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


  • Tehuitzingo is definitely my go to Mexican place. Besides the reasonable prices and good food, the atmosphere always provides a welcome respite from Midtown. The tortas are probably the best thing I’ve had there.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    from LA too… and I miss King Toco and El Torino as much as the next guy.. Honestly.. with NYC Mexican.. you can’t search for the next El Torino.. you simply have to lower your standards… I put Mexican in the same category as In-N-Out..

    With that said… for good Mexican here, I second Tulcingo del Valle

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    With all that pork and spice and fatty deliciousness, I really want to try Andrea Reusing’s Sno-Cone with Strawberry & Lychee.

    And, btw, I think it’s really funny that an ad for honey is placed adjacent to Ruch Reichl saying the only thing she won’t eat is honey!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Michael Psilakis & Donatella Arpaia, Anthos/Kefi (New York)Roasted Pork Shoulder “Gyro,” Pickled Cucumber & Yogurt

    Yum a pork gyro what could be better than that!!!!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    There are many tempting things, but nothing speaks to me more than a kimchi quesadilla

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I’m with Zach. Want to try the Korean tacos from Kogi BBQ Truck.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Oh dear, if only Fresco Tortillas on 42nd hadn’t been demolished! And yet I want those tickets, but when it comes to waxing poetic, I am too dizzied by longing. Crispy fried clam roll? Fresh cherries and whipped cream? Soft-shell crab po’ boy? I can barely bring myself to scroll down to see what else there is, let alone pick one. I want one of everything, actually. And what could be in a three-minute picnic anyway? But then again, maybe I could be satisfied with one tiny bite of those goose-fat fries with gorgonzola fondue, wow…

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    This is LA we’re talking about here so no need to head out to Sunset Park for the only decent mexi food in NYC. Instead point your GPS to El Parian, 1528 W. Pico Blvd., for the best birria tacos in LA, served in homemade tortillas, of course. Done and done.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    KOGI BBQ! My friends just went to LA this past weekend and got to eat at the magnificent truck. Been staring at pictures all day and trying hard not to drool all over my keyboard.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Sounds like a delicious experience for a worthy cause. Please pick me!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Kimchee Quesadllias sounds pretty awesome. So does the frankies from the tabla cart.

    For mexican, i’m a pretty big fan of Cafe Frida on the upper west. Good brunch!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    the best (and most authentic) mexican food ive had in the city was on the west side of lexington avenue and 105th street…

    if i win the tickets i will be thrilled about trying kogi’s spam sliders! my friends back in so cal keep raving about them…

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I want to try KOGI BBQ. My friends in LA swear by the Korean Short Ribs. I would love to attend this event, but my landlord would not be delighted come month end.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Like Zach, after reading about the Korean taco truck nearly EVERYWHERE over the last year, that is the thing I would most like to try at this benefit.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Latin Thing is pretty good and not terribly expensive. On 25th & Lex…bit outside midtown but close enough.

  • Comments for this post have been closed, and the winner has been contacted. Thanks for entering!