PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Tat”

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 Tat (aka Streetmeasonsumer3008) a street meat fanatic who wonders if anyone will recognize him on the streets after he appears as today’s profiled lunch’er.

Name: Tat but very few people even call me that.

Age: 29

Occupation: Corporate Tax on weekdays, Lazy Hobo by night & weekends

Where in Midtown do you Work?: In a cubicle with my face glued to my desktop, located inside an office building between 51st & 52nd and Park Ave.

Favorite Kind of Food: Italian, Tex-Mex, and Chinese. I’m always down for healthy servings of pizza, hard-shell tacos, empanadas, paella, noodles/pasta dishes, congee, fried chicken, bacon cheeseburgers and steak/home/waffle fries. Street Meats was one of my favorite meals when I started working in Midtown but lately I’ve grown tired of eating it. Throw salads into the mix? Hell no! Unless the leafy greens are covered in a pile of fried chicken or grilled lamb. I also tend to over-season my food with black/ white pepper and hot sauce. I can’t say I’d measure up as a Phall monster but I do enjoy spicy and flavorful foods. And there’s no turning down chocolate cake for dessert.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Poorly executed orders of street meats since I’ve grown to be highly critical of Halal carts food after eating it often. I know it’s cheap and I shouldn’t be nit-picky but I am still paying for it. Then again, poorly excuted anything will be disappointing to anyone when you’re paying for it. I’m also not the biggest fan of Thai food but will eat it with friends for lunch. If anything, I’m game for Malaysian which is similar. I use to be against curry but now I’m willing to give most foods a chance. I don’t like raw celery or raw onions but would eat either vegetable thoroughly cooked/ grilled/ fried.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: XPL‘s Chicken & Lamb with basmati rice or their lamb on pita, and a Philly cheesesteak with Fries at Gourmet 53 (3rd btw. 52+53rd) are my top lunch choices around my office. My infrequent favorite lunches in Midtown would have to be the hakata ramen at Menchanko Tei (55th btw. 5+6th), Carnegie John’s (on 7th Ave. and 56th) grilled chicken with rice covered in tzatziki sauce (my favorite type of white sauce in the Street Meats world), and anytime I can devour a Big Mac, McNuggets and fries. Let’s not forget about Popeye’s (on 40th btw. 7+8th) and 53rd and 6th Famous Guys remains a favorite lunch Halal cart despite not eating there all the time.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? For co-workers, it used to be my office’s cafe (which is located on the same floor as our cubes) but they recently transformed it into a sandwich/ deli bar with varying stir-fry or panini-press. No more self-serve hot entrees at reasonable prices so I have to search outside more often. When eating lunch with friends, it has been either Pret A Manger near Bryant Park, Crisp on 3rd Ave. & 43rd, Gourmet 53, Qdoba on 53rd and 3rd and Baluchi’s on E. 53rd. I used to make weekly summer runs to 53rd/6th Halal Guys with my buds but they’ve stopped wanting to go.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? I have discovered a lot of places thanks to Midtown Lunch. Without Midtown Lunch, I don’t think I would’ve ever found the wonders of the halal carts and the detailed reviews won me over to try them right away. 53rd/6th, XPL, Biryani Cart (on 46th and 6th), Kwik Meal (on 45th and 6th), Little Morocco (on 39th and 7th), Trini-Pak (on 43rd and 6th) and many other halal carts wouldn’t have happened. Although they aren’t my favorite lunch spots but the list also includes El Rey De Sabor on 49th, Kim’s Aunt Kitchen, Cer te and Mantao (on 53rd btw. 2+3rd). Midtown Lunch helped pave the way to experimenting with my lunch experience. And I didn’t forget about this – I still have to go knock down your choice of worst hamburger in Midtown to see how bad it really is, Zach.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? My dream job is probably located in bed as a professional sleeper (I know they do sleep studies but I want a yearly salary to sleep 8-10 hours a day. Wouldn’t a lot of us want to be paid to sleep full-time?). The insomniac in me would greatly appreciate the occupation as I would be forced to perform well. For lunch location purposes, I would have to choose Chinatown. I wouldn’t miss out on eating dim-sum, chinese bakery pastries, Cantonese and Shanghainese dishes, noodle-soups dishes including pho options, banh mi, and congee! I could eat the syrupy rice soup porridge anytime of the year and preferably with a side of yàuhjagwái/ chinese fried breadsticks. I think it’s a perfect lunch during the cold/ flu season.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? I always wonder if ML readers actually recognize other Profiled MLers who are their friends/ co-workers and learned anything new/ surprising about them (like sardines &oatmeal as a guilty pleasure). I do not believe my co-workers read this blog. I know some of my friends do read but don’t comment. I likely won’t tell any of them that I’m profiled.

For food-related inquiries, besides Flor De Mayo, where else can I find a “solid” Chinese-Spanish restaurant in the city? I love chicharrones de pollo served with plantains so I guess the place doesn’t have to be chinese-spanish but it’s always handy to have a fried rice option on deck. And any recommendations for “good” jerk chicken besides the Jamaican Dutchy cart. I’m not a fan of Jerk Pan or the Negril restaurants. And out of curiousty, who can still eat halal every workday now? Really?

That’s a lot of questions. Got answers? Feel free to put them 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


  • I’ve seen a profiled luncher in the elevator of my building before, but bit my tongue before saying anything…perhaps it was the fear of being “outed” myself.

  • 1st Rule of Midtown Lunch: Do Not Talk about Midtown Lunch.

  • Wow, that’s a question I didn’t really consider asking… “Will anyone recognize me after today?” I’m going to pretend anyone who recognizes me on the street now, it’s because of my own blog… hahaha


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    For good Chino-Latino… if you’re not restricted to one boro, there is an excellent place in the Bronx called Sabrosura… It’s not a chain so there is only one. As far as good Jamaican… I also know two places in the Bronx… There is a cart on 161st street right near the courthouse… I believe she was nominated for a Vendy… and there is Gold Star in the Bronx on White Plains Rd.

  • Great. Just in time, Fred. Thanks.

    Thanks Wiz for the suggestions but really looking for the city. It could come in handy though the next time I get to chill in the Boogie Down.

    Maybe I should’ve asked Zach to hide my ML screenname but whatever. I only put myself otu there since Zach is leaving. Otherwise, I might not have.

    Thanks Zach for all the wonderful entries through the years and presenting everyone with the variety of lunch options in Midtown. Your website is still one of my favorites and it makes the work-day roll much more smoothly. Good luck in LA. I hope you’re not replacing Conan O’Brien…or at least make sure he comes back to NYC so it’s a decent trade-off. We’re losing a Food Blog Legend!!!!

    P.S. I look forward to seeing Monstermooch, Yvo, and the other lovely ladies and gentlemen of Midtown Lunch at the first Happy Hour of 2010 on January 26th at Pig ‘N’ Whistle on 47th St. And big shout-outs to any friends and co-workers who do recognize this Hobo. Hope everyone has a wonderful and exciting year ahead.

  • I hate people that install tp backwards. The chino/latino place on 14th btw 6th and 7th is good. Best jerk chicken in the city is anyplace that makes it out of a dodgey old oil drum. Try Utica avenue in Brooklyn.

  • Yvo made the same comment about the TP. I love my t-shirt either way. Haha.

    Thanks vdub. I wanted to try that place on 14th but haven’t gotten around to it.

  • Al that 53rd and 6th hot sauce is going to make you need that roll.

  • ahhaha way to promote the ML HH!!!i have a feeling this is gonna be a big one. :D

  • Been there, done that Cheese. Just not with my fav. shirt. lol.

    Can’t forget to promote the HH too while I’m at it. It’ll be fun no matter how many peeps show up. Quality over quantity.

  • Woah! Didn’t even see that until you called yourself out in the comments Streetmeas! Sadly, I have no answer to your questions…..

  • Nice. Of all the Chino-Latino places, I think Flor De Mayo is the best one. It was my go to when I first moved here. Other than its current locations, I can’t really say if there is any better place for Chino-Latino food.

  • Oh, I should clarify that the Menchanko Tei I go to is the one on 43rd near Grand Central, not 55th.

    Goats, Yvo and Monster already knew it was me despite Zach trying to make it unobvious putting it in the Intro. I wouldn’t out myself first but I’m sure somebody would’ve known eventually by reading it. lol. All good.

  • engines on full, Mr. Zulu

  • Looks more like Sulu and Checkov had a love child….

    Sorry Tat.

  • HAHA. All good. I was wondering when the zingers would come. Not your best stuff, Rudy. Especially not when Cheese does tops you. lol.

  • no cheeeessssssse…….id say he’s the love child of the little guy in fantasy island a stephen hawking.

  • That’s a better try but I’d be rich if Tattoo and Stephen were my Dads. ;P

  • You people are not really serious, RIGHT?

    You’re just funnin’, RIGHT?

    ‘Tat’ is a figment of your recent nightmare (or, in some cases, your wet dream), RIGHT?

    Excuse me, please, while I dig out my old VHS tape of “Escape from New York” …

    Shit!, where did my old VCR machine go?

    Carry on, while I look for something to play this frickin’ cassette cartridge on.

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