PROFILE: Downtown Lunch’er “Frank”

As is customary here on Midtown Lunch: Downtown, every Tuesday we’ll profile a different lunch’er and get their recommendations for places to eat in Downtown NYC. This week, we have Frank who works in the nether regions of the FiDi, but has managed to scope out nearly all of the great lunch options near his office. But what he really wants is Taco Bell.

Name: Frank

Occupation: Project manager

Where you work: Water and Broad

Age: 27

Favorite kinds of food: Tacos (authentic + Taco Bell chalupas); dry-aged steak; cured meats with cheese (speck + piave); fried chicken (Southern + Korean); BBQ (all styles); bread pudding; horchata.

Least favorite foods: Raw seafood. I don’t eat sushi. Most people don’t trust my taste in food after hearing that.

Favorite lunches downtown: Sophie’s Cuban (Multiple Locations). If they have oxtail, I’ll get that with sweet plantains and yellow rice and I ask for the smaller pieces of oxtail because they seem to “fall off the bone” more.  If not, I’ll get a pernil sandwich with sweet plantains, loaded up with onions, mayo and green sauce. Tacos Morelos Truck for a cemita with any meat. San Luis Tacos Truck at Front & Wall for carnitas tacos – because it’s got some pig ear bits in there for some crunch. Bian Dang Truck for the “Porken” – half a chicken, half a pork chop – over rice with a tea egg. The Banh Mi Cart at Hanover Sq. & Pearl for a grilled pork banh mi, a “little spicy” with some fish sauce. Indian Biryani Delights Cart on Water (btw. Maiden Ln. & Pine) for chicken biryani. Veronica’s Kitchen Cart at Front btw. Maiden Lane & Cedar for jerk chicken with candied yams + collard greens. Obao at Coenties Slip & Water for pho bo (great in the winter). Chop’t on Pearl (btw. Maiden & Cedar) for a Santa Fe salad with fried chicken. I can’t eat a salad that doesn’t have any meat in it.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Winter: Obao, because the pho bo warms you up. Spring: Chop’t, because beach season is coming up. Summer: Food trucks because the days have fewer meetings and there’s more time to go exploring places that are a little farther away. Fall: Sophie’s, because things are getting back into a groove, and you always know you can count on Sophie’s.

Places downtown you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: Downtown? Indian Biryani Delights Cart, Tacos Morelos Truck, San Luis Tacos Truck, Veronica’s Kitchen Cart, and probably many more but I don’t remember them all.

Dream job location, purely for lunch purposes, and why: I’ve worked in Tribeca, Midtown East and Long Island City, but I’m loving where I am now in the Financial District (for lunch purposes). Maybe a few blocks north would give me quicker access to my favorite spots, but I really can’t complain about the variety. The fact that most of the food trucks I enjoy in the FiDi are there every day also helps. I don’t have to check Twitter all the time to see who is going to be parked where.

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch: Downtown readers? Can we start an online petition of some kind to bring back Popeye’s (the Fulton St. location closed in 2011), and open a Taco Bell? To balance out the healthiness of the area, maybe we throw in a Just Salad too.

I can’t really get behind another Just Salad location, as I think one down here is enough, but I’m sure more fast food will open on Fulton St., perhaps where Popeye’s once was. Are any of you in favor of Frank’s petition idea? 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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