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Five dollars in PDX?

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We like to lunch cheap a lot, what will five bucks buy you in Portland? Looking for specific dishes like these ...

Tacos dorados with guacamole, salsa and sour cream at Ole Ole ($4.25).
Two delicious chile rellenos also with salsa, guacamole and sour cream at the taco shop on Lombard & Vancouver (filling and just $3.75 I think).
Great homemade soup and two little sandwich bites at No Fish Go Fish on Hawthorne ($5).
Daily special at the Indian cart downtown around 11th and Salmon (near the Central Library ($5).
Half a fontina and ham sandwich at the Pearl Bakery ($4?)

Some of what we eat. Where else can you eat for five bucks?

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  1. Pad se ew at the Sawasdee Cart around Alder and 9th downtown. Yum!

    1. Schnitzelwich at the Tabor (Czech) cart, 5th and Stark downtown, with red pepper and horseradish sauce. Or a black bean and grilled chicken burrito at the Fuego burrito cart, 6th and Yamhill next to Pioneer Square.

      1. A whole bunch of stuff at Tres Hermanos Taqueria truck at N Denver and Killingsworth. i THINK ALL TACOS ARE $1.25. great sopas (sp?) on home made tortilla for $2.50, I think.

        At Pok Pok (3226 se division)you can get the Kai Yaang half game hen for $5.50 (I know, its not $5 or under)or the Papaya Pok Pok (green papaya salad) for $4.95.

        If you want to shell out BIG BUCKS, Bahn Cuon Tan Dinh, in the Fubonn shopping center on 82nd, has some great Vietnamese dishes for $6.00 and under.

        1. Yesterday we had a chili dog at the New Seasons at Seven Corners. Super tasty. $3.95. It was a "special request" because I saw that their daily special was their excellent chili, so I talked them into constructing a chili dog. They do a very nice job with that.

          It always feels a bit like cheating to mention New Seasons as a place to eat, but we go there for lunch a lot, combining it with a grocery run. Their farm plates (their silly name for "daily special"), while usually exceeding your price limit by about a buck, feed two pretty well. They are usually very good, and occasionally brilliant.

          Also, we're locavores, so it helps that they only use sustainably raised meat, and make efforts to use local and regional produce, grains, and legumes. For example the chili dog was Oregon Country beef, as was the beef in the chili; the beans in the chili were Shepherd's Grain red beans (my favorite!); and the cheese on top was Tillamook.

          Fat Kitty Falafel: Four bucks for a good falafel sandwich. Free storytelling while you wait. Division at SE 21st next to Mirador.

          In the big bucks category, try:

          Valentines: Excellent and varied panini served with a salad for $6-7
          Salumi diCarlo: Tasty sausage stand at the farmers market, $6 per sandwich

          In the "btw" category:

          Rockbroker: I think you are talking about "sopes" which are griddled masa cakes covered in goodies. ("Sopa" is soup.)

          1. Good Dog, Bad Dog on Alder off of Broadway in SW has some awesome dogs for under 5 (like 4.95) and my particular favorite, inexspensive indulgance is a Honkin Huge Burrito at Pioneer Square. When I used to live in SW, I'd buy a burrito and it would last me through three meals....

            1. When I'm looking for something especially cheap and good relatively close-in, here are the places I go (that haven't already been mentioned):

              Aladdin's Cafe: Lebanese
              Zach's Shack: Hot dogs
              La Bonita: Mexican

              1 Reply
              1. re: extramsg

                How about My Canh on NE 39th? I'm always shocked by how little we spend there for dinner, and I'm assuming that it would be a decent value for lunch.

              2. if this isn't out of your price range, and you want to take a drive to McMinnville, there is a great restaurant called Bistro Maison. You might want to save it for special day but it is well worth the drive.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bebs

                  It'd be more than $5 just in gas to get there. And imo, it's not worth a special trip.

                2. Cafe Voila on SW Washington around 9th has some very tasty things around the $5 price point. On the site (http://www.voila-catering.com/) you can sign up for their weekly e-mails and they tell you what the specials are.

                  Though it is slightly more ($7 or so for lunch), for an all-you-can-eat super healthy and yummy lunch (esp. when it is raining and chilly out) you can't beat Hot Pot City:

                  1. For under $5:

                    try the fantastic samosa chaat ($3.50) and Naan bread ($1.25)at the the India Chaat House cart on 11th, by the library.

                    the curry chicken at the Thai food cart at 4th and Morrison is also an excellent value at $5, and large enough for two meals.

                    I would also agree with the Cafe Voila recommendation. While several of their items are somewhat over $5, they offer excellent quality food at cheap prices.

                    1. I recommend the soup at Old Wives Tales Restaurant (1300 East Burnside). They have four soups everyday, including their famous hungarian mushroom soup (truly a meal in bowl!), clam chowder, and two vegan soups that change regularly. A pint bowl is $5.25. You can check out their daily selection at their website now: www.oldwivestalesrestaurant.com . The soups are all self-serve so it's also a good option for a quick lunch, and they come with a variety of breads and crackers.

                      I also like the falafel sandwich at Garbanzos (corner of 21st and Northrup, next to Swagat).

                      The mexican choices along Alberta street in NE are cheap and good as well. I like La Serenita because they have complimentary roasted salted jalapenos to stuff into the burritos, which run about $3.25-5.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: NativeOregonian

                        Old Wive's Tales? Ick.

                        India Chaat House, SW 12/Yamhill. Veg Lunch Special, $5.
                        No Fish Go Fish, SW 5/Yamhill. Big soup plus two "fish" (cornmeal griddle cakes in shape of fish stuffed with things.) $5.50.