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Friday lunch, UES/SpaHa - something inexpensive & exciting

EBT Jul 29, 2009 07:51 AM

Hello 'hounders,

I've been racking my brain about this one but have come up short. I'm meeting a friend for lunch this Friday and then hitting up the FLW exhibit at the Guggenheim. I'm looking for something vaguely in the area (and I mean vague - anything above 59th St is in the running, frankly) that will be reasonably inexpensive and a little off-the-beaten path. As for "inexpensive," I'm thinking roughly $25 for entree and a drink, but this is very flexible. Was considering Square Meal, but was kind of hoping to go a bit further afield than that. We're willing to travel further north, too, if there are some good recs in SpaHa. Any ideas?


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  1. 280 Ninth RE: EBT Jul 29, 2009 10:19 AM

    Itzocan Bistro on Lexington and 101st would be my recommendation. Good French-Mexican cuisine, well-prepared, reasonable prices.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 280 Ninth
      City Kid RE: 280 Ninth Jul 29, 2009 12:21 PM

      Itzocan is a great suggestion. You might also consider Zebu Grill, a short walk east from the Guggenheim, for Brazilian. As for Pio Pio: inexpensive, yes, exciting, no -- good value for good food but not a dining experience.

      By the way, is SpaHa a real abbreviation for Spanish Harlem? I go there all the time and have never heard it referred to as such.


      305 E 92nd St
      New York, NY 10128-5447
      (212) 426-7500

    2. n
      notsochubbychubette RE: EBT Jul 29, 2009 12:15 PM

      how about pio pio

      1. Toot RE: EBT Jul 29, 2009 12:42 PM

        There is a new Thai place on Second Ave, bet 88 and 89, Osha. Pretty room, friendly service, really good food and BYOB. I am not sure if I would call it exciting but I had a very good dinner there last week. The menu is in menupages.com.

        1. JungMann RE: EBT Jul 29, 2009 01:15 PM

          There is a luncheonette that sells cuchifritos, Nuyorican snack foods like alcapurria, lengua, morcilla, pastelitos as big your head, etc., several of which can be combined with rice to make a very filling meal for under $10. If you are looking to be a little less off-the-beaten path, Itzocan Bistro is a very good choice, as is El Paso Taqueria.

          1. u
            uppereastsidechic RE: EBT Jul 29, 2009 08:46 PM

            Yes, check out Itzocan -- the duck quesadillas are wonderful! Or try Cipolla Rossa for delightful, authentic Tuscan, inexpensive BYOB. It's on 1st Avenue and 91st Street.

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              EBT RE: EBT Jul 30, 2009 06:47 PM

              Thanks for your suggestions! I had forgotten about Itzocan - I've been for dinner before but didn't realize it was open for lunch as well. I think that'll fit the bill just fine.

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