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New to Murray Hill and need: local pub, cheap lunches, croissants, date nights, delivery

Hi everyone! I just moved to Murray Hill and need replacements for my East Village standbys.

Local pub (most important)
I was a regular at Klimat and will need a Murray Hill replacement. Key requirements: good comforting bar food, some good beers on tap (Eastern European a plus), laid-back, quiet, not fratty.
I thought Tavern On 3rd might fit the bill but it did not. It was the opposite of quiet and unfratty and they were sold out of all the good beers at 7pm on a weekday.

Lunches and delivery
Key requirements: Fresh ingredients! Can get a good satisfying meal for under $20 (or, ideally, under $10).
My EV favorites were: This Little Piggy, Empanada Bar, Dos Toros, Maoz, Zabb Elee, Korzo Haus, and that new teriyaki place next to Dos Toros.
I already like Lamazou, Kalustyan's, and Pio Pio in this neighborhood. Any other suggestions in that vein? I'm not too interested in all the Indian lunch buffets, have been to a few and none of the food was fresh-tasting.
These two threads are really comprehensive, but 1-2 years old. Some that sound interesting are Latin Thing, Vezzo, No. 7 Sub, Grand Sichuan. Any thoughts on these, or other suggestions?
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/783190
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/698399

Salad
Where can I get a really good, fresh salad? I don't have any EV favorites for this one. Clearly I don't eat enough salad.

Thai
Where's the best Thai delivery? So far I've tried Soi 30 Thai (decent) and Jaiya (I really liked it).

Date night/dinners out with friends
This older thread has some good ideas but some of these places are closed:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/540370
I'm looking for entrees $15 or under.

Where to take tourist friends, parents, etc.
I always took them to Veselka because it was a novelty, the atmosphere was fun, and the food was basic enough that even the least adventurous eaters could find something. Is there a good neighborhood place like that?

Croissants: Where are the best in or near Murray Hill? I was a regular at Ceci Cela, Mille Feuille, and Dominique Ansel. If there's no good substitute in Murray Hill, how about in midtown in general?

Thank you in advance for your help!!

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  1. Hello, I live in the area too and I am afraid to say, it is a bit of a culinary desert. Anyway, here a few spots you may want to try out:

    Pubs - waterfront ale house on 30th and 2nd has quite a good selection of beer (though not all on tap) and the burgers and pulled pork buns are quite yummy, the rest of the food is nothing out of the ordinary (chiken tenders etc.). It is not a frat place at all, I think - check it out ...

    Bundling up fresh/delivery/not too expensive - Republic (union square) delivers and has fresh tasting thai-ish food. The Turkish Kitchen has some pretty good mezze type choices and salads (and might be also good for the less adventurous). Penelope's is a brunch type place that might be good to take visiting folks or a date to. Depending on where you live, you may fall within the delivery area of Num Pang (http://www.numpangnyc.com/index.php/l...) which has some v. good salads and sandwiches. Croissant-wise - nothing comes to mind - to be frank. Rumour has it that we will soon have a Fairway's in the hood - some say their almond croissants are good.

    My suggestion is: if you walk just a few blocks/10 mins - you can b in union square or gramercy - with infinititely more and better choices - so mentally expand your hood and you'll survive ;-).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Radhish

      Thanks for the input. Now that you mention it, I've actually been to the Waterfront Ale House and liked it. Good atmosphere and beer selection. Thanks for the reminder.

      I am indeed within Num Pang zone - adding it to my list to try!

      Believe me, I will be making many trips downtown for the good stuff! Just hoping to make the best of what is right here in our own (culinary desert) neighborhood. :)

      1. It's been a while since I had either but you could try Talent Thai Kitchen or Rhong Tiam Express.

        During the day, Calexico's cart near Madison Square Park, for Cali-Mex.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          I like the tuna burger at Josie's for lunch (3rg and 37) ; they also have an excellent and unusual iced tea. For comfort food, I head to Sophie's on Lex for one of their pork sandwiches.

          1. re: GaryUES

            I am pretty sure Josies is closed.

        2. I really like the branch of Terroir in Murray Hill although I can't tell if you're into wine or not from your post. The good is VERY good there though. Good luck!
          JeremyEG
          HomeCookLocavore.com

          1. Regarding the places you mentioned: Latin Thing is closed. Vezzo and Grand Sichuan are not good in my opinion (though for Vezzo, I know quite a few people who like it while I really dislike the sauce and don't care for the toppings). No. 7 Sub has creative sandwiches but the combinations just don't work for me. I'm a big fan of Lamazou and Pio Pio.

            Here are places I like for delivery:
            -Hunan Manor, Lan Sheng, Cafe China, and Szechuan Gourmet for very good spicy Chinese food
            -Noodles on 28 for decent Americanized Chinese food
            -Trattoria Alba and Da Ciro for Italian. Note Da Ciro is kind of pricey but food is delicious and well worth it in my opinion.
            -Jaiya and Little Basil for Thai. Also second the Rhong Tiam rec upthread but that may not be within delivery range. Can't agree with the Republic rec at all - I find the food here to be pretty bad.
            -La Posada for burritos
            -Baoguette for Vietnamese

            For casual night out or to take tourist friends/parents (note some of these places may be above your $15/entree budget):
            -Blue Smoke for decent BBQ.
            -Cask for good food and cocktails though it can be very loud which is a turnoff for me.
            -Rare for decent burgers and fries
            -Resto/Cannibal for Belgian food.

            For salads and croissants, maybe Le Pain Quotidien? It's a pricey chain but it's relatively healthy. And the food for the most part is decent including the baked goods, soups, salads, and sandwiches. Actually, you could also try some of the nearby coffee places for croissants. Stumptown Coffee in the Ace Hotel carries good ones (I think Ceci Cela or Balthazar). Lucid Cafe (which has excellent coffee/espresso drinks) also carries some baked goods.