PROFILE: Downtown Lunch’er “James”

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 James who works in Tribeca and has found some good lunches in a pricey neighborhood, but would love to work a little farther north. And you probably won’t see him lined up for a BBQ chicken pizza with arugula.

 width=Name: James Durazzo

Occupation: Budget analyst

Where you work: TriBeCa

Age: 28

Favorite Kinds of Food: Italian, Mexican, burgers

Least Favorite kinds of Food: Canned tuna fish, bologna, Kraft singles, cream cheese, salad bars in delis that have “canned everything” for toppings, pizza with obscure toppings

Favorite lunches Downtown: Farinella on Worth St. (btw. Broadway and Church) for the marinara slice as well as the Portalba calzone (sautéed escarole with black olives); South’s Bar on Church St. (btw. Franklin and 6th Ave.) for the sirloin burger with blue cheese as well as the nachos; The Bigger Place on Warren St. (at W. Broadway) for the chorizo tacos and a glass of cold refreshing horchata; Stuzzicheria on Church St. (btw. Walker and Lispenard) for pane panelle sliders and arancini; Majestic Pizza on Cortlandt St. (btw. Trinity Pl. and Broadway) for the grandma slice with fresh basil.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: The Square Diner on Leonard (at West Broadway) – It’s a simple mainstay in the heart of a neighborhood that has become so lavish.

Places downtown you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: I must say I was thrilled to learn about the (Open Air Cafe) kiosks that serve food in the vicinity of the courthouses. In an area that is barren for decent lunch, Choza Taqueria and Lucky Buns at 1 Centre Street were a great find. I was also stoked to read about about the soon-to-be TriBeCa location for Luzzo’s on Church St. Mexicue truck satisfied my craving for pulled pork shoulder sliders. There’s not enough pulled pork in this city.

Dream job location, purely for lunch purposes, and why:
West Village, preferably the vicinity in and around Carmine and Bleecker. Everything you need is situated right around there: Joe’s pizza, People’s Pops, Grom, Faicco’s, John’s, Amy’s Bread, Pearl Oyster Bar, Five Guys, Rocco’s. There’s always a good vibe around there.

Anything you’d like to ask downtown Midtown Lunch readers?: There are clearly an overwhelming number of lunch options in NYC… an overwhelming number of food options in general. I think it’s fair to say that most really value their lunch break, if of course they have the opportunity to even take one. I’m curious as to what they feel is still missing. What do New Yorkers crave that still seems unavailable to them? What’s the thing that would really just make their day that much more special?

My answer to that question would be Chick-fil-A (and no, the NYU location doesn’t count). Not that we don’t have some fine chicken sandwich options here, but having one of these bad boys within walking distance would make my day.  What are you guys having unfulfilled food dreams about? 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



  • Cheap Korean food in a 15 minute walking distance.

  • Really really great cheap mexican and barbeque(any kind). Most everything else is covered.

    You’d think that Mexicue would soothe two for three, but the price ain’t cutting it.

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    Hi, I’m Carol’s friend. I would have to agree with MWinston. More fast Korean food outside of Koreatown. Also, Vietnamese restaurants that serve good banh mi.

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