PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Ian”

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 Ian, a podcaster who is looking for some fried zucchini.

Name: Ian

Age: 25

Occupation: Editorial Assistant (and Podcaster)

Where in Midtown do you Work?: America’s Tower (Sixth Avenue b/t West 45th and 46th)

Favorite Kind of Food: I’m a big fan of Japanese food, primarily sushi and various forms of teriyaki. Miso soup does for me what chicken soup does for some people; it’s my comfort food. I grew up on Fried clam sandwiches, so a good one of those will make me a happy man. Indian (usually curry), Caribbean jerk chicken, Chinese (dim sum, roast pork, beef and broccoli), Mexican burritos and quesadillas, and a good Grandma slice of pizza or a Hawaiian pie. Oh, and veal. Sorry to those who think it is cruel, but I think it is yummy.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Kosher pizza (I have nightmares about their faux cheese), hot capicola (tastes like feet), raw white onions, kimchi, and interesting enough, lettuce. Well, at least the flavorless lettuce lunch places will put on a sandwich that really add no flavor at all to the food at all. And most vegetarian food made to taste like meat is lacking to me, since I am a meat eater and get to experience the real thing.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Roast pork over yellow rice and red beans at Margon (46th b/t 6th and 7th), Kati rolls from the Biryani cart on 46th and 6th (and the kashmiri curry when they offer it), the pulled pork waffle from Waffles and Dinges (which I haven’t had in forever since they’re usually not there on the days I work :( ), and the newest creation from Café Zaiya (41st btw. Mad+5th): the Omu Soba, which is a thin pancake with Soba noodles, vegetables and meat stuffed inside it. Once a week I can go for a chicken and broccoli and a Hawaiian slice from Pronto Pizza (the one across from the Nintendo store, on 48th btw. 5+6th, not the other one), and I think I can add the fried chicken from The NYC Cravings truck to the list after eating from it on Monday, even if I did have to wait 20 minutes for them to make more rice. Well worth the wait! I can go for the occasional Magdy’s double meat cheese steak when the weather’s good (on Park and 46th). Oh, and I’m a fan of Park Italian Gourmet’s (45th b/t 5th and 6th) chicken parm sandwich. It’s not the best, but it’ll do.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Way too many people go to Margon, since it is right around the corner. Although Dunhill Café (on 45th btw. 6+7th) is another choice, which I used to go to often until I got sick of their never changing menu options. I mean seriously, would it kill you to offer a different sandwich at least once or twice a week? And they got rid of the pre-made BBQ chicken Panini, which was the best thing they had going for them. Finally, since there are a bunch of Japanese people in the office, Zaiya would be on that list as well. Sometimes the stereotypes are indeed true.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Too many to name! The famous Halal cart on 53rd, Margon, their next door neighbor Minar (on 46th btw. 6+7th), Good Burger (on 45th btw. 5+6th), Indus Express (on 48th btw. 5+6th), and Sophie’s Cuban (although I’ve only been to their location near Fulton St.)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I would love to work in Japan, so I can enjoy a real bento whenever I want, and get good, cheap dumplings and udon noodles, or street food from a vendor. Lunch in Japan just looks so damn delicious and filling; and cheap! And because I am a nerd of all colors, Akihabara would only be a train ride away.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? I’d love to find the best scallion pancakes in Midtown. Not too greasy, not too heavy, just good scallion pancakes. Also, anywhere I could get fried zucchini sticks? Haven’t had any good ones since I was like…15.

Good call.  Who doesn’t like a good scallion pancake… one of my late night college favorites (along with General Tso’s Chicken.)  And what could be bad about taking zucchini, dipping it in batter and deep frying it.  Anybody got a suggestion for Ian (and me!)  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


  • Kosher pizza doesn’t have fake cheese.

  • I love fried zucchini too. Freshly sliced and fried with a powdering of parmesan… heaven…

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    I don’t mind the lettuce. Wouldn’t eat it on its own, but it provides a nice crunch.

  • Otaku fanboy spotted


  • He looks like Harry Potter has had sex with Simon Cowell.

  • I could not even read his blather after looking at the uber-geeky photo. Lost my appetite too.

  • It’s a shame the Arkansas doctor wont be able to make a depilatory related comment.

  • I walk past a *picture* of a delicious scallion pancake every day– in front of madangsui. I’ve never eaten one though.. sooo….. that’s about the best I can do…

  • My dearest vdubjb:

    Why on earth would I endorse depilatories when my own dear wife (much younger than myself) owns and operates one of America’s most successul chain of LASER HAIR REMOVAL clinics?

    Personally, I am much less concerned about “Ian’s” facial hair than I am about his potentially collagen-enhanced lips. There is NEVER a need for a real man to consider such a procedure.

    Other than that, I find “Ian” rather normal and unexciting in most respects. I was deeply disappointed, however, that he slandered kimchi, one of God’s most perfect foods.

    I deeply doubt he is only 25. Chalk it up to his diet.

    Chuck, PhD

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    this is a little late, but about scallion pancakes — there’s a chinese restaurant on 49th between 2nd and 3rd called chin chin with amaaaaazing scallion pancakes for $6.50 — the regular menu items are pretty expensive, but if you’re just looking for scallion pancakes, that’s the place to go!

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