Dinner for under $25/head - ADVICE????
Need to take a friend to dinner for his birthday but I am BROKE. Am thinking something along the lines of FRANK, but I really don't want to wait that long for a table... It doesn't have to be Italian either, I'm open to all Chowhound suggestions...
Bread, near Mott and Spring, has very good panini and salads, and it's a fun little place; Lupa is probably cheap enough to qualify; share some plates at Blue Ribbon Bakery and you should come in under $25 (plus you can fill up some on bread); any of the Korean places in the 30's qualifies; Chinatown, including the Vietnamese restaurants in and around.
Cafe Asean on 10th St. and 6th ave has a nice setting and delicious SE Asian food. Cucina Cuzco (Ave A? B? and 3rd) is Peruvian in the East Village -- great roast chicken and ceviche.
After searching the boards the other day for an Ethiopian restaurant - a friend visiting requested it, can't get it in Oregon - I decided on Meskerem.
It was very, very good. There were 3 of us and we ordered 3 dishes (1 of which was a vegetarian combo so we could taste a lot of things) and the bill was just around $40 (only one of us had a glass of wine, we were too full for dessert, too). It was all tasty and it got me out of a food rut. It was also near the theatre district and we had tkts to a matinee. I would suggest ordering one less dish than the number of people at the table. Didn't have it but a whole fried fish went by to another table and looked seriously good...
The only thing is that they didn't have any Ethiopian wines or beers. They said that NY tax laws have made it so that they are unable to import them.
Anyone know why this is so? I really wanted some honey wine...
I am so glad someone is mentioning Meskerem because it gives me the opportunity to extoll their amazing coffee.
I was there a few months ago and since then I have been dying to go back just so I can have what I would probably describe as the best coffee I have ever had in Manhattan or NY for that matter.
I liked the food fine, however, I think the giant tortilla (name ?) that serves as the plate lining--and which you use to pick up your food--was a bit off. But then again I am not an Ethiopian food expert so I might be wrong. I went with a large group of friends and we all agreed that it tasted a bit stale/off.
Did you have a similar experience? I am curious. All that said, I would definitely recommend them. The service was very friendly.
Frank isn't all that cheap, either.
You didn't say what cuisine you wanted.
If you want Italian food, Mosto, across the street from Frank, is good, and I ate there for something like $21 including tip IIRC, but that's only because I had a rather inexpensive salad and one of their cheapest pasta dishes. Perhaps one of the Pepe chain, such as Pepe Giallo on 10th Av. between 24th and 25th Sts. might serve you and your budget well. I've never had anything but a sandwich there, but their sandwiches are excellent.
My advice is to consider Chinese or Malaysian food. Go to Grand Sichuan, or Sentosa, someplace like that. If you want Indian food, you can easily stay under $20/person and have delicious, authentic South Indian vegetarian food at Madras Cafe.