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Theater District when resvs are not possible

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Hi NYC,
I'm in from Boston this Friday and looking for help with some relatively inexpensive (less than $35pp) dinner ideas before Spamalot (8PM) with my college-age son. Problem is that we get a bus to the city with the college and last time the traffic was so bad that we had only an hour to eat. Theater is on W 45th between 7th& 8th. Last time we ended up dumbfounded along restaurant row (which I did not even know existed) rushed in to eat some ok Asian stuff. It was cheap and quick but hardly exciting.

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  1. I guess it's pretty difficult in the theater district to find cheap and quick that is also exciting. Especially without a reservation and before the theater.
    I probably would recommend walking in to Ruby Foo's which has "decent" Asian food and is right in the theater district on Broadway.
    I would also suggest making a reservation at a place like Le Madeleine in case you are able to have the time.
    Enjoy the show.

    1. Junior's (transplanted Brooklyn deli, best known for its cheesecake) is big (and should have reasonable turnover), relatively reasonably priced, decent - but not outstanding - deli type food, and is literally next door to your theatre (if you have time, try the plain or marble cheescake with NO fruit topping). For your purposes, this may do the trick.

      Ruby Foo's, IMHO, is way overpriced.

      Le Madeleine is very nice, but over on 9th and 43rd; if you had more time - or schedule certainty - there are a number of restaurants on 9th in the 40's that are worth recommending. A search here on "Hell's Kitchen" or "Theatre District" should bring up plenty of recent threads, since this kind of question gets asked frequently.

      Spamalot is a hoot, BTW.

      1. Regulars on this board know that I'm a huge fan of Trattoria Trecolori, on 47th, b/t B'way & 8th. One of the plusses of their moved there from the other side of B'way is that this location is much larger (and more attractive); therefore, getting a last-minute table without a reservation is more doable than before. The homestyle Italian food they serve is well-prepared and very tasty. What's more, if need be, the kitchen and the very efficient staff can get you out in less than an hour. Prices are moderate.

        http://www.trattoriatrecolori.com

        1. Make a reservation. If you're running late, cancel it and go to Plan B.

          I'll second Trattoria Trecolori.

          1. Thanks for the suggestions.
            I cannot believe I did not think of the reserve and cancel strategy, duh...
            Any good pizza in the area in case we are really pressed for time? I mean, I am coming down from Boston and all the New Yorkers up here love to tell us that the only "real" pizza is found in NYC. Of course if you talk to someone from Chicago or _____ (you fill in the blank) they would say the same thing. But then too, I could say that about cheesecake too. And I could manage to see a play with just a hunk of cheesecake to sustain me, I suppose.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ocean266

              Another option to consider if you're pressed for time is eating after the show. There are many great late-night options if that interests you.

              1. re: Blumie

                Nah, we're on a bus from the school. Which is really the thing that limits most of the options. I should just learn to visit on my own schedule but this is so convenient and the play tickets are reasonable too.

              2. re: ocean266

                there's a john's pizza on 44th (betw 7th & 8th); but it's not a slice joint.

                1. re: ocean266

                  If it's cheesecake you're after, then Striver's suggestion (above) of Junior's is exactly the ticket since they're famous for their cheesecake.

                  http://www.juniorscheesecake.com/juni...

                2. There is a good Vietnamese restaurant (located next to a Thai restaurant) on the south side of 48th Street, a little bit east of 8th Avenue. There is plenty of interesting food and the place is tastefully decorated.

                  1. I highly recommend Hell's Kitchen (679 9th Ave | Btwn 46th & 47th St).
                    They cater to the theater crowd so as long as you tell them that you need to be out in time for your 8:00 show i don't foresee a problem. I was recently there and was able to enjoy a great meal under an hr w/o feeling rushed. The place is nice and the food is incredible! www.hellskitchen-nyc.com

                    1. Eat at the bar at Marseille (or the bar of another place you're targeting). The Marseille bar serves all the same food. The bartender is right there all the time, so there's a chance for fast service if you're in a rush.