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Cheap, Group, Late Night, Union Square, Dinner

ghettointlectual Jul 4, 2012 12:06 PM

I'm Manny and I've been following the NYC digest for almost a year now, this is the first time I'm posting and I'm looking for a recommendation.

I need to:

1. Feed 8 people cheaply. No more than $300 including tax and tip
2. Open late. Dinner will be at 10:30pm
3. Walking distance from Union Square

I hope I'm not being too demanding

Thank You

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  1. k
    kathryn RE: ghettointlectual Jul 4, 2012 12:54 PM

    What day of the week?

    How far in advance are you planning?

    $300 for 8 including tax and tip, but any wine/drinks? Otherwise it comes out to about $30pp?

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn
      ghettointlectual RE: kathryn Jul 4, 2012 01:15 PM

      Thanks for replying !
      I forgot to add that this is for this Saturday night July 7th

      1. re: ghettointlectual
        kathryn RE: ghettointlectual Jul 4, 2012 01:37 PM

        Some options:
        1. During the day, go to Ippudo and put your name down for later on that night
        2. Motorino may not be too busy by that time of night
        3. One of the many Thai restaurants in the East Village. Maybe Zabb Elee. They're open until 3am.

        1. re: kathryn
          hungrycomposer RE: kathryn Jul 4, 2012 03:13 PM

          Zabb Elee is open until 3AM now? That's great! They used to say they were open til midnight but they often closed at 11.

          1. re: hungrycomposer
            Simon RE: hungrycomposer Jul 4, 2012 06:35 PM

            i had the same reaction: is this recent?...because i walked in at around 11pm a couple weeks ago to get takeout and their kitchen was already closed...

            1. re: Simon
              kathryn RE: Simon Jul 4, 2012 07:14 PM

              Oops, misread the hours! That's for their Queens location. Drat!

    2. s
      small h RE: ghettointlectual Jul 4, 2012 03:15 PM

      The timing might be a little tight (they close at midnight), but Vapiano is very close to Union Square, and inexpensive; it's sort of a glorified cafeteria. The food is alright - pizza, pasta, salad, etc. - and it's a big space.


      1. g
        ghettointlectual RE: ghettointlectual Jul 5, 2012 06:08 AM

        Thank You all for the advice, I think I"m going to do a walk around and look into Ippudo, Motorino and Vapaino and decide.

        Thank You very much

        1. Motosport RE: ghettointlectual Jul 5, 2012 07:06 AM

          If you are careful about what you order Duke' or Big Daddy's might work.
          Not fancy but good comfort food. Friendly atmosphere.

          1. Motosport RE: ghettointlectual Jul 5, 2012 07:12 AM

            For a large group on a budget Chinese food is a good choice.
            The Cottage on Irving Pl has good Chinese food and they served free wine the last time I was there. Order 6-8 entrees and share family style.
            Open late too!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Motosport
              Simon RE: Motosport Jul 5, 2012 02:47 PM

              i've never been to Cottage, but this is the very first time i've ever heard anyone praise it...all other reports have been negative...is there a dish or two that you can recommend there?

              1. re: Simon
                Motosport RE: Simon Jul 6, 2012 09:54 AM

                Cottage has decent food. It's not fine Chinese dining but they are close to Union Sq, inexpensive, open late and serve free wine. Not bad for a group on a budget.
                We usually order a variety of dishes. It's standard Chinese fare.

            2. i
              ilovetoeat23 RE: ghettointlectual Jul 5, 2012 08:01 AM

              Timing might be tight on this one too (they close at midnight) but, Saigon Market is a great group place that fits your budget. They have large round tables! Its on 12th and University.

              5 Replies
              1. re: ilovetoeat23
                ghettointlectual RE: ilovetoeat23 Jul 5, 2012 12:48 PM

                I'll keep the cottage in mind as a backup, Saigon Market closes too early, I don't expect us to start eating till about 11 because I expect some of the people to show up late.
                Thanks for the advice!

                1. re: ghettointlectual
                  small h RE: ghettointlectual Jul 5, 2012 01:18 PM

                  No one has mentioned Coffee Shop yet, because it is unfashionable on Chowhound to admit that it's a decent enough place (although it is). It can get very crowded, especially late on a Saturday night. The prices might stretch your budget. But it's right on Union Square West, and open all night. So you might want to keep it in mind.


                  1. re: small h
                    Simon RE: small h Jul 5, 2012 02:46 PM

                    i don't think Coffee Shop is even close to decent...the two meals i had there were inedible...

                    1. re: Simon
                      small h RE: Simon Jul 5, 2012 03:29 PM

                      I've had upwards of 30 meals at Coffee Shop over many years, almost never because I was heading directly for it. Rather, I've been nearby with people who wanna eat and drink, and the menu has something for almost everyone, and there's a full bar, so there you go.

                      I don't order anything too complicated or challenging. I've had pretty good luck with the seared tuna salad, the quesadilla of the day, the eggs florentine, and the moqueca stew (and here I will out myself as someone who is a sucker for seafood stews, generally, and rarely finds fault with them unless they're really dreadful). Stuff that you suspect might be too sweet will definitely be too sweet, so don't order that. Stuff that is deep-fried will be be greasy, so don't order that, either.

                      As for The Cottage, about which you inquired upthread, the last time I was dragged there, under fierce duress, I ordered a seafood noodle soup, which I thought would be safe-ish. I got a bowl of ammonia-flavored seafood atop a giant noodle clump in a lake of saltwater. I drank a lot of wine that evening (and that was lousy, too).

                      1. re: small h
                        Simon RE: small h Jul 5, 2012 03:41 PM

                        i had fish&chips there sometime within the past year and i couldn't eat more than a couple bites (and i'll eat all kinds of fried fish)...further back in time, i had a similar experience w/ an omelette: just awful...i figured those are simple enough diner dishes...but i'll keep that seafood stew in mind in case i ever find myself there...cheers...

              2. a
                Amp1 RE: ghettointlectual Jul 5, 2012 07:22 PM

                How about Pete's Tavern? It's open late.

                I haven't eaten there in a while, but I remember the food being pretty decent.

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