PROFILE: Downtown Lunch’er “Jessica”

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 Jessica who will eat anything unless it’s bland. Or tofu.

Name: Jessica Kramer

Occupation: Conference producer at The Conference Forum

Where you work: Water St. between Old Slip & Gouverneur Lane

Age: 23

Favorite kinds of food: Everything! And the spicier the better, as long as it doesn’t completely overwhelm the flavor of the dish. My favorites are Thai, Indian, Mexican/Tex-Mex, Italian, French, Cajun, Moroccan, Eastern European, sushi, tapas and dim sum. I also have a soft spot for some Jewish food having grown up with it. Dessert-wise, I love dark chocolate when it’s paired with hazelnuts or peanut butter. I have the simplest peanut butter brownie recipe my dad used to make for my birthday growing up and no other brownie I’ve had anywhere in the world compares!

Least favorite foods: Cottage cheese; creamy cheeses (I just can’t seem to eat them! I used to not like any cheese, so it’s an improvement. I will, however, eat melted cheese); lemons; imitation meat, & tofu (It’s just so bland! I’d rather have a lot of delicious vegetables than fake meat or tofu, except for fake duck in Thai restaurants).

Favorite lunches downtown: I found out about the Comme Ci, Comme Ça Truck from you guys & soon after saw the Bistro Truck parked in the same spot outside my office. They’ve led me to a new appreciation for Moroccan food. I just can’t get enough of the former’s super spicy sauces (well, I ask for it super spicy) on their couscous which is loaded with awesome and unique veggies (so far I’ve really enjoyed them with their kofta & chicken) and the latter’s merguez sandwich. For a special treat, I indulge in the regular burger at Frites N Meats with some Gruyère and all their free toppings, as well as Wafels & Dinges‘ mini wafelini with their incredible spekuloos spread and strawberries (the big waffles are just too much!). The spekuloos ice cream is also amazing. On my first day at work, I passed Dig Inn at Pine & Pearl. They seem like they strike the perfect balance between food that’s relatively healthy & tasty. I’ve really enjoyed their spicy meatballs, tomato brown rice, sweet potatoes, cauliflower & lentils. Their roasted red pepper sauce is great with turkey. Finally, believe it or not, I still haven’t been to Luke’s Lobster, so a trip there is in order soon. I’m sure once I’ve tried their lobster roll it will be one of those “once in a blue moon” treats I’ll shell out for (pun sort of intended).

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: None at the moment. I just started working down here a couple months ago so I guess I haven’t gotten sick of anything yet! I’m also trying to be better about bringing lunch from home, which is the only way I’m guaranteed to eat healthy since I so often give in to temptation when I eat out.

Places downtown you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch: Downtown? So many! When I started working down here I thought of checking out Downtown Lunch, having been a fan of Midtown Lunch for years while at NYU, and I discovered all kinds of great food trucks down here that I had never heard of before. The best find was perhaps the New Amsterdam Market at the South Street Seaport . I went up (yes, we are that far south!) with my coworkers and we all ate some delicious Lonestar Tacos (the carnitas was our favorite) and I went back later for my dinner & got a sandwich from Porchetta. Another favorite is Desi Food on Wheels on Whitehall (btw. Bridge & Pearl). Last week I tried their two chicken dishes with biryani rice which was perfect for the price! I just tried Blue Spoon Coffee on William (at Platt) for the first time yesterday and enjoyed it, but it’s probably a bit too expensive to get coffee there regularly. Other trucks I found from this site include Bian Dang – the fried pork chop & rice was killer; Nuchas - love their free empanada deal! I like the Argentine the best; The Cinnamon Snail – that creme brûlée doughnut is ridiculous; Toum – the fried kibbeh that Midtown Lunch didn’t care for was actually my favorite out of all the things I tried. I also heard about Chinese Mirch, Palenque and Milk Truck. Pasta from Zigolini’s at Coenties Slip & Pearl, and Nu Sushi are next on my list thanks to the site.

Dream job location, purely for lunch purposes, and why: The East Village. Aside from going to college there, I also worked at AOL for a short time (at 9th St. and Broadway) and I miss all the holes in the wall & the overwhelming amount of great cuisines that were scattered across every block, especially the Indian feasts you could get for $6 on E. 6th St., all the cheap eats on St. Mark’s, and Veselka’s hot borscht.
Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch: Downtown readers? Are there any good Thai places with a decent lunch special not too far from me? Thai is one of my favorites, and I miss the $5-$6 specials I got around NYU. Also, as a pizza lover, I want to know: Are there any really good slice joints down here? I’ve been to Adrienne’s Pizza Bar on Stone St. (nr. Hanover Sq.) but I’d love a place for a great thin-crust slice and not an entire regular or personal pie. Thanks!
The Thai food situation down here is pretty dismal, especially for cheap eats. The most solid places I’ve found are Bennie’s Thai Cafe at Fulton & Gold and Lemon Leaves on Nassau (btw. Liberty & Maiden Ln.). Where do you all go for a good pizza slice? I’m partial to Majestic Pizza & Calzone on Cortlandt St. (btw. B’way & Trinity), but it’s a little far for Jessica to walk. 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 downtown@midtownlunch.com.

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2 Comments

  • Tough area to find a good slice. I’d recommend checking out Rosella’s on William St. The pizzamaker there, Frank, is serious about his craft. Good Garlic Knots too.

  • Wow! I have to say this is one of the best profiles in a long time…and i mean from the entire Midtown lunch site.

    This lady has good taste. Kudos!

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