I was a Szechuan Gourmet regular until I tried Ollie's off of 42nd. Order anything off their Traditional or New Wave Sichuan menu and you're golden.
I'm a fan of Szechuan Gourmet on 39th. It's solid. But I have to say Ollie's on 42nd is even better, especially if you adhere to the "Traditional Sichuan Flavors" and "New Wave Sichuan Dishes" sections of the menu—the cumin lamb and spicy fish filets are remarkably good.
Trophy Bar under the JMZ. Happy Hour from 5PM-8PM: $4 wells & drafts, wine, Bloody Marys, Margaritas, and amazing grilled cheese & cheeseburgers.
Oh, and for great eat-in pizza, Capizzi (40th and 9th) makes incredible pies in their wood burning oven. Tavola (between 37th and 38th on 9th) took over the old-school Manganaro's space and they do nice pizzas with some apps and entrees as well.
Sergimmo Salumeria (between 35 & 36th on 9th Ave) has very good paninis. Mooncake Foods (30th and 8th Ave) has solid, inventive pan-Asian fare. Newcomer Better Being Underground (between 39th and 40th on 9th Ave) has nice, organic soups, salads, and sandwiches.
I was only 13 or so at the time, but I vividly remember visiting Gates BBQ in Kansas City on a family trip. My dad gave me a look before we entered, like "Get ready for a special experience." It was. The best ribs I've had in memory, washed down with ice-cold Coke in a ballpark-like plastic cup. Want to return.
Thanks for the suggestions y'all. Mainly looking for a unconventional Thanksgiving ("ethnic") spot that has some veggie options. Happy Holidays!
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