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Inexpensive place near NYU

We're going to a show at the Skirball Center (LaGuardia & Washington Sq. South) and want to have an early dinner beforehand. We don't want an expensive restaurant-- maybe $25. pp. Ethnic is good (Italian, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, or Mediterranean, but not Japanese) or good American food. We would like someplace close by. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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  1. $25pp before tax and tip? Or after?

    2 Replies
      1. re: Lizbet

        How about Galanga on West 4th? It's decent enough Thai for the neighborhood/price. Drunken noodles, pad thai, green curry. The only thing I'd avoid is the larb, it's very spicy but one dimensional.

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        Galanga
        149 W 4th St, New York, NY 10012

    1. I happen to like Bar Carrera. It is not that far away - on West Houston and Macdougal. Not expensive. You could get a few little sandwiches or split some cheese/meat plates and get a cheap bottle of wine and stay around your price range.

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      Bar Carrera
      146 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

      1. For Indian, you could do Jackson Diner on University between 10th and 11th, the Manhattan outpost of the famed Queens restaurant

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        Jackson Diner
        72 University Pl, New York, NY 10003

        1. There's a number of places on University place that are fairly cheap. Num Pang is on E. 12th just past University Pl., which is a very decent bahn mi place.

          There is also an Asian noodle place on the corner of E. 13th and University Place, can't think of the name right now.

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          Num Pang Sandwich Shop
          21 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

          L'Annam
          121 University Pl, New York, NY 10003

          2 Replies
            1. re: kathryn

              That's probably it. No, great it is not, but perfectly acceptable. ETA I haven't eaten there in quite a while, so maybe the quality's gone down.

          1. There is also the hummus/middle eastern place on the east side of university, we were there once about a year ago and it was satisfying in an affordable, reasonably healthy way, with actual service (which you wouldnt get at num pang, though the sandwiches are delicious).

            Pop bar (i think that is the name) is a new(ish) place also on that stret of university - we were only there for beers (big selection) and an order of tots, but it seemed well priced if you're looking for a burger.

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            Num Pang Sandwich Shop
            21 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

            Nanoosh
            111 University Pl, New York, NY 10003

            Pop Pub
            83 University Pl, New York, NY 10003

            1. How about Otto or Keste?

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              Otto
              1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

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

              1. Thanks for all the suggestions. But University and 12 St. is a little further than we would like. I was looking for a place just a five or ten-minute walk away. There are two Italian restaurants very close by: Tre Giovani on LaGuardia and Porto-Bello on Thompson. Has anyone tried either of those? I was considering Otto, but it has been criticized for being very noisy. We would like to have a conversation without yelling at each other. .

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                Otto
                1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

                Tre Giovani
                548 Laguardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

                Porto Bello
                208 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lizbet

                  Tre Giovani was a frequent lunch haunt of mine when I worked in that neighborhood. It's pretty good. Decent food that won't knock your socks off but a fun, casual place.

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                  Tre Giovani
                  548 Laguardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

                2. Not the sort of place to knock your socks off, but my daughter is a student at NYU and is quite fond of The Smith at 55 3rd Ave. Good honest home cooking with an emphasis on simple things done reasonably well.

                  http://www.thesmithnyc.com/menus/

                  Very friendly folks, too. And just enough of a walk -- five or six blocks -- to refresh yourself before your show.

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                  The Smith
                  55 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

                  1. Not sure if your show has come and gone but... I would stick to something south of Skirball. Last three visits to Skirball were preceded by 5 Guys, Burger and Barrel and a really cheap Mexican place about a block south. We may not have spent $25 per person if you added up all three visits per person!

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                    Five Guys Burgers and Fries
                    496 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

                    Burger & Barrel
                    25 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

                    1. Mamoun's Falafel 119 MacDougal Street, then after you feed, go next door for some great coffee, and conversation. Next door is Cafe Reggio, classic and old.

                      Otherwise, you really do not need to inquire much beyond knowing Olive Tree, just down the street south of Mamoun's, and representing Middle Eastern with a sit down atmosphere that beats most dining in regards to relaxing.

                      Olive Tree Cafe:
                      http://www.comedycellar.com/olive.shtml
                      http://pics3.city-data.com/businesses...

                      These two establishments are the only places to eat for those of the more fastidious, for other places in this area will leave you plagued by onslaughts of trendy attention getter style places.

                      They have both stood the trail of time.

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                      Mamoun's Falafel
                      119 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                      Olive Tree Cafe
                      117 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                      Caffe Reggio
                      119 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                      1. Indian Creperie on Bleecker has excellent Dosas.

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                        Indian Creperie
                        190 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012