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union square dinner recs for friends who don't like anything "weird"

We're getting together on a Wednesday evening with friends who do not like anything "weird." By "weird" I mean that even SUSHI would be out of the question. Nothing ethnic or close to ethnic. Mexican is acceptable. Zen Palate, on the other hand, would be "weird".

It also needs to be adjacent to Union Square due to travel and logistics considerations. $20-25pp (w/o alcohol - they don't drink).

i'm kind of lost here.

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  1. heartland brewery is pretty vanilla in the tgi fridays sorta way.

    1. Old Town Tavern on 18th btwn Park and Bway.
      Angelo and Maxies just around the corner from the restaurant, opened a burger joint on 19th street just east of Park. Haven't been and haven't heard anything about it though.
      I wonder if craftbar on broadway around 20th street would be acceptable.
      Or slightly further is Via Emilia. A great italian place on 21st btwn Park and Broadway (note: cash only and no reservations).

        1. not really such a fan, but maybe coffee shop would be ok for them? pete's tavern?
          or one of those bars down university has alright food/burgers maybe- reservoir maybe?

          i guess cuban/ havana central would be out too? and republic is too exotic too?

          i think heartland brewery might be an ok idea...

          1. Heartland Brewery (food is boring but the beer is good)
            Chat 'n Chew - simple down home American, but I heard that it closed - check to see if it's still open!