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Jul 10, 2011 11:57 AM

Mom and 9-year-old on 3-day visit do Harry Potter - Wicked - and AMNH - plus a haircut in the east Village...HELP?

We are staying at a small hotel on West 46th - Plan to hit Sullivan Street Bakery the two mornings we are there.

Need help with other meals!

1) We get in before noon and have weekday 2:30 tickets to Discovery Times Square (HP Exhibition). Need to grab lunch and don't have a ton of time, so would LOVE a pizza place (around that area) recommendation for lunch on day one.

2) Next day, my long-haired daughter is getting a shot bob down on 9th b/t 1st and Avenue A. Her appt is at 10, so we can eat lunch before the 2 o'clock show at the Gershwin almost anywhere b/t the village and the theater. I'd love something with a cute garden or somewhat special atmosphere (neat murals or old, original woodwork or soda fountain?), but my daughter is not an adventurous eater. (Loves a rare tuna steak, though!) She'll eat Mediterranean, loves Italian (of course) or other pasta dishes, and would love good homemade chips. Not a huge burger and fry fan - she prefers a deli - turkey sandwich standard, but I'd something with a unique atmosphere. She likes shrimp. . .at least fresh shrimp in a low country boil or fried shrimp. Likes a sweet, fruity/nutty chicken salad.

3) Need dinner after the 2:00 show - saw Lattanzi's (sp?) well-reviewed, but would love to branch off restaurant row after the show if I can get a good local recommendation.

I was thinking about taking her to Sylvia's for one of these meals. Not sure about time between the haircut and the show, so maybe dinner?? She LOVES fried chicken, but I wonder if Sylvia's has become too commercial over the years? I have not been since 1988! Is there another family spot that does soul food / comfort food? Preferably closer to our hotel than Harlem?


4) The day we fly out, we are spending the day at the American Museum of Natural History. We'll have had breakfast, but will need lunch and - if I can bump our flight out from 4:49 to early dinner. (Or we'll be dining at the Atlanta airport!!) Anyone know about restaurants IN the museum? Are there any good places in easy walking distance where we could grab lunch? Are there good food carts in Central Park - we HAVE to go see the d*%n Balto statue.

I'm not especially worried about money - I expect to pay $10 to $20 for lunch and I'll pay a bit more for dinner. really want her to enjoy some "cool" places, but want unique spots with good food! I may have to have a beer at some point, but do not plan to drink, so. . . not worried about wine selection on this trip.

I quit teaching to go to law school, so this is a real treat for us - using free tickets dad got for getting off an overbooked flight on a business trip!! Thanks in advance for helping me make it special with good food!!

Sullivan Street Bakery
533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

361 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036

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    1. Whew. Lucky daughter, and happy bday. Can't address all your queries, but here are some suggestions.
      Lunch after haircut: Veselka Coffee Shop for solid comfort/Polish eats in a lively East Village setting.
      Lunch at AMNH: Shake Shack on Columbus Ave and 78thSt (corner across avenue from Museum) for burgers, hot dogs, shakes.
      Avoid: any Central Park carts except for water; Sylvia's probably not worth the shlep.

      328 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

      144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

      Shake Shack
      366 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

      6 Replies
      1. re: bob96


        505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

        Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
        , New York, NY 10012

        Ditch Plains
        100 W 82nd St, New York, NY 10024

        Rickshaw Dumpling Truck
        , New York, NY 10001

        1. re: LNG212

          Ah-forgot about the Tavern food trucks. Thx.

        2. re: bob96

          Thanks so much! You won't believe this, but on my last trip to NYC in the early 90s, a friend who lived in the Village then took me to Veselka...and I've been trying to remember the name. I remember I could get a plate of breakfast and coffee back then for something crazy like $3.95. I feel so lucky that you posted - thanks!
          And Hadley will be glad to eat a burger or dog just to visit a place called the Shake Shack. I think half the food she's consume in her life has gone in motivated by the promise of dessert ;-)

          1. re: bob96

            Veselka is Ukrainian and nothing particularly interesting about either the food or the place.

            1. re: City Kid

              Well, yes most of Veselka's food is prety standard - some good, some mediocre. Their borscht is generally pretty great. But I respectfully completely disagree with you abut the place. Veselka is an EV institution - a mainstay of the counter-culture movement in the late 60s/early 70s and a huge center for the village art world in the late 70s through the 80s.

              That said, I'm not sure any of that's really going to be interesting to the under-10 set. Although they'll still probably like the colorful mural and the fairly simple diner-style comfort food. Maybe a good spot for a quick lunch or late breakfast rather than dinner?

              9 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

              1. re: ANin

                While Velselka may have a history, my point was there is no really good reason to go there now, either for the food or anything else, especially given the OP's parameters (something with a garden or special atmosphere)...I have been in NYC since the late '60s and what Veselka was really known for was being open 24/7 for clubbers.

                144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

          2. They do NOT serve lunch, unfortunately - but I think you and your daughter would love Scarpetta. High-quality Italian and they serve really delicious house-made chips at the bar. Awesome bread basket too. See if you can fit it in for one of dinners (unless you are coming from L.A. or Las Vegas, that is.)

            I've never been to Sylvia's, but I haven't read any good reviews recently. My personal favorite fried chicken is served at Blue Ribbon Bakery, Redhead, and Amy Ruth's. Blue Ribbon and Redhead are both downtown so you won't have to travel too far. If you want to make a Harlem trip out of it though, Amy Ruth's is perfect. Or you could take a totally different route and try Korean fried chicken! (somewhat of a fad past couple years in Manhattan) Bonchon used to be my go-to, but I believe they have closed so I go to Boka in EV now. Do NOT go to Kyochon! Unless you are coming from L.A. - then ignore my KFC suggestion.

            I second Shake Shack rec for after AMNH. Make sure she leaves room for a concrete!

            8 Replies
            1. re: uwsister

              The former Bonchon space on Fifth Ave. (later Mad for Chicken, then Mono+Mono) reopened last month as Turntable Mad for Chicken. Haven't tried the chicken yet. I like Boka, too.

              9 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

              Turntable Mad for Chicken
              314 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001

              1. re: squid kun

                Yeah, all the re-incarnations of Bonchon makes my head spin! I haven't been since it was Bonchon though - if it's same chicken, it's good stuff. Interesting name BTW - Turntable Mad? Huh.

                1. re: uwsister

                  I wonder if Mono+Mono still has some connection with this place; don't they play jazz on vinyl at the downtown location (which I've never tried)? And I presume it's somehow connected with Mad for Chicken, which still has shops in Flushing and elsewhere.

                  BTW the new Turntable place has some of the former staff from Baden Baden, which is about to close - big rent increase, I heard.

                  Baden Baden New York
                  28 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

                  116 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003

                    1. re: uwsister

                      Not sure when, but that's what two of the people who left told me. I'll try to stop by for one more plate of the chicken.

                      1. re: squid kun

                        Yeah, I've actually never been there but it's been one of those places that I always thought I should go one time. What's their chicken like? KFC style a la Bonchon? Also have you tried their nakji bokkeum? (spicy baby octopus stir-fry - is the best way I can describe it.) Somebody told me they had a good version a long time ago.

                        1. re: uwsister

                          Baden Baden is closed. I went yesterday and had even more trouble finding the place than usual becasue the vertical sign on the building is gone. (The one on the wall inside the entrance is still there, for what it's worth.) I went inside and up the stairs, which were dusty from construction debris. A worker who passed me on the stairs said "renovation" . . . but it felt like the place was just closed.


              2. re: uwsister

                Take her to The Redhead for fried chicken after her haircut. It is 3 blocks away.

              3. I'd concur with recommending Redhead for the after haircut lunch.

                Also Northern Spy Food Co. for good decent food and atmosphere combo. Brindle Room usually does good food, and it has a kinda unique room, but might not be what you are after. Motorino has quality pizza, if you don't get pizza the first day.

                I know you said she wasn't an adventurous eater, but you might also consider Kamui Den. Japanese place but should have bunch of "safe" things like deep friend pork (tonkatsu) and shrimp, and while they have sushi and rolls and such, the place emphasizes cooked, home style food.

                Anyway, those should all be around where the hair salon is at, so it wouldn't be too much trouble to check out and then head somewhere else if it's not what you want.

                Kamui Den
                186 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

                Northern Spy Food Co.
                511 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009

                349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                Brindle Room
                277 E 10th St, New York, NY 10009

                1. Lunch or dinner one day: Artichoke Basille's. Wonderful pizza, with safe flavors, and some more adventurous ones! GET THE ARTICHOKE!!! Have fun in the city! I go with my mother for our birthdays too. It is such a special time. Savor it!