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Oct 8, 2010 12:32 PM

a challenge--need suggestions for casual and quiet restaurant to satisfy diners with difficult needs

On Oct. 15 or 16 (Fri or Sat) my daughter and I are coming in from the DC area and want to meet my parents for lunch or early dinner in Manhattan; preferably not more than about $25/person for food but will go higher if necessary. My daughter and I have fairly wide-ranging tastes but she can't eat dairy or raw fruits/vegs (cooked fruits/vegs are OK except for tomatoes) My parents are in their 80s and like what I consider bland food--think "early bird special" and diners. They also like Jewish delis, as I do, but I'm not sure my daughter can find anything there. My father does not like pasta so, along with my daughter's non-dairy diet, that probably rules out Italian. I also don't think Asian would work--if it's authentic (which my daughter and I like), it will be too exotic for them. Meat is OK for all, but not a steakhouse (for various reasons).

Aside from food challenges, my father has trouble hearing conversation in noisy places, so it's important that the place be fairly quiet. Also, the location must be not too far or expensive a ride by taxi from the Port Authority bus station. And the restaurant must either take reservations or not have a long wait at lunch or early dinner, because my parents can't stand a long time.

In previous Manhattan get-togethers with my parents we have eaten at Josephina and at Josie's on Upper West Side (they liked the former, not so much the latter) and at Cookshop in Chelsea (too noisy). We would consider Josephina again but I'd like to have some alternatives--please help with what feels like an impossible challenge to find someplace with good food that meets these requirements!

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  1. West Bank Cafe, on 9th and 42nd? I don't recall it being all that noisy in there. The menu is relatively "safe" in terms of food.

    West Bank Cafe
    407 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks, Kathryn, West Bank Cafe menu looks like it would work and location is good.

      West Bank Cafe
      407 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

    2. Marseille is 2 blocks from the bus station, is relatively quiet, and has excellent French and Moroccan food and great atmosphere. Prices are reasonable.