PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Michelle”

Every Tuesday we 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 Michelle, a Vegetarian who hates tuna fish (natch) but loves mapo tofu without the pork (natch, as well.)

Name: Michelle

Age: 22

Occupation: Crisis Communication

Where in Midtown do you Work?: Alliance Bernstein building on 6th Avenue

Favorite Kind of Food: I love beans and rice, guacamole/avocado and Asian food. I had the greatest dish at China Grill (on 53rd btw. 5+6th): fried rice with avocado salad on top. Sounds wrong, but it was certainly a case of when the sum is greater than its parts. Oh and ma po tofu, sans pork. The best clearly comes from Grand Sichuan, with Wu Liang Ye (on 48th btw. 5+6th) and Szechuan Gourmet (on 56th btw. B’way+8th) coming as runner ups.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Tuna Fish

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Cer te (on 55th btw. 5+6th) is great. Many of the places profiled on Midtown lunch are out of my upperwest midtown reach. But Cer te has lots of choices every day and they make a great taco salad, which I judge by the avocado quotient. Plus, when you order a taco bowl it comes in a cake box. It’s that large. Mee Noodles (on 9th btw. 52+53rd) has great fried rice and scallion pancakes. I have the advantage of living in the neighborhood so I can explore for lunch AND dinner.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? We order from Meze Grill (on 8th btw. 55+56th). I wish that it was a bit closer, but the delivery works just fine. Everyone always wants it and there is something for the whole team.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Pro Hot Korean (on 56th btw. 5+6th), Healthy Vegetarian Food Cart, and Danku (now closed sadly)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I wish I worked near the Biryani Cart (on 46th & 6th). Although it is an aggressive lunch choice, it is a worthy one.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Why are there not more creative lunch carts by my office! After reading about what white sauce is made of, I can no longer conscientiously eat falafel platters…

There is nothing sad about Danku closing… and don’t think about what’s in the white sauce, just close your eyes and eat at! As for interesting carts near your work- have you had the greek salad from the 100% Halal and Healthy Cart on 55th btw. Park+Mad? It’s the only salad I’ll eat in Midtown… Got a rec for Michelle? 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



    (current count of midtown vegetarians: 2 and rising)

  • I have a crazy friend who says its wrong to eat meat. Is my friend crazy?

    No, just ignorant. Your crazy friend never heard of the Food Chain

    • How many people whom you are acquainted with, eat ‘chain’. I mean, inquiring minds want to know — because they don’t have anything else to do, if you understand — LOL!

  • Buy yourself a container of real tzatiki from Mareketa on 56th and save it in your fridge at work. Its $6 but should last you a week worth of falafel, or whatever else you wanna put in on.

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    I work in the same building. My coworkers like Between the Bread which is on 55th btwn 5th and 6th on the north side. Prices and quality are supposedly on par with Certe. As for white sauce, head to Carnegie Johns (NE corner 56th and 7th) for some real tzatziki. If you do eat fish, try the cod schnitzel from the schnitzel truck or make the trek like I occasionally do to Kim’s Aunt for the great fried whiting sandwich.

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    If you really want something great you should try Halal Topped with Tuna and an egg with extra white sauce. Most of the carts don’t have it on the menu but you can ask for it by request. Wash it down with a smooth “Ice” beverage – Mango is best.

  • Oh well. More delicious animals for the rest of us.

    And nothing wrong with regular white sauce unless you hate mayo.

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    If you work for Alliance Bernstein, have you ever gone to their cafeteria in the building? It’s amazing and subsidized so you’re getting quality food at reduced prices. Perhaps we need to start reviewing internal cafeterias on this site — those are definitely the most hidden places to have lunch. Most if not all are for employees only so are impossible to get into without knowing someone in the company to get you in. And even if you were to sneak into the Alliance Bernstein cafeteria somehow, you couldn’t pay because they do not accept cash, but rather some kind of employee debit card.

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    Does anyone here have coworkers who eat TUNA right out of the can and leave the can around to make the whole office smell like tuna?

  • If you’re in the AB building, you’re right near me. If you want “creative lunch carts”:
    - The Jamaican Dutchy on 51st and 7th
    - Schnitzel & Things, Frites & Meats, Cravings – all share 48th and 6th a different day of the week.
    - If you don’t call it mexican food, then the Sombrero cart on 50th & 6th will bring you back to taco night as a child :)
    - Carnegie John on 56th & 7th makes a great burger or grilled ribeye

  • Another thought, if you havent been there yet, Sukhadia is a vegetarian Indian restaurant on 45th between 5th and 6th. I’ve taken a coworker there who is vegetarian. They have a great lunch buffet, and apparently they make a good sandwich?×49413

  • “If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I wish I worked near the Biryani Cart (on 46th & 6th).”

    ummm, you’re about 10 blocks away. stretch those legs especially since you work AND live in the area…


    Despite how jealous she makes those trailer-park ‘commenters’ down there in HOTlanta, Georgia, this gal is attractive, is EMPLOYED, is young, is NOT obese, is apparently sober, AND has good tastes in food.

    What a WINNER — which apparently drives the LOSERS crazy with envy.

    You’ve got MY vote Michelle — and please IGNORE the freak comment.

  • I’m sorry, but I can’t imagine Ma-po tofu without pork. That’s the best part! I haven’t tried it at Szechuan Gourmet yet, but they do it pretty well at Hing Won.

  • I’m not certain if Michelle is really a “Babe Of The Week” or not although she seems to be fairly attractive but I would suggest she might use caution in getting too excited about being dubbed as such by the “Doc”. He has a brother who obviously takes strong exception with his opinions about Israel and the Jewish people:

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