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Cheap eats on the UES?


Gastro888
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Anyone know of any good cheap eats on the UES? Any type of cuisine, entrees under $20 with good food. Think dinner for two under $40.

Is this possible or am I just stuck with Grey's Papaya? Also, are there any good ramen places in the nabe? Thanks for your help!

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I can't say anything about ramen places, but there are plenty of decent (and sometimes better) places where dinner for 2 without wine/drinks can be had for $40.

Here's a quick list (sorry it's not more detailed, haven't had my coffee yet):

Afghan Kebob II

Sushi Hana

Iron Sushi

Bandol Wine Bar

Uskudar (Turkish)

Luscious Thai

Delizia Pizza

Hope this helps!

Cheers! :cool:

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Thanks for the list, Vinotas! Yes, we're not going to have wine or drinks. Maybe a starter and 2 entrees or a dessert and 2 entrees. A Pepe Rosso to Go would be perfect for us, but alas, that's allll the way downtown!

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If you don't mind going up as far as 90th or 91st Street there's Pio Pio on First Avenue and Saigon Grill on Second Avenue. If you order carefully you could likely get out of either for under $30 with tax and tip for dinner for two (unless you add alcohol).

Saigon Grill is one I haven't tried but it gets decent on-line feedback and I love Vietnamese food so it's on my list. I have been to Pio Pio in both the current incarnation and years ago when it was Pollo Loco (an independent - not the chain). Either way - it's Peruvian food and the grilled marinated chicken is to die for - go for the chicken and be sure to try the fiery green hot sauce (it's on the table in a little bowl and looks like soupy guacamole).

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Thank you, phaelon56! Actually, I live near a Pio Pio so I've had the chance to try their food which is yummy. I've noticed that NY's Vietnamese is kinda lacking compared to all the other cuisines we have here. I haven't found that stellar Viet place here just yet. Then again, I'm constantly comparing any Vietnamese place to Eden Center in VA which really isn't fair but I digress.

I'm going to be near the 70's and 5th Ave/B'way. Anything there? Not that I'm not willing to walk but damn, it is HOT today!

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If you don't mind going up as far as 90th or 91st Street there's Pio Pio on First Avenue and Saigon Grill on Second Avenue.  If you order carefully you could likely get out of either for under $30 with tax and tip for dinner for two (unless you add alcohol). 

Saigon Grill is one I haven't tried but it gets decent on-line feedback and I love Vietnamese food so it's on my list. I have been to Pio Pio in both the current incarnation and years ago when it was Pollo Loco (an independent - not the chain).  Either way - it's Peruvian food and the grilled marinated chicken is to die for - go for the chicken and be sure to try the fiery green hot sauce  (it's on the table in a little bowl and looks like soupy guacamole).

Sadly, Saigon Grill's UES location has been shuttered since last August, and doesn't look to be re-opening any time soon...most likely due to the delivery strike at their other locations. Or, at least, that's my theory.

"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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Thank you, phaelon56!  Actually, I live near a Pio Pio so I've had the chance to try their food which is yummy.  I've noticed that NY's Vietnamese is kinda lacking compared to all the other cuisines we have here.  I haven't found that stellar Viet place here just yet.  Then again, I'm constantly comparing any Vietnamese place to Eden Center in VA which really isn't fair but I digress.

I'm going to be near the 70's and 5th Ave/B'way.  Anything there?  Not that I'm not willing to walk but damn, it is HOT today!

Are you going to be in East 70's, West 70's, or both?

There's a Pain Quotidien at Madison and 8th. Might be a good place for a sandwich...

"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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If you're looking for Vietnamese, Vermicelli on 76th and 2nd isn't too shabby and not too expensive. Their duck in peanut sauce is quite nice, we order from them sometimes.

Sadly, you won't find many cheaper places in the 70s and 5th, that's one of the most expensive areas in NYC. You will need to walk to 3rd, 2nd or 1st avenues to get away from the more pricey precincts. Madison Ave has many overpriced joints with crappy food, lackadaisical service and haughty attitudes.

Cheers! :cool:

Edited by Vinotas (log)
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Thanks, Megan Blocker and Vinotas!

I'll be able to go east or west on the 70's. Great, it's the most expensive area in NYC? Ugh. Seriously? Since there's no ramen shops in the UES maybe I should open one. You never know...

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[...]There's a Pain Quotidien at Madison and 8th.  Might be a good place for a sandwich...

That's 80th, isn't it?

There's also one on 65th St. between Broadway and Central Park West.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Actually, instead of dinner, we ended up eating some gelato at Grom. Big, big, big - HUGE - mistake. Two cups of gelato (medium & large) were almost $14. That wouldn't be a problem if the gelato was stellar and the service was good. No dice. The gelato was good but it wasn't knock your socks off, oh-wow-it's-just-like-the-real-deal good. The service was awful. Not one person working there was capable of doing anything right. While we were waiting, one couple never got their gelato after paying for it and our experience was so bad we're never going there again. The girl who scooped our gelato didn't know anything about the flavors. The cashier walked off as we were about to pay. Then the cashier (another one) gave me $5.96 and was telling me it was my $6.46 in change. It took me a good ten minute to get the correct change. While my gelato melted everywhere. Idiots.

If the food's awesome, I'll grin and bear bad service but this was ridiculous. il lab was my favorite and now has my vote over Grom for sure! (although I must try Otto)

Grom. Don't bother. Hype, all hype.

Edited by Gastro888 (log)
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The service was awful.  Not one person working there was capable of doing anything right.  While we were waiting, one couple never got their gelato after paying for it and our experience was so bad we're never going there again.  The girl who scooped our gelato didn't know anything about the flavors.  The cashier walked off as we were about to pay.  Then the cashier (another one) gave me $5.96 and was telling me it was my $6.46 in change.  It took me a good ten minute to get the correct change.  While my gelato melted everywhere.  Idiots.

If the food's awesome, I'll grin and bear bad service but this was ridiculous.  il lab was my favorite and now has my vote over Grom for sure!  (although I must try Otto)

Grom.  Don't bother.  Hype, all hype.

Pet peeve = morons behind counters...with improper training and shitty attitudes, it makes for a most pleasant experience, doesn't it?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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il lab was my favorite and now has my vote over Grom for sure!  (although I must try Otto)

Otto for certain. Definitely put the olive oil gelato on your must try list and also - if they happen to have it that day - the gorgonzola. I was skeptical of the gorgonzola but one taste changed my mind - especially when I could alternate it with the olive oil.

That's a big ouch about Saigon Grill being worse than the Chinatown Viet places (none of which have impressed me very much). I always got much better Vietnamese food in NJ when I lived in the NYC area and get stellar Vietnamese up here in Syracuse where we have a sizable (relative to the size of the city) Vietnamese and Hmong population.

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Pet peeve = morons behind counters...with improper training and shitty attitudes, it makes for a most pleasant experience, doesn't it?

I should've asked for my money back and not taken the gelato. But I wanted to see if Grom was all that. It wasn't. Like I said, I'll take great food and poor service if the food is worth it.

Hell, I go to Mei Lai Wah and get bitchy service there but those pork buns are awesome. Cha siu plus chai siu fat in this great fluffy bun!

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Is the consensus no ramen on UES? What's the closest decent ramen shop? I'll be staying at 87th and Lex w an infant and can't go too far...

For sushi UES I've always liked Gajyumaru on 1st.

Edited by sara (log)

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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Sushi Hana

Iron Sushi

:wacko: blech

About Saigon Grill, it's crackered-up (americanized), for sure, but still everything is well prepared and fresh and it's just a damn tasty restaurant. But you might join the boycott.

I dunno for cheap eats on the UES, I'd venture north for all sorts of latin food

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Sushi Hana

Iron Sushi

:wacko: blech

About Saigon Grill, it's crackered-up (americanized), for sure, but still everything is well prepared and fresh and it's just a damn tasty restaurant. But you might join the boycott.

I dunno for cheap eats on the UES, I'd venture north for all sorts of latin food

I'll admit that I tend to first assess Vietnamese restaurants by their pho. Pho Bang and Nha Trang, although not great, have significantly better pho than Saigon Grill. the rest of the menu I'm not so familiar with...

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Sushi Hana

Iron Sushi

:wacko: blech

About Saigon Grill, it's crackered-up (americanized), for sure, but still everything is well prepared and fresh and it's just a damn tasty restaurant. But you might join the boycott.

I dunno for cheap eats on the UES, I'd venture north for all sorts of latin food

I'll admit that I tend to first assess Vietnamese restaurants by their pho. Pho Bang and Nha Trang, although not great, have significantly better pho than Saigon Grill. the rest of the menu I'm not so familiar with...

their pho? phoooorget about it!!! Actually the pho hotpot place pho32 is not bad for pho, although it's run by koreans and inauthentic. otherwise, yeah nha trang.

no it's all bout their Bo Luc Lac. I could eat that shit every day for a month

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