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Jul 24, 2011 04:02 PM

Harlem with my son

I'm planning a trip to New York with my son, and am looking for a good places to eat lunch and dinner on the day we go to Harlem. He's 8, can be more adventuresome than many 3rd graders in his eating, but is sometimes cautious of unusual spices or sauces. I, on the other hand, love Ethiopian food and would also love to find the peanut sauce a Senegalese friend used to make in his Berlin restaurant. I'm vegetarian except for fish and eggs, but he is not (usually).

Here are the places I'm thinking of so far:
Keur Sokhna,
Africa Kine,
Red Rooster and Amy Ruth's would probably appeal to him, if they were done well. Reviews seem to vary widely.

Besides the food, of course, it's also important that places we go be reasonably child-friendly. I do NOT want a menu of fishsticks and corndogs for him, and we don't need crayons, etc. What we would like are reasonably fast service, willingness to adapt dishes (sauces on the side, simple vegetables, those sorts of requests), and not terribly noisy or crowded places. The prices at Red Rooster are at the higher end of what I'd like to pay, but would be bearable.

Amy Ruth's
113 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

Africa Kine
256 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

120 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

Red Rooster
310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

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  1. If you would like to do Ethiopian, we like Zoma on Frederick Douglas Blvd. I think it's the best Ethiopian I have had in the city.

    2084 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026

    2 Replies
    1. re: LNG212

      Zoma is the best Ethiopian restaurant in the city, hands down.

      I am also fond of both Amy Ruth's and Melba's. They both do fine chicken and waffle.

      I have not personally been to Charles Southern Fried Chicken, but I've heard it's inconsistent.

      1. re: uwsister

        Excellent! The only Ethiopian place I know of here is pretty bland. It's hard to figure out how they manage that, but they do.

    2. If this trip is planned for March, like your other post, you should probably make plans early next year. There's a lot of turnover in NYC restaurants -- some places will be gone and others will have opened.

      3 Replies
      1. re: City Kid

        But the good ones will stay, won't they?

        1. re: saacnmama

          That is what you hope for, but they don't always.

          1. re: saacnmama

            The reviews don't always hold, and favorites do vanish. Charles Southern Fried Chicken is an example that got mediocre quick, and then abruptly shut down. The openings and closings, combined with pop ups and food trucks makes it a dizzying scene. Harlem will probably see some new life in the next year. We'll have more accurate info closer to a visit.

            As of now, Red Rooster offers a upscale but fun menu, and Amy Ruth's is a good choice, with a good menu for kids. I've always enjoyed it even on rare occasions when the food didn't knock my socks off.

            Charles' Country Pan-Fried Chicken
            2837 8th Ave, New York, NY 10039

            Amy Ruth's
            113 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

            Red Rooster
            310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

        2. You may want to consider Melba’s for dinner. This cozy and casual restaurant is owned by the niece of Sylvia, as in Sylvia’s Soul Food restaurant, also located in Harlem. I dined at Red Rooster last month. It was fine but I wouldn’t say it’s child-friendly. The menu is described as global comfort food. I’m not sure how well this would appeal to a child, even an adventurous one. The “sides” that are included with the entrees are typically more of a garnish / accent then a true side dish. I found it a bit pricey for the portions.

          328 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

          300 W 114th St, New York, NY 10026

          Red Rooster
          310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

          1 Reply
          1. re: BroadwayBound

            i have not eaten at red rooster, but i just looked at the menu - i do not see why that menu would not appeal to a child. fried chicken, baked chicken, salmon, steak and fries, mac and cheese w greens, meatballs.......

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Chez Lucienne would be a nice place for lunch. The menu is interesting and diverse, but I always make it a point to order its fries w/mayo on the side!

              Chez Lucienne
              308 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY 10027