PROFILE: Downtown Lunch’er “Yvo”

As it customary here on Midtown Lunch, every Tuesday we’ll profile a different lunch’er and get their recommendations for places to eat in Downtown NYC. This week, for the inaugural profile, we’re excited to have Yvo who is not only a constant presence in the forums but also wrote the very first Downtown Lunch column!

Name: Yvo

Age: 29

Occupation: Legal secretary by day… food blogger/food writer every waking moment

Where  do you Work?: Sullivan & Cromwell (Broad & Water)… until the 27th, when I leave the corporate world for good! so if you’re looking for a freelance food writer…

Favorite Kind of Food: Italian, noodles in soup (Japanese ramen, hand pulled noodles, Cantonese broad white noodles in soup, turkey noodle soup, miso udon,…), Japanese (yes, all of it, from sushi to high end fusion to convenience store foods… I love it), steak – big slabs of perfectly medium rare, well-seasoned meat? okay!, and pig.  Yes, pig is a kind of food.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I will try most anything at least twice, but I really don’t find myself enamored with hot fruit, savory food served with fruit, too many sweets, and… go ahead, rip me to pieces because I am going to name an entire cuisine: Morrocan.  I’ve tried it a few times and maybe I’ve ordered the wrong things (so tell me what I SHOULD try, besides tagine), but honestly, since I don’t like hot fruit/savory food with fruit mixed in, and I’m not too fond of that particular combination of seasonings/spices used frequently within Morrocan cuisine… I don’t think there’s anyway around that.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch Downtown: Paris Baguette for the special banh mi, Pearl Diner for the small Greek salad which is totally filling and pretty damn good with a reasonable price, The Burger Shoppe’s sliders and onion rings (not Shake Shack by a mile, but they satisfy the small burger crazing and I go there for a milk shake after a bad at work just a touch more than I’d like to admit), and um, “Chinatown” – it’s a short subway ride away.  I don’t know what else to say.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? The subsidized cafeteria; I bring my lunch and my lame coworkers buy super fatty but cheap food there.  And though I don’t really like the food there, my coworkers definitely go to Chipotle more than I’d like to smell it…

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Daniel (Krieger) was awesome to me, but so were the successors to Downtown Lunch and the forums.  Capri Caffe, Sam’s Falafel, the banh mi cart, Veronica’s Kitchen, Leo’s Bagels, Jiannetto’s, Pomodoro Sandwich House, The Country Kebab, Lan Zhou Hand Pulled Noodles (the fried dumplings are AMAZING), NYC Cravings, Schnitzel Truck, Ravioli Fair… What?  My job as food writer consists of reading food blogs – what did you think I do???

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Hmmm, tough one.  Even though the actual Financial District – especially as far south as I am – kind of stinks for food options, I’m still close enough to Chinatown to indulge in super cheap delicious food, but far enough away that my neighborhood doesn’t literally stink.  Midtown Lunch does a good job of making me wish I worked in Midtown… but I guess maybe San Francisco, since no matter how many times I go there each year, I still find myself returning only to realize I’ve missed other places or meals I want to eat.  Or one of those Asian countries I haven’t been to yet but everyone says is awesome for food (Thailand with its night stands or is that Taiwan? and Singapore and Hong Kong oh my!).  Somewhere.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Yes – where is Sad Panda?  I can never find him.  I just want to give him some money.

Also, because I’m super girly, I really want to include a nice, normal photo of me without any food in my mouth, so here it is. My friend Eric is a photography hobbyist and just took this of me last week:

So there.

Also, what’s downtown that I should eat for my last 7 meals ever as a corporate slave?

Got a suggestion for Yvo? Put it in the comments. And as always, if you would like to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email us at



  • I already knew you were awesome, but your favorite foods list confirmed it. And I now crave a delicious medium rare steak.

  • Thanks Emme! Come to the Happy Hour on the 26th and we’ll eat steak together ;)

    -I forgot to mention that first photo is of me eating a pulled pork sandwich from Dinosaur BBQ at the Big Apple BBQ in 2007.

  • F of the W.

    just kidding, Yvo.

    way to take the plunge and be profiled!

  • pig!!!!! yayyy yvo!!! btw i was drooling at the pix of your most recent blog… i wanted to drink that chili thing from the bowl!

  • Awesome, 1st DT profile! Now I know who to stay away from during Happy Hour. LOL. Just kidding.

    Is Morrocan really that bad? I wouldn’t know. Hhhmmm.

  • @SMO – they unmasked him: and it just makes me really want to give him money! I can’t find him, though :(
    And Moroccan is bad if you hate that particular combination of spices they use plus fruit in savory food. They put a lot of fruit in their rices/chicken dishes (as far as I’ve eaten) and I just can’t get into it. I would like to though…

    @monster – forget pho, we can go there after HH! Hehehe but no fried dumplings…

  • I’ll eat the fried dumplings!! And the chili oil looks awesome. I’m with your pal the Spicy Ninja on that hot sauce train. Haha.

    Thanks. Yea, I just saw the same link about the 62 year old chinese guy. Sigh. Is he even doing it anymore? ;(

    I don’t even like fruit in salad. I’d probably tried Morrocan once for the sake of eating it but no high hopes for liking it.


    (It wouldn’t be a proper 1st DL profile without it)

  • omg the sad panda story makes me wanna cry. :(

    and YES. i HATE fruit with savory. pineapples on pizza?? No!!!!!!

  • Hi Yvo, sorry you will be leaving our area! I love your last photo. Good for you! well, you know me, if I only had a few days left in the area, I guess it would be Cosi and Quiznos :) I also like Burger Shoppe but have not yet tried Pearl Diner.

    Have you tried the new BonChon chicken on John Street? I just came back from there with my coworker. I really liked it, but he was expecting more. They are new though and might be working out kinks in their production. We also had some good bibimbap around that area last month.

  • :( sweet and savory is awesome. like the mango glazed bacon from mesa grill brunch. or the summer roll sauce at viet restaurants. mmmmmm.

  • S&C? Good luck on your escape. Don’t forget to steal some office supplies.

    As for Morrocan, you might want to try dishes that veer more toward fast food. It’s hard not to like a good merguez sandwich. A cab driver, Mohammed, convinced me I really need to try some traditional heart brochettes. If you can deal with a mixture of sweet and savory that does NOT involve fruit you can try pastilla. It’s a pigeon pie topped with cinnamon and sugar, and it’s awesome. Thre’s some good places on Steinway in Astoria. Good luck.

  • Yvo… i agree.. pig is awesome!

    Since you’re in the area… maybe we can make a big deal out of your very last downtown lunch- and make it a good one.

    If you’re in Little Italy- stop at Da Nicos for some delish italian!!! (and go at lunch time when dishes are cheaper)

  • I just had to comment about the first pic. With the shades and both hands on it, it looks like Yvo is playing a pork harmonica (or think Al Bundy playing a mean pastrami sandwich. LOL.)

  • Who better to feature as the first Downtown Luncher! nice photo of you as well Yvo.

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