PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Sarah DiGregorio” & Choice Eats Tix Giveaway

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. We’re just one week away from Choice Eats 2009- the Village Voice’s annual food event featuring restaurants hand picked by VV food writers Robert Sietsema & Sarah DiGregorio. Last year we profiled Mr. Sietsema, and gave away tickets to the event (which was awesome, btw) and this year we’re super excited to welcome Sarah DiGregorio. Obviously their offices aren’t in Midtown, but Sarah discriminates against no neighborhood- and eats in Midtown all the time. In fact, she is the one who discovered the spicy off the menu Indian sandwich with doritos at that now shuttered Blimpie on 45th Street. Not surprisingly, Choice Eats is completely sold out this year- but we have got a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky Midtown Lunch’er. Details are at the end of the profile…

Name: Sarah

Age: 29

Occupation: Food Writer (and head blogger for Village Voice’s Fork in the Road)

Where do you Work?: Village Voice, Cooper Square

Favorite Kind of Food: Curry Laksa

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Bubble tea

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: I love Sukhadia’s Gokul (on 45th btw. 5+6th) for bhel puri and vada pav and I like Azuri Cafe‘s falafel pocket (on 50th & 10th). It’s a little more expensive, but there’s nothing like Tout Va Bien (on 51st & 8th) for old-school French dishes like calf’s liver Lyonnaise (sauteed with lots of caramelized onions) and country-style pate. I like to sit at the bar and people-watch–the restaurant has been open and owned by the same family since 1949, and it’s still a French sailor hangout.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? I always end up at Cafe Zaiya, because it’s right across the street from my office (there’s one in midtown, too). I get the onigiri stuffed with spicy cod roe, a bento box, or a bowl of Japanese shrimp curry. There’s always something interesting to try and then half-regret it, like a spicy tuna bread bowl-bun, or a fried noodle hero.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Khodiar Express/Taj Delhi Chat (on 6th Ave. btw. 37+38th)–but I haven’t been there since they added falafel! (Which apparently they don’t have anymore anyway.) And I think I first heard about Danku (on 57th & 6th) on MTL–and shared your disappointment that it’s not very good.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I would move to Singapore and eat at the hawker centers everyday. I would gorge on Hainanese chicken and rice, curry laksa, nasi lamak, curry me, char kway teow, roti paratha and fish head curry, and I would be very, very happy.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Where is the best Indian buffet in midtown?

Good question… well I’ve always said that my favorite all you can eat Indian buffet in Midtown is Spice Fusion (on 8th Ave. btw. 47+48th), but just yesterday I tried Darbar Grill (on 55th btw. Lex+3rd) and it is definitely in contention (full report coming soon). Of course these two buffets are $11… we don’t pay any attention to all the $14+ Indian buffets in Midtown!

So, on to the contest! To enter to win the tickets, just post a comment below with either a) your favorite Indian buffet in Midtown, or b) your favorite dish from one of the participating Choice Eats restaurants. It’s that easy! The winner will be chosen randomly, and will get 1 pair of tickets to Choice Eats, happening Tuesday March 31st at the 69th Armory (on 26th & Lex) from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Tickets are all sold out, so if you didn’t buy any this is your only way in! (Don’t forget to put your email address in the email field so we have a way of contacting you. Don’t worry, it won’t be posted to the site.)

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’ve heard of some delicous Curry Laksa being served in Elmhurst, Queens –

    I LOVE Mercadito’s pork tacos with the fiery hot sauce that is so yummy that I don’t mind getting heartburn afterwards….

  • was disappointed by the fatty duck at the original fatty crab way back but thought it was great at the UWS one recently. Also a fan of the short ribs and the chinese broccoli with the fish sauce.

  • The Catfish sandwhich at Baoguette

  • I like Spice Fusion, because their to-go lunch option is cheap!

  • b) fatty duck from fatty grab.. flavorful, powerful, and delicious!

  • what? no love for the margarita pizza from Motorino? i almost pigged out and ate a whole pie in front of not-so-close friends on Sat. that would have been awkward. it’s good delivered too! alas, i am not a frequenter of indian buffets at lunchtime.

  • @ Mamacita, I would like to applaud you for your good taste! I love Cafe Glechik, been going there for 10 years or so. Next time you go there, head around the corner to the supermarket under the train with the blue awning called russian bazaar or Moscow bazaar. They have hot and cold buffets that is simply amazing. They also have the best sweet dept in all of brighton….

  • I’d love those tickets. I have been desperate for some good mid-town Thai and Pam Real Thai’s crispy duck is sooooo good. Nice profile.

  • Sarah is cool because she works with Mr. Sietsema

    But uncool because she is yet another …shudder… FOOD BLOGGER

    Fried green tomatoes at Delta Grill rule

  • i love the rama platter from pam’s real thai, even though i know there is much better thai in queens i can’t get enough of it.

  • pork stuffed sandwich at porchetta is unbelievable. not to be missed- get there early!

  • Spice Fusion!

  • i’m going to say tiffin wallah is my favorite restaurant on that list – consistently good.

  • chili crab from fatty crab! it reminds me of singapore. =)

  • I honestly adore the chicken salad at Eisenberg. With bacon.

    Its nearly impossible to set foot in there and not get the bacon. I managed it once, and I shan’t repeat my folly.

  • pad thai from Pam Real Thai

  • Oh that pork sandwich at Porchetta is probably the last meal I want to eat before death/execution. That and a neat bourbon.

  • The pad thai from Pam Real Thai.

  • I’m gonna have to give props to the deep fried pork jowl nuggets Back Forty. What could be better than deep fried pork fat with a hint of meat?

  • I’ll vote for Momofuku’s volcano. Potato, cheese and bacon, what could be bad?

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