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Lunch near Penn Station: help, please

My cousin is coming in via LIRR to have lunch with me on Monday. She doesn't really want to get on another train or bus so we have to stay near Penn Station.

She suggests Houlihan's. Or another place in the Reese family of family restaurants.

Please help save me from that.

Many thanks.

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  1. How far is she willing to walk?

    I'm blanking on the exact location but there's a semi-decent thai place on 9th avenue within walking distance. However, as someone who used to commute via LIRR to work at 2 Penn Plaza, I can safely say your options in the immediate vicinity are sorely lacking.

    1. I would suggest the Pub Room at Keens, on 36th St., just off the southeast corner of 6th Av., is a short walk from Penn Station. Delicious food and unmatchable Old NY ambiance.

      http://www.keens.com

      Also, if you want Italian food, Biricchino, is on the corner of 8th Av. & 29th St.

      http://www.biricchino.com

      1. Thank you both.

        I looked at the regular Keen's lunch menu first. When I woke up from my faint, I found the pub menu, which has many fewer $45 items. I'm sure I'd love it but don't know about my cousin.

        The kicker is, it seems that there's no Houlihan's any more.

        Maybe I can talk her into something in Koreatown.

        1 Reply
        1. re: floretbroccoli

          LOL. I specifically suggested the Pub Room for exactly that reason. I figured someone who wants to go to Houlihan's is hardly likely to want to pay the freight in Keens' dining room.

        2. Tir na Nog, on 8th just north of 33rd. A considerable step up from Houlihan's, but the same general menu idea. It is nowhere near as expensive as Keen's--nothing more than $18 on the lunch menu.

          1. It's not fancy, but is consistent and reliable and within walking distance. It's called the Highline Cafe and is located on Ninth between 30th and 31st. It's a notch above a diner, and their ingredients are always fresh, fresh, fresh. Everything from scrambled eggs to grilled chicken breast with goat cheese, sundried tomato and arugula on multi grain and everything in between.