PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Jamie”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. Meet Jamie, a future law student who works on the outskirts of Midtown, and thinks bacon, pigs in a blanket, and tequila qualifies as “healthy” food. She actually sent in two photos, and insisted I posted both because they “capture her essence.”  The before photo is below (I cropped out all her friends, but they’re about to start drinking). The after the drinks photo is after the jump.

Name: Jamie

Age: 23

Occupation: Non Profit Paralegal (with a food blog)

Where in Midtown do you Work?: 33rd & 10th (and you think you have it bad!)

Favorite Kind of Food: A pretty impossible question, I tried to break it down into categories. Jew: sour pickles, pastrami/corned beef sandwiches, matzah ball soup made by my mother. Healthy: wings, crispy duck skin, bacon, tequila shots, pizza, pigs n a blanket. Japanese: takoyaki, miso soup, katsu, hakata ramen. Korean: fried chicken, bulgogi, kalbi, kimchee. Chinese: dim sum, dumplings, congee. Malaysian: roti canai, beef randang. Vietnamese: pho, summer rolls. Spanish: arroz con pollo, sancocho, lechon asado, ceviche, arepas. Eastern European: borscht, pierogies, stuffed cabbage, lagman. Also, can’t forget French, Italian, Burmese, Thai, Greek, seafood, spinach, soup… this is harder than the LSAT, I’m spent. (I also enjoy a nice piece of cheese and a well plated dessert.)

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Half sour or dill pickles, super bitter things like grapefruit and arugula, and I do not love offal- I recently tried gizzard and wish I hadn’t.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: The special noodle with brown sauce (ja jang mein) at Hyo Dong Gak on 35th btw. 5+6th is probably the best midtown lunch dish around. It’s a huge portion of noodles with a thick brown sauce made with pork, onion, and zucchini for $8 that easily lasts me two lunches. I recently enjoyed curried goat roti at the Best of the West Deli on 34th and 9th. I always get the sweet and sour pork at Woorijip (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th), the eggplant at Pick a Pita (on 8th Ave. btw. 39+40th) is delicious, and I like the chorizo torta at Las Poblanitas (on 38th btw. 8+9th.)

The rest of Jamie’s answers, plus the “after the drinks” photo, are after the jump.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? We used to go around the corner to the Skylight Dinner; clearly boring, except they do make fabulous fries. Now I have convinced everyone that the 30th Street location of Mooncake Foods is a much better venue with sandwiches, salads, and platters with an Asian flair for under $10. I also coordinate the office happy hours and have a few suggestions for Mamacita’s column, if I may: Café Andalucia for sangria, tapas, and $4 well drinks, Chef Yu for $4 old school cocktails, Blue Ruin is a dive that just opened with 2 for 1 on already dirt cheap drinks and a bartender that breathes fire, and Bourbon Street Bar & Grill (on 46th btw. 8+9th) which Zach has mentioned for awesome $5 hurricanes and juleps and a tasty alligator in a blanket appetizer.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Go Go Curry (on 38th btw. 7+8th), Woorjip, Kati Roll (on 39th btw. 5+6th), 6 Ave Newsstand (6th Ave. btw. 37+38th), and there is nothing better than the free or totally cheap ass lunches from the Volstead, Sophie’s Cuban, and Toloache- my coworkers and I thank you for letting us know about those!

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Flushing, Queens! Golden Mall for liang pi, White Bear for hot oil wontons, Corner 28 for $1 Peking duck, Joe’s Shanghai for soup dumplings, Flushing mall for hand drawn noodle soup and fried calamari, Gala Manor for dim sum, Little Pepper to clear up my sinuses, Sweet n Tart Café, and the grocery stores with fresh, cheap produce and seafood. I am obsessed with Flushing for as long as I have memories.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Well, I am moving to Philly in August for law school (don’t worry, I plan on being the good kind of lawyer). Any recommendations for midtownlunchish food, food carts, and adventures I can go on to make me miss the food of NYC less?

And as promised… the “After” Photo

I don’t know nothing about Philly, except you should eat a pork and rabe sandwich at least 3 times a week (but trying to pick the best place for that is like arguing about the best slice of pizza in New York.) Anybody have a suggestion? Put it in the comments… and as always if you want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at


  • haha… still interested “Uncle Fúc Kér”?

  • I don’t know enough about Philly, but I’ll say that if you make another trip to Flushing before you go, Jade Asian is doing dim sum better than Gala Manor.

  • Fressa & I could have been friends.

  • Jamie i know you won’t eat the rabe because it’s too bitter but I will forgive you for it. If you are in West Philly, KOJA truck on 38th is all you need. I’m looking forward to eating with you.

  • OK, Zach. Well played, well played indeed sir. Now this is a Tuesday ML’er.

  • As a hungry bitch with a lesbian living inside me (in ma belly!), I admire that young twinky lawyer wannabe :)

  • no plug for DiNic’s roast pork sandwich in Reading Terminal Market? i tried going one weekend on boltbus (5 dollar round trip, holla!) but they were closed.

    pats was highly overrated. highly highly highlyyyy overrated. two giant steaming piles of scraps on flattops with no trace of the Maillard reaction in sight. gray beef on cold bread is disgusting, wit or witout. and it wasn’t even greasy. pathetic. 2 bucks for a 12 oz birch beer too.

    the bus driver was nice though. he told me genos was racist so i didn’t even bother. I did take a peek and it was the same deal. and fortunately, i caught him again on the way back uptown to thank him for saving me 10 bucks.

  • I would TOTALLY smash her during my lunch break.

    the midway point would be the double tree hotel in times square.

    i will have a room there from 1pm – 2pm, pls go to the front desk and ask for Mickey Mouse.


  • More Center City eats:

    Pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich at the street cart on 17th Street (btwn Market & Chesnut)

    Chick Fil A (One Liberty Place)

    Kickass cheeseburger and amazing draft beers at Monk’s (16th Street between Latimer and Spruce)

    Jerk Chicken from the Caribbean truck across Market Street from 30th Street Station.

    Fried pork skin and wings at Pub & Kitchen (Lombard Street and S. 20th)

  • “Healthy: wings, crispy duck skin, bacon, tequila shots, pizza, pigs n a blanket.”

    Just because of this, I’ll chip in. Listen to what DCAview said. Chip Beef’s comments are also spot on.

    Get the roast pork with provolone and brocolli rabe from DiNic’s in Reading Terminal Market (the same from Tony Luke’s is a close 2nd). Anything from John’s Roast Pork is great.

    Learn to love Wawa. It’s happening one way or another. Save yourself the time and do it sooner.

  • Philadelphia has amazing food!!! Not sure where you are going to school- but if it is Temple (probably Drexel/UPenn too) they have AMAZINGGG cart food! Temple’s campus has the best wrap lunch truck right outside the law school building. I’m drooling already!!

  • Just checked out Jamie’s blog.

    Double-points for trash-talking Fiddlestick’s; the worst bar in New York, and perhaps the world.

    With her keen insights, good looks, and adventurous appetite, she really ought to be pitching a travel show instead of going to law school…

  • ja jang mein??? No, honey. Jja jang myun. mein is chinese for noodles, myun is korean. When posting what your favorite foods are might want to get the phonetic spelling of it correct.

  • In fairness to Jamie… I changed her spelling to that. But truthfully, there are a number of different spellings of that dish. I don’t think either are incorrect… (especially since the restaurant is Korean/Chinese)

  • @hcd- I do also like Jade Asian for dim sum, but it can’t top the sketchy elevator entrance that GM has. Both are better than Perfect Team and Ocean Jewel.

    @ Chip- Thank you for reading my blog and bestowing a complement that is sweet and not inappropriate. Write to the travel network on my behalf, I know I can be slightly more entertaining than that Samantha Brown. Who couldn’t? And I do plan on doing long overdue new posts tonight to the blog…

    @Elle- Please don’t honey me, I may vomit up my lunch tacos.

    @Zach- thanks for sticking up for me, yes it is a chinese/korean restaurant making that ever so essential matter of perfect phonetic spelling more difficult

    @DocChuck- sigh, I know I really should not encourage you by acknowledging your existence. But I’ll have you know that I do in fact have a full head of hair, though I can’t apologize if the styling is not to your liking. My slightly larger forehead is necessary for accommodating all of my excess brain matter. I would also like to inform you that my mother and father were deeply upset by your comments regarding your liberties with my image and your screensaver. Most importantly, please refrain from using the word “mount” ever again, it gives me the willies.

  • If one really wanted to be nitpicky about noodles, they could point out that it’s a stretch (pun intended) to call lagman Eastern European. It’s my understanding the etymology is from chinese mein, and they are the national dish of Kyrgystan. The Kyrgyz, with the rest of Central Asia, would probably both be surprised and pleased to find out they’re European. The mistake is understandable considering lagman’s ubiquity on those pan-Judaic Bukharan menus, canoodling next to stuffed cabbage.

    But I don’t want to be nitpicky with lovely Jamie. They are Eastern European to me now.

  • Philly:
    downtown:Vietnam on the south side of North 11th St. in Chinatown. Raw flank steak and a volcano=best lunch.
    west: Scooter’s @ 38th and Lancaster for cheesesteak
    south: Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar (cheese doodles)
    north: Arbol (paraguayan)

  • Jaime (aka Fressagirl), how does one email you? Can’t find a link on your blog (which is fantastic!!)

  • OK, this is freaky when I recognize the ML’er of the Week and have never met the person. Too many food blogs in my bookmarks!

    @Tanman (6th comment): Yeah, me. And maybe Goats.

    OK, I’m going back to the “after” photo now…

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