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Jan 26, 2007 01:22 PM

Dirt Cheap Eats in Baltimore

Picking up an idea from the DC contributors, can we have suggestions for dirt cheap good eats in Baltimore? What qualifies as "dirt cheap" might be a matter of opinion, so could you quote some prices with your suggestions? I'll start with Korean BBQ at Nak Won at lunch for $7.95--SUPER delicious beef with fried veggies and rice, tea. That probably only qualifies as cheap, but...

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  1. Jimmy's on Broadway.
    Sip & Bite.
    Eastern House on Eastern Avenue is pretty cheap.
    Thairish is really cheap.

    1. How about lovely, fresh soft tacos for $2.50 each at Cinco de Mayo on Eastern Avenue? Have to speak Spanish, though.

      Mehek in Fells Point serves an outstanding Indian lunch buffet for $8. Easily the best of its kind in Baltimore.

      1. Thanks for the rec. about Mehek. We love Indian food. Sounds like a good buffet to try.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lhellwig

          The reason that buffets seem so attractive to so many eludes me. They seem to me to be the triumph of quantity over quality.

          1. re: Hal Laurent

            As a general rule, I'd agree, but I think one needs to consider what's one the buffet. For example, taking Chinese stir fry dishes and dumping them on a steam table for a while is bound to result in an eating experience that is significantly degraded from having the same dish served fresh from the wok. But by contrast, some dishes (some of the more stew-like Indian food would be an example) is by its very nature cooked and simmered for a long time, and so the "serve at the exactly perfect moment" aspect is not as big a deal - simmererd for an extra half hour in a bain marie on the buffet doesn't much harm the dish.

            That said, it is rare to find a buffet that emphasizes quality, as well as quantify, but for some of us who mostly dine alone, a quality-conscious buffet can provide the "share a bunch of different dishes" experience that one might otherwise only get by taking a group of people to a restaurant that serves food from one of the cuisines that highlights that "many dishes" approach. In other words, an Indian or Thai (focusing on curries, not stir-fry) or perhaps Korean (stew or casserole focused) buffet makes sense to me, a Chinese buffet less so (still the "many dishes", but the cooking style loses more from sitting on the steam table), while something like a Mexican buffet (where there's not really as much of a "share many dishes" aspect to the cuisine to begin with) even less so.

            And I won't even consider the peculiarly American concept of a buffet consisting primarily of large quantities of premade items that probably came out of the frozen prepared foods cases of the nearest Costco.

            I think the bottom line is that if the answer to the question "Would I be happy with the items on the buffet if they were served to me individually as an entree?" is "No", then go elsewhere. But there are occasionally buffets (particularly ethnic buffets) where the answer might be "yes."

        2. I think I've mentioned both of these before somewhere on this board:

          Ding How's (Fells Point on Broadway) lunch special is one of the dirt cheapest (pretty sure the superlative is wrong here, but fun) deals in the city. Between $5.00 and $5.75, depending upon entree choice, for an egg roll, soup, main dish and all the hot tea you can drink. For two of us, we can usually get out of there for $12.00 - $13.00 WITH tip.

          And Indian Tandoor on 21st and Charles has a lunch buffet for $4.95, as I remember. It could be slightly more as it's been a couple of months since we've been. Not overwhelming stellar, but super-cheap (per this thread).

          1. Anything on the menu at Dizzy Issie's in Remington. One of my favorite places to go anytime, but especially when I'm not trying to spend a lot of money. Great burgers for (I think) $4.95, cheap beers, and a huge menu with most of their comfort food offerings under $8-9.

            Also, Cafe Zen is always cheap. Can't quote any prices off the top of my head, but with 2 people getting dumplings, entrees, etc..., I usually get out of there for under $20-25, which is a deal.