PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Kim Ima” (PLUS The Treats Truck Baking Book Giveaway)

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 we’re excited to welcome our old friend Kim Ima from the Treats Truck to the pages of ML. Her cookbook “The Treats Truck Baking Book” comes out today, so we thought it would be fun to ask her where she eats for lunch and give away a few copies at the end of the post.

Name: Kim

Age: Hard to tell! I think I am in my 40s, but I feel like a combo of 12 yrs old and 75 yrs old (part kid running a lemonade stand, part grandma baking for all the neighbors)

Occupation: Owner/baker/driver of The Treats Truck

Where in Midtown do you Work?: Well, two Midtown spots were my mainstay for over four years, but now… I move around a bit more than that! All over Manhattan and bits of Brooklyn and the other boroughs for special events.

Favorite Kind of Food: Any and all, both savory and sweet, as long as it’s fresh and made with care and is delicious! Although I must admit a very special place in my heart for Mexican food as my goto comfort food.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Pre-packaged sandwiches and overly processed food.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: I have a lot of favorite carts and trucks, plus a few sit-down restaurants, but the street food and the vendors have my heart! I love all my fellow truckers and carts, so it feels like picking favorites to list any, so here are a few but know that the love runs deep for all of them! El Rel Del Sabor Mexican Cart on 43rd & 6th (anything), Jamaican Dutchy truck (the mini meal stew chicken with rice and peas), Moshe’s Falafel (either a snack of falafel and pickles or a full falafel sandwich with lots of hot sauce, tahini and pickles), Le Gamin Truck (savory crepe with goat cheese and whatever they recommend that day), Wafels and Dinges (a mini wafelini with a dinges), Frites N Meats (cheeseburger and fries!), Eddie’s Pizza Truck (straight up cheese pizza) and Mexicue (burnt end chili slider and a chicken taco). For sit down, Cafe Edison on 47th btw. B’way+8th (again, goto comfort food like the matzo ball or bean soups or a dinner of some sort, like my grandma’s, and I love the comforting atmosphere of a diner. Diners are second only to home kitchens of my friends and family), Burger Joint (on 56th btw. 6+7th)¬†at the Parker Meridien Hotel (go with one or two friends for a cheeseburger and a beer. The atmosphere is cosy and fun but you need to go when it isn’t too crowded or then it can feel rushed), and most ramen joints (I wish I had a fave and hope to find one someday). I have a new category for you, which I will include here! Wish list of new future favorite Lunch(es) in Midtown: Favorite ramen joint, favorite Korean cart, favorite Korean sit down (I always just go to 32nd and randomly walk in), favorite salad, favorite Japanese sit down.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Well, we usually eat our share of cookies and brownies on our truck, and then maybe top it off with some falafel or chicken and rice (cart on the NW corner of 45th & 6th ave) or a taco or slice of pizza from a neighboring cart or truck!

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? I look to Midtown Lunch to see what’s out there, even though I don’t manage to get to most of the places since I usually am close to my truck. I have a wish list, and try every once in a while to try one of them. Mostly, I window shop and daydream (Go Go Curry? Mmmm…). Also, I give my out of town guests tips courtesy of you guys!

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I would choose Tokyo because I would want to have lots of ramen, Japanese curry, and sometimes just graze on the food floor of the department stores or pick out fun snacks at a convenience store like Larsen’s. I also would find all the plastic food delightful and comforting.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Where is your favorite lasagna? Old school, sit down place, not schmancy and really, really good? Also, I love to get take out salads, but never feel super excited about where to go. Any advice?

Alright, here’s the fun part! We’ve got five copies of “The Treats Truck Baking Book” to give away to 5 lucky readers. Want to win? Just comment below and you’re entered to win. It can be a lasagna or salad recommendation for Kim, or just tell us what your favorite treat is to get at the Treats Truck. Winners will be chosen at random on 11/7 at 5pm EST. Don’t want to leave it to chance? Or maybe you want to support Kim as a thank you for all the treats? Buy your copy now! And as always, if you want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate) email editor@midtownlunch.com.

64 Comments

  • I love the Treats Truck pecan squares. Definitely my favorite.

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    The Caramel Creme Sandwich cookies are my JAM. They were my comfort treat back when I worked in Midtown. I’ve got to say, shifting out of Times Square for work has been a blessing in every way EXCEPT for losing access to the Treats Truck.

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    I really like Kim’s mexican brownies and carrot cake.

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    Carrot cake is fantastic. not so sure about lasagna, but for a decent take out greek salad i like the dishes in grand central market.

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    Although it’s not midtown (and not really the best bang for your buck), the lasagna at Eataly is pretty awesome.

  • +1 for the carrot cake.

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    mexican brownie FTW.

  • Kim I miss you being at 38th st so much! You’re peanut-butter-peanut-butter sandwich cookies are like the baked goods equivalent of a hug!!

  • Kim’s Peanut butter sandwich cookies rule! I could eat them all day. And have….

  • I miss picking up blondies from Treats Truck on 45th St.

  • aaah i miss kim in midtown! her classic treats are such a nice afternoon snack.

  • Salad: this is kind of out of bounds, but the Downtown Deli (107 Church St., two block south of Chambers) makes a great $5 plate: individual can of tuna on nicely-dressed greens, plus a big side of marinated broccoli carrot salad and a roll. When I worked down there it was my go-to (relatively) healthy lunch. (For a spree I’d go to Sophie’s for a Cubano…)

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    Spicy brownies are the bessst.

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    I can’t live without peanut butter sandwiches.

  • Best lasagna in the city is at Via Emilia on 21st btwn Park and bway. Awesome homemade pastas there (don’t let the poor choice of modern decor fool you, its a casual rustic type place). cash only.

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    I love the holiday themed frosted sugar cookies! Treats Truck was a special Wednesday outing for me when I worked on 50th and 6th :)

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    For a kind of a bootleg salad, I like to go to Moaz and ask for the small container for a $3 or so and just fill it to the brim with whatever they have at their salad bar. I always like my own lasagna so I don’t have any places to recommend for that.

    Also, I miss you at 38th. My favorites are the chocolate cookies, brownies and the cupcake ice cream cones.

  • I just can’t do it. Not with Kim Ima.

    So, my otherwise unbroken streak of at least 3 years ends today

  • love the taco salads at Certe. It comes with a small cup of their spicy veg chili, so you get a soup and a very substantial salad for $8.95

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    Does take-out salad mean pre-made? (Because can’t you take out just about any salad?) For MYO salads, most of the mega-delis do a good job. Can’t go wrong with Cafe Duke.

    And what did you mean about new categories? For the annual readers poll? We already have a ramen category for that.

    And thank you for choosing Tokyo. I get homicidal any time someone says something like “Midtown.”

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