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Restaurant or dining space for 18 teens near union square

sixelagogo Sep 10, 2012 06:44 AM

I'm taking a small group of culinary students from my high school in NJ to NYC for a tour of Union Square market. We'll be in the city of a monday morning and have 2 1/2 hours after the tour before we have to head back to Jersey. I'm looking for a place in or around Union Square to eat lunch after the tour that's reasonable in price & selection & can accommodate a group of 20 (kids + chaperones). The kids are foodies & shouldn't be too picky with interesting food. Any ideas? Thanks

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  1. sixelagogo RE: sixelagogo Sep 10, 2012 07:53 AM

    I'm considering the food truck option as well, though am unsure where the highest conglamoration of food trucks in manhattan would be on a monday

    5 Replies
    1. re: sixelagogo
      kathryn RE: sixelagogo Sep 10, 2012 08:00 AM

      There are many food trucks that park on the western edge of Union Square, due to the office lunch crowd.

      This option assumes that the weather is nice, however.

      I think that Stand would be big enough for you guys.

      1. re: kathryn
        sixelagogo RE: kathryn Sep 10, 2012 09:27 AM

        I'm thinking more ethnic-y, less burgery, with a budget of $15 max/kid

        1. re: sixelagogo
          kathryn RE: sixelagogo Sep 10, 2012 10:21 AM

          Union Square isn't really good at cheap ethnic that can handle large groups.

          You'll need to go further afield to the East Village. Maybe Grand Sichuan on St Marks.

          1. re: kathryn
            Simon RE: kathryn Sep 10, 2012 11:21 AM

            i like the Grand Sichuan idea...also, Laut (on 17th St right by the market) might have some Malaysian lunch specials that would work budget-wise...

            Or walk to 18th St, just west of 5th Ave, and get the healthy salad/soup/chicken/etc bar at City Bakery -- easy under 15/kid, they get to choose whatever they like, and it's a big cavernous space w/ fun NY people-watching...that's where i'd suggest first...

            1. re: kathryn
              sixelagogo RE: kathryn Sep 10, 2012 12:27 PM

              I was thinking that Union Square wouldn't be the most ideal place to find a rest. that can accommodate the group...grand sichuan sounds interesting & i called and left a message to see what they would be able to offer us.

      2. m
        Mike C. Miller RE: sixelagogo Sep 10, 2012 05:10 PM

        Out of your budget by a fair bit, but you might think about the front room in Gramercy Tavern. They use (or as of a few years ago used to use) a wood burning stove to cook a large percentage of the lunch. Two guys basically man the hot line there and it is amazing to watch those two guys work.

        Perhaps you could contact the chef there, Michael Anthony, and make a point to see if you could go by with your students well before the lunch hour and have the kitchen team give them a short talk or a demonstration of how a top rated kitchen works. Great restaurant.

        1. l
          Lacrosse_Gastronomic RE: sixelagogo Sep 10, 2012 07:05 PM

          How about Dos Toros for Mexican takeout (you can eat in Union Square park). For non-ethnic try Craftbar - the sandwiches would fall within your budget.

          If you line up before Ippudo opens at 11:00 am that would be a fun venue. Eataly is another possibility if you're willing to split up the group.

          1. BoloJungle RE: sixelagogo Sep 11, 2012 02:00 AM

            Rosa Mexicano on 18th Street just west of Union Square is a BIG room and, especially at lunch, I think could accommodate a large group

            1 Reply
            1. re: BoloJungle
              kathryn RE: BoloJungle Sep 11, 2012 05:41 AM

              The OP's budget is $15pp, though. Rosa Mexicana will be too expensive.

            2. u
              UES Mayor RE: sixelagogo Sep 11, 2012 04:53 AM

              Republic ?

              1. sixelagogo RE: sixelagogo Sep 11, 2012 05:30 AM

                thank you all so much for your suggestions....republic sounds good, and feasible as it's in the area & within our budget..have never been & don't know how it measures up to other pan-asian eats my students might have had (ala pf chang & pei wei diner (sorry to say!!)) . please keep the suggestions coming!!

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