After a few longer (and fantastic) periods in the city over the last decade and a half, during which I managed to cover quite a few of the high end and trendy restaurants in the city (some of which apparently still catches the fancy of new york foodies as they are high on NYT/zagat/chowhound/michelin lists), I have now returned for the summer with my family to hang out w/ the kids on the upper west side while my wife spends time in an office cubicle. I am looking for places to have lunch (me and the kids) or dinner (whole family) that are on the other side of food universe from ultra high end menus degustation multi star restaurants. Ethnic, sandwich places, salad bars, roast chicken grills, burger joints, you name it and we will try it! Btw, the kids eat most everything and have grown up on a diverse menu so not too much of an obstacle. The budget constraint is cheap to mid level.
Looking forward to being enlightened by your aggregate wisdom, ye chowhounders of the mannahatta tribe.