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Hi Guys,

Some of my relatives are coming from out of town for a 50th birthday party and are dead set in going to Planet Hollywood in Time Square!! Obviously I could not imagine anything more torturous. In a desperate attempt to avoid subjecting myself to this I have volunteered to try and find another restaurant in the same area, same price point and fun for a bunch of women. Ugh. Can someone please help me because finding a good restaurant in that neighborhood is hard enough...forget about affordable and fun.


Planet Hollywood
1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

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  1. Plenty of options in Hells Kitchen/Midtown West....and if they're from out of town, you can probably fudge it and go a little East without them knowing it. The truth is, with a large group sometimes it doesn't matter where you eat, and you just have to take one for the team.

    1. If you can edge up the price, I'd suggest Blue Fin in the W Times Square. For your price and fun, but a step up from Planet Hollywood or another chain, you might try Virgil's Barbecue.

      Blue Fin
      1567 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

      Planet Hollywood
      1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

      1. it's just one meal, if they are set in going to PH so what? Do you have to go with them if you think it would be so disastrous? Meet them there for a drink. If they have never been to a PH why take away what they are looking forward to? The rock and roll stuff is fun to look at and there must be something on the menu you could manage to eat.

        1. I feel your pain. Just know that there is one place worse than PH, and that is Mars 2112 i.e. things could be worse. My recommendation is as per below to "take one for the team" and thank your lucky stars they don't know about Mars 2112.

          Mars 2112
          1633 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

          1 Reply
          1. re: mr_seabass

            hahahah hilarious. ;-)

          2. More than the destination, I always hate going out with large groups. Recently had a family dinner for Virgil's for 15 people. Food was pretty good, but to coordinate 15 people is torture and simply takes forever. But, they handle large groups pretty well there.

            However, what does "fun for a bunch of ladies" mean, exactly? Are you looking for loud, music, or classy? If they are music fans, then yeah - suck it up because they will like the decor. If not, there are other places to go.

            I sometimes meet people at Ruby Foo's when a friend is in town on business and that nabe is really the only option due to time constraints. It's great because you can eat pretty affordably (a couple of sushi rolls) or go pricier. But, asian has to be an option.

            There are also more excellent options further west for much better food and a more upscale environment. Marseille is a vibrant bistro with terrific food, and Taboon (on 10th ave) is one of my favorites (but it's much quieter)

            Ruby Foo's
            1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

            773 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

            1. How about you just do what they want this time....it's not the end of the world and it sounds like they really want to go to PH. You don't want to end up picking a place that they will be disappointed with compared to their image of PH. So why set it up that way? Do what they want, you're the hero, and you won't die if you go to PH for a couple of hours.

              1. A suggestion: Can you meet for drinks @ PH before you go out on the town for a better NYC restaurant experience. The "out of towners" can ge a feel for PH, see Rocky's boxing gloves, buy a T-shirt etc..
                Other options might be Ruby Foos (been there and enjoyed it) or Carmine's (haven't been there but the tourists love it)

                Ruby Foo's
                1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

                1 Reply
                1. re: Motosport

                  Then again, PH is not awful if you keep it simple. It can be a fun place for the out of towners.
                  A relative from Switzerland wanted to go to the Diner with the singing waiters. It was the last place I would ever go but we took him. He loved it!!
                  Later that week we made a point of taking him out to some quintessential NYC places too. Katz's, WoHop, John's Pizza, Cafe Dante etc. He thought we were foodie gods.

                2. Take one for the team. Get a salad with grilled chicken and you will be fine. If you move the whole group and they dont love it you are the scapegoat. If you must move it go with Ruby Foos.

                  Ruby Foo's
                  1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: princeofpork

                    Hey.....Play to your audience; if you get too esoteric, they might think they got scr*wed. Maybe some in the group have their collective hearts set on buying a Planet Hooey T Shirt, and you are going to ruin that????? Not me, bite the bullet and go with the flow. Or do you want to incur the wrath of the "Ladies", this is not about you and just be gracious, now if you are paying then you have some say.

                  2. havana central?

                    1. Thank You guys sooo much. This is all very helpful!!!

                      1. What would I ever do without Chowhound!!! Thanks again!!!

                        1. I'm a little late and I feel your pain, but I will second Havana Central as a decent alternative. At least they didn't say they needed to go to Madame Tussaud's. Or to see Lion King.

                          Havana Central
                          151 W 46th Street, New York, NY 10036

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: susan robin

                            I've soured on Havana Central. It's mediocre, but I guess Planet Hollywood would be worse, assuming that it's something like Hard Rock Cafe.

                          2. I had dinner at Havana Central because it was virtually next to a theater I was going to...dinner was awful, and pricey considering what was served; lousyservice; so noisy I couldn't hear myself think.

                            1. ... don't take one for the team, if you can possibly avoid it.

                              Maybe you could suggest appetizers at another restaurant before? I'd recommend Tia Pol (for tapas) in Chelsea. Yes, It's not that close - but the have a reservable private dining room. The food is so good, they might not want to go to PH.

                              Tia Pol
                              205 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011