First, follow the lawyers to lunch

When you are on jury duty you have two chief concerns.  How long am I going to have to sit here?  What am I going to have for lunch?

I quickly discovered the perfect trick: follow the lawyers.  El Marinero Coffee Shop, directly across from the Civil Court in Jamaica, isn’t anything special.  But the food is quite yummy and the scene is truly amusing.  Huge tables of lawyers joking around and hoping from table to table like it’s a high school cafeteria.  They all know each other and they all know the waitresses.  You feel like you’ve crashed a private party.

Anyway, if you find yourself in Queens serving jury duty, stop in and join the party.

El Marinero Coffee Shop
89-18 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, New York
718-658-4124

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In Da Club

My sister was in town this past weekend for our 9th Annual Anti-Superbowl Party.  My husband has been wanting to go to the 21 Club for a long time now, and it was just the right combination of special and New York kitschy to make me agree to go. 

I was worried, though.  Venerable institutions are not always known for great food.  I was pleasantly surprised — the food was much better than I expected.  I advise sticking with classics — Caesar salad, dry-aged sirloin, apple pie.  Wylie Dufresne would die of boredom in this kitchen, but sometimes old-fashioned American cuisine is the right answer. 

The service is over-the-top.  You glance in the direction of a waiter and three descend to cater to your merest whim.  If you are looking to impress, this place will not disappoint.

And my sister really loved it, which was the important part.

21 W 52nd Street at 5th Avenue (Map)
NYC
(212) 582-7200
               

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