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what are some dirt cheap places to eat in San Gabriel Valley

dirt cheap places in SGV?

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  1. Almost any decent Chinese restaurant will feed you silly for fifteen bucks or less. Last time we overindulged in dim sum at 888 it was a bit more than that, but we kinda went nuts with the high-end dishes. Our favorite really cheap place is Har Lam Kee in Monterey Park, on Garvey just east of Garfield - we usually get four or five dishes including salt-fish fried rice, mushroom in black oyster sauce, fried rock cod and the cubes of fried tofu for under $10 apiece.

    Most of the pho places will fill you right up for five bucks or so, too - very satisfying, especially when it's chilly out. And, speaking of good food for cold weather, our sizzling pig-out of Sichuan food at Chung King in San Gabriel (it's here, go look for it) came in at a hefty sixteen dollars a mouth, tax and tip included. And I only just now finished (burp) the leftovers.

    1. I don't think any meal's cheaper than a sandwich at Lee's Sandwiches. There are lots of branches, but one on Valley and Rosemead, iirc.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Pei

        Bahn Mi Che Calle--sandwiches start at $1.50 and the ones on the French rolls (not baguettes) are "buy 2 get one free"...usually $4.40 for 3 sandwiches. Also their iced coffee is $1.25 not $2.20 like at Lee's.

        Don't get me wrong I like Lee's too.

        1. re: monku

          OMG, thanks for the heads up. Where is Banh Mi Che Calle (or at least the city so I can look it up)?

          1. re: Pei

            Bahn Mi Che Calle is in the same building/complex that 888 Seafood is located.
            8450 Valley Blvd, Rosemead

            Shoot..just occurred to me I have my "free" sandwich in the fridge from last Friday. Oh well. So much for a deal.

            1. re: monku

              Sorry, spelling correction for the Google-inclined, it's Banh Mi Che Cali... just east of the corner of Valley and Delta, on Valley next to 888 Seafood, as you said.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Now that we're all talking about the same place, I remember my cousin saying he got a huge bowl of beef stew and a baguette (or maybe roll) for $5. Not sure if that's regular price or the day's special.

                1. re: Pei

                  You can get a beef stew (bo kho) banh mi for $3, I think.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    According to the menu I have, Beef Stew (called bo ragu for some reason) is $2.50. Rice is an additional $0.50. French rolls are sold 4 for $1. Baguettes are $0.75 each. I got this menu a few months ago, so prices may have changed. But even if they did, it's still dirt cheap, and the food is delicious. They also have party trays.

      2. Check out some of the restaurants I have on my website:
        http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv

        My idea of a cheap meal is $5 or less. Many of the places are hole-in-the-wall joints where an English-only speaker may feel out of place. The Vietnamese sandwich restaurants are especially cheap. Some of the taco places are also pretty cheap.

        1. Bahn Mi! You remind me of what a great cheap eat this is, as I procrastinated and was not turned on to this great sandwich until fairly recently. If you get the classic "No. 1," (w/headcheese) I think this is the great poorman's game dish. Not that it actually features game, but it has all the funky, earthy, richness of a great classic french terrine preparation at a super discount. That in turn reminded me that if you do want to eat like a king but on the budget of a pauper (and you like game and gameyness, etc.) then Bistro K in South Pasadena is really good. I think either choice would pair well with a wine from the Bourgogne (Burgundy).

          1. Shau May/Xiao Mei/小美/"Kang Kang" in the Garfield Lincoln Plaza (just a few steps north of Garvey) in MPK has good dumplings, both steamed and pan-fried, nothing on the menu is over $10, and you can eat three items from the steam trays plus rice, soup and tea for $3.50.

            Their breakfast, while not exactly gourmet fare, is even cheaper... three items and juk (porridge) for something like $3... my usual is juk, youtiao, whatever steamed bun they have, and an egg cake, plus tea.

            Banh Mi Che Cali is fantastic... three sandwiches for $4? How can you go wrong? Just remember to ask them to put the vegetables on the side if you're not going to eat them within the next hour.

            The pork with bean curd at Green Village (250 E. Valley, San Gabriel) is unbelievably good and a large portion is $7, I think.

            Two fish or shrimp tacos, rice, beans, a drink and "blistered chiles" are something like $5 at El Taconazo (9611 E. Garvey, S. El Monte), or head the other way to Tacos Baja Ensenada for a similar deal... both are fantastic.

            A bowl of bun thit nuong at My Hanh (next to El Taconazo) with some chili oil is a thing of beauty, last I checked it was $4.50, add another $2 for a glass of ca phe sua da and you've got a meal.

            Any lamb dish with an order of scallion bread (I like thin, others like thick) at China Islamic Restaurant (Garvey and Del Mar, MPK) will serve two and I believe it'll run you about $15.

            Any dim sum place will fill you up for cheap, and they all do takeout. There's a takeout-only place on Garfield just south of the 10, and another just barely east of the corner of Garfield and Garvey. If I recall correctly, at the latter the pork buns are something like $0.60 each.

            Wahib's Middle Eastern in Alhambra serves ridiculously huge portions of Lebanese food... the prices on the menu seem high but the amount of food is ridiculous. The mezze combo for two, though $30, would serve three or four, it's that big.

            1. Moffett's in Arcadia has chicken pot pie for around $2.50 including tax if you take it to go

              Garden Cafe in Alhambra or Arcadia has lunch for $4.99, which includes soup

              Kiyosuzi in Arcadia has lunch for less than $10 for Japanese food, including good sashimi

              The sushi place on Huntington Dr. across from Arcadia has Japnanese lunches from $5 or $6 for cooked food (teriyaki, etc.) and combos for $10 where you can pick 2 things, including sashimi.

              1. Off the top of my head, for lunch only ...

                DEERFIELD GARDEN - lunch special is $3.50.

                JI RONG - choice of entree, rice porridge, soup and rice for $3.95

                LU'S GARDEN - choice of 3 items, plus porridge for $3.80.

                1. Baguette du Jour on Valley in Alhambra for BBQ beef banh mi on a foot-long freshly baked baguette -- $2.50

                  Pepe's on Valley in Alhambra for enormous order of good nachos -- ~$5

                  El Ranchero on Mission Bl in Alhambra -- 50 cent tacos on Mondays

                  1. Yung Ho, Valley at New. Ave. Our rule of thumb is "If you spent more than $4/person at Yung Ho, you ordered too much food."

                    Okay, well, maybe that's an exaggeration. But those sticky rice rolls really fill you up and they're like $2, I think. I get sort of full towards the end of the second one.

                    The lunch specials (weekends included) at my two favorite vegetarian restaurants are about $5 and they give you what seems like a serious dinner-size amount of food for that (e.g. it's an entree in its own serving platter, not a portion on a compartmentilized lunchtray). These are Fine Garden, 841 W. Las Tunas, at Mission, and Vege House, 1400 E. Valley, west of New Ave.