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Cheap eats in hard times


Dave Hatfield
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Today I was sitting at a cafe in a local town having a coffee. As I drank it I was studying the large menu on the wall and realizing to even in these tough times my wife & could afford to have lunch there if we wished without breaking the budget.

We could have had a decent lunch for no more than $25.00 for the two of us. And we could have done it knowing that the food would be good. That got me to ruminating upon the fact that as I thought about it we could have done the same thing pretty much anywhere we've ever lived, the states, England, Spain, France. (I've put my detailed thoughts in my blog, address below.)

Thus my question to my fellow eGulleteers is: Where are your cheap, but good places? Please share.

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There's a local diner, called the Yellow Rose, that we go to maybe 2-3 times a week. There's a big menu of fixed lunch specials (as in, they never change) where you can get anything from an omelet, to a huge salad, to a range of sandwiches and burgers, or even a small dinner like meal (like chicken marsala, hot open roast beef, penne and vodka sauce, stuffed flounder)...with soup or salad, fries, drink, and a dessert for under $10 a person.

Two of us can eat for usually $18, not including tip, with enough food to bring home. Dinners run slightly more, but two of us can generally eat a giant dinner, soups/salad, sides, drinks, dessert, for right around $25.

The food is good.

That's the first place that comes to mind, but since all we've ever done is eat on the cheap, I know dozens of great places, where you can get dinner for two under $25, without skimping.

I was a recessionista before it was the in thing :P

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I was a recessionista before it was the in thing :P
May I use that expression and pretend I invented it? :smile: My place, The North End Diner, burnt down last year and I'm still adrift.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I was a recessionista before it was the in thing :P
May I use that expression and pretend I invented it? :smile: My place, The North End Diner, burnt down last year and I'm still adrift.

Of course you may :)

I don't know what I would do without my diner. It went through some hard times, and a string of mortgage fraud, where it was closed for a few years, and I was almost depressed. Luckily a reputable business owner bought it, and it's incredible now.

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bout a mile away from where i live is a place called the Warehouse Grill. House salad with grilled chicken - about 7.00; grilled cheese with a house salad - about 7.00 as well, 2 mini burgers with frizzled onions and horseradish sauce(hold the cheese) 3.00. if i buy a beer it can be as much or more than my simple lunch.

Jefferson Diner is good, too but a bit more money in some cases though i usually end up taking home half of the hashbrowns, corned beef hash and two eggs scrambled dry.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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On the west side of my town there is a little Asian market and deli. We have been going there for years. You can still get a large meal there for under $20.00 for 2 people with enough to take home. Absolutely genuine and delicious!

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  • 3 months later...
Today I was sitting at a cafe in a local town having a coffee. As I drank it I was studying the large menu on the wall and realizing to even in these tough times my wife & could afford to have lunch there if we wished without breaking the budget.

We could have had a decent lunch for no more than $25.00 for the two of us. And we could have done it knowing that the food would be good. That got me to ruminating upon the fact that as I thought about it we could have done the same thing pretty much anywhere we've ever lived, the states, England, Spain, France. (I've put my detailed thoughts in my blog, address below.)

Thus my question to my fellow eGulleteers is: Where are your cheap, but good places? Please share.

I agree totally, i have a cafe in Newcastle, Australia - we have nothing on our menu over $20, most for less. We just bought a whole biodynamic veal ~ 80kg. We are slowly braising our way through the whole cow - for less than $20 per serve. If you try hard you can put substantial quality for less on the plate!

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bout a mile away from where i live is a place called the Warehouse Grill.  House salad with grilled chicken - about 7.00; grilled cheese with a house salad - about 7.00 as well, 2 mini burgers with frizzled onions and horseradish sauce(hold the cheese) 3.00.  if i buy a beer it can be as much or more than my simple lunch.

Jefferson Diner is good, too but a bit more money in some cases though i usually end up taking home half of the hashbrowns, corned beef hash and two eggs scrambled dry.

My family and I have eaten at the Warehouse Grill a few times, when we were looking for a house in Sparta last fall. It's a great little spot, and I agree; the food is good at very good prices.

I remember having pork chops during one visit (brined, I think), and an octoberfest plate on another.

My boy had fish in a buerre blanc-like sauce each time, and after long days of wandering through strange houses, he devoured every bit without a battle. Not a small feat for a four year old.

I can't recall what my wife had, but I was surprised that we escaped at less than $50, including tip. That included salads, entrees, soft drinks, and a shared dessert.

I hope we'll be house hunting in the area again this fall, if for nothing else but to get back there for dinner. :smile:

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Thus my question to my fellow eGulleteers is: Where are your cheap, but good places? Please share.

In San Diego, CA two places come to mine

The Wine Vault & Bistro where $30 will get you a fabulous 5-course meal. Splurge and spend $20 and they'll pair a wine with each course.

The other is The Better Half which has been running a Stress Economy Blue Plate special for the last 6 months. For $20 you get a delightful 3-course meal, each course consisting of a choice of 3 items, all of them very good.

There are numerous restaurants running $20.09 specials.

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For breakfast and lunch her in South Florida, Denise's Kitchen in Pompano Beach is a big favorite. Full plates, a killer chef's salad, MOST reasonable prices! Good old homestyle cooking, nothing fancy, but really good. Also Michael's Cafe II in Pompano. French style breakfasts and lunches, crepes, omlettes, etc. Last Sunday's breakfast was a 3 egg omlette with scallops, shrimp and (real) crab meat with a bechamel sauce, toast and potatoes or grits, $ 6.25. How do you beat that? :wub:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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