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We're Going to Per Se, So We're Eating Street/Really Cheap Food for the Rest our Trip. Ideas?

Suebee Aug 20, 2007 07:42 PM

OK, New Yorkers Mr. Suebee and I need your help. We are going to have dinner at Per Se during our upcoming trip to NY but $700 for one meal is way more than we are used to (or should be) spending.

So for the rest of our trip, my goal is to find the city's little and cheap gems. I'm thinking the best slices of pizza, burgers, salads, basically anything for $25 or less for 2. Any ideas?

Gray's Papaya?
Shake Shack?
Burger Joint?

There must be so many more - please help this Angeleno find them.

Thanks in advance!


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  1. v
    vinoepasta RE: Suebee Aug 20, 2007 08:12 PM

    I suppose Grey's Papaya could be done...however I tried it twice and didn't like it at all....something about grilled onions from a can.

    My favorite cheap eats are Pomme Frites, Essa Bagels (for breakfast) (you'll never eat another bagel), Una Bella Pizza Neapolitana (hands down the best pizza in America), and The Dumpling Man (amazing handmade dumplings).

    Enjoy Per Se!

    7 Replies
    1. re: vinoepasta
      Suebee RE: vinoepasta Aug 20, 2007 08:15 PM

      Thanks so much Vinoepasta! These all sound like great ideas and will be on the top of our list.


      1. re: vinoepasta
        ekammin RE: vinoepasta Aug 20, 2007 08:15 PM

        Here in Toronto you can get a really big bowl of pho, which is not junk food but makes a very satisfying meal (broth, meat, noodles, bean sprouts, etc.) for about 6.00 in most Vietnamese restaurants. I assume you can get the same in New York.

        1. re: ekammin
          Suebee RE: ekammin Aug 20, 2007 08:25 PM

          Yes, yes, yes we love pho! And yes, there must be at least 50 great pho joints in Manhattan.

          1. re: Suebee
            DarthEater RE: Suebee Aug 20, 2007 08:54 PM

            Pho is best in the west but if you must...I like the chiu chow noodle soups at Bo Ky (Bayard street btwn. Mulberry and Baxter street) and their country duck with generous helpings of their special hot sauce. Nha Trang (Baxter st. between Bayard and Walker st.) for pho. It is indeed very cheap.

            1. re: DarthEater
              michele cindy RE: DarthEater Aug 21, 2007 09:27 AM

              The pho satee at Nha Trang is 4.00 and really good.

        2. re: vinoepasta
          LeahBaila RE: vinoepasta Aug 21, 2007 06:29 AM

          Good calls, Vino!

          1. re: vinoepasta
            kathryn RE: vinoepasta Aug 21, 2007 09:25 AM

            For hot dogs, what about Crif Dogs? Dash Dogs?

            As for pizza...Una Bella Pizza? You mean Una Pizza Napoletana on 12th Street and 1st Avenue? It's very good but nowhere more like $40 for 2.

            Chinese is a good idea, though. Check out one of the Grand Sichuan branches (Chelsea, St Marks, etc.) There's also a wealth of 5 dumplings for $1 joints.

            Don't forget to check out RGR's Lower East Side noshing tour. Plenty of cheap eats there.

          2. k
            KevinB RE: Suebee Aug 20, 2007 08:29 PM

            Not a New Yorker, but I always stop at Ray's Famous (bunch of locations) for either a gooey slice of pizza, or an even gooier meatball hero (with sauce and cheese!!).

            Also, try one of the delis on 7th Avenue - I'm not going to get into the holy war between Carnegie/Stage Door/7th Ave - all of them are pretty good compared to the bland deli meats we get elsewhere, and the sandwiches are huge, so if you have a fridge at your hotel, they end up being lunch for two days straight.

            BTW, in the "cheap and cheerful" places, don't expect too much cheer during the lunch rush. In Manhattan, time is money, and if you're not ready to order, you'll either be told as much, or get passed over for the next guy in line. I'm not saying this to be critical; in a city where you might only get 30 minutes for lunch, and spend five minutes of that riding the elevator, you want to get your order placed and your food served quickly. If I'm in a place where I don't know the menu or what I want, I stay out of the line until I'm ready.

            8 Replies
            1. re: KevinB
              Suebee RE: KevinB Aug 20, 2007 08:39 PM

              Good thinking about the line strategy :)

              And yes, delis are a must. Mr. Suebee loves Katz's but we'll for sure hit up some delis on 7th as well. Thanks for the tip.

              Oh and speaking of pizza, what about Di Fara's in Brooklyn? Worth the hype?

              1. re: Suebee
                kathryn RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 09:26 AM

                Don't go to Ray's! Unless you're starving and have no other choice.

                Go to Patsy's in East Harlem.

                Please ask about Brooklyn pizzerias on the Outer Boroughs board (I love Totonno's BTW).

                1. re: kathryn
                  Suebee RE: kathryn Aug 21, 2007 05:51 PM

                  Sorry about the poor board etiquette! I'll ask about Brooklyn on the other board, thanks.

                2. re: Suebee
                  kevin RE: Suebee Aug 22, 2007 09:56 AM

                  hey sue, another la hound, here and difara's is worth, do make the trek. take a subway to Avenue J and while you're there get some slices, it's a ramshackle place but there's no place like it. oh, and stop by the orchard for samples of fancy fruit.

                  also, make sure to hit up Olympic Pita on coney island ave near difara's. should be very cheap too.

                  Lombardi's is good too, near though not in Little Italy. much better than the stuff at mozza.

                3. re: KevinB
                  pizzajunkie RE: KevinB Aug 21, 2007 09:57 AM

                  Please tell me more about Una Bella Pizza Neapolitana - I did a Google search and couldn't find anything!

                  1. re: pizzajunkie
                    kathryn RE: pizzajunkie Aug 21, 2007 12:10 PM

                    Una Pizza Napoletana (no "bella")
                    12th Street and 1st Avenue
                    349 E 12th St
                    New York, NY 10003
                    (212) 477-9950

                    1. re: kathryn
                      eatfood RE: kathryn Aug 21, 2007 01:53 PM


                      Una Pizza Napoletana
                      349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                      1. re: kathryn
                        LRS RE: kathryn Aug 21, 2007 09:53 PM

                        On that Napoletana style there is also Pizza Gruppo on ave B

                  2. jinet12 RE: Suebee Aug 20, 2007 08:33 PM

                    My favorite is Mamouns on Bleeker and MacDougal...Best falafal, hummus, pita, lamb, etc...Cheap, but I would eat there if it was expensive..Burgers and fries at Burger Joint in the Le Parker Meridien...Get a "slice" of pizza at Ben's in Soho...I could live on a good bagel with veggie cream cheese..Many good places for this...H & H is good, and many other places as well....There are all kinds of Korean delis that have these hot food and salad bars that are very economical...Split huge sandwiches at Katz or Stage Deli or Carnegie...Grab a hot dog or sausage or pretzel or other things on the street carts...Happy Cheap Eating!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: jinet12
                      Suebee RE: jinet12 Aug 20, 2007 08:43 PM

                      Thanks much Jinet12! Mamoun's sounds great as we love a good falafel. And yes, last time we went to Burger Joint and enjoyed it, so it's probably on the list again. Now that you're bringing it up, we should just get a half dozen bagels at H & H and call that breakfast every morning. I've never heard of Ben's in SoHo, but thanks for the tip!


                      1. re: jinet12
                        DarthEater RE: jinet12 Aug 20, 2007 08:44 PM

                        Your on the money with Mamouns but Korean delis for an angeleno? Egads~!!!!!! Hardly economical for the quality and state of the food.

                        1. re: DarthEater
                          Suebee RE: DarthEater Aug 20, 2007 08:47 PM

                          I work in Koreatown here in LA where you can find excellent Korean everywhere and yet I must say I'm not a huge fan. But I'll line up for good Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, etc. any day.

                          1. re: Suebee
                            fsd1116 RE: Suebee Aug 20, 2007 09:01 PM

                            I suggest Moon House, 67 Bayard Street, between Mott and Elizabeth. Good and cheap. Don't miss the fried tiny buns.

                        2. re: jinet12
                          kathryn RE: jinet12 Aug 21, 2007 09:27 AM

                          Stay away from the pretzels, they're often hard as a rock, and no better than the ones you can find in the frozen case at Costco or something.

                          1. re: jinet12
                            Feed Me RE: jinet12 Sep 4, 2007 08:31 PM

                            I understand the appeal of Mamouns, but Yatagan, the Turkish falafel shop down the street is much better

                          2. p
                            pacz RE: Suebee Aug 20, 2007 09:04 PM

                            The Halal Carton 53rd and 6th, 7pm -4am


                            The Calexico Cart on the corner of Wooster and Prince in SoHo, 11am - 4pm


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pacz
                              JungMann RE: pacz Aug 21, 2007 08:38 AM

                              Great calls on some of the best cart food in the city. The halal cart on 53rd has actually started attracting tourists from what I understand, so why not send an Angeleno there as well.

                              Among New York's bounty is some great:
                              Chinese - New Green Bo, Moon House ($2 pork tiny buns, $8 dinner item)
                              Thai - Highline ($10 prix-fixe lunch)
                              Bagels - H&H, Tal, Ess-a-bagel ($3 for a generous schmear)
                              Burgers - Shake Shack, Corner Bistro ($6 bacon cheeseburger)
                              Soul - Charles's Southern Kitchen, Rack & Soul
                              Australian - Tuck Shop
                              Empanadas - Empanada Mama, Argentine bakery on 8th Ave.
                              Half-price "Anniversary" Sushi - Oyama
                              And too many pizza and stromboli joints to mention. In a city where the average studio is approaching $2000/mo., you can bet that there is great demand for cheap, affordable places to eat.

                            2. tamasha RE: Suebee Aug 20, 2007 09:16 PM

                              The Dosa Cart in Washington Square Park is delicious, and you can get gelato from the Otto cart at the other end, too.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: tamasha
                                Suebee RE: tamasha Aug 20, 2007 10:20 PM

                                I'm always up for some gelato....this isn't Batali's Otto cart?

                                Also, what are dosa?

                                1. re: Suebee
                                  kathryn RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 09:28 AM

                                  Yes, the official name of the cart is GelOtto. They do have odd hours, though, so I'd check their web site or call ahead. And don't expect to find their famous olive oil gelato at the cart; I think they save that one for the restaurant.

                                  1. re: Suebee
                                    kevin RE: Suebee Aug 22, 2007 09:58 AM

                                    and supposdely they now have the olive oil gelato at mozza in la.

                                    but if you can squeeze out a little more dough, Babbo is really good.

                                    1. re: kevin
                                      makemestupid RE: kevin Sep 4, 2007 10:07 PM

                                      worse case scenario, walk into otto (around the corner from the park) and order a pint to go from the hostess.

                                      1. re: makemestupid
                                        Suebee RE: makemestupid Sep 5, 2007 09:38 PM

                                        Good idea, thanks.

                                2. s
                                  snw RE: Suebee Aug 20, 2007 09:16 PM

                                  A list of cheap ny food

                                  Halal carts all around midtown 40-60 st madison to seventh, but especially sixth avenue in the 50s.

                                  The Italian Deli at 29th and 8th Avenue for excellent cheap italian food as well as various freshly made sausages.

                                  Stromboli's pizza on University and 12th.

                                  H&H or Ess-a-bagel.

                                  Chinese restaurants east of the Bowery downtown, e.g., East Broadway.

                                  Take the 7 train to queens for a variety of outstanding latino, greek, or indian food or, if you go to the end of the line, chinese in flushing.

                                  Old Town Tavern on 18th.

                                  By the way, Korean places in ny are a whole different concept from Korean in LA; in ny, it is an almost generic form of deli with fresh fruit, flowers, some groceries, and typically a hot and cold salad bar. They are on almost every other corner in most of NY.

                                  The aforementioend Mamoun's.

                                  As for Katz, Carnegie, etc., they are all good but you can end up spending $50 for two people pretty easily.

                                  Gray's Papaya or Papaya King for hot dogs.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: snw
                                    Suebee RE: snw Aug 20, 2007 10:18 PM

                                    Thanks so much snw for this comprehensive list! What's good at the Old Town tavern? You're so right about delis adding up really quickly...we'll make sure to order wisely.

                                  2. t
                                    tarantula142 RE: Suebee Aug 20, 2007 11:30 PM

                                    If you're getting H&H bagels, you might want to stop at Zabar's (there is an H&H down the street from Zabar's) and get a little bit of smoked fish or cheese to top them with. You could get lox, sable, or the whitefish pate is cheap and would be good to keep in the hotel room (if you have a fridge). One of my favorites is putting the fresh ricotta they have at Zabar's on bagels too (the ricotta, as I recall, is really inexpensive). Plus, as a chowhound, you will probably enjoy the fish counter, cheese counter, etc.

                                    If you feel like leaving Manhattan going to Queens and getting Knish Nosh knishes would be a fun and tasty meal. I think they have the best knishes I have ever hard, they also have pigs in a blanket and such.

                                    Lastly, I know people already mentioned Mamoun's, but Yatagan down the street makes IMHO better falafel ($2.00 btw), and gyro. If you prefer a sit down restaurant, Hummus Place, also on MacDougal has very interesting Israeli style hummus dishes that are inexpensive (plus really good iced tea).

                                    Have fun in NYC!

                                    Yatagan Kebab House
                                    104 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                                    2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

                                    Mamoun's Falafel
                                    119 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                                    Knish Nosh
                                    100-30 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                    Hummus Place
                                    99 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: tarantula142
                                      Suebee RE: tarantula142 Aug 21, 2007 06:21 AM

                                      Zabar's is close to H & H? We're so there! I once mail-ordered one of their luscious chocolate babkas which was heavenly. Thanks for the great suggestions.


                                      1. re: Suebee
                                        LNG212 RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 08:50 AM

                                        they are across 80th street from one another (broadway). and five blocks south of that are Citarella and Fairway. i would recommend stopping by any/all of these to pack yourselves a picnic and head to the glories of central park.

                                        1. re: LNG212
                                          Suebee RE: LNG212 Aug 21, 2007 05:50 PM

                                          A picnic at Central Park - perfect! Thanks.

                                      2. re: tarantula142
                                        Shayna Madel RE: tarantula142 Aug 22, 2007 10:19 AM

                                        There probably has been much debate here about whose are "the best" NYC bagels, but H & H is definitely on the list and one good thing about them is that they do not turn to rocks in a day. Definitely the sable from Zabar's, if you are in the area. If you haven't bought smoked fish before, it will sound expensive, but you don't need that much to put on a couple of bagels. It's fun to poke around Zabar's, buy bagels at H & H, then walk south a few blocks to Citarella and Fairway. It is hard to resist the temptation to buy a little here and a little there--before you know it, you are dragging bags full of goodies all over the west side. (Is it true no more "fish art" in the Citarella window?) I also second Knish Nosh and it is right near the G, R, and V subway lines, so not impossible to get to. They have not only potato, but several other kinds of knish filling.

                                        1. re: Shayna Madel
                                          LNG212 RE: Shayna Madel Aug 22, 2007 11:35 AM

                                          Sadly, they haven't had "fish art" at citarella for some time now. I never did hear the why.

                                      3. i
                                        idia RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 06:46 AM

                                        Did you ever watch "Seinfeld?"
                                        Remember their dining hangout with "RESTAURANT" posted across the side?
                                        Well, I found it! (Though the owner says his isn't the "Seinfeld one.")
                                        It is called Westside Diner and resides on 69th and Broadway on the UWS.
                                        Open 24 hours, and delivers locally, theirs is typical diner fare.
                                        My fave? Cream of turkey soup.
                                        Breakfast is a wait-in-line-out-the-door affair.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: idia
                                          JungMann RE: idia Aug 21, 2007 08:42 AM

                                          The owner isn't lying, that's not the "Seinfeld" deli. The "Seinfeld" deli is Tom's Delicatessen in the W. 100s and is terrible. The Westside Diner, however, is pretty much the best diner in its part of the Upper West Side, so if you're at Lincoln Center and need a cheap place to eat nearby, it's not a bad option.

                                        2. c
                                          ceasar11 RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 08:22 AM

                                          all intersesting stuff, but if you want the best for the cheapest, got with the B&H Dairy on 2nd avenue right below 8th street. it has a fabulous vegtable soup that i dream about when i havent had it for a while. Get it with the halah bread and butter to dip or eat as you please. In addition they have a good deal of old time ethnic food for that area, like blintzs, borcht, perogis. When i was growing up in that area, my parents loved the vegitarian chopped liver, and for the real thing they would go to the 2nd avenue deli, so you know it is good. While there evryone and their mother will wander in, like it was 20 years ago.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ceasar11
                                            Suebee RE: ceasar11 Aug 21, 2007 05:49 PM

                                            Thanks Ceasar11. B&H Dairy sounds exactly like the kind of place my LES ancestors may have frequented years ago.

                                          2. whs RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 09:00 AM

                                            Lunch in any of the Indian restaurants in Curry Hill is cheap and filling--for a real stomach bomb, have a masala dosai. Saravana Bhavan/Dosai Hut is good. Veselka makes a nice blintz or cabbage soup. Many Korean places in the 30's off Broadway. Lunch will always be cheaper--fill up then, and go lighter at night.

                                            1. MBShapiro RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 09:33 AM

                                              1) banh mi from saigon in chinatown
                                              2) 5 for a dollar dumplings
                                              3) gray's papaya

                                              don't bother with burgers. in n out is better than anything you'll find here.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: MBShapiro
                                                eatfood RE: MBShapiro Aug 21, 2007 01:55 PM

                                                I second Saigon Bakery.
                                                $3.25 and I can't even finish the banh mi.
                                                It's also really good.

                                                Banh Mi Saigon
                                                198 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

                                                1. re: MBShapiro
                                                  Suebee RE: MBShapiro Aug 21, 2007 05:42 PM

                                                  Thanks for the banh mi tip...a good one since we know one usually is more than enough for the two of us.

                                                2. a
                                                  aram RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 09:40 AM

                                                  Punjab on the north side of houston between first ave and avenue b.

                                                  3$ for indian food.

                                                  1. r
                                                    randumbposter RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 10:39 AM

                                                    Chinese bakery.

                                                    Roast pork buns for 70 cents. 3 makes a meal. Hit the vaunted mei lei wah where folks buy buns by the dozens. Too fatty in my book but people seem to really like this place.

                                                    Taipan Bakery offers a variety of other meat buns too . ham n egg , scallions and bacon flakes etc... and non bun stuff.

                                                    Cafe zaiya, chiyoda sushi, yagura supermarket is another cheap option.

                                                    Ramen joints are usually under 10 bucks a person too.

                                                    Hit spanish american places such as margon. Tasty msg food under 10 bucks a person.

                                                    2 dollarish tacos joints, great burrito, tulcingo de valle etc...

                                                    piece of chicken on 9th. a buck a piece of chicken.

                                                    There was a thread on street carts not too long ago. Do a search for it. I recommend kwik meal, pizza truck, jamaican dutchy cart, those chinese street carts are good. go for that cheung fun stuff. Look for the carts with lines.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: randumbposter
                                                      Suebee RE: randumbposter Aug 21, 2007 05:40 PM

                                                      Carts with lines....good tip.

                                                      1. re: Suebee
                                                        TonyO RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 05:48 PM

                                                        As an occassional visitor to NYC, I think Dinosaur BBQ makes for a reasonably priced NYC meal and it is quite tasty (I mean how many hot dogs can someone eat not to mention, depending on when the dinner at Per Se is, your system may go into shock and revolt from too extreme a range of food !) NYC Pizza is a must and if you are from anywhere else in the USA, nearly any will be a treat (Ray's, John's, Patsy's, and so on).

                                                    2. BaconBits RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 06:28 PM

                                                      I just had a super yummy and super cheap lunch of perogis and cold borscht at Little Poland in the east village. Only cost me a little over $8 (including an iced tea) and I was stuffed! I definitely recommend.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: BaconBits
                                                        dmleo RE: BaconBits Aug 22, 2007 10:33 AM

                                                        I second Little Poland. All their soups are delicious and I'm also quite partial to their tasty pork dishes.

                                                        1. re: BaconBits
                                                          JungMann RE: BaconBits Aug 22, 2007 11:00 AM

                                                          Definitely a great, out-of-the way recommendation! I forgot how much money I've saved over the years splitting an entree there.

                                                        2. monalisawoman RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 06:37 PM

                                                          YES to Mamoun's for falafel. And don't forget Burritoville, or Tortilla Flats for good cheap tex mex. Monster Sushi on 23rd St. for the best cheap sushi.

                                                          1. l
                                                            Littleman RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 07:39 PM

                                                            Don't waste your valuable time and good money on Per Se. Spend it elsewhere. Take this from a guy from Mississippi that's been to NYC 35 times or so. I would rather eat at Joe's White Front Cafe in Rosedale, Mississippi.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: Littleman
                                                              Suebee RE: Littleman Aug 21, 2007 07:41 PM

                                                              I was afraid of this post! Have you been to Per Se?

                                                              1. re: Suebee
                                                                tarantula142 RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 08:23 PM

                                                                Your post actually inspired me to research Per Se last night. There is a lot of conversation and controversy about Per Se if you read through the Chowhoud Archive. You can do a search for "Per Se" on Chowhound and find a lot of it. Also, there are lots of really interesting Per Se insights available at http://menupages.com/restaurantdetail... .

                                                                1. re: Suebee
                                                                  eatfood RE: Suebee Aug 22, 2007 09:50 AM

                                                                  I would ignore littleman's advice. Despite the conflicting opinions about Per Se on this board, it really is a place that YOU have to try and judge for yourself.

                                                                  I have been to Per Se and can say that it was one of the best meals that I've had in my life. Note that a good number of the negative posts about Per Se don't' have much to do with the food (which is brilliant and well executed) but rather about it not living up to the high expectations.

                                                                  1. re: Suebee
                                                                    Littleman RE: Suebee Sep 5, 2007 06:34 PM

                                                                    Hey Suebee............I did go to Per Se.....I wouldn't return if it was free. I had a 3 1/2 hour lunch put on me during Christmas Holidays last year. My wife and I were miserable. We expected a nice 2 hour meal and head out shopping....instead we go almost a 4 hour rip off for $400.00. It took hours to get a reservation and the food was very plain. I would rather eat tamales in Rosedale and have a great dinner in NYC at Daniel..............

                                                                2. k
                                                                  kayonyc RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 08:31 PM

                                                                  I say stick with your guns! Go to per se - enjoy and report back with a review. I am jealous, as I haven't yet gone.

                                                                  I think you're not at all missing out by going with cheaper options. It's an excellent way to try our varied cusines.

                                                                  My favs:
                                                                  -Dim sum at Nice Restaurant - (cheaper than Golden Unicorn). It might be more like 15/person, but you will be stuffed
                                                                  -Sripraphai. BEST Thai in the city - though it is in Woodside. Stick with meat and veg options to stay within budget
                                                                  - Dumpling place on Eldridge St. 5 duplings for a dollar, hot and sour soup for $2,
                                                                  Chinatown Ice cream factory afte
                                                                  -Mama's- soul food casual joint - 9 bucks for heaping plate
                                                                  -NY Noodletown - cantonese goodness- try the roasted meats (esp, suckling baby pig) on rice - 5-7 dollars. Grab a boba - after
                                                                  -Nicky's vietnamese- beautiful fresh banh mi for under 5 bucks in east village
                                                                  -Caracas Arepa bar - yummy and cheap AND Filling
                                                                  -Minca or Setagaya for japanese ramen noodles -under 12 bucks p/p
                                                                  -falai panetteria - LES - yummy, BYOB. hmm on second thought, it might run more like 20 p/p
                                                                  -mexican - Tulcingo del valle or Tehuitzingo in Hell's Kitchen. But you may not be up for it since you are coming from LA?
                                                                  -Otto - not as good as Batali's other restaurants, but you'll get a decent pizza
                                                                  -Nyonya - yummy Malaysian. You can stay under budget by ordering a Roti canai and NAsi Lemak - (under $10)
                                                                  -OTafuku- Japanese snacks like tako yaki and okonomiyaki
                                                                  - cafe orlin or cafe mogador - salads are definitely in 10 dollar range
                                                                  - brunch at 7A- 10 bucks with a mimosa or bloody.
                                                                  - Bereket on Houston, for late night falafel and good grape leaves
                                                                  - Indian on Indian Row -6th st. (or better yet, Minar in midtown for lunch)
                                                                  -cafe margon for lunch - cuban/dominican greasy spoon joint. Filling and delicious
                                                                  -Paradou marche - in essex food market in LES - try the duck rillette sandwich and a soup. Delicious!

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: kayonyc
                                                                    Suebee RE: kayonyc Aug 30, 2007 06:33 PM

                                                                    Thanks so much Kayonyc for this great list!

                                                                  2. t
                                                                    tpigeon RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 09:33 PM

                                                                    Patisserie Claude if he is open

                                                                    Doughnut Plant

                                                                    Russ & Daughters - (if you are not that hungry and want to do a bagel creamcheese and lox)

                                                                    B&B Sandwich shop

                                                                    1. l
                                                                      LRS RE: Suebee Aug 21, 2007 09:57 PM

                                                                      Congee Village on Allen
                                                                      Oriental Garden on elizabeth (for dim sum)

                                                                      1. g
                                                                        ghsu RE: Suebee Aug 22, 2007 10:27 AM

                                                                        Banh Mi (shareable sandwich) and some combo of the steamed pork buns, tripe, or veal head terrine at Momofuku Ssam Bar would keep you in your guidelines.

                                                                        Burgers at JG Melons are in my opinion better than all of the burger places so far metioned, including Burger Joint (thin patties, no flavor, albeit nice and greasey), Corner Bistro (nice think juicy beef tasting burger, but lacks the aged nutty flavor a Melons burger takes on), and Shake Shack (not that different in style to Burger Joint).

                                                                        GO TO CHINATOWN - Joe's Shanghai - The pork & crab soup dumplings, the Shanghainese thick long life noodles, the drunken chicken, the salt/pepper fried shrimp, any combo of these would alse be in your limitations. Popular Dim Sum spots include Dim Sum a Go-Go and Golden Unicorn.

                                                                        Dim Sum - I prefer Cafe Evergreen on 69th and 1st Ave to the two I mentioned above. Be sure to get the sharks fin dumplings, the pork and chinese chive dumplings, the su mai, the shrimp and chive, the bean curd wrapped pork or beef rolls, the bean curd wrapped steamed duck rolls, and anything else that looks good to you. A selection of 8 dim sum dishes would still be cheaper than your guidelines.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: ghsu
                                                                          LRS RE: ghsu Aug 22, 2007 10:38 AM

                                                                          agree about joe's shanghai. But congee village is not a dim sum and i definitely prefer oriental garden dim sum to golden unicorn.

                                                                        2. g
                                                                          girlcritic RE: Suebee Aug 31, 2007 02:41 PM

                                                                          Chino's for lunch.
                                                                          2 entrees for $12 special...
                                                                          get pork buns and calamari salad

                                                                          1. p
                                                                            picodegallo RE: Suebee Sep 2, 2007 12:57 PM

                                                                            try the burger with balsamic onions and hand cut fries at the kitchen @ company bar in the east village. and the pork belly buns too - more like sliders than chinese steamed buns - with peppadew relish and roasted garlic mayo.

                                                                            1. l
                                                                              Laura821 RE: Suebee Sep 3, 2007 07:39 AM

                                                                              Try Maoz Vegetarian in Union Square. Great falafel and amazing salad/toppings bar.

                                                                              1. ChefJune RE: Suebee Sep 3, 2007 08:30 AM

                                                                                Well, I sure hope you're not disappointed in Per Se. I know a lot of folks who have been -- at least as many as those who love it.

                                                                                I would never put all my eggs in one basket like that. there are SO many delicious and more affordable restaurants in New York.

                                                                                and, sorry to say, there are NOT a lot of quality places in New York where you can get a great meal for $25 or less for 2. Not even the burger joints!

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                  kcijones001 RE: ChefJune Sep 4, 2007 08:54 AM

                                                                                  MUST MUST MUST go to Cafe Habana in Soho...fantastic food...

                                                                                  1. re: kcijones001
                                                                                    DarthEater RE: kcijones001 Sep 4, 2007 07:59 PM

                                                                                    Whats so fantastic about it? Its just another less expensive scenester place.

                                                                                    1. re: DarthEater
                                                                                      kayonyc RE: DarthEater Sep 5, 2007 09:55 AM

                                                                                      I LOVE the grilled Mexican corn. I'd recommend that plus one of their interesting salads to share at the bar. With those and a mexican soda, you'll be able to get away with under $25

                                                                                2. c
                                                                                  Crepe Suzette RE: Suebee Sep 4, 2007 09:13 PM

                                                                                  Definitely second the bahn mi recs and ramen noodle recs.

                                                                                  For quick yummy snacks, try Patisserie Claude in the W Village - my husband is French and swears these are the best chocolate croissants he has ever had.

                                                                                  Also the chocolate chip cookies and pretzle croissants at City Bakery are extraordinary.

                                                                                  Finally, try the red velvet cupcake at Crumbs - these are a NY specialty.

                                                                                  Can you tell I have a sweet tooth? :)

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Crepe Suzette
                                                                                    Suebee RE: Crepe Suzette Sep 5, 2007 09:43 PM

                                                                                    Ok Crepe Suzette, the chocolate croissants at Patisserie Claude are officially on the list, thanks! We have a City Bakery here in LA so I've tried their fabulous pretzel croissants. Good, but not a NYC must.

                                                                                  2. SweetPea914 RE: Suebee Sep 6, 2007 10:42 AM

                                                                                    So far many great suggestions. Especially Chinatown/downtown area. If you find yourself at the museums, I suggest going to Pintaile's Pizza (on 91st and Madison) I used to live around the corner and it is my favorite pizza if you like thin crust. Then go to Ciao Bella for gelato on 92nd also between 5th and Madison. Have fun!

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