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where to go?: he likes diner food, I'm vegetarian

round2 Jul 29, 2009 06:56 AM

I'm taking a friend out to dinner for his birthday. He cares much (MUCH) less about food than I do, but also is used to having very little money. He isn't attracted to or familiar with too many adventurous food options, and really probably is most happy with a diner menu.

Any ideas for where I can take him that would be a little special for him (and me), but hit his comfort zone? Someplace not fancy, but comfortable. And, oh, I'm a vegetarian (he's not), which ratchets this restaurant challenge up a notch.

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  1. JungMann RE: round2 Jul 29, 2009 07:20 AM

    Gus & Gabriel

    1. n
      notsochubbychubette RE: round2 Jul 29, 2009 10:40 AM

      chat and chew

      1. r
        RGR RE: round2 Jul 29, 2009 11:26 AM

        Traditional Italian-American restaurants generally work for non-adventurous eaters as well as for vegetarians. A few l like:

        Trattoria Trecolori - http://www.trattoriatrecolori.com
        Campanile - http://www.campanilenyc.com
        Paul & Jimmy's - http://www.paulandjimmys.com

        1. r
          round2 RE: round2 Jul 30, 2009 08:01 AM

          Some great suggestions here - much appreciated. Even with an unadventurous eater, it can be possible to enjoy well-prepared food.

          4 Replies
          1. re: round2
            notsochubbychubette RE: round2 Jul 30, 2009 08:39 AM

            where did you decide to go?

            1. re: notsochubbychubette
              round2 RE: notsochubbychubette Jul 31, 2009 09:17 AM

              We're going tonight, and... I'm still deciding, definitely from these suggestions. I like the idea of Penelope, but I think we'd like beer or wine, which I don't think they offer. Cafeteria could work well too, though I don't remember the food being so good there, and I do remember the music (boom, boom, boom) being overbearing, issues at Eatery too I think. The Italian-American restaurants (great suggestion, thanks RGR), Kitcheonette, or Gus & Gabriel seems like they might fit the bill...

              1. re: round2
                RGR RE: round2 Jul 31, 2009 09:42 AM

                You're welcome, round2!

                Penelope has a liquor license. The food's very tasty, service is pleasant, and the small space is quite charming.

                1. re: RGR
                  windycity RE: RGR Jul 31, 2009 10:20 AM

                  I'll Thritto the Penelope suggestion. Prepare for a fairly long wait though (they don't take reservations.)

          2. w
            whitneybee RE: round2 Jul 30, 2009 02:58 PM

            Not sure where you're located, but Westville/Westville East immediately came to mind. Good comfort food and definitely vegetarian friendly.

            2 Replies
            1. re: whitneybee
              round2 RE: whitneybee Jul 31, 2009 09:27 AM

              This looks pretty perfect, in terms of menu, location, affordability, and they do serve beer and wine. Thanks to all for these suggestions, at least several of which will be working their way into my repertoire.

              1. re: whitneybee
                KTinNYC RE: whitneybee Jul 31, 2009 11:19 AM

                I'll second the Westvilles.

              2. v
                valerie RE: round2 Jul 31, 2009 10:51 AM

                Not fancy by any means, but I sometimes have lunch at Route 66 on 9th & 56th. A step up from a diner and definitely good for a vegetarian.

                1. r
                  round2 RE: round2 Aug 1, 2009 09:02 AM

                  We went to Westville, which indeed did work well for us. He had their burger, and commented that the food was really good. I had the market plate - 4 veggie sides - which was fine. Useful place, though a little loud for conversation, and the trip to the bathroom through the tiny kitchen lets you see what looks like pretty awful working conditions for the kitchen staff. Are we supposed to see, think about, and even then comment on restaurant staff working conditions on Chowhound?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: round2
                    KTinNYC RE: round2 Aug 1, 2009 10:36 AM

                    You can comment on restaurant working conditions but on the Not About Food board.

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