PROFILE: Downtown Lunch’ers “Attack” of Wieden + Kennedy

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, we have five guys from Wieden + Kennedy in Soho. You may know them as the ones with the awesome Wall of Restaurant Worship. They have pretty different eating styles and I’m amazed they can ever agree on where to get lunch, but they have quite the list of favorite spots.

Name: Phil Chang, Eric Collins, Larry Pipitone, Joey Ellis, Keiji Ando

Occupation: Multi-disciplinary creative team (also DJing couples therapy

Where you work: Wieden + Kennedy NY

Ages: 23 – 25

Favorite Kinds of Food: It’s impossible to answer this question without offending one of us. The group ranges from Phil, who’ll eat anything just to say he ate it to Larry, who might flip the table if there’s anything other than polenta and chicken on his plate. Eric and Joey are open to expanding their palates, but are admittedly conservative with the exploration of foods they haven’t tried yet. Keiji is ostensibly invested in discovering new foods but for some reason refuses to admit if there are things he doesn’t particularly enjoy eating.

Least Favorite Foods: If we start at the middle of the spectrum, Eric and Joe kind of draw the line at things like chicken feet, jellyfish and tripe, so the texture foods of the world have historically been off the table for them.You know, things you might see “Food Network” travel hosts feign freak-outs over. Keiji has a completely subjective distaste for cafeteria-style food from certain local take-out spots, while others are, inexplicably, completely agreeable. The rest of us can’t understand where the prejudice springs from. Meanwhile, Larry’s most frequent menu selections are not dissimilar to what the Irish imaginably had access to during the Potato Famine. Conversely, it’s hard to pinpoint what Phil won’t eat because he’s eaten genitalia in stews before. Allegedly, this was not of the human variety.

Favorite Lunches Downtown: The Meatball Shop on Stanton (btw. Allen & Orchard), Quinto Quarto (Bedford at Downing), Alidoro on Sullivan St. (btw. Spring & Prince), Ben’s Pizza on Spring St. (at Thompson), Cafe Mae Mae on Spring St. (btw. Varick & Hudson), Berimbau on Carmine St. (btw. Bleecker & Bedford), Do Hwa on Carmine (btw. Bedford & Varick), Grey Dog’s Coffee (Multiple Locations), Grand Sichuan (Multiple Locations), Mekong on Prince St. (at Mulberry), Morakote Siam on Carmine (btw. Bleecker & Bedford), The Vietnamese Sandwich Place We Always Forget The Name Of, Broome St. Bar on W. Broadway (btw. Grand & Leonard), The Ear Inn on Spring (btw. Greenwich & Washington), La Esquina on Kenmare St. (at Cleveland Pl.), Cubana Cafe on Thompson (btw. Prince & Spring).

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: M&O Market & Deli on Thompson (at Prince) – quick, simple, to the point, and, while we don’t think their bread is actually of higher quality than the next place’s, for some reason it always tastes better.

Places downtown you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: We actually hadn’t heard of Midtown Lunch before you reached out to us about the Restaurant Wall. That’s probably because we completely agree that midtown is a “food wasteland” and hence have never cared to search for things to eat there. Or go there. Ever.

Dream job location, purely for lunch purposes, and why: We have it pretty good at our current spot, but if you’re insisting that Midtown Lunch will fund the opening of a satellite Attack office simply to entertain our culinary whims, who are we to refuse? We’ll look into somewhere more central in Soho for easy access to every side of downtown and let you know where to drop the security deposit. Currently, The Meatball Shop is too far east for us to get to without forcing conversation during the walk over.

Anything you’d like to ask the downtown Midtown Lunch readers?: Do you guys think that lightning (if any) from the tropical storms on the Gulf Coast could ignite the oil spill? If so, could the swirling hurricane winds then suck up the ensuing flames and create an unbelievably apocalyptic firestorm in the sky much like the Eye of Sauron does in “Lord of the Rings”?

I’m not even going to attempt to answer that question, and I’ll leave that to you downtown lunch’ers. Also, this profile makes me feel like I must go eat at some of these places, and clued me into some prime dive bars in Soho. And as always, if you would like to be next week’s Profiled Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email us at

Photo courtesy of Dorothy Hong.


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