PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Joe”

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 Joe, a theater guy who wants to let you know about the show his company is putting on this week in Midtown West (also known as “the theater district”.)  More important than that, the show includes $1 beer!

Name: Joe

Age: 27

Occupation: Ruthless Theatrical Tyrant (actually, the producer of the nascent theater company called Big Rodent)

Where in Midtown do you Work?: Right now we’re putting on a production of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure at Theater 3, at 311 W. 43rd St (at 8th avenue). So I’ve basically lived my entire life there for the past couple weeks, including a few 6am-2am days. SHAMELESS PLUG #1: Tickets to the show are $20, but use the code NYCFOOD for $10 off at Plus we have $1 beer! In Midtown! After work!

Favorite Kind of Food: Tex-Mex. I was born and raised in Orlando, FL, so the lack of local Tex-Mex in NYC greatly disturbs me. Thankfully I’ve started to find a few acceptable places, but none in midtown yet. Taco carts are not enough for southern appetites.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I will seriously try everything. The only thing I can’t stand is when I have to eat the same food every day.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Very tough choice, but I believe I’ll have to go with Island Burger (on 9th Ave. btw. btw. 51+52nd). Top notch cow, both in meat and shake, sways me. The Tijuana burger is my favorite: bacon, jack, guacamole, onion. And of course, the no-fries thing is rather charming, and good for the heart. I don’t usually work in midtown so it’s rare I get the pleasure to eat there (but I always check this site when I do)

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? We’ve been eating at a ton of places around the theater, trying at all costs to avoid going to Chipotle every day. Say Cheese (the grilled cheese place on 9th Ave. btw. 45+46th), of course, is a big hit, especially the sandwich with hummus on it. If I’m feeling saucy I go to Marseille (on 9th Ave. and 44th), but when every penny counts their cornucopious seafood burger is rarely an option I can afford. For late night snacks we always head to the Bull Moose Saloon (on 44th btw. 8+9th), where they will happily defrost whatever fried food you desire. But I want to bring up the deli on the northwest corner of 43rd & 8th; on the outside it appears to be on the shady side of midtown delis, but they seem to take real pride in their sandwiches. Instead of the usual drooping, soggy affair, you get a giant sandwich on puffy, crunchy bread with a big pile of shredded lettuce and cheese. I am a sandwich snob, so it is a ringing endorsement to say that I’ve eaten their generous ham sandwich many days in a row. I don’t know the name of the place (who keeps track of the names of delis in Manhattan?), but it’s the only one on the corner so it shouldn’t be hard to spot.

For the record, the worst thing we’ve eaten in the area (cast consensus among all 20 or so people) is Church’s Chicken (on 8th Ave. btw. 44+45th). It’s like someone took a cardboard cut-out of Michael Jackson, ran it over with a cube truck, cut it up and fried it in yesterday’s grease. We have to find a way to get Bloomberg to ban this place so maybe Chick Fil A will have a chance to expand beyond NYU.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Margon (on 46th btw. 6+7th). It’s heaven for a relocated Floridian searching for good “local” cuban food. I can’t understand why there aren’t Cuban restaurants on every corner of the city.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? In Santa Fe, New Mexico, next door to any place where I could get a big bowl of green chili and an ice-cold Pacifico every day. I’d hang out with those two compadres and read a good novel for an hour or so before waddling contentedly back to work.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? SHAMELESS PLUG #2: $1 Beer & Shakespeare! We’re doing Shakespeare’s darkest comedy, Measure for Measure, set in the 1990′s with all your favorite 90′s tunes, right next to Times Square. Buy tickets at and use the code NYCFOOD for 50% off. *We have $1 beer, too* – there’s NO other place to get that in Midtown on a weekend night. The show runs this Weds-Saturday at 8pm at Theater 3, 311 W. 43rd St at 8th avenue. Your suggestions for good food & drink before or after the show are welcome.

Support the theater! (And support $1 beer!) Got a recommendation for the cast? Put it in the comments. And 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


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