New Year’s Resolution: The Healthiest Midtown Lunches I Can Stand To Swallow
Yes, I ate this salad… two years ago.
This is the most discouraging time of year for Midtown Lunch, because this site is all about finding good food and January is always about people pretending for a month a few weeks a few days that they’re actually going to be healthy. That’s right… it’s New Year’s Resolution time! Lucky for me this is my job, so I don’t have to go through the personal charade of signing up for a gym membership (and not using it) or eating salads at lunchtime (but topping those salads with dressing, cheese, and chinese crunchy things.) Going on a diet for me would be like you deciding that you’re just not going to go to work for a few weeks. But that doesn’t mean I don’t eat healthy sometimes… in my own special Midtown Lunch way.
So without further ado, I present to you the “healthiest” Midtown Lunches I can stand to swallow. (Note: I clearly know nothing about eating healthy, and the views expressed in this post are probably completely wrong. But whatever. This is how I do “healthy”… so BACK OFF.)
Salad Style Bi Bim Bap. This is my version of “that salad you could eat 3 times a week”. Look at all those veggies mom! And white rice isn’t fattening, right? (At least it’s not fried.) I know the meat is pretty fatty, but there’s not much of it… just enough to actually make sure the “salad” tastes good. Pay no attention to the gochujang (red sauce) that gets poured over the whole thing. I don’t don’t want to know if it’s half oil, or clocks in at a zillion calories- just like you don’t want to know how fattening McDonald’s salad dressings are. Available at Cafe Duke, Amande Cafe, Pro Hot Korean.
Baja Chicken Burrito. Don’t judge me. I am well aware that this burrito probably teeters close to the 1000 calorie range (you may say the secret ingredient is the ginormous flour tortilla)… but it feels healthy- and that’s all that’s important in my world. Grilled chicken + cheese + pico de gallo + guacamole. How can that be bad for you? And, I used to eat this burrito three times a week (minimum) when I lived in L.A. and I was the thinnest I’ve ever been. How can you argue with that? It’s science people. Available at Baja Fresh.
Greek Salad. I joke that I don’t eat salads… but that’s not entirely true. I’ll eat a salad from a cart! And the greek salad from the 100% Halal & Healthy Cart (on 55th btw. Park+Madison) is the Holy Grail. Plus they’ll put grilled chicken on it… after all I wouldn’t want to be mistaken for a vegetarian. It’s the perfect compromise for the street obsessed fatty. And the name guarantees it! 100% Healthy.
Kimbap. Sushi is pretty relatively healthy, but I always order the spicy tuna rolls (yes ladies, that’s mayo in there!) and shrimp tempura… so I’m not going to fool myself into thinking it’s good for me (the way I have with the rest of these things.) Also, for under $10 it doesn’t always fill me up. What’s that? Maybe stuffing myself is more unhealty than the actual things I’m eating? Hmmm… good point. Although… uh… if I don’t eat a filling lunch I’ll be more likely to want a cookie or some unhealthy mid day snack. And that’s not good! Yeah, that’s it. Anyway, kimbap is a great substitute. It’s pretty much all vegetables, wrapped in rice and seaweed. What’s bad about that? And because there is no expensive fish, you can get more food for your money. I just need to stay away from the bulgogi version. Available at Woorijip & Pro Hot Korean.
Thai Chicken Crunch Wrap. Despite all my anti-salad rhetoric I have eaten at Just Salad once… and kind of enjoyed the Thai Chicken Crunch Wrap. It’s served at Just Salad, so it must be healthy right? Sure there are chinese crunchy things (even I can’t come up with something redeeming to say about those) but the chicken is grilled, and it’s jam packed with raw veggies. Plus, I could barely taste the dressing… so either it’s healthy or they’re not putting that much on. Available at Just Salad.
So there it is! My guide to eating “healthy” in Midtown. Oh, and before you get all “carbs are not healthy” let me remind you that Dr. Atkins is dead. And I’m not… yet. Good luck with your New Year’s Resolutions!