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Looking for family restaurant (specifics)

I am looking for a family friendly place for Saturday night. Here are the specifics:
1. My 11 year old son basically only eats burgers or pizza. I would prefer a burger place since We are probably grabbing pizza on the way into the city Colony grill)
2. Located between the museum of natural history & rockafeller center
3. Needs to serve beer & wine
4. Needs to be table service
5. Would prefer a pub like setting that would be welcoming of/ friendly for kids.

I have been scouring the boards try to find a spot that hits all of these criteria but have not nailed it,

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


Matt in ri

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  1. Brooklyn Diner on 57th and 7th, maybe?

    Brooklyn Diner
    212 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

    3 Replies
    1. re: coasts

      Thanks. That seems to fit the bill. The online reviews are pretty mixed. Have you eaten there? It seems like the reviews are indicating pretty high prices for mediocre food. I will use this as my fall back if I don't find anything else. It does seem to fit what I described.

      I was hoping for more of a pub style place. I just can't seem to find one that would be good for kids.


      1. re: RIfoodie29

        Brooklyn Diner is an overpriced kitschy tourist trap.

        Brooklyn Diner
        212 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

        1. re: RIfoodie29

          I've only been once, but found the food to be fine for what it is. Gutsofsteel isn't wrong in his description, but it does fit the bill for what you're looking for.

          If you prefer a pub, look at Kennedy's on 57th between 8th and 9th. It's family friendly, but again the food won't wow you. It's just a place to eat.

      2. Could be insanely busy but you could check out Shake Shack

        3 Replies
        1. re: Spiritchaser

          Fits criteria 1,2, and 3, but no table service and not at a pub like setting.

          Maybe PJ Clarkes by Lincoln Center?

          1. re: glutton08

            I definitely think PJ Clarke's fits the bill.

            1. re: glutton08

              You are absolutely right, I completely spaced on some of the OPs needs.

          2. Thank you for all the recs. PJ Clarkes is exactly what I was looking for. I would say that is on the top of my list.

            A friend also reccomended Fred's around 82nd, which looks pretty good.

            I love the wisdom of groups that Chowhound offers.

            5 Trips in a row Chowhound recs have impressed me:

            1. DC- A great gastropub with Happy hours specials and the best burger I have ever had.
            2. NYC this summer X2 - Waterfront Grill for Lunch and then pre-concert dinner with friends & The Fatty Crab for cheap Happy Hour Eats.
            3. Dallas - Neighborhood Services - One of the top 3 Meal experiences I have ever had.
            4. Providence- Last weekend reccommending Rick's Roadhouse for pre-URI-PC Basketball brews & BBQ with kids in tow.

            Thanks again.

            Final questions
            1. Does the shack shack near the Museum of Natural History have indoor seating? (It's hard to tell from the website).
            2. Am I likely to be able to get seated there for lunch on Saturday. (I was thinking of having lunch there instead of at the cafeteria in the museum).

            Thanks again,


            Fatty Crab
            643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

            1 Reply
            1. re: RIfoodie29

              Yes, the Shake Shack on Columbus has seating. There are several tables on the ground floor, and a few downstairs. Saturdays are probably very crowded, but assuming you will be with your wife, have her wait downstairs while you wait for the food. A good chance a table will free up in time.

            2. Agree with PJ Clarke's - also an option, for a more extensive menu and a little more upscale (but not fancy-pants) food is Landmarc in the Time Warner Center.

              10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10019

              1. Go for Bills Bar and Burger (either Meatpacking or Rock Center). That should fit the bill (all pun intended). Or if you want something a little more fancy go for BLT Burger.

                Bill's Bar & Burger
                22 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014

                BLT Burger
                470 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                Bill's Bar & Burger
                45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

                1. Hey guys thanks for all the reccomendations. Unfortunately this trip did not work out how I would have liked.

                  We tried to get into the Shack Shack on Columbus. Unfortunately the line was out the door and no seats in sight. My daughter was over tired so we went back and ate in the Museum's cafeteria. It was aweful & overpriced.

                  We ended up at one of the PJ Clarke's location. Unfortunately my entire family was shot from fighting the 5th Avenue Crowds and nearly getting trampled to death trying to get close to the tree at Rockafeller Center. We couldn't find a cab and basically I was out voted and we left the city without a single meal (except for the aweful cafeteria meal).

                  Hellbent on getting at least something tastey we stopped at Squire's in Briarcliff. I had eaten there many many times growing up in Pleasantville. I was reminded of the place when it was reccommended in another post for best burger outside of the city. It absolutely did not disappoint. We all got burgers and all ate every bite. I had a cheddar bacon burger that was perfect!

                  Onion rings and sweet ptatoe fries were perfect as well. They also poured good Smthwick's which I needed after the chaos in the city.

                  Will try to get to some of the reccomended spots next time I am in and hopefully the city will be less hectic.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: RIfoodie29

                    Alas! Better luck next time.

                    The line is out the door at the UWS Shake Shack most of the time, because the part of the line that is indoors is pretty short. If you come back when the weather is nicer, just take the food and sit on the benches outside the AMNH. Or to Central Park.

                    I usually avoid 5th Ave and Rockefeller Center around December..although those areas are almost always crowded with tourists year-round. NB :the best time to see the tree is late night Christmas Eve.