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Ditch the mediocre deli and its equally unsatisfying sandwich wraps–you deserve something better for lunch! With oodles of lunching recommendations to share and fabulous foodie photography for us to gawk at, this month’s maven duo has made a serious splash in the world of midday munching. For 9-to-5ers, lunch can sometimes be an overlooked, underfed, eat-at-your-desk affair. Our mavens aim to change all that; insisting instead that, “Lunch is a right we should all demand.” With their manifesto placarded on their blog, and their Soho office digs just steps away from many of NYC’s tastiest lunch depots, these smart, sassy architects by day are mindful eaters 24/7. Say hello to Michi and Yen of Lunch Studio–their four-year old blog that chronicles their lunch and snack habits 365 days a year. To find out how to inspire your workday with a gratifying lunch that promises to not only get your creative juices flowing, but to bring an oft needed moment of joy to your day, consider Michi and Yen’s lunchtime suggestions below and Eat it Up!
How to Lunch like a Food Maven, by Lunch Studio
1) If we weren’t so in love with our chosen profession of architecture, we would probably breathe, eat, sleep and talk food all day, every day. We are so deeply committed to the notion of mindful eating, that what we actually consume is almost secondary.
2) Our food philosophy in one sentence: Just eat it.
3) We often dream of a program or spinning wheel that would decide lunch for us. But for now we settle our lunching decisions based on a particular craving that one of us has, budget or time limitations. Having constraints really helps us decide! The most difficult days are when neither of us has any particular preference. We keep a list of recommendations and new openings, so the list does help when we can’t decide.
4) This year’s top 5 trending foods in our books:
- Markets/Fairs (like Smorgasburg by Brooklyn Flea, Hester St Market, New Amsterdam Market, etc.)
- Homemade Pickles
- Fusion Street Food (Jewish banh-mi, Korean tacos, Asia Dog, etc.)
5) We simply can’t give up Asian fusion desserts from the likes of Momofuku and Kyotofu. While the term ‘asian-fusion’ is starting to feel passé, there are always new ingredients trending to the top, and thus, new desserts that continue to innovate.
6) We discover new lunch spots through the world of food media. Serious Eats, Grubstreet and Fork in the Road are good for new spots, but it’s really our fellow bloggers who we trust for the real low down, like The Girl Who Ate Everything, Bionic Bites and Food in Mouth.
9) Don’t let restaurant sanitary ratings deter you from new food experiences. Sanitary ratings are useful in the sense that they encourage places to be accountable for the conditions in which they prepare food, but they sure do seem to stress people out! We’ve eaten in some dodgy places, like the streets of Asia or shady street cars, so we personally are not overly concerned with a bit of dirt and grime.
10) Most crave-able menu item: We would never say no to the rice cakes with pork and shredded cabbage at Shanghai Café.
11) The least foodie-centric lunching neighborhood in NYC is The Upper East Side. We planned on going to the Park Avenue Armory for a show once and couldn’t find a single thing in the mid-60s worth eating.
12) But luckily, our neighborhood (Soho) is filled with delicious lunch spots! We dine downtown more than uptown, with some strong offerings coming out of the East Village.
13) The best place to get our sugar-fix is at Oro Bakery, our favorite (and delicious) neighborhood bakery.
14) We may eat out a lot but we also love to cook! We used to cater in college for our friends’ art openings, and when we moved to NYC, we continued to cater an event here and there, once we even did a wedding. Now we mostly cook at home with friends. Architects tend to like to cook because building a building is such a long process that making food provides a more instant gratification.
15) Between Elaine’s Special Cheesecake and Best Chocolate Cake in the World, it’d be Elaine’s, hands down!
16) We are up to trying new foods but there’s bound to be something out there too gross to try. Then again never say never…
17) The recently opened Morini is lovely for power lunching.
18) Chef crush(es): We recently met Josiah Citrin of Melisse in Santa Monica and are now totally in love with him. He was so unassuming, nice and produced the most amazing and consistently good food. More locally we really admire Gabrielle Hamilton.
19) Workaholics, listen up! Lunch breaks are critical. Leaving the office for lunch really reminds us that there is more to life than work. We’ve also found that the change in pace and objective will then fuel our creativity and let us approach our work with fresh eyes.
20) The creation of Lunch Studio allowed us to acquaint ourselves with the online foodie world. Leaving the office every day for lunch is something we’ve always done, but once we started blogging about it on Lunch Studio, we began to get involved in the whole food blogging community and have developed some great friendships with our fellow eaters.