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Mar 10, 2010 07:28 AM

New Request - Englishman in New York

Thank you all for your suggestions in my original post ( especially the cocktail lounges - we're going to be very drunk!!!

Having a look at the restaurants suggested (Gramercy, EMP, River Cafe) I think I need to downgrade slightly (my girlfriend isn't as much of a food snob as me!). My requirements are modern american cuisine, relaxed environment, casual dress (shoes, but jeans allowed) and priced at $200ish all in.

Can any reccomend good mexican, burger (shake shack?) and chinese cheap/reasonable eats?

Thanks very much Dan

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  1. heya dan...if you are looking for a downgrade for yr more opulent meal, i suggest marea on central park south. amazing food, progressive, and comfortable.

    as for mexican, nyc isnt the best place. any place in california would destroy nyc's best for mexican. that being said, i think la esquina's store front taqueria for tacos...i also like cafe el portal in nolita...

    burgers...definitely shake shack...definitely fries and a chocolate shake. its worth the me. for a more char grilled burger, i suggest walkers, mollys shebeen, or tavern on jane.

    chinese...any grand sichuan has served me well. lan sheng is another that gets lots of chowhound love. ive never been.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sam1

      Comment re Mexican is true but for an English visitor, NYC is streets ahead of anything at home. There is perfectly good Mexican food in NYC even if not the best in the US. [Better still, go to Mexico.]

    2. The Tavern Room (front room) at Gramercy Tavern would be perfect for you. Craftbar is another on that would work.

      Shake Shack is a certain type of burger. it's fine, but it's not worth waiting on line for.

      My favorite burger (steakhouse style burger) in Manhattan is at Wolfgang's. Sit at the bar.

      For Mexican you might enjoy Cabrito or Barrio Chino.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gutsofsteel

        It should be noted that the Tavern Room does not take reservations and during prime time, the wait can be an hour or more.

      2. Hi Dan, here are some ideas for you:

        Modern Americana:

        Good Mexican (agree with what Sam said):
        If you plan to grab a taco @ La Esquina's store front, I'd suggest going inside and snagging a table (top floor) and ordering their burger. While I wasn't much of a fan of their Mexican food, the burger was awesome.
        Hecho en Dumbo on the Bowery (just (re)opened last wknd)

        (other) Good burgers:
        Peter Luger's: served at lunch only
        Island Burgers & Shakes

        Wu Liang Ye
        Chinatown Brasserie (more $)
        Soup dumplings @ Joe's Shanghai
        Pork buns from Xie Xie
        Empanada Mama
        Burekas from Gazala Place
        Katz's Deli
        Price-fixed brunch @ L'Ecole

        3 Replies
        1. re: LeahBaila

          Wu Liang Ye only exists now on 48th St., and it does not compare to Szechuan Gourmet or Lan Sheng.

          1. re: gutsofsteel

            What's your point re: Wu Liang Ye "only exists now on 48th St.?" That's obvious when doing a search on Plus, the OP did not mention a preference regarding which part of town was most desirable.


            1. re: LeahBaila

              Until fairly recently, there were several Wu Liang Ye restaurants in NYC. The only remaining one, on 48th St., has gone quite downhill.

              Another very good Szechuan restaurant in Manhattan is Szechuan Chalet. Recently reviewed in the NYT, for reference.

        2. I highly recommend Oceana. It is fish and seafood centric, but there are some carnivore options on the menu. The food is delicious, service is very friendly and attentive, there's a relaxing vibe, and the large space has attractive decor. Casual dress, including jeans, is totally acceptable. You should have no difficulty meeting your budget.

          Photos of our meal at Oceana can be viewed here:

          With regard to Marea, recommended by sam1, note that the cuisine is fish/seafood-centric Italian, rather than Modern American (like Oceana). The meal we had at Marea was marred for me by a too dry San Pietro.

          Photos of our dinner at Marea:

          1. yet another Brit replying! I am assuming that you want something American. Basically the food items that are better here are beef and shellfish ( but NOT other fish). So you could plump for any Steakhouse- we all have our favourites, if you ask for suggestions you will get multiresponses. EMP is beautiful room as well as very good food, and I would go there and then walk to bar on Fifth and 25th with roof top views of mid town. Chinatown is so much better than anything you can get in London, I always take visiting Brits to Peking Duck house although the new restaurant hasn't an iota of atmosphere of the old one, but it is cheap too! Tavern room and Gramercy are too Englishy- the locals find them cute but you won't. Asiate at Time Warner bldg has cheap lunch with stunning views, food isn't as good as it used to be but very edible or opt for bar lunch at Mandarin Oriental save on one lunch for splurge at EMP.

            1 Reply
            1. re: judithuk

              If you get homesick, Keen's has a bit of an olde English flavor, wonderful meat.