PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Keith”

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 Keith, an actuary (?) who loves Japanese food and hates Chipotle.

Name: Keith

Age: 29

Occupation: Actuary

Where in Midtown do you Work?: Right next to Bryant Park

Favorite Kind of Food: Japanese (really into good sushi, izakaya style, ramen…), good burgers under $10.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Big chain wannabe Mexican fast food like Chipotle and Qdoba. I grew up in SoCal and the burrito/taco places that end in “-erto’s” serve tastier Mexican fare.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Burger Joint (on 56th btw. 6+7th)  if I can beat the lunch rush. Love the Katsu Curry single at Go Go Curry (on 38th btw. 7+8th). Yum Yum Bangkok I on 9th btw. 45+46th has a great lunch special if you are into Thai. Lastly, I’ve been to Ma Peche (on 56th btw. 5+6th) 3x since it opened. I like the Banh Mi (really good terrine) but it’s a bit on the small size.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th). Went there 4 times in one week at one point haha.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? A few of the quality street carts (Biriyani, Korean cart, etc) mentioned in Midtown Lunch.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Irvine, California. In a 4 mile radius, you have access to In-N-Out, Islands, lots of pho, good Korean, great Mexican food, and 4 or 5 different Hawaiian joints(L&Ls). A few curry places too! You need a car, of course.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Why can’t the Mexican food in NYC be as good as the west coast, or even as good as Chicago’s?

Got a theory for Keith? Put it in the comments. And as always if you would like to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at



  • yeah, I admit it, I was watching for this post like a ebay bargain on it’s last minute…..

  • welcome back Fred.

    Keith, there are no Mexicans in NYC hence the lack of authentic food.

  • He is probably the cutest actuary in the planet of earth.

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    keith, i really like Los Poblanitos on 38th between 8th & 9th N side of street for really good tacos. prob not like so. cali’s but still really tasty. watch out tho bc i feel like they try to overcharge the non-mexicans

  • also the only subterranean actuary in the world too.

  • Looks like Alex Roy.

  • When we get someone as passionate about Mexican cuisine as Rick Bayless, then we’ll match Chicago. Convince him to start a Mexican movement here.

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    Keith, you should come over to my apartment for lunch – I can show you some delicious Mexican flavors.

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    Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Why can’t the Mexican food in NYC be as good as the west coast, or even as good as Chicago’s?

    My thoughts exactly!

    although, La Paloma on 45th close to 9th ave is damn good.

  • I’m going with Mi Nidito 8th Ave between 51st and 52nd.

  • He must be a hit w/ the bored suburban bints in his office. La Paloma is good, but it’s Tex Mex as well. I dont think I have ever seen a burrito in mexico with more than 3 ingredients, and defo none with cream in/on them.

  • Ewwwww @ SexyLunchLady. I am sure that I could fit a tongue taco joke in there, but I will refrain.

    No good Mexican food because like what Steve said. You mostly are going to find EXCEPTIONAL Dominican and Puerto Rican foods. Anyway, what most people consider Mexican food is mostly watered down Tex Mex anyway. But most likely you are hanging out in the wrong neighborhoods or not drinking enough tequila with your meal. The street food on 116th during the summer blows up with so many delectable treats begging to be sampled. And I am sure everyone has heard of the Redhook vendors. The best tacos that I’ve had was the Taqueria off the Jefferson stop on the L train. That place is famous for the freshly made tortillas. Ever since I moved to that neighborhood, it’s been a constant staple of my diet.

  • You should go to red hook ball fields for good mexican (and other types of latino cuisine!). Love the huaraches.

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    I keep hearing that there is no good Mexican food in NYC, but ALL of NYC? Even in Queens, Brooklyn, and uptown in Manhattan. I love those carts in front of Jackson Heights. I didn’t have the tongue ones, but my chicken quesadilla was sooooo good and super cheap for only $3.

  • I informed my friend who works in Irvine that he was in the center of your culinary universe, but he begs to differ. Just goes to show, one man’s destination lunch is another man’s Midtown lunch….

  • Irvine? I respect your ballsiness. Good profile.

    As for the mexican food, I have some theories. I think the fatal flaw is the equipment, where everything seems cooked before hand and reheated to lukewarm on a flat top. It all ends up pretty insipid. I wonder how some of the best Mexican in SoCal comes from Roach Coaches. And why can’t a place hook one of those cart gyro spits up with some Al Pastor? If you haven’t already been I don’t think you’d be blown away by Red Hook.

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    From Chicago, my thoughts exactly. Carts in Jackson heights are good. The Mexican truck on 14th and 9th ave is great. And I won’t give a name, but my favorite (authentic) Mexican in NYC is a little known Poblano restaurant on 10th ave and w40s – Try the Chalupas, reminds me of Peubla City.

  • How DARE you talk about In-n-Out and eat Shake Shack in your profile picture! I’m totally insulted! No one else is going to call him out on this?! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO :P

    PS No, he’s not the cutest actuary on the face of the planet either, no disrespect but I am actually friends with actuaries. (And have had to learn what the heck that actually means.) Plus Ed Norton/Brad Pitt played an actuary in Fight Club so there’s that, too.

  • What’s wrong with liking both In-N-Out and Shake Shack?

    When I’m in California I head to In-N-Out and Tommy’s if I’m feeling it. In NYC, Shake Shack and Burger Joint are my burgers of choice.

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