PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Chrissy” (aka Miss Softee)
Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. Last week we did a feature on the ladies of Queen Frostine, an all female collective of Midtown ice cream truck drivers. Well, not only does one of the drivers (“Miss Softee”) sell ice cream in Midtown, but she also eats in Midtown! Here are her favorite spots…
Name: Chrissy, but you can call me Miss Softee
Age: My grandmother always told me that a lady never tells three things: her age, her weight, and how much she paid for it.
Occupation: I serve ice cream from a Mister Miss Softee Ice Cream Truck in midtown. And, as you might have read last week, in addition to the traditional menu I also make a special cone everyday. It all started when I was driving and bunch of waffle cones fell off a shelf and broke. Since they were still wrapped in plastic, I figured I could use them as a special topping for the day. People went nutso! After experimenting with the broken cones, my first special was an almond biscotti crumble and it was a biiig success! Everyday I try to take into account the general mood, day of the week, special requests, and the weather to come up with a different cone. I post them on my twitter so people can check what the special cone is before they come to the truck. Most popular (so far) have been: Gimme S’more, Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Bun, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cake Batter, and Salty Sweet.
Where in Midtown do you Work?: I do a lunch spot every weekday by Bryant Park and the New York Public Library on 40Th and 5th Avenue during the day from about 1-6:30PM and then I do a nightspot at 47th and 6th Avenue. At the nightspot, I put up an after-work happy hour menu with special deals from 7-8:30PM, followed by a nighttime menu for late night snackers.
Favorite Kind of Food: I like just about everything! When it comes to lunch, I’m a sandwich fanatic. Two pieces of bread, something in the middle, and a little dressing. That’s all I need to be totally happy in life. Recently, I’ve also been having a passionate affair with Naked Green Machine since I spend so much time on the truck. It gives me tons of energy without caffeine and fills me up as an afternoon snack. When I’m cooking at home, I usually stick to traditional Italian food — like my mama used to make — or, I go for some new fusion blend that strikes my fancy. Recently, I tried making Mexican sushi and it was goooood. Yellow rice, cooked chicken, avocado, tomato, a leeeeetle onion, and some sour cream in a seaweed roll.
Least Favorite Kind of Food: I’m actually allergic to capsaicin, so no spicy food for me! I know, I know. How do I live without spicy food? Simple. I’ve never had it really. I’m also really lactose intolerant, so as much as I love to make people happy by serving them ice cream, I can’t really eat it myself. I try a bite of the special everyday to confirm its goodness and that’s about it. Other than that, I don’t think there’s much food I don’t like!
Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Oh boy, I could go on forrrrrever here, but I’ll tell you about the places I’ve been frequenting by my work spots recently:
Café Charlie (40th between 5th and Madison): Jesse is the kitchen master and he makes the best sammies for me. I dig on olive bread with fresh white meat chicken salad, provolone, and lettuce. But, besides having a killer selection of sandwich options, they also have a very fresh lunch bar, snacks and sweet treats galore, and a make-it-yourself coffee paradise. So, when I really need my â€˜half regular, half hazelnut iced coffee with skim milk and Splenda’ I don’t actually utter that crazy order aloud!
Monster Sushi (46th between 6th and 5th): You might not believe this, but getting restaurants to deliver to an ice cream truck can be quite a challenge. When they ask for my address, I have to explain that I don’t have one. I’m on a street corner, in a truck. Well, this place has got delivery down to a science! Not only that, but they have a wicked selection of sushi that is always fresh and very reasonably priced. Their shogayaki appetizer, a fried and glazed eggplant makes eating a whole vegetable dish taste like candy, and the avocado peanut roll is something else entirely. At my nightspot, me and all of the vendors around me are totally obsessed with their green salad and the homemade ginger dressing. We’ll sometimes have 4 or 5 orders delivered — to our street corner, of course!
Pronto Pizza (41st between 6th and Broadway): Now, I’m a pizza junkie. I should admit this now. And, please don’t tell my local guys at Sutton Pizza (1st Ave and 63rd) I cheat on them with this place!! What I really like best about Pronto is that they make and sell a large array of pizza slices in all sorts of variations, so if you want some crazy combo, like my favorite — black olives and pepperoni — it’s actually been baked that way. And, we all know that putting the toppings on an already cooked slice is not the same as if it has marinated and cooked with them the whole time. Right, folks?
The Best Hot dog in Midtown (Halal Cart on 47th and 6th Ave): I try not to eat street meat and hot dogs everyday, but it’s impossible to say no to Muhammad’s ammmmazing flattop dogs. I don’t know if it’s because he splits them or grills them or if it’s because he cooks everything with a smile and total positive energy, but these puppies are addictive! They have just the right bite and crunch from being worked over on the grill and with only a little ketchup and mustard, they’re a perfect light dinner. You also have to try his fresh gyros with veggies, lettuce, and homemade white sauce. His regulars also swear by a spicy chicken gyro. I can’t eat it, but you can!
Finally, Pergola (40th and 5th Avenue): Like I said earlier, I’ve really gotten into this fresh juice thing, especially to balance out the dogs and pizza ;) and this place makes fresh fruit and veggie juices at a reasonable cost. My favorite is the Beauty School, with an apple, tons of parsley, and usually five whole carrots! They also have a very decent tuna sammie, with just the perfect mayo/tuna ratio.
“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Usually, I’m grabbing and running or having it delivered; but, when it rains, we ice cream folk like to park our trucks have little get-togethers over lunch. One of our favorite places to walk around and put together a smorgasbord is Jack’s 99 cent Store (40th between 5th and Madison). Odd place to go food shopping? Yes. Amazing place to find Lunchables, cold cuts, pre-packaged foods, and frozen specialties at the most reasonable prices ever? Yes!
Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? I <3 the homepage news that Midtown Lunch delivers! It’s the best place to get information on who’s closing, who’s opening, who’s hot, and who’s not in the midtown area. Since I spend most of my time in the same area, it’s so great to keep up on the local scene.
If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Aww, New York City totally has my heart when it comes to lunch!! I’m a die-hard sandwich fan and NYC, you do it best. If I had to pick somewhere else, maybe Napa or a small vineyard in Italy. Very few things are better than fresh food cooked the same day it was picked enjoyed with a hearty red under the shade of a large tree in an orchard.
Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Well, kids, you’ve learned a little about me and you know that I’ll be dishing the sweet treats all summer long, what kind of cone do you dream of? What could I possibly make for you that would drive you wild? And, one more small plug — follow on Twitter (@Miss_Softee) — to get the inside scoop on daily specials, and even find some sweet deals and surprises!
I read on Blondie and Brownie that the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is doing Olive oil and sea salt. That would be my request. Or maybe chocolate covered bacon? That would be pretty sweet. Got a suggestion for Chrissy? Put it in the comments below.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.