PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “JD”

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 Lunch’er JD, a Brooklynite who wishes he lived in Singapore.

Name: JD

Age: 31

Occupation: Hungry Freelancer

Where in Midtown do you work? Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Favorite Kind of Food: Most anything between two slices of bread.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Smoked fish — which disheartens my grandmother.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Red Hook Lobster Pound (CT style, salt and vinegar chips, ginger ale), Mexicue (taco/slider combo: burnt ends chili, brisket, smoked beans, rice and beans), Island Burgers and Shakes (Hermosa Beach churrasco)

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Chipotle. The addition of brown rice brought me back, but a burrito bowl still reminds me of a less shameful KFC Famous Bowl (or as Patton Oswalt calls it, a “bowl of sadness.”)

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? FreeFoods. Checked it out while working at Viacom over Thanksgiving … their TG sandwich — especially on ciabatta with cranberry compote and herbed stuffing — beats Certe’s TG wrap, hands down.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Singapore. The idea of being able to go to that famous “food mall” every day and have a perverse selection of SE Asian cuisine would be my idea of a good time.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? What is the most egregious food you’ve seen on a bodega steam table? Follow up question: Why does every place with a hot bar have the same exact menu, with the same preparation? Is there a central kitchen this all comes from?

Got an answer for JD? 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


  • Midtown Brooklyn?

  • “Where in Midtown do you work? Cobble Hill, Brooklyn”

    OK. Seriously now. Are there ANY guidelines here?

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    From what I can tell, they’re having real trouble finding people willing to do these tuesday profiles who haven’t already done one.

    I completely agree that it makes no sense to bring in a guy from brooklyn to the MIDTOWN lunch site. If they can’t find anyone from midtown, just don’t do the profile that week or cancel the feature entirely. The site will survive.

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    You had me going until you got to Chipotle. It’s evil. I actually don’t think eating there is any less shameful than eating at KFC. You’re smart enough to use the word egregarious and yet you still eat at Chipotle?
    The food sucks and they have bad corporate ethics. “food with integrity” my ass.

  • at least put him on the downtown site.

  • Zach either messed up the questions or JD did (starting from wanting to live at FreeFoods, failing to ask a question in the first “question” question, and asking a question in the second “question” question.

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    and if anyone wants to make fun of me for misspelling egregious, feel free. I deserve it.

  • Alright… settle down. The dude lives in Brooklyn, but works all over as a freelancer. Including Midtown.

    I fixed the questions. Sorry for that.

  • At JD, kudos for quoting Patton Osawlt

  • Egregious sin on a steam table? Anything potatoes. 50 cents a pound retail, and your roasting plus salt bumps that to $10? Rice goes in the same category.

  • Let me amend this for the sake of my Midtown cred.

    Where HAVE you worked in Midtown: Near Bryant Park, over in the Time Inc. building, across from the Ed Sullivan Theater, and directly over Penn Station.

    How can you be smart and still eat at Chipotle?: Carnitas is tasty.

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    carnitas of sadness.

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    Imo, Chipotles meat is hella’ dry and don’t know how people can stand it. So, I end up getting the veggie one, but it ends up costing something like $10. Any of the Mexican carts around the city I have been to serve much better meat. I find it funny when I tell me that I think Chipotles is gross and people start jumping on me, defending it. “Where else can you get so much food at that cost?” If money really mattered one could get something that tasted better at a much cheaper cost.

    To each his/her own…I guess…

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      *when I tell people that I think Chipotles is gross

    • Virtually any Mexican-esque cart in the city can do better than Chipotle for $10. And I daresay two Halal Guys (or Rafiqi’s, or any number of halal carts’) combos over rice is plenty more food for $10. I don’t really want to meet the person who eats that, though.


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    As to the central repository for generic delis: I think the profilee is correct. On MLK Day I was working (in Midtown, not Bklyn), and went to four or five different delis looking for one that was 1) open and 2) had a soup I wanted to eat. All of them, even ones that normally have many choices, had only two soups… and strangely, they all had the same two.(Split pea and chicken noodle, but not relevant to the story.) So I’m now very suspicious indeed…

    And I’m not surprised it’s hard to find profilees, from Brooklyn or otherwise, given how mean the commenters are to them!

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      I have always wondered who provides the food for the steam tables. It’s really kinda scary. Same thing with the chexican places that all have different names but serve exactly the same thing and use the same menu lettering.

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    lobster scary

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    I’m fairly certain that the brown rice at Chipotle is par boiled so the glycemic index benefit is gone.

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