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Joe Allen, A Broadway Tradition Since 1965 - on 8th Avenue and West 46th Street in Times Square


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I was hesitant to start a new topic just for a negative viewpoint, but seeing as how Joe Allen's is so widely known...

Joe Allen's is what it needs to be - they have a bar, they serve food, they have a good location, and they are 'famous' among New York theatre-goers.

I've eaten here a number of times over the years, largely due to my wife's sense of nostalgia.  The most recent experience, from last weekend, mirrors most others.  3 out of the 5 mussels I tried from my appetizer were spat out for being foul.  The side of roasted brussels sprouts was both burnt and undercooked at the same time.  And I've never understood servers who think its ok to make fun of other customers to current customers - just makes me wonder what you'll say about me after I leave.  This bartender was more concerned with the random french tour guide wandering the room than asking why my food was uneaten or if we needed another drink.

All is not lost - the banana cream pie was quite enjoyable and big enough to share.  With a better bartender, I could see stopping in here for a drink and dessert after a show.  But never come here pre-theatre, its like dining during Restaurant Week every night of the year.  And never order the mussels.

Side note - brunch the next morning at Marseilles around the corner up on 9th Ave caused me to add it to our short theatre district dining list for the future.  Not anything revelatory, but solidly good food at not terrible prices with prompt and pleasant service.  In this neighborhood, that makes it stand out.

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Agreed; probably not the best place for mussels.  But they do serve quite a hearty up martini (or at least they used to).  Full size martini glass, filled at the table from the shaker, with the shaker being left behind to refill your glass with another almost complete pour.

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I liked your post, genericeric. Joe Allen also makes the list of Oldest Restaurants in the New York City Area, having opened in 1965. I also like that they hang posters of all the Broadway flops (I'm wondering if two of them I saw, "Grind"  and "Mail" are there, although I'm not even sure "Mail" made it to Broadway) - this is NYC's version of Madrid's La Torre de Oro tapas bar which has photos - graphic photos - of bullfights in which the matador didn't come out on the winning end of things.

And don't feel bad: I've been to Stage Deli.

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