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Mar 6, 2013 01:47 PM

Group lunch after 9/11 memorial for international students

17 Israeli exchange students coming to NYC. I want to take them to lunch after 9/11 memorial. Thinking Chinatown (no pork or seafood) or something very NY, under $15pp. Any recommendations?
Group probably around 20 people

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  1. Chinatown will be tough unless you to go a specifically vegetarian restaurant. Otherwise there is a good chance of cross contamination issues. There will possibly be hidden oyster sauce in some dishes. Sometimes tiny dried shrimp or tiny bits of ground pork are used as a topping on dishes. I hope also that seeing hanging racks of pork ribs or suckling pig won't bother them (as it does bother some Americans).

    There is not much that is "chow worthy" immediately near the 9/11 Memorial Site itself. However, if you walk over the West Side Highway you can go to Shake Shack; when the weather is nicer you can sit outside and that makes it easier as not everyone has to sit together.

    If I recall correctly, you must exit the memorial at Albany St and the West Side Highway, across from the Marriott (which has tons of signs stating there are no bathrooms -- there are also no bathrooms at the Memorial, plan ahead).

    1. Thanks. They mentioned wanting to try chinatown, thinking about chicken and vegetables....egg drop soup etc. Could walk up to Katz's etc. but it will be too cold for shake shack next week.

      Could walk to Katz's or some great sandwich shop but they will want to be seated.

      1 Reply
      1. re: coachof2

        The Battery Park Shake Shack has both indoor and outdoor seating. How busy they are is dependent upon what time of day it is and what what day of the week it is.

        Katz's has both a waiter service section and a counter service/seat yourself section. According to their web site they accept group reservations. The link to download the form is broken; I would give them a call instead.

        If they want to go to Chinatown, do the students want authentic/regional Chinese food or do they want Americanized Chinese food? It sounds like the latter...

      2. I think authentic sounds like much more fun. I don't think they would be offended by the sight of food hanging in the windows, they would probably even try the duck.

        Just looking for something they will not necessarily experience uptown during the rest of their trip. Want to spend a few hours walking downtown, eating is a part of it.
        So appreciate your input.

        1 Reply
        1. re: coachof2

          Try Great NY Noodletown for good roast duck and a New York-y experience. The "on rice" items would be good for your group. Roast duck over rice, soy sauce chicken over rice, maybe the Chinese flowering chives with beef (which is tucked under a Beef & Pork section of the menu, not vegetables). Just be careful as some items, it may not be obvious to the students that they are pork (like the wontons).

        2. will check it out, thanks

          1. I love walking in NYC, so glad you're doing that. Just note that a group of 17 doesn't move at optimum speed; it will take you approx. 1/2 hour to Chinatown and 1 hour to Katz's. My tourist guests love seeing the temple on Mott st., the Chinese supermarket on Canal, and Pearl River, the Chinese dept. store on Lower Broadway (near Grand); Pearl River also has a tea cafe.Years ago there was a kosher Chinese, Bernstein's on Essex, I think. Don't know if there's a kosher Chinese today. I wonder if you could take them to dim sum and let those with dietary restrictions order off the menu (fish?).