PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Jessica”

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 Jessica, a Midtown sales/marketing lunch’er who can cook a meal on the streets of NYC for under $12.

Name: Jessica Hartley

Age: 26

Occupation: Sales Development/Marketing (I also have a blog called Hartley Confections, and I’ll be starring in a webisode called the $12 Challenge on Food Network’s new blog, Food 2 in the next few months. Essentially its a cooking and dating show where you compete to win a date with a foodie by using your culinary skills to prepare a fabulous meal given $12, two hours and the new york city streets as your kitchen.)

Where in Midtown do you Work?: Midtown East

Favorite Kind of Food: Hamburgers, Lasagna, & Mexican Food

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Korean

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Gourmet 53 (on 53rd & 3rd) for their salad assortments. You get a salad, homemade pita chips, & a cookie for $5.50. I also like Zarela’s for special occassions. It’s my favorite Mexican restaurant in the city! Plus Asian Station (on 52nd btw. Lex+3rd), PJ Clarke’s (on 3rd & 55th), Thai 51 (on 51st btw. 2+3rd), and Yama 49 (on 49th & 2nd.)

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Gourmet 53. How can you beat that deal?

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Crisp (on 3rd btw. 43+44th)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Upper West Side. They have so many fabulous restaurants that I’ve yet to try because I live & work on the east side.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? How often do you go out for lunch versus bring your own lunch?

Uh… I eat lunch out 5 days a week!  As always if you’d like to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Explain to me how I would cook on the streets of nyc…

  • perhaps if it gets hot enough during the summer, you can fry an egg on a manhole cover. Plus, you get the added bonus of that gritty city flavoring :)

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    that’s disgusting.. hahaha..
    how can u not like korean food… booo to u

  • Actually I watched one of the episodes of that show and somebody fried an egg on a hot iron borrowed from a dry cleaners.

  • White Castle, ew or yum, queue Freak of the Week.

  • Very pretty! The White Castle’s the dealbreaker for me, it’s a “yum” for me and a “YUM” for the fact that she’s eating one, hehe

    PS: Check this out, Zach!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    zach, wow frying an egg on a hot iron? i’d never even think of that!

    anywho, jessica, you need to give korean food a chance! i didn’t like it much at first either cus i wasn’t going to the right places or ordering the right things. then a korean friend enlightened me, and my life was changed forever.

  • Always a blog link….it’s like a cyber village of the damned.

  • I’ve cut back to going out for lunch from every day to once or twice a week, which makes this website even more essential for the few times I do spend $$ on lunch.

    Awesome picture, looks like you’re at a Moby concert serving White Castles.

  • White Castle was a great perk at the Pencils of Promise Charity White Party I attended last month. And I must say, after a few cocktails, they were delicious! More bun than burger though…

    And Korean food… I don’t mind bimibop. I love the idea of mixing many ingredients together and how the rice crisps up at the bottom of the bowl. What else do you suggest I try?

    And, I haven’t taped the $12 Challenge yet, any suggestions on what I can make for my potential food love?

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    If you could work anywhere for the food you’d choose the upper west side? Seriously? Because you crave mediocre pizza and overpriced chinese food? If you’re favorite foods are burgers, lasagna and mexican, may I suggest you revise this answer to, perhaps include somewhere with decent italian or mexican restaurants (is there a burger district?), like, for example, carroll gardens or jackson heights.

    And, if I may make a humble suggestion as someone who formerly worked close to where your local restaurants are, you should go to Jimbo’s Burger Place for lunch and have a cheeseburger. Cheap and delicious and utterly lacking in ambience.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    boolgogi is a pretty easy transition into Korean food…

  • I agree, alcohol seems like a mandatory prerequisite before enjoy WC sliders.

    Not sure what your feelings about sushi are but kimbap which is Korea’s version of sushi rolls with primarily cooked ingredients (veggies, egg, seafood, beef, etc.) is also an easy transition.

    If not a sushi fan, stick with the boolgogi/barbecue beef like sushiburger recommended.


    (sung to the tune of ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen)

    Freak of
    Freak of
    The Week
    *stomp stomp clap*
    Sing it!

    Freak of
    Freak of
    The Week
    *stomp stomp clap*

    Freaky you’re the man
    on an eats blog
    Eatin in the street
    gonna be big deal Tues day
    You got sauce on your face
    A big halal plate
    Stuffin your piehole all over the place


    Freak of
    Freak of
    The Week
    *stomp stomp clap*

    Freak of
    Freak of
    The Week
    *stomp stomp clap*

  • Clearly, the way to my heart is through food cooked in a public microwave at 7-11.

    The correct answer is actually through White Castle (that’s not a joke).

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Sorry but I have to agree with trokenmatt.

  • doesnt like korean food? we couldnt be friends then.

  • Not liking Korean food…..she should be Spayed.

  • Say no to Korean food. Kimchi is gross! I’m with you, but I haven’t brought lunch from home in 2009 and don’t intend on doing it ever again (unless I have some really amazing Thai leftovers since we’re in a Thai food wasteland here).

  • her wanting to work on the upper west side reminds me of the quote from the Jersey boy Tru Life. “I go to the Jersey Shore to escape the hustle and bustle of North Jersey”

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