PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Brett”

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 Brett, a govt. employee who loves buybacks, and wishes he worked in Africa!

Name: Brett (aka “klaus ok”)

Age: 27

Occupation: Government drone/Proprietor of

Where in Midtown do you Work?: 40th and 8th (used to work at 45th and 1st)

Favorite Kind of Food: Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Pizza, Sushi, Almost any meat + starch, Anything with maple and/or bacon (as evidenced by the doughnut in the photo)

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Anything fishy (the truly authentic stuff at Pam Real Thai or anything with a fishcake at Sapporo – gag), mediocre midtown sports bar food, most anything in Times Square (uhh… do you guys like stand-up comedy?).

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Pad Khee Mao at Pam Real Thai (49th btw 9th and 10th) , Ma po Tofu or Twice-Cooked Pork Bellies at Szechuan Gourmet (39th btw 5th and 6th), anything at Bali Nusa (9th btw 46+47th), The Bird at Two Boots (9th at 44th), Chorizo tacos at Las Poblanitas (38th btw 8th and 9th) or El Rey del Sabor (43rd and 6th), the Salad Bowl at Maoz (40th and 7th – I say don’t bother with the sandwich – you can’t fit much of the good stuff in it), Chicken and rice with harissa-based sauce at the Little Morocco Cart (39th and 7th), Spinach Burek at Djerdan (38th btw 7th and 8th), the buffets at Spice Fusion (8th btw 47th and 48th), Darbar (46th btw 3rd and Lex), or Indigo (50th btw 1st and 2nd), the #1 chaat, in the summer at the Newstand Indian (6th btw 37th and 38th), the burgers at Five Guys (55th btw 5th and 6th), anything at Oms/b (45th btw 3rd and Lex), AYCE sushi at Ichi Umi (32 btw 5th and Madison), the giant $6.50 hero at Big Apple Meat Market (make sure you specify Boar’s head meat) (9th btw 41st and 42nd), $1 pizza at Two Bros (9th and 40th) or 99 cent fresh pizza (9th and 41st), Falafel and Fries in a Laffa at Baraca (38th btw 5th and 6th, service has slipped since the name change though)

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Teleon Café (on 40th across from the Times building), Pret-a-Manger, Pax, Dean & Deluca, Chipotle.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? I started reading ML when I decided I wanted to come to New York, which was about 8 months before I actually found a job to get me here so I basically owe ALL my lunches to ML. Some places I would have never set foot in without ML’s endorsement: Café Zaiya (6th btw 40th and 41st in the bookstore), Go Go Curry (38th btw 7th and 8th), Blarney Stone (3rd btw 44th and 45th), Baja Fresh (Broadway at 41st), Baraca, Kati Roll (39th btw 5th and 6th), HB Burger (43rd btw 6th and 7th – which I absolutely hated, but I blame Ozersky way more than ML), DC Fusion (7th btw 36-37th – Bourbon Chicken – FAIL). I’ve said it before – I can’t really get on board with the cheap American-Chinese food thing. I get it though.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? For my tastes and budget, no other place can even come close to Midtown. But…if there were a “Midtown Africa” where all the street foods from all the African capitals came together within 20 or so square blocks, I would want to work there – I love me some roadside plantains, chicken, and boney goat. Also, maybe Mexico if Rick Bayless would take me around and introduce me to stuff.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Sometimes I just crave soup and a sandwich. What’s wrong with me? Why is MY order of street cart lamb always the chewy one (I’m looking at you Kwik Meal, you said it would NEVER be chewy!)? Why does Korean fried chicken take forever to make (somebody should go behind the scenes at BonChon to see wtf they’re doing in the kitchen)? Is there any decent Polish or Ukrainian food to be had anywhere in Midtown? Some pierogi would be nice…

I know that Korean fried chicken is fried twice, so that’s part of it. And it’s made to order. Want to know more? Saveur had a great article about how Kyochon in L.A. makes their chicken. As for the rest of your questions, we’ll leave those to the commenters. 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


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