PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Kathy”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. This week it’s Kathy, a Data Analyst who wants an answer to the age old question:  are any Midtown Restaurant Week lunches worth it?

Name: Kathy

Age: 26

Occupation: Data Analyst at an Ad Agency

Where in Midtown do you Work?: Madison in the 40s

Favorite Kind of Food: This is a toss-up among Mexican, Viet, and Thai. I love sour, bright, fresh citrus-y, and spicy flavors and I think these ethnic cuisines do it best.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Generic Italian, like meatball parm sandwiches, lasagna, especially those really heavy alfredo cream sauces, and gnocchi. And though I wish I liked cheese, I really don’t (smells and tastes like feet mixed with butt–it’s true) which makes me dislike generic Italian even more.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: The Lunch Special #10-Braised crispy tofu with chili-spiced pork at Szechuan Gourmet (two locations), anything at Chipotle (multiple locations), the Green Sauce at Sophie’s Cuban (multiple locations), the beef croquettes at Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th), Chiyoda Sushi hodgepodge (on 41st btw. Mad+5th), Wendy’s chili, and Tiffin Wallah $6 Lunch Buffet (Vegetarian on 28th btw. Lex+Park)

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Too often in a good way = Szechuan Gourmet (delicious food, good portion for so cheap; we always leave there satisfied). Too often in a shameful way = Pret. There’s some sauce Pret uses on a number of their sandwiches including their falafel one that is pretty nasty and makes you have even nastier burps.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Ho Yip on 45th btw. 5+6th (thank you); Las Poblanitas on 38th btw. 8+9th (double thank you); Udon West (on 46th btw. 3rd+Lex), I love the huge ball of really thin deep fried onions they give you on the side that you break off and dunk with each bite of noodle and soup–sooo good.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Probably L.A. just for La Oaxaquena Taco Trucks and I’d make my own guac and pack and eat it with. Or I could do Vietnam for Pho (I wish there was good Pho in Midtown – please share if you guys know any; the one at Dishes is bad bad bad.)

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Any restaurants in Midtown worth the $24 and change for Restaurant Week lunch?

Ah yes. The age old Restaurant Week question.  I did restaurant week lunch once at Hatsuhana (my wife paid, natch.)  It was really good, although with high quality sushi $24 only gets you so far.  Anybody have a good recommendation? Put it in the comments…

And as always if you’d like to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at


  • Rutgers, when we gettin’ that hotel room. I have my wig all ready….I won’t do you in your butt though, unless you wine and dine me first!

  • Here is a list of Restaurant Week participants that have received Michelin stars:

    Anthos – Midtown West
    The Modern – Midtown West
    Alto – Midtown East
    Oceana – Midtown East
    Gotham Bar & Grill – Greenwich Village
    Perry Street – Greenwich Village
    Del Posto – Chelsea
    Caf̩ Boulud РUpper East Side
    Jo Jo – Upper East Side

    Time for the ML animals to freak out The Swells…

  • i love nasty burps

  • Agreed with the ‘red sauce’ Italian joints. I hate paying money for restaurants that strive to be like an Olive Garden (i’m looking at you Carmines and every crap-hole in Little Italy)

  • If someone thinks cheese “smells and tastes like feet mixed with butt” how can you recommend they try goat cheese? :hurl: I love cheese, lots of gooey, sharp, stringy, melted, shaved cheese of all sorts, but *goat* cheese does indeed smell and taste like feet mixed with butt (to the extent I can extrapolate what such vile-smelling things would taste like). I don’t hesitate to spit out anything with goat cheese that someone may try to sneak by me on a tasty hors d’oeuvre or something. Yuck.

    Try a nice sharp cheddar, a mild monterey jack or colby, or farmer’s cheese, a smooth mozzarella, or something. But do avoid any cheese that doesn’t originate from a cow,or that has mold growing in it.

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    oh wow, goats rememered, touche!

    wait, are you a guy or a girl???

  • The cheese mentioned by Rudy earlier is Casu Marzu, illegal Sardinian,Italian maggot cheese. It puts Walgreen’s Sandwich to big-time shame.

  • Unless that sandwich was deep-fried

  • Nah, I think we’d all rather see Mr. Brooks eat maggot cheese than any puny sandwich.

  • The writers at Cracked are fantastic.

  • Rutgers, I’m a goat. And making love to animals is wrong! No love for you!

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    Hates Italian …. check
    Hates Cheese …. check
    Loves Shitotle …. check

    Oh well, at least she has tried tossed salad.

  • @stevenp but.. goat cheese goes so well with beets :)

  • @blondie i’m a little late to yesterday’s game, but i totally agree on the convivio RW lunch! go there. sit outside. and whatever you do, order the chocolate ganache w/ salted caramel dessert. i’m not a dessert lover, but i’m still dreaming about it. you will not be disappointed. and of course the other two courses were amazing too.

  • And here I thought feet mixed with butt tasted like cheese…

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    @Kathy: I guess some cheeses do taste like feet & butt, but you gotta admit, the bright, fresh tastes of Viet and Thai wouldn’t be the same without the distinctive, deep funk of fish sauce! Not exactly a rose garden, either.

  • Cheese is better than fish sauce for sure.

  • Bossman, HAAAAA!!!!! You crack my ass up.
    Not literally

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    @JustNancy, touche. You’re right. I love fish sauce–not too crazy about the smell but taste is great. I guess it’s the same with the stinky cheese lovers.

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