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Oct 21, 2011 03:08 PM

Save me from Applebees!

I'm meeting up with a couple of friends next week who I love, but who don't care near as much as I do about food and restaurants. We do share a lack of fundage in common, but I don't need expensive restaurants to enjoy eating out.

My friends do have some constraints though (no Asian food, no Mexican), and so do I (I'm vegetarian). I've met them at Dallas BB! (twice!) and at Fridays, and now Applebees was suggested (in part for a 2 -for-$20 special). They are not food adventurers, which I am. Even with the vegetarianism I can find a way to make most places work, but not Applebees, please, no!.

Are corporate chains successful in part because they're cheaper, and appeal to quesy eaters?

Hard to find a place really cheap that they will go to and isn't grim (to them) as a place to hang out and visit.

Anyone have suggestions for me?

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  1. How much ARE they willing to spend before tax and tip?

    Not even, like, a nicer diner like Veselka?

    Or a burger place like Bill's (which has a veggie burger)?

    Pizza at Motorino or Keste or John's of Bleecker etc?

    What about Indian food, like at Dhaba, which has a nicer atmosphere than most?

    Middle Eastern, like Hummus Place?

    Hummus Place
    109 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

    144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

    John's Pizzeria
    278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    108 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016

    Keste Pizza & Vino
    271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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

    349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      I think Veselka, Bill's and Hummus Place should work. I'd be more excited myself with Motorino or Keste, but wonder if they exceed the level of spending comfort. Thanks for this great list kathryn - it should be helpful for others besides me, and beyond this one meal.

    2. the Fried Chicken Dinner at Noodle Bar would be a great option for a future date. may be tough to get a reservation now for next week. you usually have to book 30 days in advance, but it's only $100 plus tax and tip and drinks for up to eight people. six can eat well. eight could be stretching it, depending on appetites.

      have you looked at Otto? their dishes are well priced and you could hang out a while, unlike some of the other (better) pizza places that Kathryn mentioned.

      1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

      Momofuku Noodle Bar
      171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

      1 Reply
      1. re: coasts

        I like the idea of Otto. I find, as a vegetarian too, that there are lots of things to order - esp. among the antipasti and there's usually a "seasonal" pizza and pasta too. And that wine list is just great.

      2. Thanks for these great suggestions! Some may be perceived as slightly more costly than this group is comfortable with, but all are good ideas - much appreciated.