Cheap eats - $5 or less?
Any recs for good, filling meal for $5 or less? Bonus points if it's relatively healthy (ie not fried, some veggies/fruits).
Way too many to list.
Search New Malaysia in the chinatown arcade, Bo Ky, Nha Trang, Otafuku, Saigon banh mi, Hester/Elizabeth or Bowery/Grand streetcart noodles, Nickys vietnamese sandwich, Lan Cafe
Not healthy but, a very filling meal at The Dumpling House costs me $4.50:
Hot & sour soup ($1)
Sesame pancake with beef ($1.50)
Poland springs ($1)
Sub in some fruit from one of the stands in Chinatown for one of the above items and it's a little bit healthier!
I'm doing this strictly for the bonus points. The Food Emporium at Union Square sells halved and quartered rotisserie chicken for $3 (a package) or so depending on weight, and it's somewhat healthy eating IMO. There's a place indoors to eat (you'll see it as you exit the 14th street door). I recommend bringing it to the park, but, it can be messy eating though. If it's fruit you want, there's a whole produce section in the store where you can make a selection for dessert. Look at it this way, you'll be eating for under 5 bucks and eating healthy. : )
Halal carts are a good way to go too - $4.25 a plate. The problem there is the food is fried.
The same is true of samosas, etc. or a good part of most Indian cuisine.
re: Cheese Boy
Better bargains on fruit with the fruit vendors on the street outside, including one on 14th St. over near 3rd. Food Emporium is pricy as heck. Price-wise, I prefer Trader Joe's in most respects (except produce and some of the prepared foods, for which I'd probably go to neither). Better bargains at TJ's by a long shot.
If you're going to go to an expensive grocery store, then go to the Whole Paycheck... errr I mean Whole Foods, but not the one on 14th St. Go to the one on Bowery & Houston for the HUGE number of free samples -- as of June 2007, they're still giving out lots and lots and lots of VERY tasty samples inside the store. Most older WF locations don't do this, so maybe it's a limited-time thing. And their pommes frites are excellent, and only $2.99 for a small. But don't go in there with a credit card on you. Or more than $2.99 (plus tax) in cash.
And for lots more options under $5, get some exercise and walk down to Chinatown. One poster above mentioned the Dumpling House but I prefer Prosperity Dumpling further down at 46 Eldridge St. Same stuff, but better, and sometimes less crowded, and the lanky young guy making the dumplings is really really nice. Another great choice is Viet Nam Banh Mi So 1 at 369 Broome St. for a fantastic cheap Vietnamese hoagie. That's northern Chinatown, so it's not too far. And it's not fried.
Also, you can get four dishes over rice, plus soup, for $3 (or is it $4 now?) at 51 Division St., or the place next door to it. A few months ago I had some dinner there, and there were a bunch of Latino guys also enjoying the food and drinking beer (BYO I guess) and they started singing. Pretty funny.
I'm SURE there is another, *very* recent thread on this topic somewhere around here, but I can't find it. Maybe because the search function is seriously crappy right now.