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Cheap and good CA restaurants?


jschyun
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I was wondering where you guys go for your favorite under $10 sit down meals. Fast food does not count. I found this site about cheap meals in SF. However, don't limit your replies to SF restaurants.

Louis Madison's site (some of the reviews look a little dated)

Do you guys know of any other cheap eats sites like this? I know Stupid_American has his of L.A. Heck, I might compile a list of my favorite cheap Korean places.

--you know what $10 limit is kind of difficult. Let's say restaurants where you think it's a really good value.

Edited by jschyun (log)

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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There are several Vietnamese Bahn-Mi and Pho places where you could eat good food for less than $10, many places even less than $5.

In fact, yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle food section has a special feature devoted to Good Pho Places in San Francisco

When I am in the city, for Bahn-mi I sometimes go to Saigon Sandwich or Wrap Delight, both on Larkin St. In the San Jose area, I go to Lee's Sandwiches or Huong Lan

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There's a lot of places that are inexpensive and offer a lot of food in the Palm Springs area. I was sort of shocked when I first moved here as in "am I on candid camera?" at some of the amount of food that was served in relation to the cost.

This isn't under $10, but it comes pretty close:

At Murph's Gaslight restaurant at the Bermuda Dunes airport, they are famous for their fried chicken, serve it daily and on Sundays, that's all they serve; the place is absolutely jam packed as soon as they open the doors :

Platter of fried chicken

Mashed potatoes and country gravy

Black eyed peas

Fresh vegetable

Buttermilk biscuits with butter and honey

Pot of homemade soup

Hot corn bread

Chilled salad

Fresh fruit cobbler with cream

and when you're done eating and ready to pay, they bring another platter of chicken and dump it on your platter so you can take it home

This costs $12.95 a person....maybe it's gone up to $13.95.

Their other entrees are equally as filling and their daily specials are $7.95 before 6:30 PM and $9.95 after....I find it absolutely amazing that they make any money! And the food is GOOD!

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There are several Vietnamese Bahn-Mi and Pho places where you could eat good food for less than $10, many places even less than $5.

In fact, yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle food section has a special feature devoted to  Good Pho Places in San Francisco

When I am in the city, for Bahn-mi I sometimes go to Saigon Sandwich or Wrap Delight, both on Larkin St. In the San Jose area, I go to Lee's Sandwiches or Huong Lan

thanks for the tip. Actually, I guess the $10 is misleading. The real question is what are the insanely good deals you know of, comparing apples to apples. So $2 banh mi doesn't count because I can easily find a bunch of places with $1.50 banh mi or 3 for $3 banh mi. But maybe excellent pho for $3.50 would be interesting.

Edited by jschyun (log)

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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Here are some more I can think of off-the-top-of-my-head:

Park Chow, Chow in San Francisco

Chez Sovan -- two locations, Campbell & San Jose

MsMelkor has already mentioned Shalimar -- although each time we go there, we end up spending more than $10/person

Dish Dash, Sunnyvale -- Middle Eastern food

Dasaprakash, in Sunnyvale -- South Indian food

3 Amigos Taqueria in Half Moon Bay -- although this probably falls under "fast food"

More may follow...

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The Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco has a similar deal - $15.95 or $16.95 for soup, salad, two entrees, and ice cream. From what I remember, it's a ton of food and prepared simply but well.

We spent $17/person at Shalimar last night - we had about a dozen dishes for 7 people, although the time before that I spent $11 or $12.

I heartily second the recommendation for Dasaprakash.

allison

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A bowl of curry, a side of rice or naan, some free Chai that are dispensed freely on the counter, one could get out of Shalimar at under $10.

Hing Lung on Broadway for a piping hot bowl of Jok and a pair of chinese fried dough, that's easily under $10 as well.

How about a shwarma at Alibaba? That's not really fast food, is it?

How about a lovely thin crust pizza at Pizzetta 2111? One of those with a simple green salad is barely over $10.

chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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A bowl of curry, a side of rice or naan, some free Chai that are dispensed freely on the counter, one could get out of Shalimar at under $10.

Miss Pim, which one of the two Shalimar locations do you keep frequenting and recommend?

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I can't say enough good things about YumYum Chinese on Valencia at 17th in SF... $5 with soup and egg roll at lunch, $7-8 entrees in the evening. Very fresh, well cooked, occasionally even decently original food. Won't pretend it's spectacularly authentic, but it is really unbelivably tasty and ridiculous value. Absolutely not what I expected from the rather dubious looking outside and the classically grumpy waiters....

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Shalimar can indeed be done for $10, but to get the full experience (meat curries, grilled meats, vegetable curries, naan, rice) you have to budget at least $15.

One place I haven't been to, but that's on my to try list is Miya's Place, which serves St. Louis Soul Food at very cheap prices. All menu items are under $10, and they come with two sides, two muffins and a beverage.

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There's also some good early bird deals to be had, though they tend to be a tad over $10. Alamo Square Grill has an early bird three course meal for something like $11.50 if you order before 7pm I believe. Even cheaper is Home restaurant on Market St near Church St, which has an early bird special from 5pm to 6pm of $10.99 for a three course meal with a glass of wine.

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aren't there entrees at campagnola on westwood that start below $10?

i assume you aren't including places in the san gabriel valley--there's tons of places there (including chungking) where a solo diner could eat well for $10.

for indian/bangladeshi in l.a the best deals, BY FAR, are india sweet house (pico, short of crescent heights) and aladin (vermont, btwn. 1st and 2nd)--at both places two people could eat for $10!

edit to add: these would be my top two choices for the relevant food in l.a even if money wasn't an issue.

Edited by mongo_jones (log)
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There's also some good early bird deals to be had, though they tend to be a tad over $10.  Alamo Square Grill has an early bird three course meal for something like $11.50 if you order before 7pm I believe.  Even cheaper is Home restaurant on Market St near Church St, which has an early bird special from 5pm to 6pm of $10.99 for a three course meal with a glass of wine.

I've been meaning to try Home and Metro Cafe. Have you tried the Metro Cafe's $12.50 early bird special?

Watercress, Chapeau both have great early bird deals, but they're around $20. Haven't tried Watercress, but the Chapeau early bird dinner deal is a great value I think.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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My holy grail, excellent sushi -- cheap. Yeah right you say? Well, I'm ever hopeful.

Los Angeles:

FoodZealot once mentioned to me Mori Sushi's lunchtime $20 bento deal (did i get this right?). Great deal on a very expensive restaurant, but much higher than $10. Any other interesting deals on sushi, that haven't been already mentioned?

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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saving up for your next trip to urasawa, i take it? :raz:

in west la, theres that "little osaka" area in la (corner of olympic and sawtelle)...

you can find quite a lot of meals for around $10. start with the two curry houses (i prefer hurry curry over curry house) or any of the ramen places (i prefer kinchans). and you wont do too badly eating chicken wings at furaibo. okay. you might go a bit over $10 but they are relatively inexpensive. theres also a creperie here. not authentic french but cheap and good enough. buy a savoury one and a sweet one and youll be stuffed.

it might be a better bet to schlep on over to gardena or torrance for the same stuff rather than la... it would be cheaper gas too. i dont know how much mileage your car gets, but for our car, to go from our apt to gardena for eats, we would be spending a little more than $7.50 on gas, roundtrip. not that we are penny pinching to that extent... its just fun to calculate this.

so if you REALLY want to keep prices down, find inexpensive well-made meals close to work or home.

just a thought!

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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Memphis Minnie's on Haight in SF. Although plates are over $10 (around $13 to 15 as I recall), they contain enough food for two people. Sandwiches are under $10.

And if we're counting take out food, there's always Rosamunde's across the street.

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That's an odd page you found. They really only mention two places by name, everything else is "get a dining club card" or "look for this type of food". Guess that means they don't have to update it very often!

The real question is what are the insanely good deals you know of, comparing apples to apples.  So $2 banh mi doesn't count because I can easily find a bunch of places with $1.50 banh mi or 3 for $3 banh mi.  But maybe excellent pho for $3.50 would be interesting.

Ah, that makes it more difficult.

I would vote for either of the two main "dim sum price war" restaurants in Oakland: Joy Luck and Yo Ho. Lots and lots and lots of dishes were ordered, but it was under $10 per person both times. Compare this with Peony, where just two orders of har gao would set you back that much.

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