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Cheap, Yummy Snacks in the Slope and nearby

Stopped by Antonio's, the generally-okay-but-nothing-fantastic pizza joint on Flatbush last night, near the B/Q subway and that American Apparel monstrosity.

$1.25 doesn't get you much anymore, but they've got these gooey, cheesy, spinach-broccoli, stromboli-like pinwheel rollup things that really hit the spot.

Let them heat 'em up nice and hot, and they get good and crisp on the outside and have a nice mushiness on the inside. They serve a similar purpose to, say, a certain kind of knish, but even at Yonah Shimmel's, most of them are soggy and cruddy (if you've got a better knishery, please let me know). We're not exactly talking high cuisine here, and it's definitely not fresh spinach or broccoli, but at least they're still reasonably green and not overcooked. They can use a little perking up with salt and hot-pepper flakes, but for $1.25, they're a small snack triumph, and for $2.50 for two, you wouldn't need to buy (or, dare I say it, cook) dinner.

Up the street, Christy's has great patties that are also pretty darned cheap, but the veggie ones -- the only ones I eat -- went up from $1.50 to $2 when they moved. Still a bargain for what they are, but not the steal that they were before the move.

Not exactly nearby, and already much-commented-upon in these boards, my other favorite sub-$2 yumminess are the tamales on 4th Ave and 11th Street. Anyone who doesn't know about these should hustle over and grab a dozen. Extra bonus enjoyment points for bringing them to a bar that lets you bring food in, and snarfing them with good beer (my bars of choice aren't especially near the tamale place but are closer to me up on Flatbush, but I'm sure there are others).

Anyone have any other suggestions for ultra-cheap, slightly out-of-the-ordinary snacks (ie, not just pizza slices) in the Slope and adjacent nabes?

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  1. This is more of a sub-question than a reply - I've seen some unusual- and delicious-looking South American-style sweets on the counter at the Red Horse Cafe on 6th & 12th but haven't yet tried them. Any reviews?

    1. Here's a few, (both veg friendly) tho they are not in the slope:

      in carroll gardens: the rice balls(with plain cheese or meat and cheese) and the proscuitto balls at Joe's Superette--on smith between carroll and 1st (or is it 1st and second) 2 for a dollar.

      on atlantic: spinach pies from damascus bakery, or the ones from the sahadi's prepared food counter

      on fulton street around bedford, or flatbush below the park, or church ave, any trini or guyanese place that sells doubles. 1 dollar each. Two or three can make a meal
      on/near fulton specifically are A&A (closes early--around 4) and Ali's.

      4 Replies
      1. re: missmasala

        The spinach pies at Oriental Grocery are (imho) even better, though different than the ones at Sahadi and Damascus. They are made with filo instead. They also have cheese pies.

        1. re: dimples

          I posted a response to this, but it was deleted. I don't know why. However, since it is chow info, I'll try again.

          Sahadi's also has the filo spinach pies, for those who are interested. those are the kind I get there. for the other kind, I go to damascus.

        2. re: missmasala

          Ok now it looks like you have told us exaclty where to get these doubles but maybe can you give the name of a few of the places that do sell these? I have a weekness for roti and chickpeas?

          1. re: Ljubitca

            see further up. closer to park slope are A&A and Alis, both on fulton close to bedford. Or A&A might be on bedford.

            Further away (and IMHO better) are singh's and the second A&A in richmond hill. (both on liberty ave. Singh's has two locations--liberty and 118th and liberty and 124th i believe)

        3. Can you give some further detail about Christy's veggie patties?

          1. 1. What are "doubles"?!? My curiosity is piqued!

            2.>>>Can you give some further detail about Christy's veggie patties?
            Sure. Patties in the Jamaican style have no relation to patties as in beef or sausage patties. So, a veggie patty isn't like a veggie burger. They're basically turnovers, or what I think the Brits call pasties. The dough is thin, rich and flaky. I like it more than the pastry that surrounds, say, empanadas or those Middle Eastern spinach pockets (which I also like). The other patty flavors, like jerk chicken, sound cooler than the veggie ones, but the veggie ones have a nice peppery flavor. Nothing too fancy -- cabbage, corn, peas, carrots -- but it all works.

            1. it sounds lovely thank you for the detail!

              1. Now we just need to get missmasala back to explain what "doubles" are!

                2 Replies
                1. re: fmogul

                  From another of missm's posts today:
                  "doubles from a trini or guyanese shop (doubles are two small rotis with curried chickpeas sandwiched between. they cost a dollar and are one of the world's greatest snacks)"

                  1. re: tempehtempeh

                    yes, that's what they are, tho it doesn't exactly describe how incredible they are. ask for them with all the sauces and the little scotch bonnet kick from the pepper sauce really makes them sing. They are much more than the sum of their parts and I have been obsessed with them lately.

                    The best, IMHO are from singh's in Richmond Hill, but that's kind of far from me, so I make do with A&A (good, slightly more indian tasting) and Ali's (not bad, not as good as A&A or singh's, but open in the evening.)

                2. I like to get a spicy beef patty served in coco bread. You eat it like a sandwich. It ain't Atkins, but so what! Just watch out because the filling is usually molten.
                  They also have these great sweet coconut bread things (forget what you call them) that are really rich and tasty.

                  1. I can't bring myself to get one since the first time I tried it, since I figure they have about 5,000 calories, but the rice pudding empanada at Uncle Moe's taqueria was damn good--thick rice pudding in a fried empanada coated with powdered sugar!

                    http://petercherches.blogspot.com

                    1. the rice pudding empanadas thing is a good call. I totally forgot about them, but know exactly what you mean -- they probably do have 5,000 calories or so, and even when I'm feeling like a nutritional slacker (which is often), that's still pretty extreme.

                      Re: patty sandwiches. "It ain't atkins," indeed! I've actually never been motivated to try them, not so much for caloric reasons but because it just strikes me as over-the-top bready and heavy -- like taking a calzone or empanada and sticking it on a baguette or club roll or something. Just doen't seem like a great idea, but perhaps i could be pursuaded otherwise.

                      The doubles sound cool. I like roti a lot, and the idea of smaller, cheaper ones as snacks would be fantastic. I've tried to get the Christie's guys to do rotis, even though it doesn't seem to be their part of the Caribbean. They said they had been thinking about it, but I'm sure they were just placating me. We need to import some guys from Church Street -- or maybe Guyana or Trinidad!

                      1. There's a lady on 13th and 5th with a food cart that makes delicious empanadas (chicken or cheese).

                        Further down there's a bakery (I can't remember the name) on 5th between 18th and 19th that makes empanadas and tamales which are great- the spinack empanada with cheese has quite a kick.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pastoralia

                          You speak of Lopez Bakery. Great place. Super nice people and cheap baked goods & snacks.

                        2. The patty sandwiches don't sound like they'd work but they do. I think it's because the coco bread is so tasty and the patty dough is flaky and delicate. They don't compete. Speaking of coco bread though, I usually get a bunch of the stuff when i'm grilling or roasting pork at home. Makes for a really nice sandwich.(Though i can't take credit for the idea.)
                          Another small(ish) neighborhod(ish) thing really worth having is the panelle special at Ferdinando's. Perfection.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: HankyT

                            agree on the panelle at Ferdinando's. It's awesome. We usually get the sandwich, tho, which neither in price nor size qualifies in my book as a snack.

                            I notice no one has commented on my joe's superette rice and proscuitto balls. I know lots of places have rice balls, but i'm telling you, these are special and different--fried to order and addictive.

                            1. re: missmasala

                              OK, I'll comment <g>. When I read the OP's question, the Prosciutto balls and the rice balls at Joe's were the first thing that came to mind. But I read down and saw your post and wasn't in a "me too" mood, so I let it go. Also note that the OP was look for snacks under $2. That means holding your purchase to 4. And while the balls are nice sized and filling, they are also addictive.

                              1. re: missmasala

                                i just got some Prosciotto balls from Joe's Superette at lunchtime today. I think I just ate 10 of them in a row. They are amazing! they arent greasy at all for being fried.... fried cheese goodness, that is

                            2. Someone up there mentioned Joe's Perette, I'm sure of it. How could you not? One of the best snacks (both in size and price) in all of Brooklyn.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: HankyT

                                yes, that was me. I called it joe's perette for years until a CG old-timer clued me in that it was "superette." regardless, i agree that it's a great brooklyn snack destination.

                                In fact, I may just have to get some now!

                              2. I guess if they want people to call it Superette they should invest in an S and a U!

                                1. Tamales on 5th at Lopez, huh? How do those stack up against the ones from the flower-coffee-soup place nearby on 4th Ave and 11th? Also, though it's getting farther away, a friend mentioned a place on 5th Ave in the 30s that's supposed to have great tamales, but the one time I looked, I wasn't able to figure out exactly what/where she was talking about. Anyone know?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: fmogul

                                    I don't know the answer, but I have to say, I love the tamales at the flower-coffee-soup place you are describing!

                                    1. re: fmogul

                                      They are very different, actually. The Lopez ones are smaller & drier - which I prefer. This may be the banana leaf / corn husk difference but I'm not sure because it's been awhile since I had one of the flower shop tamales. The ones at lopez are $1.50 each I think & are made chicken, beef, or queso. Each with a different salsa. Mmm.

                                    2. Little Miss Muffin BBQ Chicken Patties, best snack, best patties in the area.(better than Christies)

                                      La Taqueria for a single Lupe's Special taco - cheap, filling.

                                      1. I've now had patties from Christy's twice and each time I blow up like a stuffed sausage the next day...it feels like an MSG overdose. That said, the patties were okay, but I like them a whole lot better at Buff Patty on Myrtle in Fort Greene/Clinton hill. Buff Patty's jerk chicken patties blow away the product at Christy's. Give 'em a try...