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Penn Station / Madison Square Garden area


yvonne johnson
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You could get some okay deli type food at Ben's - I think it's on either 35th or 36th between Broadway and 7th. Good Jewish deli style sandwiches, blintzes, fries, decent coleslaw and very tasty pickles. It's not Katz's or 2nd Avenue btu it's not bad and the prices are reasonable. If you want really simple but decent Italian food there's a cafeteria style place on the same block or perhaps directly north of it a block uptown. It's called Victoria's and is open only for lunch - lots of local workers eat there and they say the food is good if you happen to enjoy basic red sauce style Italian dishes.

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If you can get them to try Korean, Cho Dang Gol on 35th Street specializes in homemade dubu (tofu), and has some warm-and-comforting, not-spicy dishes with it. They also have stuff like kalbi and bulgogi -- not spicy if you leave off the chili paste.

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If you are thinking about Tir na Nog, might I suggest Keens Steakhouse on 35th between 5th and 6th. They have great burgers (if a little pricey). And I think more authentically old school NY than Tir na Nog, which, if memory serves me correctly, opened about 4-5 years ago. But I have to caveat that Im not a big fan of the large Irish pub concept, when it is so clearly sold as only that, a concept. With corporate backing.

But I have never eaten at Tir na Nog, only drank there. And you could do much worse.

Thomas Secor

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The Gobdol Bibimbap (vegetables, beef, egg and rice served in an extremely hot stone bowl) at Han Bat (next door to Cho Dan Gol) Korean restaurant is the house specialty and is not spicey if you do not add any extras such as chili paste or kimchi. I took relatives from Minnesota to Han Bat and they loved it.

My Korean friends all tell me the place to go in the Macy's /Empire State Building/Madison Square Garden Area is Gam Mee Ok (32nd between Broadway) because the Sullong Tang (Steaming Beef Broth with noodles and rice) is absolutely the end. I have tried this soup and it is very mild yet the distictive flavor of the broth derived from a slow simmered beef bone stock recipe resonates well with in the palate. There are bowls of salt and chopped scallion on the tables that can be added to the broth to taste. Also excellent are the mild platters of cold cuts.

I find Hanbat and Gam Mee Ok to be considerably less expensive than Kum Gang San, Hangawi, Woo Chun, Cho Dan Gol or Kang Suh. They both have very modest decor and are open 24 hours. Mind you that niether Han Bat nor Gam Mee Ok are BBQ restaurants.

mascarpone

Edited by mascarpone (log)
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I just can't imagine Gobdol Bibimbap without hot sauce!

But I'd note that Gam Mee Ok serves excellent Korean-style cold cuts and such-like, and those are good even without hot sauce (though better with :smile: ).

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I just can't imagine Gobdol Bibimbap without hot sauce!

I find the most striking feature of the Gobdol Bibimbap at Han Bat is the crunchy texture of the the rice crust that is found baked to the bottom of the stone pot rather than its peppery flavor. This distinctive characteristic makes the dish a standout to the other spicey soups and stir fried dishes there.

Edited by mascarpone (log)
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  • 1 month later...

Going to The Big East Tourn. Thurs afternooon & evening. Have time for lunch between 11:30 am & 1:15 pm. Then need a place for drinks & food between 4pm and 7:00pm. I was thinking of Esca perhaps. A good wine by the glass place is helpful.

Moderator's Note: A related thread was merged here.

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Lots of folks speak highly of Tir Na Nog - good Irish pub scene and good upscale Irish food (amazingly enough... that phrase is finally not necessarily an oxymoron). It's on 8th Ave behind the Garden - somewhere between 32nd and 35th in one of the Penn Plaza buildings (I think it might be 3 Penn Plaza).

Can't speak to the wine by the glass question as I'm not a drinker but I had a very nice dinner last year at Gus's FIG restaurant (stands for French-Italian-Greek). It's a low key place with Mediterranean menu and not too pricey - IIRC the dinner entrees are $15 - $23 and apps are $6 - $10. It wasn't a huge WOW but was nice - on 28th or 27th just east of 7th Avenue near FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology).

If you dont' mind dropping down into Chelsea - a cheap cab ride or a ten minute walk.... there are far more places to choose from. I suggest starting a separate thread for Chelsea recommendations but best to do a quick forum search first - Chelsea options have been widely discussed in many previous threads.

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One of the best features of that neighborhood is the abundance of Korean restaurants between Broadway and 5th. I forget the name (Kum Gang San?), but the place on the south side of 32nd St., closest to Broadway has a good assortment of spicy tofu, beef and pork soups for cheap at lunch. They have teriyaki boxes and Bi Bim Bop for more mild tastes...

Seoul Garden, also on the south side of 32nd is another good option.

You can just walk down 32nd st. and choose from about 15 places...

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Lots of folks speak highly of Tir Na Nog - good Irish pub scene and good upscale Irish food (amazingly enough... that phrase is finally not necessarily an oxymoron). It's on 8th Ave behind the Garden - somewhere between 32nd and 35th in one of the Penn Plaza buildings (I think it might be 3 Penn Plaza).

lou-

have to second tir na nog. we ate here before the csn&y concert and thoroughly enjoyed it. try the shepherd's pie but think about beer rather than wine just this once.

enjoy

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Decided on Veritas for a 5:30 reservation, have to be back at the garden as the evening games start at 7pm, we'll likely miss the 1st half.

For the 11:30-1:00 lunch I'm thinking Esca, was there once before and wasn't all that impressed but it was 4th of July, perhaps they were getting ready for The Macy's fireworks. :raz:

Thanks all. By the way Suzi, how's David Crosby these days. :laugh:

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I worked on 30th street between 7th and 8th for about a year in 2000. Gotta say: the immediate 2-block radius around MSG is as close to a complete culinary black hole as this city possesses. About the only palatable food I ever found within those boundaries was the Bagel Maven cafe on 30th and 7th, and even that was no more or less than "decent bagels." Beyond that: at best, places like Mustang Sallys that serve undistinguished bar/pub food at 3X the normal price.

Walk east to Koreatown or south to Chelsea, and of course things change significantly. :)

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  • 3 months later...

Tit-Na-Nog is always my first suggestion but alacarte beat me to it (she's fast :biggrin: ). I also enjoy Gus's Fig on (I think) 28th just east of 8th Avenue - near Fashion Institute of Technology. I believe the FIG stands for French, Italian and Greek. It's a low key place with a Mediterranean influenced menu. Not a huge wow factor but good food and generally easy to get a table. Apart from what's already been mentioned there are few options in that area but it's only a short walk or very quick cab ride down to Chelsea, where there are far more options.

If it's cocktails you're after later in the evening.... don't miss The Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge on 8th Ave near 36th and 37th. It was on the "2003 Best Of" list that is published annually by the Village Voice (best undercover cop bar :laugh: )

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I also enjoy Gus's Fig on (I think) 28th just east of 8th Avenue - near Fashion Institute of Technology.  I believe the FIG stands for French, Italian and Greek. It's a low key place with a Mediterranean influenced menu. Not a huge wow factor but good food and generally easy to get a table.

You're not going to be able to enjoy Gus's Figs again because it closed about a year ago. (And not that it matters now, but it was on 27th St.)

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But if you feel like schlepping down to the Village, you can still go to Gus's original restaurant, Gus's Place, on Waverly Place. To my mind, it's just about the ideal neighborhood joint, which is to say the (small) bar scene is friendly and welcoming, the food is tasty and straightforward, and it's alltogether a swell place to hang out.

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  • 1 year later...

Any recommendations for a nice lunch place for tomorrow...I'll be at macy's on 34th...with three other females. Thanks for any recommendations!!

Moderator's Note: Threads merged starting with this post.

Edited by Pan (log)
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Any recommendations for a nice lunch place for tomorrow...I'll be at macy's on 34th...with three other females. Thanks for any recommendations!!

I would head down to the Flatiron District...how about Eleven Madison Park (24th and Madison) or Tabla? Both are in the building I used to work in, and they're great, lively lunch spots. Eleven Madison might be better for a (traditional) ladies' lunch, but the more-casual Bread Bar at Tabla is very cool, especially if you like naan and sitting outside.

Another spot in that neighborhood that's quite appealing is Blue Smoke (27th between Park and Lex), which serves refined barbecue, for lack of a better description.

Another sentimental favorite (I really miss working in that 'hood) is I Trulli (also 27th between Park and Lex), a lovely little Italian restaurant and enoteca. They have a garden out back, and the whole place is just so pretty.

Let me know if you need any more info about any of these spots!

Have a good day on the town!!

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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