PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Victoria”

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 Victoria, an administrative assistant who wishes soul food had more flavor, and is looking to eat more locally sourced foods.

Name: Victoria

Age: Let’s keep things mysterious…

Occupation: Freelance writer/executive assistant

Where in Midtown do you Work?: Brooklyn/51st and Park

Favorite Kind of Food: This is tough. I can’t limit myself: Thai, Indian, Korean, salads, and macro (I shake it up between heavy ethnic foods and fresh/healthy stuff).

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Soul food – I usually find it pretty bland!

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Donburi to-go at Katsuhama/Sushi Tei (on 47th btw. Mad+5th), the buffet at Cafe Bistro.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Bistro Cafe and Just Salad, both on 51st (btw. Mad+Park)

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Oms/b (on 45th btw. Lex+3rd) and the midtown location of Men Kui Tei (on 56th btw. 5+6th). Oms/b is okay, but I love Men Kui Tei’s ramen (one of the few ramen places with good veggie options!).

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? K-Town! So I could eat at Woorijip (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th) all the time.

Anything you’d like to ask the midtown lunch readers? I’ve been trying to eat more locally. Anybody know of midtown spots that feature local items? I can find this in Brooklyn or downtown but don’t see this up here….

Got an answer for Victoria? Put it in the comments. As always, if you want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email


  • I recall that Pizza by Certe tries to source local ingredients as much as possible. The David Chang empire (Ma Peche, incl) is also good about supporting local farms – Satur, Ronnybrook, etc.


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anyone who finds soul food bland has eaten it in all the wrong places. The best kind of soul food come from old Southern ladies.

  • It’s hard to even find soul food in nyc, unless you eat at someone’s house or a church sale. Silvia’s has been horrendous for years. All the other places in Harlem are gone.

    • User has not uploaded an avatar

      Yep. There are a couple places I have gone to myself, a number of them, mostly, in Queens and Brooklyn, but none of that can still compare to going to someone’s house or to a church, as you said. I’m not a big fan of church, but sometimes I am so tempted to just go to one after everything is done just to join them for the after church dinner. I remember when my grandma used to take me those in the South. There was so much good food there…

      As for one place I kinda like, there’s Charles Southern Diner up in the 150s and there’s the Fish House somewhere out there in Queens. The Rib Shack is all right. I’m not too big of a fan of their mac and cheese though. The best mac and cheese I ever ate outside of my house was in Brooklyn in a West Indian restaurant not too far from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. When I ordered it the waiter told me that it was still in oven cooking. That’s when I knew it was going to be good.

      Though, isn’t mac and cheese an American dish, as opposed to just being ‘soul food.’ Though in ‘soul cuisine’ if you want to call it that, it’s treated as a side dish rather than a main one. =/

  • I don’t get the whole “local food” fad/scam. This is New York City, one of the largest sprawling urban centers in the US if not the world. It is not well-suited for agriculture, dairy, whatever! And many food items are simply not grown or raised anywhere nearby.Besides, products from not-so-local places like southern Jersey and “upstate” (which can be quite far away) are often labeled as ‘local.’ Who REALLY cares if some food products spend a few more hours on a truck? If you want to live off truly local agriculture and support local food providers, get out of the city and move to flyover country. Really.

  • unrelated-ish: last week I was at the greenmarket in union square and this one stand was selling these little flatbread pizzas and I decided to buy one. As the guy working there was helping me decide which flavor to get I said “this is SO much more exciting than the falafel I was going to have for lunch!” and the lady at the stand shouts (from a few feet away)at me: “BUY LOCAL!”

    I was so taken aback b/c:
    I’m already at the farmers market with a friggen cloth tote bag full of produce I just bought
    I’m already buying one of your “local” pizzas
    What’s so wrong about me buying some homemade falafel from the nice people at Rainbow that you have to yell at me about it? Really?

    I thought about buying some bread from that same stand yesterday, but then I remembered that lady yelling at me and decided to take my $4 elsewhere.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.