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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.


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


      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.

            1. Djerdan Burek: 221 W.38th off of 7th ave. It's delicious. I'm partial to the stuffed cabbage myself.

              1. isnt houlihans in penn station on amtrack level you also have TGIF Fridays LIRR level and track bar and grill if you like seafood and steaks /burgers ect

                1. Thanks for the help. We ended up at Tir Na Nog, which worked out just fine. Right near Penn Station. And to me it was certainly a step up from Houlihan's. An ersatz Irish pub is certainly an improvement over a chain of ersatz Irish pubs.

                  I had that traditional Irish dish, blackened salmon and avocado in a whole wheat wrap. Everything we ordered was fresh and well prepared.

                  So, not the most memorable meal I've ever had, but it was just what we needed.

                  Thanks, again.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: floretbroccoli

                    Glad you liked it. Tir na Nog is a very good standby. It can get pretty loud at happy hour, especially before a Rangers game, but for lunch it is quite civilized.

                  2. Hope I'm not too late. Don't care for the area around Penn Station. However, there is a place. Don't know the name of it on the corner of 8th ave and 33rd st. It has outside dining on the second floor. If I were to eat anywhere near Penn Sta., thats the place. Then there's Tadd's Steak House. For $6.95 you can get a four course steak dinner (including wine). Have fun.