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Manhattan with tightwads

hi, my husband's a brit and some of his british/irish/german pals are coming over for a few nights. only problem is that they are tight as hell and don't like to part with money for food, which drives me nuts because i like to eat and am not adverse to throwing some cash around for something yummy, though am happy munching down at katz's deli or somewhere similar. anyhow, i've been *told* that i must play nice and go along with the crowd, which i can definitely do. these guys are going to want to be washing down huge amounts of beer - which, again, i can totally get behind. any ideas for reasonable boozers with halfway decent food?


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  1. Momofuku Ssam - went there last friday night. Delicious. You can definitely eat for cheap and beer goes great with their food. This is a new favorite for me and my wife.

    1. Any Irish bar -- lots of beer, lots of wings

      1. ok, as regards the irish bar, what is with irish/brits who travel abroad only to attempt to suss out that which is utterly familiar to them? in fairness, americans do the same thing.

        1. Lederhosen, a VERY reasonably priced German beer bar & restaurant in the west village has a lot of good stuff. Pitchers of beer around $10-$12, bratwursts (and several other delicious sausages) are around $4. They also have traditional lunch and dinner entrees in the $10+ range. It's the perfect place for a group looking for beer :)

          39 grove st, between bleecker and bedford. Across from the pink teacup.

          1. The current state of the dollar means your guests might even find Le Bernardin cheap. Bear that in mind.

            1. Kenka on St. Mark's - $1.50 beers, ridiculously cheap Japanese food. The soups and fried stuff are generally very good - they seem like they'll get a kick out of ordering bull's penis or turkey testicles, too.

              2 Replies
              1. re: lambretta76

                kenka glasses are small :(. Get the pitcher there for 8 bucks. kenka definitely has weird stuff. Raw octopus with wasabi sauce. The indoor outdoor smoking area is pretty cool and the weird oldies japanese radio music is fairly surreal. Kenka fills up really fast though.

                1. re: randumbposter

                  Haha, a group of us went to Kenka on Sat night and we were debating the value of beer by the glass there. $1.50 a glass is CHEAP though, but I'm sure the pitcher is the draw. We had bull penis to the sounds of Communist-era Japanese 'music'.

              2. id avoid pub food. they probably would like something that they cant get over there.

                ssam bar is a good choice...better seating than momofuku. id also go with a good pizza place...maybe even demarcos or una pizza nepaletano (sp?). definitely take their to RUB for bbq. Katz is a good option. Also, definitely try Max on Avenue B.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sam1

                  no, they'll want pub food, trust me. they also want some authentic nyc pizza.

                  1. re: potterstreet

                    My standard pizza reply -- Patsy's on 1st Ave. betw. 117th and 118th.

                2. Sadly, the biggest hit with my British friends has consistently been Gray's Papaya. (Which at least alleviates the awkward tipping problem that such a group presents!) Granted, I/they are still on the youthful side...hopefully this will improve with the passage of time!

                  1. Waterfront Ale House. I went to Momofuku Ssam Bar yesterday and really enjoyed the food, but I wouldn't say it's good for tightwads. For 2 of us w/2 drinks, tax, and beer (and admittedly a lot of food), it was over $100.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Lucia

                      That is very true Lucia. My dinner was well over $100 as well, but i just thought you could get one of their Ssams and a couple of beers for pretty cheap. Not the full on experience, but definitely worth it.

                    2. Zum Schneider on Avenue C and 7th. Perfect

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: roze

                        Zum Schneider is a great suggestion. Try the Aventinus beer on tap. It's excellent.

                      2. You could go to the all you can drink (mimosas or beer) brunch at Sunburnt Cow in Alphabet City.

                        1. Try Indian on E. 6th in the Village (they're all good)

                          Corner Bistro in the West Village for burgers and beer.

                          Goody's in Chinatown for soup dumplings, etc (OK to order off the menu and wine friendly BYOB)

                          Esashi for sushi in the East Village

                          Maybe a roast pork sandwich at Tony Luke's near the Port Authority.

                          St. Dymphna's pub on St. Marks in the East Village

                          Zucco - the French "truck stop diner"

                          Lombardi's for pizza.

                          Cafe Luluc in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (followed up with drinks at Floyd bar where they can drink great stuff and play bocce on an indoor court


                          Landmarc in TriBeCa

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: NYChristopher

                            "Try Indian on E. 6th in the Village (they're all good)"

                            Good for WHAT? Most of them are quite BAD.

                            1. re: Pan

                              Look, I live up around 28th and Lexington and I think HAANDI beats all the ones down on 6th, but the atmosphere is hardly inviting to anyone not familiar with the place. I would also argue I'd rather be spending my money on E. 6th than blowing it at Tabla, which is overpriced and overrated in my opinion.

                              If you've got suggestions on where to take tourists (you don't seem to take issue with the nearby Madras Cafe http://www.chowhound.com/topics/359886) I'm willing to listen to your suggestions.

                              1. re: NYChristopher

                                Yes, I like Madras Cafe, but it's not on 6th St. It's also the only Indian restaurant in the East Village that I can recommend. There may be some other decent ones, but I haven't been to them. OK, Banjara always had good food, but the last time I went, I got horrible service, and that was years ago. And Haveli has never impressed me. So with all the choices in this neighborhood, I just haven't been back.

                          2. Gingerman (midtown) - I've only had sandwiches there at lunchtime, but they have an interesting selection of beer. They also have some chairs you can lounge on in the back.

                            Klong (thai in the EV)- has a good lunch special

                            La Petite Abeille- for Belgian food & beers

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Little Cupcake

                              Klong is good compared to what? I gave up on them a long time ago. I think it was because of shrimp that tasted too old; I don't remember.

                              1. re: Little Cupcake

                                La Petite Abeille (multiple locations) also has 1/2 all beers special on Mondays noon-closing, which is quite a good deal for belgian beers. Oh and Wed. night all you can eat moules et frites with a glass of Stella for $20 I believe.

                              2. Corner Bistro is a great idea! Otherwise go to Song in Park Slope. The food, portions, service, vibe and drinks are all worth the journey. You can fill up for under $10.

                                1. If they are heavy drinkers and are tightwads I suggest a byob place.

                                  Someone on the board mentioned sigiri awhile back as it was byob and the deli below the restaurant carried an amazing selection of bottled beer. Not sure how many friends are coming with you but the place is rather tiny.

                                  Depending on what you order the portions can be small. I like the devil grilled stuff myself. They are of decent portion size and quite tasty and spicy. (It's kind of thai like)

                                  I recommend lion head stout from the deli as it is sri lankan like the restaurant. Lion's head stout is pretty tasty and fairly strong for a beer at 8% alcohol.

                                  The deli is not the cheapest place to buy beer though. Small bottles are 2.50 and larger bottles are 4 -5. The belgian trappist stuff like Chimay and some other belgian trappist stuff run alot higher.

                                  1. Joe's Shanghai on Pell Street in Chinatown, as long as they're willing drink Chinese beer. Excellent soup dumplings and the bill is always shockingly low for the amount of food.

                                    1. Saw this posted elsewhere on the boards:

                                      Cheap Chow Now: the top 100 best and most inexpensive restaurants

                                      1. I have one idea that hasn't been mentioned: What about going to a ramen house like Menkui-Tei on Cooper Square (extension of 3rd Av.) between St. Marks (extension of 8th St./Astor Place) and 7th St. They make excellent gyoza (fried pork dumplings), and it's traditional to drink beer with them. You all could get massive quantities of gyoza (each order is 8, or perhaps 6, but it's certainly filling) and, if you like, some other small dishes, and drink beer. If they want to linger, it would be best to come early or perhaps late (not during peak hours).

                                        1. The Japanese Izakaya - Village Yokocho may suit your group. Cheap beers and cheap yummy skewers and other small japanese tapas that you will enjoy...it's basically a yakitori place with a funky vibe located on the 2nd floor right above the around the clock diner on stuyvesant st and 3rd ave. off the st. marks bookstore.

                                          1. hop devil/the belgian room for beers and burgers
                                            i also third zum schneider and second petit abeille

                                            petit abeille is the only of the four that i actually love eating at; the rest are just satisfactory based on your limitations.

                                            with respect to the above suggestions, i get a strange feeling these guys will want to start a brawl if you take them to momofuku or a place that serves charred chicken kidneys on skewers. the point of hosting guests is to make them feel welcome and comfy, which the original poster seems willing to do. asking a german beer drinker who's tight on cash to shell out $13 on raw sea urchin with whipped tofu... not so sure that will fly.

                                            1. This suggestion is a little off the wall, but how about Odessa's on Avenue A, around the corner from St. Marc's place? There are two. The older, original, strange looking one has a full bar and everything is usually way under $15 for burgers, steaks, roast turkey, pierogis, etc,. etc. They have super hearty portions. Even though it always has mixed reviews, I have to say that the pierogis and stuffed cabbage are pretty damn good. To the right, is the newer restaurant but the menu is similar. I think the boys might like it.

                                              1. thanks everyone for such creative ideas! some of you guys are really funny - i've had a few giggles today!


                                                1. There are a couple of bars in Brooklyn (mostly in Williamsburg) that give a free slice of cheese pizza w/every beer (pizza is not anything special, but not bad either) so you can get a cheap beer for $3 and make it a meal.
                                                  Not sure if any such places exist in Manhattan.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: olia

                                                    I think one of those places is called Alligator Lounge, they just opened another one on 14th St. bet. 2nd and 3rd, I believe.