PROFILE: Downtown Lunch’er “Paul”

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 Paul, who grew up in Hong Kong, wishes there was more variety in carts and hates foods that try to be something they’re not.

Name: Paul Chaveriat

Occupation: Institutional Sales

Where you work: Wall St

Age: 26

Favorite Kinds of Food: I generally like simple, traditional foods. I believe quality of ingredients and amount of preparation should be inversely related. I grew up in Hong Kong, so I am partial to Asian food, though I will eat and enjoy almost anything. My all-time favorite foods of any kind are: medium rare rib eye with salt and pepper, sushi (uni and toro), fresh pasta, burrata.

Least Favorite Foods: Imposters – California rolls, Peking duck without the skin, skim milk, teriyaki sauce dumped on white rice, string cheese mozzarella, turkey burgers, turkey bacon. I also don’t enjoy the flavor of licorice, most things bitter, coconut flakes and Jell-O.

Favorite Lunches Downtown: Downtown Deli’s pastrami reuben sandwich, Zak’s Halal cart (aka Musthafa’s Halal) combo on rice w/ lots of white sauce and a little spicy, Tokyo Kitchen, regular slice from Big Al’s Chicago Style Pizza on Thames St. (btw. Broadway & Trinity Pl.).

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Used to be Ashby’s, then it was Toasties. Recently we’ve done a pretty good job at switching it up.

Places downtown you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: I’m new to the site, but here are the top ones I want to try – Pakistan Tea House on Church St. (btw. Reade & Duane), The Grotto on New St. (at Beaver) and the  Korean BBQ Cart on Varick St. (at Charlton).

Dream job location, purely for lunch purposes, and why: The East Village – In my opinion the best cost-to-taste ratio of anywhere in the city, and tons of variety.

Anything you’d like to ask the downtown Midtown Lunch readers?: I am a big fan of street food and in particular the recent surge in popularity of food trucks. Why is it still so rare to find good variety among street food? Would it be hard to setup a stand with tasty grilled hot dogs, brats, or burgers?  What about stir-fry? Ramen? Even a quick plate of pasta with sauce simmering in a pot? What foods are you willing to eat from a cart?

Downtown definitely can’t compete with midtown in terms of cart variety, but we do have Mexican food, pasta, chicken curry and falafel, among others. And don’t even get me started on Chinatown. What do you guys think of Paul’s ideas? 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


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