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Cool Dinner Places near 50th & 8th ?

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  • Grace Toy Dec 9, 1999 01:07 PM
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Hi, I sometimes like to go to the $3.95 (I remember when it used to be $3.00!?) theatre on 50th & 8th, but it seems kind of hard to find a good place to eat there. Anyone with suggestions? I'm open to anything cheap and good.

Thanks a lot!

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  1. I really like Island Burgers & Shakes, 9th Avenue between 52nd and 51st (I think). Good burgers and shakes, and good salads, too. Not too expensive.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Susan
      j
      john knoesel

      Tandoori chicken & Basmati rice w/salad for $9 at Afghan Kebab House is hard to beat for good quality, delicious food. 51st on 9th Ave. It is also BYO which helps the budget.
      This area is a chowhound ground zero in Manhattan. All the previous posts reinforce that thinking. For a nice pint of Guinness after the show try Druids on 10th @ 50th.
      Regards, JK

      1. re: john knoesel

        I agree with all of the above recommendations. Druids also has really good food at reasonable prices (and a chef who is a real character). Others to try are Dakshin for Indian on 9th and 50th, Pietrasanta (47th & 9th), Luxia (48th bet 8th & 9th) or Amarone (47th & 9th) for Italian and Chimichurri Grill (44th & 9th) for Argentinian steaks and other goodies.

        1. re: Shemmy

          Can you (or someone else) tell us something about Luxia? Much to my astonishment, it's the only place out of all these listed that I've never been in.

          1. re: Dave Feldman

            Luxia is not necessarily a great stand-out in the area (I live on West 52 St.) but is good for solid mid-priced Italianate food in a nice setting. It's a place I usually think of going after the theater.

            The bar out front gets pretty crowded/noisy/smoky, but the fairly small dining room in the back is pleasant and there is a New York-style concrete "garden" out back. The food is good. I had a nice steak there the other night and an eggplant parmigiana appetizer that was very tasty, if slightly undercooked. The people I was dining with had salads and pasta that they seemed to enjoy.

            All in all, it's not the type of place I would go incredibly out of my way for or expect any culinary fireworks, but I'm always happy after I've eaten there.

            Hope that helps.

            Shemmy

      2. re: Susan

        I'm lucky enough to work in that area. I've visited all restaurants mentioned in this thread, have enjoyed most, and am a regular patron in several of them but there are plenty more. A small Thai hole in the wall on 9th and 51st never ceases to amaze me with its sublety. The Mexican bakery on 9th between 46 and 47 has the whole look, feel and taste of any neighborhood bakery in Mexico DF. Go for the Pan Dulce. Very decent tamales and atole, too. A chinese restaurant in the corner of 9th and 52 (53?) may be the right place to go in winter if you stick to the soups. The rest is standard fare although in huge portions.
        Please forgive me the lack of precision regarding addresses. Next time I'll take notes.

        1. re: Lucho Delboy
          m
          Mark Sinclair

          "A small Thai hole in the wall on 9th and 51st never ceases to amaze me with its sublety."

          I think you mean Won Dee Siam, and I agree. Try the Pad Kra Prow (I think) - it's hot and basil-y.

          "The Mexican bakery on 9th between 46 and 47 has the whole look, feel and taste of any neighborhood bakery in Mexico DF."

          I think this place is called "Mi Casa" or something like that. It's actually between 47th and 48th. You're right about it being like any old bakery in DF, which means that you can't expect to get great bread there. They serve tamales, though, which are not outstanding, but since I live a block away, they work for me. If you're craving some weird spice or other Mexican delicacy, you might want to check here. They have a decent selection of products from Mexico.

          1. re: Mark Sinclair

            another great thai at 51st and 9th is chanpen thai-- excellent

      3. You could also try Rinconcito Peruano, which is on 9th Avenue at about 52nd or 53rd. There are posts about it on this board, so you could search for those.

        1. r
          Robert Sietsema

          Hi Grace! I'm a big fan of Chinar, the Indian hash house on 50th between 7th & Broadway. They have a plat du jour that can't be beat, and all the usual mughal stuff.

          1. Rice & Beans is a cheap, divey, really good place around 50th or 51st and 9th.

            1. Try El Papasito (370 W 52, nr. 9th Ave). I've been a big fan of this place since our alpha hound turned me on to it. Each day, a different kind of bean is featured. And I love the mofungo there.

              1. You've gotten a lot of response to your question. I'll add the name of an Afghan restaurant I like to eat at and which I find a good value: Ariana Afghan Kebab House. It's on the west side of 9th Av., but I forget exactly what cross streets it's between (53rd and 54th? I generally just walk up the avenue until I get there :-). I like their Aush, a very peppery vegetable soup with little noodles and some yogurt and mint. Many of their main dishes are good, but lamb is really their specialty: Qabuli Kebab, Sultani Kebab, etc. If you want a vegetarian dish, they make a fine pumpkin curry. And their firni (different from the Indian kind, as it has many slivers of almonds and uses cardamom but dispenses with rose water) is a very nice finisher. My only complaint about the restaurant is that the salad which comes with the main dish is dressed with mayonnaise: So I ask for plain salad without dressing, and use the red and green hot sauces which are in containers on the tables as dressing! Nice warm Afghan bread with nigella seeds is served with every meal.