PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Joe DiStefano”

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 Queens cheerleader and World’s Fare editor Joe DiStefano reminisces about the time he spent working in Midtown.

Name: Joe D.

Age: 43

Occupation: Food Writer

Where in Midtown do you Work?: These days I live and work in beautiful Rego Park, Queens, and eat almost exclusively in Queens. For many years I worked at Rockefeller Center.

Favorite Kind of Food: Ethnic soul food, what I like to think of as grandma food. Food that has a very strong connection to culture and conmmunity. Stuff like eating crispy pata–fried pork leg–in a Filipino joint in Woodside’s Little Manila. Come to think of it I do have a strong affinity for pork.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Bad fried food. Bad Thai. It’s almost as if the operators of such places have this idea that “this is what we think you think Thai food is…you don’t know the difference any way. Eat up!” (Insert Mexican, or any other “ethnic” cuisine.)

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Pulpo salad, Cuban sandwich, and chicken at Margon (on 46th btw. 6+7th). Any thing at Tehuitzingo Deli (on 10th Ave. btw. 47+48th), particularly the pancita de chivo, a sort of goat blood sausage. Gyoza set at Sapporo (on 49th btw. 6+7th). Friekedele at Hallo Berlin.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? We used to do a lot of special occasion lunches at Ruby Foo’s, which was not as bad as I thought it would be, but got old pretty quick. I used to hit Hale & Hearty quite often when I was in a rush.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Hong Kong. Two words :dim sum.

As always, if you want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate)? Email


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