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Another family visit in a culinary waste land

One of my other sister's is visiting the city tomorrow and my parents are meeting her for lunch near Penn Station. I've searched the boards and can find virtually nothing in the area that sounds decent. I probably can get them to walk as far south as 28th and as far north as 40th - lets say between 5th ave and 8th ave.

Does anyone have any "safe" suggestions? Not too ethnic, the last time I had this problem we went to Houstons on the east side and they loved it.

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  1. Keens is on 36th St., just east of 6th Av. - http://www.keens.com

    Biricchino is on the corner of 29th St. & 8th Av. -
    http://www.biricchino.com

    1. To be really safe, there's Heartland Brewery on 5th and 34th.
      I've heard very good things aboutt Market Cafe on 9th b/t 38th and 39th but can't personally vouch for it.
      Same for Seven on 7th Ave b/t 29th and 30th but it looks nicer than a lot of the other places in the area. I walk by it every day and it's always crowded, which sound be an indicator of something, yes?

      3 Replies
      1. re: vinogirl212

        Market Cafe is excellent--it's my failsafe option in that dreary neighborhood. Not ethnic--just good American with a few creative touches. And not expensive. Haut-diner decor. The only drawback is that it's on a stretch of 9th ave. that might seem sketchy to out-of-towners (though it's perfectly safe).

        1. re: natasha

          I too recommend Market Cafe - in such a lame area, it's a great option to have. The menu is simple but well done.

          1. re: pellegrino31

            Another vote for Market Cafe - good food, good variety, nice staff...and definitely "safe".

      2. Keens is kind of pricey for lunch; if they had a Delmonicos Grill style menu it would be perfect. Does anyone have any comments on Croton Reervoir Tavern?

        Seven also looks decent - I saw a couple posts for it here and on menupages it looked ok. I avoid Heartland at all costs :).

        1 Reply
        1. re: wingman

          I am not familiar with Delmonico's Grill menu, but Keens' Pub Room menu is less expensive than the one in their main dining room.

          http://www.keens.com/pubmenu.html

          1. I used to live in that area -- Tir Na Nog would probably be a good place for a family meet-up. Decent food and a nice atmosphere

            http://tirnanognyc.com/homepage.php