A friend is coming to visit from out of town next week, and I want to show her the best Manhattan has to offer. Caveats: we're both vegetarians, and I'm a poor, poor student (one who cooks for herself, mostly, hence this plea for assistance). If at all possible, I'd like to keep meals + tax + tip at $15-20 per person.
I live near Columbia, and I'd love recommendations in Morningside Heights or Harlem, but for an amazing BYOB Thai place with an array of fake meat options, I'd be willing to travel.
Here's what I'm looking for:
1) Brunch places. All-you-can-drink brunch would be awesome.
2) Asian food: widely defined as Thai, Indonesian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Nepalese....
3) Middle Eastern or Central Asian food: anything from Turkey to Yemen to Turkmenistan.
4) BYOB ups the coolness factor for us by about 15 points
5) Tiny places, with murals by the owner's friends painted on the wall, mismatched dishes and lots of regulars, are also a plus -- we like the small-liberal-arty-town atmosphere. I realize we may have to go to Brooklyn for this.
Thanks in advance!