PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Victoria”

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 Victoria- a financial “servant” who hates onions but loves fish tacos and horchata.

Name: Victoria

Age: 23

Occupation: Financial servant

Where in Midtown do you Work?: 58th & Lexington

Favorite Kind of Food: I’ll start with CHEESE – for me, melty cheese can save almost any dish, there’s nothing like a good grilled cheese with tomato, a meatball parm, Velveeta shells and cheese, a baked wheel of camembert, or a burger oozing with gorgonzola. I also love fish – raw: salmon, kampachi, hamachi, toro; cooked: black cod, Alaskan butterfish, Chilean sea bass – I don’t have the will power to be politically correct with food! I can’t turn down a rare, bloody ribeye steak or Porterhouse, or carpaccio with shaved parmesan and capers. I can be a bit of a carnivore, with venison, lamb, veal, ribs, and OXTAIL. (I even tried kangaroo in Australia.) I like anything braised that falls off the bone, like coq au vin or osso buco or pig’s feet (Chinese dish). And I can’t forget chicken wings of any kind! Also, being Chinese, dim sum: steamed shrimp dumplings, fried turnip cakes, lotus-wrapped sticky rice, sweet egg tarts – and did I mention I could honestly eat dessert for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Scallions, chives, onions (I like the taste of them but I always pick them out), pickles, Vietnamese sandwiches (I don’t get the hype), Ethiopian food – only had it twice, once in LA’s Little Ethiopia district and once at Merkato – but both were horrible.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Anything from Woorijip (on 32nd btw. 5+B’way). Kimchi dumplings or bibimbap from Mandoo Bar (on 32nd btw. 5+B’way). Tina’s Cuban (Two Locations) for the heaping oxtail special plate. Kalbi or miso-marinated steak at Gyu-Kaku (on 50th & 3rd), small portions but very tasty. Coconut shrimp or any daily special at Gourmet 53 (in that basement food court at 53rd and 3rd.) And I know these are out of the “official” range, but they are MUST TRY places if you have the time: the chicken meatball sandwich with melted fontina and pesto mayo at Penelope (on 30th and Lex); the lamb, prosciutto, or clam personal pizzas with super thin crusts at Waldy’s (on 6th ave btw. 27+28th; and any of the desserts at Kyotofu (on 9th btw. 48th and 49th.)

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? The overly abundant delis that serve the same wraps, paninis, sandwiches, salads, etc.; 40 Carrots at Bloomies for the yogurt; DavidBurke at Bloomies, it’s expensive, but across the street from me and I can’t get enough of those cheesecake lollipops.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? El Rey del Sabor – tacos were eh, tamale was pretty decent, haven’t tried the sandwich yet; Cer Te (on 55th btw. 5+6th) – had the Thanksgiving sandwich, which was good but I would not go as far as calling it the best in Midtown, I’ll be going back next week to try the soft-shell crab. I’m also hoping to go to Katagiri soon (on 59th btw. 2+3rd.)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Singapore is really boring if you spend more than a weekend there, but anyone who’s been to Newton Circus knows that it is nothing short of heaven! It’s an outdoor market with dozens of stalls of fresh and flavorful food. From stingrays to prawns the size of lobsters, to stir-fried noodles and coconut/pineapple fried rice, this market has the best assortment of Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, and Indian food I’ve ever seen, all in one place!

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? I went to college in LA, and what I miss most are the fried fish tacos and horchata – do these even exist in Midtown? Also, I’m really into Malaysian/Indonesian lately, particularly coconutty curries, where should I go?

Got a recommendation for Dani? Put it 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


  • Times article on fish tacos in NY, only one place is mid-town though, Toloache.


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    Yes! Someone else that hates onions!

  • Wait, she’s Chinese and hates scallions?! Weird…

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    @ hungry – Why would you think she’s Chinese? Sweet life, friend.

    To Victoria: Nice profile – I’ve been unable to settle on a spot to journey to this summer and think Singapore may have risen to the top of my list after reading your description of Newton Circus. I can’t imagine a better way to enjoy vacation time than eating my way through the whole spectacle that exists over there. I’m assuming it’s ridiculously cheap, which is fine by me.

    I love fish tacos, but have no insight to offer in terms of Manhattan. If you’re ever in New Orleans, though, check out the fish tacos at Crabby Jack’s. They are seriously “best ever” status!

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    Haha – so she is Chinese…Was just sayin’. I need to read these profiles more closely.

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    @NOLA Steve: Singapore is a fantastic food destination. However, Newton Circus is a complete tourist trap. You can find the same food for much cheaper at other places

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    Chris & NOLA Steve — yes, after I left Singapore I heard that you can find great food elsewhere for cheaper, but what’s great about Newton Circus is that there’s such an enormous selection in one place, it’s pracically a sensory overload! Google “Newton Circus” and the first item that comes up calls it a “food orgy”!

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    I went to BajaFresh yesterday while the LA food cart serving the dinky kimchee tacos was in front of my office.
    They have Fish Tacos. I get them grilled, but back in my fatter days in Foster City, CA I used to get the fried ones every Friday, as there was a BF in my building. I coined ‘Fish Taco Friday’ in California, and now that BF is in NYC, I will do the same here.

  • No love for banh mi (viet sandwich)? What’s going on? You’ve had them before? Oh well. They’re not for everyone.

    Plenty of Malaysian places in Chinatown and throughout the city. My fav however is in Flushing – Sentosa. :P
    If you want real Indonesian, you ahve to go to Elmhurst in Queens. Minangasli Indonesian is nice and I pass by Upi Jaya al lthe time – been meaning to try them. There aren’t any authentic Indonesian places in Manhattan.

  • yum…velveeta shells n cheese

  • Whaaa… pickle, onion & banh mi hater? You’ll grow to love these flavors as you get older

    most likely after junior high graduation

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    nobody knows where to get horchata in midtown? I was looking forward to an answer for that one

  • Zach,

    Since we have another cute girl’s profile, I suggest that there be a Girls of Midtown Lunch calender made. All in favor?

  • I’m going to be frank and say she’s a piece of ass..
    Yelp has a few hits for Horchata, none really in midtown.

  • Tulcingo del Valle has horchata but it’s way out of bounds (on 10th Ave. btw. 46+47th)

  • Liv tyler should be on the calender….and that hobbit philipino porn star.

  • hobbit? that is horrible & offensive

    Jenn was a dwarf my good man, the kind you toss

  • and Fressagirl

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    this is out of bounds, but laut in union square is pretty good for malaysian. a little closer than chinatown at least.

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