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Feb 12, 2007 01:17 PM

$7 or less in East 50s?

Is it possible? Just started a new job at Madison btw 59th/60th. Don't appear to be many restaurants here, let alone cheap ones. Sandwich and soda at Cafe Metro today was $8.24. Eep. Looked at the menu at Sunberry, slightly higher cost. I hope to meet a friend at Burger Heaven this week and another at Chop't, but even those will probably run $9-$10.

Anything cheaper and hopefully, interesting around here? Any secret stuff like the places hidden all over the garment district?

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  1. Tony Dragonas' cart on Madison and 62nd. Lots of reviews online.
    Chicken Kitchen on 2nd Ave and 62nd. Awful service, flies buzzing over the tables and the best grilled chicken in the city.

    1. The taco place at the bottom of the Crystal Pavillion is really good.
      Pampano? I think it's called. Get the item (I usually get a taco) with rice, beans, chips and salso and a drink is like 5 bucks.
      You might not think it's alot to eat, but it does fill you up.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sjjn

        I second Pampano. It's in the basement of an office building @ 805 3rd Ave (49th & 50th). Take the escalator to the basement. It is like eating in the food court of a shopping mall c. 1987 and they have a blind piano player for your entertainment.

        1. re: uneventfulijk

          Is there more than one place around there called Pampano or is this it?

          Is the $5 taco deal some sort of off-the-menu special? Menu seems quite pricey.

          1. re: NancyC

            Pampano, on 49th St., b/t 2nd & 3rd Avs., is the full-service restaurant. The menu emphasizes fish and seafood. Delicious food. Very nice atmospherics.

            Pampano Tacqueria is their take-out spot mentioned above. Totally different menu. You can get to it via Pampano's home page. Here you go:

            Btw, Pampano (the restaurant) offers a 3-course lunch prix-fixe for $25.

      2. Decent Chinese at Grand Sichuan on 55th and 2nd. Lunch special is less than $7.
        Half a rotisserie chicken and two sides at International Poultry Company or 53rd and 1st will run about $7.
        Salad with unlimited toss-ins at Gigi's on 58th and 3rd is $7.
        Azure on 3rd and 51st or 52nd is also a good bet to stay below $7. Until you buy that beverage.

        1. There is a great chinese spot on 60th between Lex and Park called Kar Won. You can get all the standard chinese favs for about $4.50 ~ $6.00 and they have all the roast meats and noodle soups. My favorite is the Charsu Wonton Mein (Wonton Noodle Soup with Roast Pork). I think I used to pay about $5.00 for it! Yummy and gigantic!

          1 Reply
          1. re: asm305

            Thanks for the Kar Won rec. I had Mai Fun noodle soup with roast pork for $5.30 that was delicious and could have fed two. Another buck for a cup of tea and you're good to go. Most of their menu is in that price range so expect fast self-service and no frills.

          2. Wow, thanks! I did pass by the Chinese place on 60th, wasn't sure how I felt about it but I might give it a try. What is the Crystal Pavilion? I'll definitely check out the cart, but on days like this I really want places I can sit indoors as well...

            1 Reply
            1. re: NancyC

              Kar Won delivers. It's not bad. Not good, but not bad either. The imitation crab rolls, though, are an interesting treat. And for less than a buck each, you can't go wrong trying one.