PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Nathan”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er to get his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. Today it’s Nathan, a Financial Analyst who after 5 years of toiling away in Midtown is moving to Philly, and wanted his Midtown Lunch moment in the sun before he takes off.  (Oh, and yes- that is him posing in front of Morimoto.)

Name: Nathan


Financial Analyst

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
For the last five years, I have toiled diligently between 50th+57th Streets and between 7th+Madison Avenues

Favorite Kind of Food:
Anything Tasty (see below)

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
1) Burrittos – something about the double-starch whammy of rice and tortilla just does not sit well with my palate, 2) Caesar Salad – especially when my co-worker orders it as a “healthy” option, 3) Average or not-fresh sushi

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
1) The vegetarian lunchbox at Bay Leaf Indian Brasserie (on 56th btw. 5+6th.) Since the dishes rotate on a daily basis, you never know what you are going to get!) 2) The Pad Si Ew noodles, Crispy Pork with Chinese Broccoli and Thai Iced Tea at Wondee Siam II (9th Ave. btw. 53+54th) 3) Beef Tendon with Hot Sauce from Grand Sichuan (on 9th ave., now closed) 4) Swedish Meatballs, Truffle Frites and Homeade Lemonade from F&B Gudtfood (also now closed) 5) Grilled Tofu Steak with Lemongrass from Saigon 48 (48th btw. 7+8th) 6) Beef Empanada, Breaded Chicken with Yellow Rice and Beans from Sophie’s Cuban on 56th btw. 5+6th which has now Morphed Into Tina’s Restaurant, 7) Ramen and Gyoza at Sapporo (49th btw. 6+7th) or Men Kui Tai (56th btw. 5+6th), 8) Lentil or Lobster Bisque Soup at the Soupman (Multiple Locations). Oh- and pretty much everything on the menu at Izakaya Hagi (aka Sake Bar Hagi on 49th btw. 6+7th), but they are not open for lunch.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often?
I answer with “your co-workers” as the key phrase in the prompt: Blockheads, Chop’t Salad (WAY OVERPRICED), Delmonico Gourmet (and other similar generic delis), The Great American Health Bar, Mangia, Cafe Europa, The Pump Energy Kitchen, Hale and Hearty Soups

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Bon Appetit Pop Up Cafe (Now Gone), Pro Korean (56th btw. 5+6th), FIKA Swedish Espresso Bar (58th btw. 5+6th), Five Guys Burgers (55th btw. 5+6th), Go Go Curry (38th btw. 7+8th), Hallo Berlin Cart (54th & 5th)

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I have not been there yet, but Singapore with its mix of Asian cultures and its gauntlet of hawker stalls.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? One of my favorite dishes is Za Jiang Mein, the Chinese (and also Korean) answer to Spaghetti Bolognese, consisting
of noodles served with a salty black bean / ground meat sauce and garnished with raw vegetables. But I have had trouble finding this dish in New York City, let alone in Midtown. Anybody know of restaurants that feature this dish? Plus- I will be moving to Philadelphia for a few years. Now
that you have read about my favorite New York lunch haunts, do you have any tips on surviving lunchhour in Philadelphia?

So, I don’t know about Za Jiang Mein (the Chinese version) but we tackled the jjajangmyeon question a few weeks ago after I had an ok Korean version at Han Ah Reum (on 32nd btw. 5th+B’way.) There are some good suggestions in the comments of that post. Since then, I had a good (and cheap) version at Shanghai Mong on 32nd btw. 5+6th which I’ll be posting about soon.

As for the Philly thing, that’s a-whole-nother question. Anybody used to work in Philly (or currently work in Philly) and have good suggestions for Nathan? Feel free to post them in the comments.

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


  • Ahhhhh Mamacita, if only i was 8 years singular:)

    Does anyone know how/if the MT ‘meet’ is/happened?

  • Whole lotta asset shaking go on……..

  • Hey, how come CockChug hasn’t hit on Nathan yet? Cocky’s online profile clearly says he likes show tunes, swishy pirates, NAMBLA meetings and being pegged on rainy Saturday afternoons

  • hey -email me Rudy & DDR
    midtownlunchmeetup at gmail

  • you’re telling me Bossman. I’ve never been to Philly or eaten Za Jiang Mein, though it does sound frightfully delicious. There’s gotta be some place in Flushing that does it, both versions probs.

    PS that’s so not a gang sign. That’s the “I love Journey.” or “Rock out, Morimoto.” sign.

  • Mr “McBagel:”

    How lovely for you.

    Sadly, my wife and I (she is 20 years younger than me) have a considerable leg up on you in the real estate holding arena.

    We own a rather spectacular 18 room mansion in the most upscale subdivision in Houston, Texas, as well as a small but handsome horse farm and commercial kitchen in Mountain Home, Arkansas and time shares in North Carolina and Mexico.

    Oh, and a pristine cottage in the UK.

    Damn, I forgot my wife’s many clinics/salons. We own the real estate in approximately 75% of the locations.

    Please feel free to view some great pictures of our many homes:

  • Nice Hyundai

  • Nathan, Nina will give you pointers on throwing signs for when you’re in Philly.

    Looks to me to be more of the “chaka brua dude, surfs up” gesture.


  • The Town House in Chelsea purchase price £9.8m in 2003

    Now,even with the world markets in flux because of your Knuckleheaded monkey featured ‘president’, the Value is somewhat shy of £15m.

    You have Equitable wealth of over $30m?…even including the VW Traveller?(here again avoiding the family home in shropshire…haven’t a bloody clue of it’s worth,mamacita/blondie, but it does have an heriditary title endowed on the freehold…which would make a possible future Mrs McBagel ‘Lady’.We’d never use it though, it’s sooo East Hamptons).

    In Arkansas that would be a legally binding engagement promise.

  • Whoosh (wiping brow)… I’m just glad it wasn’t the accent.

  • Doc, does your horse farm smell like horse sh*t?

  • Obvious Lesson: Comment on food blogs all day and before you know it you too will be a multi-millionaire

    I can feel my equity soaring as I type

  • I don’t get out of bed for less than a DOH closure.

  • Zha Jiang Mien is a Northern China dish. So any place that specializes in Beijing cuisine should make it well. Though, I can’t think of a good NYC restaurant that specializes in Northern Chinese food off the top of my head.

  • Oh, yes!! Nathan, forgot about him.:)

    Face it, you’ll be in Philly you’ll be eating cheesesteaks for breakfast.

  • @Craig: I’m no veggie, but have to agree that the veggie truck at 34th & Walnut (the Magic Carpet, right?) is good. The UPenn area used to have a crepes truck that was amazing, but I remember it being shifted around post my time in Philly, and perhaps is no longer there? Also, I LOVED the Indian buffet at New Delhi (40th and Chestnut) but have heard quality not what it was. Not sure if I believe it, though.

    Agree with everyone on Reading Terminal. :) Yum!

  • Sorry Mamacita – would love to join the ML crew for a meet n’ eat, but there are too many crazies out there. As Rudy alluded, “Gay Superman’s” effete, epicene epigones would have me shot.

  • DDR – CockChug is now a saint at ML so the ascension of Gay Superman can’t be too far behind

    Unless of course he turns Bryant Park into a street meat chainsaw massacre

  • Have to, like, 10th the Reading Market recommendation. Also, there’s a great vegetarian Indian buffet called Samosa at Walnut and 12th. Also, not really sure why no one has mentioned Pat’s (never Geno’s)…or maybe that’s because it’s better for a 3 a.m. weekend meal than for a workday lunch?

  • I feel bad for poor Nathan, He has to have his Midtown Lunch legacy mired by a retarded dick waving contest.

    Sorry Nathan.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.