Cheap ethnic in the 50s and 8th?
Dear NY hounds:
Boston Hound here in need. Searching your mammoth board is harder than our little one. Two ex-New Yorkers (now Boston and Paris) are having a reunion. They seek inexpensive, preferably ethnic places near their hotel. Are there gems near 52nd and 8th for someone who has been away from NYC a very long time and wants to feel as if they're coming home to a meal they can't get anywhere else. Thanks for your help and glad to reciprocate should you visit the Bay state.
I like Tulcingo del Valle and Azuri Cafe, as well.
I don't remember Boston having many arepa and empanada places, though it's been many years since I lived there and really knew the city well, and haven't seen much S. American of any sort in Paris. So perhaps Empanada Mama?
Akdeniz (Turkish) is pretty good (esp. the Turkish-style grilled meatballs) and inexpensive.
It's not a restaurant so much as a take-out place and cafe, but Indus Express offers a wide variety of well-made chaat. (The steam table offerings are less standout.) I know Boston and Paris both have their fair share of Indian restaurants, some of which serve chaat, but the variety and quality is unusual at Indus Express.
Don't think there are many places like Yakitori Totto in Boston or Paris, or Aburiya Kinnosuke for roboto grilled stuff (if they don't mind the hike east). Kyotofu is also an unusual restaurant for any city, serving Japanese-influenced fusion food, including well-made desserts. These three places are moderately priced for NYC, but a bit more spendy than the other places I mentioned.
251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
213 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017
465 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
Tulcingo del Valle
665 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036
19 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036
763 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
48 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036
The Indonesian place is called Bali Nusa Indah (=Bali Beautiful Island), but the food there isn't Balinese, and I recall that the owner - at least as of what, maybe 10 years ago? - was from somewhere in Java. Be that as it may, I gave up on them a long time ago, because I found the food tasteless and overpriced. It's possible they've improved in the interim, of course.
gourmaniac, my favorite restaurant in your immediate vicinity is Afghan - Ariana, 9th Av. between 52nd and 53rd. It's not super-cheap, but it is a good value and their main dishes are big. Look at their menu (click on the right side of the link), figuring that you'll want to have a main dish apiece and share some appetizers and side dishes. The Aush is also good to get, if you want soup. I'm usually too full to even think of dessert.