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


  • posole from cabrito

  • I live around the corner from Agnanti in Asotria and it has been a go to since I moved in 6 years ago. Dinner is almost always Tzatziki, then Kayianas or any kind of keftedes, the farmers salad, and aegean pasta.

  • sadly, i have only been to indian buffet in queens and haven’t tried the featured restaurants – all the more reason why i should get tix and try them all!

  • Love the pondicherry dosa at tiffin wallah and the fish taco at pinche!

  • Peppa’s Chicken / 1/2 jerk chicken with rice and peas, extra hot sauce, yum

  • the greens with bits of porky goodness at porchetta…mmm

  • tiffin wallah’s lunch buffet!

  • Pistachio cake at Momofuku Milk Bar.

  • Hacked pork bbq sandwich at Smoke Joint.

  • green curry pork at Pam Real, as well!

  • My vote goes for Spice Fusion!

  • The pork buns at Momofuku Milk Bar! Not to mention the ice cream, the pies, etc. :)

  • i too looooove pam real thai and alternate between crispy duck with basil or the double cooked pork with basil

  • Fatty Crab? Yes please. Almost worth the trip downtown/uptown for the Malay Fish Fry… I could basically eat that exclusively and be happy. The standout part is actually the spicy curry and rice… the fish, while delicious, is secondary!

  • I liked the pork buns at Momofuku, but they’re too expensive for cheapskates like me. I will also add in a negative vote for the Indian buffet at Bay Leaf Brasserie.

  • The chicken livers peri peri at Madiba in Brooklyn gets my vote!

  • I used to “live” across the street from Roberta’s in Bushwick. (meaning my boyfriend lived there. He no longer lives there and is no longer my boyfriend – no connection) It took FOREVER for them to open but BOY was I glad when they did.
    They have this Crispy Veal Sweetbreads which is to DIE FOR and they have this DeLorean Calzone that has egg and truffle oil… it doesn’t really sound like it’s going to be good but it’s this creamy truffley masterpiece!!!!! Those are just the extras too… they are really known for their amazing pizza pies… wood fired right in front of you. Shared tables, easy going atmosphere… would be a regular there if it wasn’t so hell and far gone away.. boo hoo….

  • Hush puppies from Delta Grill are unbelievably delicious.

  • crispy potatoes and burnt ends at porchetta!

  • the roast pork at margon. so delicious. so filling.

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