PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Laura”

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 Laura, a music marketer who would be way fatter if she lived in the south.

Name: Laura

Age: 25

Occupation: Project Management Associate at an independent public relations, marketing, and consulting firm specializing in classical music and the performing arts.

Where in Midtown do you Work?: West 56th and 7th avenue. We are surrounded by deliciousness!

Favorite Kind of Food: I pretty much love all food, with just a few exceptions. I am a huge fan of spicy food, so szechuan is a passion of mine. I also thoroughly enjoy any type of burger (beef, turkey, veggie) and appreciate a really hot and crispy well-done french fry. A good slice of pizza and Indian, Mexican, and Korean foods are pretty terrific as well! Lastly, there is nothing better than a banana with a side of crunchy peanut butter (preferably Jif).

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Any type of protein salad (egg, chicken, tuna, turkey, ham). Everything about the salads: the look, smell, concept, and texture just freak me out.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Where do I start?!

Szechuan Gourmet 56 (between 8th and Broadway): Besides being super fast, the cooks at Szechuan Gourmet really know how to deliver the heat! Sauteed prawns with chili minced pork and asparagus and the Chef’s Ma pao tofu with chili minced pork are my two favorite lunch options! One dish that does not make it onto the lunch specials list is the wok-tossed crispy lamb fillets with roasted chili cumin. It is beyond amazing and sometimes me and my colleague and partner in lunch, Max, splurge and order it.

D&S Marketplace aka The Man Deli (56th between 5th and 6th): We call this place The Man Deli, as it is always filled with men and the man to woman ratio is probably 9 to 1. The guys at the counter are very nice and there is a lot of thought that goes into their sandwiches. They have sandwich specials, but I tend to make my own.

Carnegie John’s (on 56th & 7th): Located right outside Carnegie Hall, John does not disappoint. When I am trying to be healthy, I get the grilled chicken platter. Instead of rice, I ask for extra salad and sauteed onions and peppers. So delish and super cheap – $5.00 for a feast!

Bagel & Bean (Broadway between 54th and 55th street): Love the guys here – they are super friendly! Aside from the bagels, they have a great salad bar! I love that they have green olives as a salad bar option, as most places just have black olives. And, it’s a great deal! For 7 dollars you get your choice of mix-ins and bread and a can of soda.

Tina’s Restaurant (56th between 5th and 6th): I like to think of Tina’s as the Cuban version of Carnegie John’s. They make a mean spicy chicken that is perfectly cooked and seasoned. It looks pretty plain, but it delivers a kick!

Starbucks (Corner of 55th and 7th): While Starbucks is a chain, not all Starbucks are created equally. This is by far my favorite one in the city and it just so happens to be right by my office! They make a great iced coffee (perfect amount of ice to coffee) and they are always smiling when they make it. They always have my coffee ready by the time I get to the register and they are very quick and attentive!

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? We don’t really have one specific “goto” place, since we are surrounded by so many great places. Instead, we have a few key places that are definitely in heavy rotation and they are: Korean Pro (56th between 5th and 6th), Between the Bread, Szechuan Gourmet, and the Man Deli.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Melt Shop (Lexington between 53+54th). I have not been there yet, but can’t wait to go!!

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I would love to work in the South. I would probably weigh a ton, but would love to chow down on some fried chicken for lunch and finish off the meal with a slice of pecan pie. Or, maybe mix it up with some BBQ beef ribs with a side of cole slaw.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Greek food is the one type of cuisine that does not make it’s way onto our lunch plates. Any Greek places in midtown west you can recommend?

If you can make it to 9th Ave. Uncle Nick’s is the spot.  Anybody else have a suggestion for Laura? Put it in the comments. And, as always, if you want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate) email


  • Yeah, Uncle Nick’s has gyro’s at lunchtime for $5

  • Tricky question as most “Greek” places would basically have the same stuff Carnegie John has, ie; souvlaki, gyros. Authentic Greek food would more likely be Molyovos, but of course thats super expensive for lunch.

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    Uncle Gussy’s, Souvlaki GR if they ever come up to midtown

  • Ah yeah Uncle Gussy is the closest you’ll get to real Greek food around here.

    51st and park avenue

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    D&S is such a great deli.


    The “Greek of the Week” edition

  • Is is just me or is this chick gorgeous. I smell a reality show! Also, Uncle Nick’s is the joint, but insiders trick…take your gyro into the bathroom, eat it there, and then hop out the window without paying!

  • Gotta agree with the Uncle Nick’s fans. They make a killer pastichio (-10 sp) with these delicious lemon potatoes on the side. Can’t go wrong.

  • Already stated before by yourself and others but Carnegie John’s is probably your best bet for Greek lunch unless you go further up for The Dragon on 62/Mad. Uncle Gussy’s if you can do Midtown East but I’d prefer the prior 2.

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    I don’t understand what’s so scary about protein salads. Is it because it’s cold? Do you hate them if they are hot too? Is it the mayo? Were you just traumatized by one in the past?

    • I’m kind of the same way. I can’t eat cream soups. Don’t like the texture. I can just barely tolerate macaroni salad.

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        The mayo definitely does not help the situation, but it’s also the smell, look, and texture. Growing up I was surrounded by egg salad and tuna salad and I could never get into it. There is not one thing in particular I don’t like, I think it’s the whole picture that just turns me off.

  • While more expensive, I feel that Dafni on 42nd st near 8th wins a Peloponnesian War against Uncle Nick’s, hands down. You can still get out of there with various sanwiches for under $10 despite other pricey items on the menu.

    Of course, if you were going to make the odyssey down from 56th and 7th you could always just consider taking the train out to Astoria. Or ask what you really like at Greek restaurants and probably get something fairly from a Turkish restaurant like Akdeniz?

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    This may be a bit out of bounds, but I love Poseidon Bakery on 9th between 44th and 45th. They have great spinach pies and cheese pies, and the desserts are off the hook. Sesame brittle, mixed nut brittle and coconut/pistachio brittle are great, and the strudel is the best I’ve ever had. Everything handmade too, even the phyllo.

  • I used to go to Milos Estiatorio for Greek. It’s pretty expensive, but worth it for your splurge lunch. I believe they have a prix-fixe lunch menu for $24.07.

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