PROFILE: Downtown Lunch’er “Monique”

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 we have Monique, a devoted lunch’er who’s been itching for a chance to be profiled on Midtown Lunch but never really fell within the proper boundaries. Lucky her, we Downtowners now have our very own profile.

Name:Monique AKA Mo Diva

Age: 26

Occupation: Secretary and amatuer foodie/blogger

Where do you work?: Chinatown/Little Italy Area

Favorite Kind of Food: I love food too much to limit myself to one favorite food. I am a lover of all foods. But among my favorite cuisines: Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, French, Italian, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Indian, and Mexican. I LOVE street meat but I haven’t found any in the downtown area that are worthy of the astronomical calorie count (within a short walking distance I might add). Big fan of Bread, Noodles, Soup, Rice, Cheese, and Crispy Pig Fat!

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I am no vegetarian, but I do enjoy a veggie burger every now and again… I despise with a passion a veggie burger that is made to taste like meat. Everything from the smell to the texture of a fake burger grosses me out. I loathe spaghetti squash, soggy pizza, mushy rice, anchovies, dry chicken, most frozen foods, and the smell of dumplings  and congee in an office building.

Favorite Lunch(es) Downtown: Pad See Ew or Red Coconut Curry noodle soup at Pongsri on Baxter Street, Beef Pho or Marinated Beef Cubes at Thai Son on Baxter Street, Roast Pork and Duck Combo at Big Wong King on Mott Street, Calamari Fra Diavlo  at Da Nico’s on Mulberry Street, maki Special at Sun Café on Reade Street, the white pizza at Spaghetti Western on Reade Street, Korean Fried Chicken at Bon Bon Chicken on Chambers, and Banh Mi from Paris Sandwich on Mott Street.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often?: Paulie’s, a tiny hole in the wall with the cheapest sandwich deals in the area, Burgers at Whiskey Tavern on Baxter, Seafood dumplings at Excellent Dumpling House and the overpriced salads at Worth Café

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch?: Frites and Meats, Schnitzel & Things, Woorijip, NYC Cravings truck

Dream job location (anywhere in the world), purely for lunch purposes, and why? I would love to experience each of my favorite cuisines in their country of origin. I would love to travel to any foreign place at the drop of a hat and all costs be damned for the sake of the best plates each country has to offer.  I would probably dig “Man vs. Food”’s job… or, Andrew Zimern’s job… only when he doesn’t have to eat bugs or cow balls.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers???: Are there any good Indian places in lower Manhattan? And are there any food trucks in Lower Manhattan that I should break my diet for?

Know of any good Indian spots for Monique? A food truck worth the extra hours at the gym? For me, it’s gotta be the NYC Cravings truck. I can’t get enough of that secret pork sauce! Other suggestions, put ‘em 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



  • Yay Monique!!!

  • Yvo, did I make you proud?

  • Didn’t i see you in Avatar?

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Indian place in lower Manhattan:

    Pakistani Tea House (by Church and Chambers) – Obviously not technically Indian, but as someone who has loved Indian food since childhood, I can assure you that there’s really not much of a difference. When I lived downtown this place was a go-to. Steam table style, cheap as hell, all the cabbies know what’s up.

  • I have always wondered about that place steve. I will look into it and bring the coworkers who have a craving for Samosas and vindaloo!
    looking forward to it!

  • Haha yes except you disliking the smell of dumplings and congee. I love the smell of dumplings provided I know it’s dumplings and not dumpling farts. LOL

  • I love the smell of FRESH dumplings. Being that the office gets busy the coworkers pick up an order of dumplings, let them sit a while and then eat them a few hrs later. Something about cabbage, onions, and pork that sit for long enough they start to smell like rotting garbage.
    its pretty bad.

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