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Flavor junkie on a budget

I am taking a friend to dinner in manhattan on Friday. This is my first time back since I moved 5 years ago. She has never been to NYC and wants me make her love New York in one meal, but I am on tight budget. We are willing to try anything, and go off the beaten path. But, the most important thing is that the food and the venue need to be all about flavors and character. Can anyone help?

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  1. Tell us more about your friend and what she likes!

    1. She is pretty adventurous. An artist in her 20's. She loves Thai, French, and Caribbean food. Hope that helps.

      1. i've heard that the best place for thai food in new york city is in queens. flushing i believe. sorry i don't know more about it than that. beware of thai food in manhattan. a lot of it is overpriced and of only average quality. french food ... we got lots of that. but it can be $$$. good luck!! oh ... btw how tight of a budget are we talking?

        5 Replies
        1. re: krunkymunky

          You are thinking of Sripraphai in Woodside. 7 train to 61st/Woodside stop. 64-13 39th Ave., between 64th and 65th Sts. 718-899-9599

          1. re: SunnysideUp

            Yep...but note that they are closed on Wednesdays.

          2. re: krunkymunky

            In terms of the Buget, I really can't spend more than $25 per person. French or Korean sounds like a good ideas. Any other suggestion for either. Also, where is koreatown?

            1. re: nesseainie

              I would go with Sripraphai suggestion, you get all what you ask for - an explosion of flavors on a tight budget in a funky neighborhood. Meet your friend at Grand Central, take the 7 train and make sure to check out Manhattan skyline when the train gets out of the tunnel and turns (windows turn eastward). If you don't order wine, you'll be able to share 4-5 dishes (more then enough for 2 persons) and still have some change left for coffee and a dessert afterwards.

              1. re: welle

                oh man. i gotta try this place.

          3. If you want inexpensive French in Manhattan, you can try La Bonne Soupe on West 55th. It's a classic and they have fondue, which can be fun.
            http://www.labonnesoupe.com/

            1. I went to Forte Baden Baden on 32nd Street a few weeks ago. It's basically a Korean bar, but they serve food as well. The spicy octopus was fiery and really good, and the fried chicken (it was recommended) was pretty good too. More important than the food and beer, though, is that when I walked out, stuffed and mildly buzzed, right into the center of Koreatown, I knew exactly why I live here and why I'll never leave. If you're looking for that kind of experience, eat in Koreatown, or Flushing, or Chinatown, or Washington Heights, etc.

              2 Replies
              1. re: LloydG

                Hey LloydG. Where do you reccommend in Washington Heights?

                1. re: Spoony Bard

                  I don't really know Washington Heights, and I have only eaten there rarely, and not in years. I only mention it as I am sure if you just walked around and found a good Dominican restaurant, you would be likely to have a quintessential NY experience.

                  If anyone knows of some good Wash. Hts. places, let us know.

              2. i agree with lloydg. you can go eat in k-town, you see the empire state building and herald square and macy's in its holiday-ness, madison square garden, and then go for korean food. forte is fun, noisy, weird. my friends thought it was a trip to go for beer and korean-style fried chicken with tupac playing on the stereo. they also felt like they were in on a secret since we had to walk into a random business entryway and climb stairs to get to the restaurant. plus it's a short subway ride from 32nd street to any of: times square, union square, or grand central. and of course, the karaoke.

                1. I like bringing out of towners for some good street food. If you want to get a cheap snack try snack dragon on 3rd and B or otafuku on 9th st, I think it's between 2nd and 3rd.

                  1. Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. We went to Baden Baden and had a great time. I think I have officially converted my friend into a New York Lover.