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Chow journey to NYC During Convention (long)

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Chow journey to NYC During Convention (long)

Susan H | Sep 3, 2004 10:13 AM

Lured by the discount theater tickets, DH and I went to NYC last night -- a great chow journey. We left downtown Philly at 2:45, expecting to hit traffic and protesters. As we breezed up the Turnpike, we saw warning signs of gridlock in NYC "take mass transit". The only traffic we hit was just before the last exit in NJ, where everyone heeding the warning was leaving the highway ramp to the Lincoln Tunnel. Breezed through the tolls (thank you EZPass) and the tunnel, and found ourselves at 50th and 9th Ave. at 4:40! Because the parking/dinner deal at Costa del Sol (the reason for this posting) doesn't start until 5, we waited with the parked trucks and vans on 50th, made a few business calls, and then pulled into the parking lot at 5:03 (it's on the south side of 50th, just east of 9th Ave). We took our parking ticket (you get one when you go into the lot and another from the attendant -- the first one is the one that gets stickered at the restaurant) into Costa del Sol (corner of 9th and 50th), where the waiter happily stickered our ticket for 6 hours parking. As he placed the home-made potato chips (still hot) on the table, along with the bread (save it for the sauce), he asked whether we would pay the $5 in cash or have it added to the bill. The bill, we said. Then we ordered the $19.95 pre-theater special. Soup or salad (choice of 4 soups -- we chose the caldo gallego and the veg, both great), choice of about 20 entrees (mariscada in salsa verde, of course, and veal entremesca, with peppers, onions, sausage), dessert (the only flan I like), coffee. For another $13, two people can get a bottle of wine or pitcher of sangria. All the staff is Spanish-speaking, as are many customers. The food is quite good (not superb, but what do you want for $20) and plentiful -- the entrees come with rice and veg of the day (a plate of fresh green beans) served family style. And we got to chuckle about the incidental music from the piano bar, played by the worst piano player in NYC, but then, she looked to be well into her 90's.
After the show, we picked up our car (entering at 49th street, which makes it even closer to the theaters), no wait, and were home by 12:15. Wow. Dinner for two and parking in NY for $45 (plus tax and tip, of course) -- can't beat it. The parking deal is good any weekday after 5, and any weekend entering at any time.

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