PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Jeremiah”
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 Jeremiah, a pencil pusher who would rather starve to death than eat a generic Midtown salad.
Occupation: Pencil pusher
Where in Midtown do you work? Broadway between 39th and 40th
Favorite Kind of Food: The kind that speaks to every one of my senses, titillating not only my taste buds but my sense of space and time, past and present. I am also partial to all Asian foods (particularly Korean & Szechuan food), Jewish Deli (Ben’s Best in Rego Park), local yuppie food (Blue Hill & ABC Kitchen come to mind) and home cooked meals.
Least Favorite Kind of Food: Generic Midtown salad bar fare. There is nothing more uninspiring or unappetizing than the empty calorie garbage that passes for food in the salad bars of midtown. I’d rather go hungry than eat that sh_t.
Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Szechuan Gourmet (39th between 5th & 6th). At dinner time the cumin lamb, whole braised bass in miso chile & Ma Po tofu get the job done in a most serious way. At lunch the L10, crispy braised tofu, offers a glimmer of light in the dark doldrums of the Midtown office day.
For coffee it is, hands down, all about Culture Espresso Bar (38th & 6th). Serious baristas pouring untouchable, delicious & inspired coffee concoctions. As you make your way past the soul-crushing & undignified feed troughs like Pret a Manger, Cafe Europa & Duke you might be shocked to find a coffee bar of this caliber on 38th St. Standing proud in the barren wasteland, it’s like the one white, gleaming tooth in a smile of cavities and rot. The food is great too, if not small in the portions.
Shake Shack (8th & 44th). I know, I know. Not a very interesting choice but on mornings where the sun is perhaps shining too brightly nothing beats skipping out at 11:00am and teaching that hangover some manners like a double shack burger and fries.
For special occasions it’s got to be Wu Liang Ye (48th between 5th and 6th). Honestly I am surprised that this place doesn’t get more love on midtownlunch.com as it is the best Szechuan food I’ve ever had. I would even say that it rivals anything that Flushing has to offer. The Szecuhan dumplings belong on anyone’s last meal list and the capsium chicken is truly an inspired dish that’ll inspire almost hallucinogenic sweats in even the most extreme heat seeker.
One go to spot that has sadly left us is the original Manganaro (NOT Hero Boy!!!) on 9th and 37th. Their italian combo was a thing of beauty and I was always delighted by conversations about Lon Chaney and Martin Scorsese with the two sisters who ran the place. A midtown staple that is sadly no longer with us. RIP Manganaro Groceria (1893-2012)
“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Maoz Vegetarian (7th & 40th) While I do love their falafel for me it’s all about the sabich, although sadly none of the people working there know what a sabich is. Order an eggplant sandwich with hard boiled egg & hummus, load it up with items from the salad bar and for $6.37 you have a most serious midtown lunch.
Places you have discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? El Guayaquileno!!!! Where the hell has that truck gone?!?!?!
If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? 179 E. Houston St (between Allen & Orchard). Nuff said.
Anything you’d like to ask the midtown lunch readers? Where can I find a decent bibimbap north of 32nd Street?
Got an answer for Jeremiah? Put it in the comments. Want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate)? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.