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Riverside and 108th/group lunch suggestions?

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I've volunteered for the Dogswalk Against Cancer on Sunday and will have a 4 teenagers and a couple of college students with me. I promised them a nice lunch/brunch after if they volunteered. So... I don't know this neighborhood and could use a suggestion or two for a reasonable place to take these kids. They will be open to any ethnic style. Last week we volunteered for another Dogswalk in Flushing and I took them to dim sum at Gala Manor, really yummy. So maybe not Chinese, but everything else would be okay.

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  1. I haven't lived in that area for a little while, but as I recall, Cafe Rouge (110 and Broadway) has a tasty affordable lunch menu, and they open up their doors onto the sidewalk when the weather's nice.

    Also...there is a cafe right in riverside park (~106th st) that is like a smaller version of the 79th st boat basin...they serve burgers, fries, etc, but it's like you're at a big barbecue, which is kind of a novelty in Manhattan.

    Have fun!

    1. There are lots of places that teens might like - V & T Pizza (famous old Columbia pizza hang out) on 110th and Amsterdam, on Broadway between 112 and 113 there are three restaurants with outdoor space - Le Monde ("french" bistro), a buritto place and the Mill Lunchonette (Korean). Across the street there is a diner, and itialian place, also with outdorr seating. None of these are serving great food, but all are servicable for lunch and since the weather is supposed to be so wonderful, outside may be called for. The cafe in Riverside Park is fun, but limited. Also, there is Henrys (105), Carne (105), Cafe du Soleil (which I would recommend against both for the food and service) and Picnic (103), also with outdoor seating and passable lunch service.

      1. Cafe du Soleil serves hearty, delicious food although the service can be erratic. Also, I recently gave Carne another try b/c it has a new chef and enjoyed it tremendously. It's billed as a steakhouse but has other options too. Atmosphere-wise, it would probably be more comfortable for your crowd, plus it has outdoor seating. I recall that Soleil's tables were tightly packed, it's a cramped space, and there could be a wait.

        Carne: http://www.carnenyc.com/site/

        CDS: http://menupages.com/restaurantdetail...

        1. Symposium, on 113th between B'way and Amsterdam, is another Columbia neighborhood standby. Funky interior. Not expensive, good Greek food.
          I believe it has a garden that is open in good weather, too.

          Cafe Du Soleil is way too expensive, IMHO, for what it is.

          4 Replies
          1. re: curranthound

            Thank you for your suggestions, now I've got a great starting point and am going to look at menus online.

            How about Mexican in that neighborhood? Perhaps huevos rancheros might be in order...!

            1. re: ny.frenchfry

              I don't generally eat Mexican but there is Mama Mexico, which is also tremendously busy and I hear is tremendouly mediocre on 103rd and Broadway, one of the restaurants on the block between 112 & 113 is Mexican, and there is a hole in the wall that make it to lots of Chowhound boards on Columbus in the mid 100's.

              1. re: ny.frenchfry

                There's no real sit-down Mexican I'd recommend in that area, but you should try Cafe Con Leche, a really fun and tasty Dominican place on 96th and Amsterdam.

                1. re: ny.frenchfry

                  I like the breakfasts at Noche Mexicana at 102nd and Amsterdam. Good huevos ranchers and excellent chilequiles (which are all I eat for breakfast when I'm in Mexico.

                  Buen Provecho!