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Need reco for Penn Station take-out (seriously)

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For the next several months I'll be catching a mid-day train to D.C. every Friday. I'd like to pick up lunch in the station before I get on the train. I arrive at Penn Station on the subway, so don't need suggestions in the neighborhood -- I really mean IN the station. It seems like lots of chain and pre-made options -- can someone point me to anything that's a better choice?

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  1. Don't know if they'll prepare take-out, but Tracks Bar & Grill is, I think, the only place in Penn Station that serves real food. Their fish and chips used to be pretty decent (haven't had them in ages), the burger not bad at all, and they have a pretty good selection of salads. Certainly worth popping in and asking if they'll pack to go.

    1. Amtrak level restaurant listings: http://www.34thstreet.org/directory_l...
      LIRR level restaurant listings: http://www.34thstreet.org/directory_l...

      Sorry don't have specific recommendations since it's been awhile since I'd commuted out of there and everything was equally sad back then. It's no Grand Central. Good luck.

      1. I commute in/out of Penn frequently. To eat IN Penn, you are basically paying a markup on unhealthy chain restaurant food. I would bring something.

        If you must eat there, I like the pizza place that is located next to the krispy kreme, for a quick slice or two.

        1. I'm actually in Penn Station three times a week but don't pay much attention to the food choices. Aside from the chain options, my MIL picks up a decent seaweed, edamame and pickled vegetable salad from the Japanese stand in Penn when she visits us. It's premade, but this type of stuff is fine made ahead of time.

          1. there are the food spots in the penn station part and then there are food spots in the amtrak area. two seperate areas. both have pretty much fast food options-taco bell, pizza, moe's. there are a few make your own salads, there is subway and pizza spot in the penn area near amtrak. i do know the amtrak area has a sushi spot and a deli that uses boars head. personally this deli is probably your best best for a healthy and tasteful meal.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rogs

              I know this isn't what you asked for, but if you have enough time between subway and Amtrak to step outside briefly, on 33rd Street, between 7th and 8th, on the north side of the street, there's a Lenny's, which has freshly prepared sandwiches and salads. Nothing fancy, but better than most things you'd find in the station, I think. (They have a website, too, I think)

            2. By the way, it might be better to pick up something near where you're getting on the subway instead if that's at all an option? If so, which station are you taking the subway from?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Noodle fanatic

                Agreed with this point. From the office (or where ever the departure location is) to the subway there has got to be better options than the garbage around the amtrak trains.

              2. i agree with the before subway pick up as well as lennys when you can.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rogs

                  Yes, there are lots of better optioins near my office. But I take the 7 and change to the 1-2-3 at Times Square, juggling a wheelie bag with laptop and handbag. It would be easier not to have to schlep my lunch across town, too. Same reason I'd prefer not to exit the station to find a place in the neighborhood. Thanks for the ideas -- Japanese salad is worth trying for sure.

                2. NY Pizza Suprema on 8th and 31st, right across from the enterance to Penn. Pizza is great train food, and Pizza Suprema is great pizza. You do the math.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rifkind81

                    yea i second NY Pizza Suprema, an decent slice of pizza like their sicilian...although it maybe a tad out of your way i feel all the food stands in Penn station just look depressing lol.

                  2. What? You don't want to eat the yummy food in the Amtrak Cafe car? :) (Actually, I think the hot dog is tolerable, if you like hot dogs, because it's Hebrew National. But you have to persuade the cafe car attendant not to microwave the bun along with the frank.)