PROFILE: Dowtown Lunch’er “Seth”

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, Seth tells us that the glories of  eating downtown are all about where you eat, not what…

Name: Seth

Age: 24

Occupation: Investigator

Where do you work?: Rector Street

Favorite Kind of Food: Southeast Asian. Good produce. Pickled and/or Thanksgiving.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I cannot say that I do not like fried food, it just clearly doesn’t have the same effect on me as everyone else. I blame my mother for removing the skin from my chicken as a child. However, I do not count curly fries in this category (see below).

Favorite Lunch(es) Downtown: I could write a bit about Se Ja Meh’s spicy chicken lunchbox, or the kingfish special at Veronica’s, the new Ruchi Indian, or Udon at Variety Cafe, but at the end of the day, good food for a few bucks is not the financial district’s strength. What I love about my lunches way downtown is not the food, but the location. See, unlike midtown, we all work within a few short blocks of the water, and along with that, have access to an open sky, direct sunlight, horizon viewing and other luxuries not commonly associated with high-rise working. Come March or April, I highly recommend eating on the water, or, if short on time, the graveyard at Trinity Church on Broadway. Lunch-hour can also be spent exploring the American Indian Museum, or sitting in a church silent save a few tourists’ footsteps. I count at least three farmer’s markets and more indoor public spaces. Spending lunch in these places is more than an escape from the office for me. It can be a break from the bustling of the city itself, and a context for reflection.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often?: Joe’s Gourmet on Greenwich off Rector. I think every block in every downtown has this place. The cleanliness and the quality of the ingredients are questionable. However, you can get there from your office despite sleet, the people are really nice, and you have your one go-to meal (mine’s from the salad bar) that is cheap and rarely disappoints.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch?: It alerted me that the new Baoguette had finally opened, and I am slowly coming around.

Dream job location (anywhere in the world), purely for lunch purposes, and why? Well, if we are dreaming… My workplace would have a garden, where I could fresh pick the basics, or perhaps the leafy greens and ripe peaches would harvest themselves. It would always be sunny, and there would be a big grass field for eating outside. Food carts from Ho Chi Minh City and Brooklyn and Hong Kong would come rolling toward me, Harold McGee and Barack Obama while sitting next to a river of oolong tea, as work became work-hour and lunch became the 9-5. My reasons are obvious, though I suppose sub-conscious.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers???: Has anyone been truly happy with any of the Thai places south of Fulton, and if so what’s your favorite dish? Also – does anywhere have spicy, delicious curly fries? Any other outdoor or indoor locations to best enjoy your lunch? Maybe a secret building roof?

Who’s got the straight dope on Thai food for Seth? An how about curly fries? 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



  • I have no information on the best Thai or curly fries, but wanted to say that you brought back good memories! It has been a few years since I’ve worked downtown and I had forgotten how often I used to walk over to the river or Canal Park to each lunch – probably too far for you, unless you’re in the mood for a good walk.

  • what a healthy appetite! Sorrry im no help at all! While im a DL’er i am in a completely different area. my fav thai place is pongsri on baxter and i dont know of any others.

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    Seth, I like your photo of the water- did you take that? Also- what exactly is an investigator? Are you a private eye?

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