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Inexpensive lunch near Sony Plaza (56th & Madison) w/a group of tweens Jan. 9th.

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Stressing about a w/e trip into the City w/a group of finiky tween boys. My plans never seem to work out, and this time I have resolved not to end up at that sick Fridays near Grand Central. Or maybe even not ESPN!

Where do tweens like to eat? I am very familiar w/the subway, having worked in NYC in the mid-nineties. The immediate area near Sony doesn't have that any inexpensive tween type lunch places that I can think of. We can also walk a fair distance, if needed. Please rescue us from "tourist-trap-hell"!

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  1. If you go to grand central they can have their choice of just about anything in the grand central food concourse.

    or fve guys
    http://www.fiveguys.com/menu.aspx

    or pop burger
    http://www.popburger.com/

    6 Replies
    1. re: smokeandapancake

      If you're considering pizza, then Angelo's is a fairly quick walk - 57th bet. 6th & 7th. Very good thin crust pizza and wonderful salads. By the pie only, but a group of tweens can easily polish off one large or two smaller ones - depending on the size of the group. It's very family friendly. Also FAO Schwartz & the Apple store are at the corner of 58th & 5th.

      1. re: smokeandapancake

        Or Burger Joint to keep the burger kick going.. 56th btw 6th and 7th.
        http://www.parkermeridien.com/eat4.php

        Would try to avoid peak lunch hour there though (pre-noon or post 1:30-2ish)

        1. re: smokeandapancake

          How are the burgers at Pop Burger? I'm thinking of meeting a friend there for lunch next week. Will it be too crowded and loud at lunchtime to be able to hold a conversation? We don't need anything fancy, but if it will be frenetic inside I'd rather go elsewhere ...

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          Pop Burger
          60 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

          1. re: uwsgrazer

            i don't like their burgers at all and they're quite expensive.

            1. re: coasts

              I had one once and thought it was pretty disgusting.

            2. re: uwsgrazer

              I'm not so crazy about Pop Burger either. The Goodburger at Columbus Circle is better- juicier with better flavor to the beef, and most likely less crowded. Both places are kind of expensive for what you get, though.

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              Pop Burger
              60 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

          2. Might want to look into Patsy's pizzeria at 60th and 3rd. Somewhat less touristy than most places. Pizza is order by the pie (no slices) with various choices for toppings.
            They also serve salad, pasta, and an array of other related menu items. The link below will provide you with a menu. Pizza is generally really good although some locations of Patsy's (it's a chain) are better than others. I think tween boys may like this.

            http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

            Also might want to look into John's pizzeria, near 44th and 8th. I think this place is more of a tourist trap and may have a longer wait. I personally feel the pizza at Patsy's is better.
            But John's also has a West Village location which is much better than this location.

            http://www.greatrestaurantsmag.com/NY...

            http://www.johnspizzerianyc.com/index...

            3 Replies
            1. re: nativeNYer

              IMO, that John's is AWFUL. i think theyre move concerned with getting you out the door than they are withthe quality of the food. Ive only had soggy, greasy pizza at THAT John's.

              1. re: smokeandapancake

                i've only been there once and would have to agree.

              2. re: nativeNYer

                There's also a California Pizza Kitchen at 60th and Third Ave. that the boys might enjoy.

              3. Wow! Such great ideas in a few minutes- the "New England" forum I use locally can't hold a candle to this one. Thanks for the pizza idea- funny that I never considered pizza (of course CT pizza isn't anything that would stay in one's mind...but I digress).

                What about burgers? I'm checking the 5 Guys link someone sent, next- there's a Five Guys in Manhattan? I'm assuming it's the burger chain we have here in CT- cheap, greasy, tween-friendly food, also! I don't like the Grand Central scene (except for a drink and oysters before the rush hour train to Westport- but those days are over for me now...*sigh*). Maybe I'll send the kids to 5 Guys and I'll go to the Oyster Bar! Ha ha, just kidding. Kinda.

                3 Replies
                1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                  Ha! Yeh, most of us don't stop thinking about food here in NYC. 5 Guys is definitely the burger chain you know. If you want burgers, I'd look into Burger Joint:

                  http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/...

                  Far better burgers and the boys would love the aesthetics. As the description in the website above states, it's literally a hole in the wall in the Le Parker Meridien Hotel (6th and W57th). Check out the slideshow . You'd need lots of patience to wait in line and to snag seats. It's cramped and sometimes very crowded but this place is cool and has great burgers. All else fails, there's Angelo's directly across the street which is a sister restaurant to Patsy's. We were just there last week: http://www.angelospizzany.com/

                  1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                    then try five napkin burger.

                    1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                      The kids might like the clam chowder or fried fish and shellfish at the oyster bar. But it wont be cheap.

                    2. Why not take them to good Chinese? Wu Liang Ye on 48th St.

                      -----
                      Wu Liang Ye
                      36 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

                      1. I like the idea of Angelo's Pizza but the other pizza places mentioned may be too far away. you can always get good burgers, fries, grilled cheese at Burger Heaven on Madison at 54 Street. They have plenty of room for your gang of kids, not something you can say for Burger Joint at the Parker Meridian. Grand Central Food Court may be too far away also, and too disorganized for a group of kids that you need to keep tabs on.

                        I see Burger Heaven gets a bad report on Chowhound. In the past they were quite good so be aware.

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                        Burger Joint
                        118 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

                        Angelo's Pizza
                        117 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

                        Burger Heaven
                        536 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10022

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Brian W

                          Burger heaven is not a bad idea if you are dealing with kids and want cheaper food. The one on madison is not as consistent as the one around the corner on 53rd IMHO. The burgers are decent. I like the house relish and the waffle fries. Keep it simple and its fine. Are the boys really picky about foods or do they just want to chow like I did when I was that age?