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12th & University tonight -- walk-in, 5 people -- ideas?

Yikes. I've been asked to come up with a few ideas for a group of about 5 people to get a bite to eat and wine and/or coffee in the vicinity of 12th and University tonight (c. 8:15 p.m.). It would be a walk-in arrival, as I'm not sure now of the exact size of the party. I was looking at the websites of Jack, French Roast, and, closer to Union Square, Chat'n Chew, but I've never been to any of these places. I'd much appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. If you want a casual, inexpensive place I'd recommend Saigon Grill (on University between 11 and 12). Went there for the first time yesterday (for lunch), and it was very good.Having never eaten Vietnamese food before I have nothing with which to compare it, but all four of us left satisfied.

    1. I never went there, but I was also looking at the Jack's review in the Zagat. The menu looks like a french bistro you find everywhere, but the reviews on menupages.com are all good. I would try it and you should come back and tell us how you found it!

      1. Forget Jack's, it is very unimpressive. I'd do the Knickerbocker before that. I hear awful stuff about Chat 'n Chew, so avoided it. I personally would walk east and go to Veselka for pierogies and beef Stroganoof or even hit Cafetasia on 8th St.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sing me a bar

          Knickerbocker is fantastic! They make an amazing burger and you can eat in the bar. The food at Chat 'n Chew is good, but there are serious hygiene issues...

        2. I live close to where you're meeting. Sagion Grill is a good bet. I would also suggest Stand, the new upscale burger joint on 12th b/w University and 5th. Neither will be the best meal of your life but they each have good food, good value and a relatively "hip" atmosphere for a group. I agree with previous posters that Jack is unimpressive and Chat n' Chew reminds me of the Ground Round. Yuck

            1. re: tsiblis

              knickerbocker is pretty good and consistent...saigon grill is garbage and so are all of the italian rests on university