Lunch is a meal that should be reserved for friends. No pretensions, no dressing up, definitely no dates. Lunch needs to be enjoyed in a casual, home-like atmosphere, and Jine’s fits the bill perfectly.

Located at 658 Park Avenue, the restaurant has a dcor that is basic and uncluttered, without the mess of random “quirky” objects that cover the walls of a lot of casual restaurants.

Instead, the walls of Jine’s are decorated with unobtrusive black-and-white photographs, a relief if you’re used to seeing fake 1950’s B-movie posters plastered on the walls of every Applebee’s.

Jine’s has a very extensive menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are a lot of Mediterranean offerings, so any fan of Greek or Italian food should be happy. The hummus is a nice choice for an appetizer, although if you share it you may find yourself wishing for more pita bread.

They aren’t too fussy about handing out the breakfast menus when breakfast has been over for a while. I ordered the strawberry pancakes at two in the afternoon. They were good, and big enough for two people.

Jine’s is a truly casual restaurant, not another chain that tries too hard. The food is better than a Bennigan’s or an Applebee’s ? and probably healthier. The prices are reasonable, ranging from $8-15 for an average meal.

The menu is the focus at Jine’s, not the wall? that alone is a reason to go.

Smith can be reached at

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