PROFILED: Midtown Lunch’er “Ruth Reichl” (PLUS Citymeals on Wheels’ “Global Street Food Festival” Ticket 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. This week I couldn’t be more excited to have Ruth Reichl, the Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine, which just so happens to be the media sponsor of “Street & Savory: A Global Street Food Festival” on Monday night to benefit Citymeals-on-Wheels. The event is in Rock Center and will feature street cart inspired fare by a long list of famous restaurant chefs as well as food from some of our favorite street vendors, like The DessertTruck, The Treats Truck, Red Hook Ballfield Vendors and (the one I’m most excited about) the Los Angeles based Korean taco truck: KOGI BBQ. Get more info about the event, plus register to win a pair of tickets (valued at $1200!) after Ruth recommends her favorite spots to eat lunch in Midtown.

Name: Ruth

Age: 61

Occupation: Eater, Editor, Writer

Where in Midtown do you Work?: Conde Nast

Favorite Kind of Food: There is almost nothing I won’t happily eat.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: The only thing I won’t eat is honey.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: The Mysore masala dosa, saag paneer, and brinjal bhartha at Minar (on 46th btw. 6+7th.) White rice, chicken, all the vegetables, no white sauce at the Halal Chicken Curry Cart (on 43rd and 6th.) Kalbi, bibimbap, yukgaejang, and soondubu from Kang Suh (on B’way and 32nd.) The spicy tendon from Wu Liang Ye (on 48th btw. 5+6th.) Ma po tofu and twice cooked pork belly from Szechuan Gourmet (on 39th btw. 5+6th.) Spaghetti neri with squid, crudo, fried blowfish tails, grilled fish, fish soup from Esca (on 43rd & 9th.) Chawan mushi with uni and omakase sushi from Sushi Zen (on 44th btw. B’way+6th). Lasagna, pasta, and salads from Insieme (on 7th Ave. and 51st.) And Le Bernardin (on 51st btw. 6+7th) is pure luxury; everything is fabulous.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? We order in from Grand Sichuan. I’m addicted to the peppers in black bean sauce.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Taj Delhi Chat (now called Khodiar Chaat, on 6th Ave. btw. 37+38th) — how did I miss this?

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Singapore. Need you ask? Best street food on earth. I could eat carrot cake (no carrots, no cake, spicy not sweet), every day.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Is there any great Mexican food in midtown? After 10 years in LA, I’m always hungry for real Mexican, and I have yet to find it.

Alright… before we get to that- let’s talk Street Food inspired fancy food tasting event! “Street and Savory” takes place on Monday night, June 8th inside Rockefeller Center. To win a pair of tickets to the event, recommend some Mexican food to Ruth in the comments- or wax poetic about what dish you would be most excited to try from Citymeals-on-Wheels’ “Global Street Food Festival”. A complete list of chefs and the dishes they will be serving can be found here. (I’m most excited for Korean tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck in LA, and Donald Link’s boudin from Cochon in New Orleans!)

Tickets start at $600 each, but using this discount link from Serious Eats: New York you can purchase tickets for $450. I know it’s expensive, but all the money goes to a great cause (Citymeals-on-Wheels), it’s tax deductible, and this lineup of food is probably the best you’ll see at one of these events all year long. If you can afford to go, consider buying tickets to support this great charity. If you can’t afford  the $450, but you really want to go to the event, and support the cause in some way, call the City Meals on Wheels event line at 212-687-1290. I’m sure they will be happy to try and work something out.

The comments will close, and the winner will be contacted at Noon EST on Friday (6/5).

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


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    I see a bunch of us have the same idea…Tehuitzingo

  • When Daniel and Mamacita win….will you all revolt?……you know tea in the harbour…endless poetry…..ric burns making a Docu?

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  • Ruth! You rock, just read “Comfort Me With Apples”. My mom also loves you and has some fantasy that you might read my blog. Roosevelt Ave in Jackson Heights is where I get my taco and ceviche fix. But Las Poblanitas and the Tehuitzingo deli also get the job done. Also the breakfast cart people on 33rd and 9th now make an amazing chorizo torta.

    I would even eat a Chipotle burrito(ick) to get tickets!!!

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    Tehuitzingo for crunchy pig ear tacos and Las Poblanitas for fatty tongue tacos.

  • mgillespie, hate to break this news to you, but Blockheads is not Mexican food! Next you’ll be saying that Chipotle serves authentic south-of-the-border delicacies. My god.

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    Mexican here is tough. And finding a good fish taco? Nearly Impossible. Tehuitzingo has been thrown out. I like El Centro on 9th and 53rd? And Toloache isn’t terrible…

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    wow, how can I go?

  • good mexican does not exist in midtown… although i haven’t ventured to the sabor cart yet

  • Tehuitzingo does have the advantage of allowing you to buy ballena-sized beers, and will give you cups to drink them on-site.

    Cochon is an amazing place in NO, and I love that they have a moonshine section on their menu there. I’d see if they couldn’t make you up some of their fried pig ears w mustard to go with the boudin.

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    I love that Nobu’s Mochi Ice Cream is listed in the Hot Off The Street section. Better eat it fast!

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    The huaraches from the Red Hook food vendors are always good.

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    I just moved to the East Coast from Oklahoma – I can cook you some wonderful Tex Mex!

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    Very excited about Korean BBQ vendors. On the hunt for good Mexican Midtown also… Wish Red Hook vendors were in Midtown

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    The fried clam roll from 81!! I have been craving fried clams (and had some disappointing ones last weekend) They better be whole belly.

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    Being from Texas, I too have never found good mexican in midtown. Thank goodness I’m moving to Austin in July! (yes, I will miss New York, but I’ll be glad to have TexMex back in my life again).

    As for the event, I love Julian Alonzo from Brasserie 8 1/2 and can’t wait for the Red Hook food vendors. I’d love to try Kogi BBQ truck, but am admittedly a bit worried about the Kimchi Quesadilla they’ve listed.

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    Everything from Aaron Sanchez sounds perfect, and I would never turn down any porchetta or boudin.

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    I’m sorry to say that truly great Mexican food will likely remain the stuff of sueños in Manhattan. The best tacos I’ve had in New York are the tacos al pastor from Super Tacos Sobre Ruedes, a taco van on West 96th Street, but I’ve yet to have a mole to make my mouth water anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line.

    The list of items I would be excited to try is almost too long to narrow down, but the Strip House Goose Fat Fries with Gorgonzola Fondue inspires such a finger-licking fantasy that I can already feel my fingertips starting to prune. Frankly, you could fry a newspaper in goose fat and I’d eat it, and you want to add blue cheese on top?? Sign me up!

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    I just moved from Austin and I miss it. You’ll get your
    Tex Mex fix back soon.

  • This post certainly bought out the chicks! How can one eat blowfish, but not honey? Unless you have the intestines of an infant. I go to Las Poblanitas, or make the trek up to Tehuitzingo Mexican Deli. I go to Las Palomas if I want something less authentic.