PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Robert Sietsema”

I’m pretty excited for this week’s Profiled Midtown Lunch’er. A personal hero of mine, Robert Sietsema is not just a food writer for the Village Voice, his “Counter Culture” column is a champion of the type of eats we struggle to find every day here in Midtown for lunch. He’s also the curator of the Village Voice’s Choice Eats, a huge restaurant tasting event happening a week from tonight (March 11th) at the Puck Building featuring food from 35 places from all over New York City, hand picked by Robert himself (including our very own Margon). Advance tickets are all sold out, but they will be selling a limited number of $35 tickets at the door starting at 5:30pm on Tuesday (March 11th). Plus, I have a pair a tickets to give away to one lucky Midtown Lunch’er, after Robert gives his picks for lunching in Midtown…

Name: Robert Sietsema

Food Snob

Where do you Work?:
The Village Voice

Favorite Kind of Food:
West African (especially lamb mafe! which has a peanut sauce), Mexican (regional cooking from Oaxaca and Guerrero), Italian (Umbrian, Tuscan, and Calabrian), and Italian-American (yay, meat ball hero!)

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Venezuelan, way too bland and boring, too much mayo!

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: Margon(46th btw. 6+7th) for their pernil and chicken fricassee. Katsuhama (47th btw. Mad+5th) for their splendid pork cutlets incorporated into katsudon. And Sapporo(49th btw. 6+7th), especially for their cold noodle dish in the hot summer months.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Ressie Mae’s on 8th Ave. btw. 39+40th. (May she rest in peace -zach)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Port of Spain, Trinidad — rotis & doubles!

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Where is the best meat ball parmesan hero in midtown?

My favorite Meatball Sub, plus how you can win tix to Choice Eats, after the jump…

Meatball sub is a tough one, but I think I have to go with Lazzara’s on 38th btw. 7+8th. Although the one from Bella Napoli on 49th btw. 6+7th may be a close 2nd. It’s been awhile, but I remember needing a serious nap after eating it- and after all, isn’t that the true mark of meatball sub greatness?

To be entered to win a pair of tickets to the Village Voice’s Choice Eats Tasting Event happening on March 11th at the Puck Building, post your favorite dish from one of the restaurants participating in the festival (full list here), or your favorite Meatball Sub in Midtown. If you don’t win, there will be a limited number of $35 tickets at the door for sale the night of the event.

And as always, if you want to be the next Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, or you’d like to nominate somebody in your office, email me at


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