PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Cherice”

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 Cherice, a BBQ loving admin who wishes she lived in Raleigh.


Age: A lady never tells :)

Occupation: Assistant at a non-profit education organization

Where in Midtown do you work? West 30s/Herald Square

Favorite Kind of Food: Vietnamese, BBQ and Mexican

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Haven’t met any foods I’ve outright disliked

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: The brisket pho at Pho32 (on 32nd btw. B’way+5th), Prosciutto pizza from Waldy’s, brown butter and candied bacon ice cream from Coolhaus

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Cafe R (on 32nd btw. 6+7th), Wichcraft

Places you have discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Tri Tip Grill at Rock Center (LOVE!!), Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th), Korilla BBQ

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I’d love to work in Raleigh, NC. The BBQ is delish and there’s such a great atmosphere in that city.

Anything you’d like to ask the midtown lunch readers? Where can I get some decent BBQ around Midtown? The Southern girl in me is craving some authentic stuff.

Got an answer for Cherice? Put it in the comments. Want to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate)? Email


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    For Southern BBQ, not much option in Midtown, but do check out Dallas BBQ, Virgil’s or Heartland’s Brewery (might not be Midtown prices though). How about Cantonese spare ribs? They’re not as saucey, but you get a better chance ot scoring good ones around Midtown (like Hing Won or Hop Won).

  • those might be the worst suggestions for BBQ. You’re correct that they are very limited options in the city, let alone midtown. Also, dallas & virgils are not carolina bbq (which I believe she’s looking for). And Heartland is just a NYC TGI Fridays.

    Cherice – There are hardly any Carolina BBQ places, and DEFINITELY not in midtown. But on the weekends try the following: Dinosaur BBQ, Blue Smoke, or Daisy Mays (I’m not a big fan of Daisy’s but a lot are!)


    The “Fred’s on vacation this week but still makes time to keep a MTL edition alive” edition

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    Hill Country on 26th between Broadway and 6th has great BBQ. They also a few lunch specials that fall in the $8- $11 range.

  • Nobody bothered to mention Brother Jimmys? 8th & 31st.

  • Thumbs down on Hill Country. Have been distinctly underwhelmed both times there (last time, the ribs tasted like cheap boiled generic-deli ribs!) and I won’t be back. I’d do Brother Jimmy’s (several locations) before HC any day, but that’s a low bar to surpass.

    Wildwood on Park at 18th is pretty good, and close to Union Square for a quick subway trip. Also, Rub on 23rd (bet. 6th/7th) would be my closest rec.

  • Now I have this stuck in my head:

  • I’m a fan of all the places mentioned above, Blue Smoke, Virgils,Hill Country, RUB, DMs and Brother Jimmy’s, Dallas, etc. but the quality of the ribs, brisket and pulled pork vary, sometimes it’s flavorful & awesome, sometimes it just dried out and gristly.

    Dinosaur BBQ and Dukes (99 East 19th), I haven’t been (both not midtown unfortunately) as much as the others but quality was superior to the others the few times I’ve been there.

  • BTW Cherice, agreed, the proscuitto pie at Waldy’s is awesome!

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    Cherice, I work in the same area. What a dead zone for food.

    My sister lives in Durham, and she frequently brings pulled pork when she visits NYC. The Carolina BBQ at Brother Jimmy’s is weak, but if you’re willing to brave the crowds, the Carolina BBQ flavored chips are available at Jack’s 99 Cents are great.

    Personally, I like Hill Country, and it’s a short walk from the Cafe R area. Last year, they did an excellent Restaurant Week lunch menu (lean brisket, sausage, one beef rib, one pork rib, two sides, corn bread, sweet tea) and I thought it was fantastic.

    I’ve heard people mention Cafe Lugo a lot, but I haven’t been yet…And my coworkers and I tend to go the Soup Spot (31st Street, across from MSG) all the time if you like soup.

  • Don’t listen to stevenp, Hill Country is pretty good.

  • I forgot to mention Hill Country – but I only know of it’s rep which is pretty good. I’ve never been.

    Having lived in VA for 4 years with frequent trips to NC & SC, I know good Carolina BBQ and can say for sure you simply can’t get it up here.

    Brother Jimmy’s is good too, but again, not carolina style. Just good food.

    Seriously, get out to Dinosaur. Thank me later.

  • But really, head to Williamsburg and enjoy Fette Sau for your barbecue needs. Daisy May’s, Dinosaur, and Hill Country follow behind for me, but not by much. I’m not impressed by the ribs or pork at Blue Smoke, RUB is hit-or-miss, and thankfully no one mentioned the sad abomination that is Neely’s.

    Surprisingly, the dry ribs at Southern Hospitality are really quite good – I don’t know if the west side one is as good as the UES location, but it’s probably the closest to ML boundaries you’ll find that’s worth eating.

    I know I say this in the face of many naysayers, but I’m still a homer for Bullock’s in Durham. While there’s no way I’d live in Raleigh (the atmosphere in Raleigh? Really?), there’s a ton of good food and, increasingly, beer in the Triangle.

  • Most of the BBQ places listed here are indeed excellent (with the exception of Virgils, Dallas and Heartland, which are all corporate crap). Blue Smoke and RUB are standouts, and Dinosaur is probably the best BBQ in the northeast.

    HOWEVER, none of those places do real Carolina BBQ. Not even remotely close. It’s mostly sweet and sticky or dry rub.

    As for Raleigh, I agree with Dave: what atmosphere is there in Raleigh? Chapel Hill yes. Raleigh, zzzzzzzz.

    • Fortunately, none of them profess to do (Eastern) Carolina barbecue, so we can’t fault them on that. Which leaves me as the best at vinegar-based barbecue, indoor-smoker category, in Manhattan, right?

  • If only Allen & Sons came to NYC. Sigh…

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