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Kill the tourists, but for their last meal...? (long)

Man, searching the Manhattan board is exhausting:)

I'm gearing up for a freaks'n'family long weekend in April and am a little overwhelmed. Three generations, two continents, diapers, pimples, surging testosterone, viagra and hot flashes all fricasseed in one five member party. My f-i-l is coming from C.A., he dislikes spicy food, but is very well travelled (Asia, Europe, the Americas, Carribean-loves loves Cuba, but that may mostly be for the women) and is generally pretty relaxed. Husband is quite cautious, leans towards Italian, hates Indian; his personal heaven is upholstered in smoked salmon and imported prosciutto. He is always happy with pizza, sushi, and steak. Teen is picky at home, but quite adventurous in the world (allergic to shellfish, but will try pretty much any form of protein, eats all cuisines.) The baby is (perversely) the easiest of us; at 2.5 she's calling out at the churrascaria "Baby wants MEAT!" but, truly, she's a pastatarian at heart. Me? I'm just tired. Oh, and a foodie. I tend to plan exhaustively, but am flexible in the field-in part because I know my options.

We're looking for a mix of "occasion" meals and comfortable, casual, funky, fun places. You haven't invited us to stay at your place (yet), so currently we're thinking we'll be in a hotel in Midtown.

Thursday night: ordering in-maybe pizza. Delivery rec's? The alternative is going straight from LaGuardia to Pollo Campero and *then* to the hotel. This would not be an altogether bad thing-I wonder if any of the limo services offer that package....

Friday: Low key breakfast, I'm tempted to head to the LES and hit up a Ukrainian place for blintzes.

Friday or Saturday: Lunch near Guggenheim

Friday: Low key supper pre-concert at Carnegie Hall (yes, the baby is skipping the concert.)

Saturday: Breakfast or Lunch near AMNH, snacking or lunch near the Central Park Zoo, maybe Plataforma for dinner. Definitely an "occasion" meal for that one, neighborhood flexible.

Sunday: Brunch. In Boston, we'd choose The Blue Room (http://www.theblueroom.net/main.html) or the Deluxe Town Diner (http://www.deluxetowndiner.com)
Sandwiches near Penn station to pick up before catching the 6 pm train back to Boston.

On all days rec's for bakeries, afternoon teas, sushi, chocolate and ice cream are appreciated. People tend to fall back to chains when traveling this way with kids, but, ummm, I don't swing that way. It seems highly unlikely to me that Unos is any more "child friendly" than any neighborhood joint.

The teen has fond memories of La Bonne Soupe. Perusing the menu online it seems to have good options for everyone-not that I would be excited, mind you-and the prices are good, but I remember the space as being quite tight. Would the toddler end up skewered and dunked in fondue? I also saw references to the tea at the Japanese department store, but I couldn't find a website in English. Korean stores are amazingly supportive of babies (staff will hold and play with them while the mom eats, there aren't just high chairs, but actual cribs, etc.); I wondered if the Japanese store might be okay. Somewhere, too, there was a recommendation for tepanyaki for kids-I think it was Ollie's Noodle house. Any thoughts?

I'm too tired and writing too much. Thanks in advance for any help.

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  1. ok... so c'mon over and bring everyone. i'm right on the tourist bus route anyway so what's the difference?!!!

    your post was so hilarious that i just had to offer. you can all share my 12 X 24 studio apartment. we can each take a window sill b/c the dog gets the bed. sorry. i have 6 windows so it's perfect!! the 7th window is in the bathroom and too cramped even for the 2.5 yr old.

    i'm sure the chowhounds will soon chime in and, overall, you will get a consensus after about 20 emails. i'll send you some ideas shortly, but please... NO OLLIES!!!!

    as far as the nabe near the amnh, look into cafe ronda for brunch on saturday. it is on columbus and W72. it's not absolutely fabulous but it's cute and has its moments.
    patsy's pizzeria (w74 bet cpw and col) may also work. some folks like isabella's which is 2 blocks from the AMNH. cafe lalo is also cute. arties deli on brdwy and W82 may make your husband happy. there are also lots of japanese places near the amnh on columbus between W77 and W 68. use menupages.com for your search where you can see candid reviews from customers and glance at menus.

    as far as ice cream is concerned, emil bolla (sp) on amsterdam in the W80s is great. serendipity is always fun near bloomingdale's but too crowded. cold stone on w72 bet broadway and col is also decent. since i've had gelato in sorrento several years back, i can no longer get excited over ice cream in the U.S.

    i'll keep thinking. good luck. still lol.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nativeNYer

      i just want to correct myself. i butchered the name of the ice cream shop on amsterdam and w79 . it is emack and bolio. unusually great flavors of ice cream and yogurts.

      1. re: nativeNYer

        No problem if the 7th window is too small; if your heat works at all, she'll just curl in that nice cool space behind the toilet.

        I've got Lalo on my google list-thanks. We have Emack and Bolio's up here, too-though in our wierd clan we've always refered to it as "Yuk Yuk and Julio's." I have no clue why. Early onset dementia, prolly.

    2. I second Cafe Ronda and Cafe Lalo.

      1. The Tea Box at Takashimaya is a bento box and finger sandwich place-ladies who lunch, not anything like the Korean family thang.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SusanSDG

          Phooey! Why can't the world just turn to my convenience? Thanks for the head's up:)

        2. I'll third Cafe Lalo if it's of any consequence :-)

          1. Man, your post was hilarious! For ice cream suggestions, if you find yourself way downtown (perhaps after brunch on the LES), go to The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for interesting flavors that you may not see anywhere else. Here is the website:

            http://www.chinatownicecreamfactory.com/

            1 Reply
            1. re: kaffy

              Looks like great fun, thanks!

              Wasabi ice cream might be a l'il scary, though...