biased because I live a block away and also usually get a McSorley’s ale for $2.50)

  • This isn’t remotely convenient for you, but…

    Fusia, on 56th (right off lex) has a great/huge curry lunch special, which for 8.50–including a soup or soda–is spot-on.

    Even though I’m usually dubious about any place that serves multiple asian cuisines, I’ll vouch for the red curry.

  • This guy says he likes thai food and he likes Wondee Siam and yumyum bangkok? wondee siam is extremely overpriced and the portions are tiny. plus they have a real ass of a manager working at the #2. Yumyum bangkok is just horrible thai. no true thai person eats there. there are a ton of other options in the neighborhood and you name those 2?

  • Hmmmm… likes non-spicy thai, Dishes and Cafe Duke, slathers white sauce on everything… but hates german food (?) – is the sauce the wrong color?

    One of the more bizarre profiles in terms of taste … but praise heaven… he’s not a food blogger

  • @foooood,
    so where do you get your thai food in midtown then?

  • I wasn’t blown away by Wondee 2 but the original is unparalleled, pretty standard thai prices and I think generous portions, plus they have a great manager and you can’t underestimate the byob factor. I also like Chili Thai and Pam Real to mix it up

  • Hey Zach,
    I’m slightly St. Patty’s day themed. Can’t you see the authentic red Irish beard?

    Wayne and foooooood,
    I never said I don’t like spicey or that Yum Yum Bangkok was great, its just the fastest and *sigh* closest in mid-town. Wondee Siam is very good though. I’ll have to fight you on that one.

  • @ Dylan – we’re on the same page brutha. fusia has to be one of the best sit-down lunch specials in midtown. i haven’t had anything bad there yet. sesame chicken is ridic. noodle bowls are great. even their sushi is pretty damn good. pad thai is aight, too.

    @ Doug – dude, i don’t know about jg melon being your best burger in the city. where else have you tried. i’ve had 2 burgers in just the past 2 days that were better than jg melon — royale in e village and the burger at beacon on 56 b/t 5th and 6th.

  • @Danny

    Pam’s Real Thai on 49th btwn 8th and 9th.

    Also, Yum Yum…can’t remeber the street though, it’s between 42nd and 46th on 9th.

  • When did Thai food become not that spicy? My stomach usually becomes a volcano after some authentic Thai. Still love it though!

  • Try some Laab at Pongsri (48th b/w B’way/8th). I don’t know shit about authenticity, I know only that it is damn tasty.

  • A) If Thai food isn’t spicy you aren’t doing it right.
    B) Pam Real Thai blows the other 9th avenue destinations out of the water.

  • I second Skrewed on the Pongsri recommendation. They have a decently priced lunch menu, and serve the food fairly quickly.

  • why hello cute young thing… all my thai recs are on the southeastern cusp of Midtown, sorry.


  • I don’t blame you for not liking Kimchi… but ALL Korean food?
    Really? Not even the grilled meats?

  • Anyone else thinking……Ginger pubes?

  • I’m with sarah.

  • can we have a girl next week pleeeeeeeeez

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