PROFILE: Downtown Lunch’er “Erin”

As is 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, a Midtown transplant asks about all the good spots she needs to discover in and around Tribeca…

ErinName: Erin

Age: Quarter Century

Occupation: Publicist at a PR Firm which recently moved from Time Square to Soho.

Where do you work?: Canal and Hudson

Favorite Kind of Food: Potatoes, scallops and cheese are my weaknesses. Make me any combination of those three and I’ll empty my bank account for you. I didn’t eat red meat until about a year ago, so I’ve recently discovered how freaking good medium rare beef can be. Having grown up in Houston, authentic Mexican or Tex-Mex food is like comfort food for me. I’m also a novice baker (anything with liquor in it/on it/with it) and have an insatiable sweet tooth. Oh, and I’ve liked brussel sprouts and lima beans since I was a kid.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I still can’t dig hamburgers, though I try. Polenta/grits for the texture, and mom’s kasha varnishkas (sorry mom!)

Favorite Lunch(es) Downtown: Fay Da Bakery was my go-to spot every day until the one on Canal Street closed; Ruben’s Empanadas (Multiple Locations); Calexico Cart (on Wooster & Prince); Mooncake Foods (on Watson btw. Thompson+6th); Excellent Dumpling House (on Lafayette btw. Walker+Canal).

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often: The FreshDirect Machine in our office, the cafe in our office, and the aforementioned, but now closed Fay Da.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: I owe the happiness of my last 2 years and the corresponding 10 pounds to Midtown Lunch. I think my boyfriend and I had our first lunch date at Kwik Meal and our second at the El Rey Del Sabor cart. City Burger (for the chicken burger and fries – now closed); Chicken Curry Udon at Sushi! by Bento Nouveau (Broadway and 39th); Biriyani Cart; Pick a Pita; Macaron Cafe; Bon Chon Chicken

Dream job location (anywhere in the world), purely for lunch purposes, and why: My first thought was Mexico, since I’m thinking about home and probably craving that, but I know for a fact I wouldn’t want to live there. As “purely for lunch purposes” was the qualifier, I’m going to go with New York. I don’t know of any other places you can get rogan josh, udon, hand-rolled tamales, a hamburger, pizza, Korean fried chicken and a cupcake all in the same block and all from a cart.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers?: I’m new to the Downtown Soho/Chinatown scene – what are some of the best places (preferably on the West Side) that I’m missing?

The west side is one area I haven’t done much exploring in. Any suggestions, guys? 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



  • What, can’t dig hamburgers? Awww man. But it is cool that you considered street carts as date spots with your BF. Props!

    And there are other Fay Da locations but the one that closed is probably closest?

  • What is a fresh direct machine???

  • StreetMeas: There is something about the dry texture I just can’t get behind. Oddly, I love watching people eat hamburgers. I usually just sit contendedly munching on a non-beef/pork option and stealing their fries. Yes, I’m banished to the West side, so even the Fay Da on Centre is really too far for lunch (though I did stop by on my way home from work yesterday!)

    Goats: FreshDirect has a refrigerated (not frozen) vending service. Basically, it’s all their prepared meals from Tabla and Rosa Mexicana, etc in this refrigerated vending machine from the future. It shouldn’t be good, but it actually is.

  • I can say with some certainty that I’d rather live in most of Mexico over Houston, even though large portions of the Mexican population have apparently disagreed with me.

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    I think I worked in the same building as you do, it was on Canal and Hudson and had a Fresh Direct Machine.

    That neighborhood is tough, it’s expensive and there’s not a ton of choices.

    I like Turks and Frogs Middle Eastern, Mooncake Foods, Dean’s Pizzeria, Beach Street Eatery, and Bubbie’s, all deliver or are in walking distance of your building (though Dean’s is a hike)

    • Thanks Antonina! The FD machine is fairly new and only open to my company, so unless you work for an extremely large and well-known PR firm at Canal and Hudson, it is probably just a coincidence.

      I’ve found it actually can be surprisingly expensive, which is odd, considering there is literally nothing here. I’m definitely trying out Turks and Frogs and Beach Street as soon as it stops snowing. I’ve been to Bubbie’s and completely forgot about it here!

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