PROFILE: Dowtown Lunch’er “Bobby”
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, international man of mystery Bobby tells us how his aunt scarred him for life and his pick for best late lunch deal around the FiDi…
Occupation: Information Technology (and international hardcore techno dj!)
Where do you work?: Financial district
Favorite Kind of Food: Pizza & wraps. Street meat will always have a special place in my heart. And who could say no to a good sandwich?
Least Favorite Kind of Food: I say my least favorite food would have to be intestines. In fact anything that isn’t really meat just turns me off.
When I was younger my family took me to Colombia to visit my aunts and uncles. While there, we went to the local supermarket for some shopping. There was a section that had all sorts of meat and animal parts for sale by the weight. And when I say animal parts I mean ALL animal parts. These parts were in these big bins waiting to be scooped up into plastic bags for weighing. I saw cow eyes, cow tongues, cow intestines, chicken feet, cow heads, cow testicles and colons! Yes! Lots of strange animal parts! They really don’t waste anything it seems. For regular ole cow meat you get burgers and steaks from…well that stuff was separate from the rest of the cow in this supermarket. So, since then, the thought of eating any of that stuff really does not sit well with me. My aunt in Colombia actually bought some intestines and cooked it up into some sort of rice dish and gave me some along with a liver steak. I tried it and it was the most awful texture and taste I have ever experienced! Chewy, almost pasty and the taste was odd and unfamiliar. I’d prefer to put pizza and ice cream in a blender and drink it than eat intestine rice again.
Favorite Lunch(es) Downtown: Patuca (41 John St.) has a sandwich bar – kind of like subway – but with much much better ingredients like olive tapenade, pesto, fresh spinach, cooked spinach, nicer looking veggies overall than any place I’ve seen with a sandwich bar. Patuca also has great baguettes and very close in taste to the ones made in France. It’s a good change of pace when you had had enough pizza from the same area.
“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often?: There is a place in the building where I work called Ashby’s (120 Broadway). Its one of those generic delis, not particular great, but is conveniently located in the lobby of the building. They have your typical salad bar, sandwich bar, soups, muffins and coffee; a good place to go when it’s raining or too cold.
The best thing about Ashby’s is their pre-made sandwiches that are half price after 3pm. The sandwich is totally worth it at half price and somehow tastier than a seven dollar sandwich. Just today I had a $3.73 grilled chicken sandwich from Ashby’s with feta cheese, red onions and some olive oil on multi grain bread. It was very tasty.
Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch?: The Vietnamese sandwich cart at Hanover square. I was informed about that thanks to my hardcore foodie co-worker Chris. My first Vietnamese sandwich in my life was from that cart over at Hanover square and I got the “regular” Sandwich that contains pork along with your typical Vietnamese dish ingredients on a baguette. And the baguette is as good as those from Patuca if not better.
Dream job location (anywhere in the world), purely for lunch purposes, and why? Paris, France is the place for me! I would do any kind of work there just to be close to all the great places to eat! I’d clean bird poop off the Eiffel Tower just to be in a city that has yummy bread and cheap delectable wine and many restaurants with Prix fixe menus! If you’ve never had a food high I guarantee you will have your first in almost any restaurant in Paris. There is a place across from the Modern museum in Paris (Musée national d’Art moderne – Centre Georges Pompidou) called Le Mont Lozere it’s a typical bistro and they have one of the best steak tartare dishes I’ve ever had. I went to three different places in Paris for steak tartare and this place was the best!
Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers???: Where can I find a real baguette Downtown? There must be some sort of French bakery somewhere, right?
Anybody know a good French bakery around here? I’m pretty curious about this myself. 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 email@example.com.