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Sep 24, 2007 12:52 PM


Having lunched quite happily on the $3 grilled cheese from Formaggio for the first time today, I was thinking what a bargain that crispy, cheesy sandwich was. I guess I expected it to be a mini at that price.

Got me thinking about other steals out there. Okay, hounds, what is your favorite bargain treat?

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  1. $2.50 banh mi from any of the small cadre of purveyors in Chinatown. My favorite is the spicy beef from Mei Sum.

    10 Replies
    1. re: finlero

      You beat me to it. The Vietnamese sandwich place. Cheap!!!!

      1. re: finlero

        Well, I guess I understand why people love banh mi. I had my first today for lunch, a grilled chicken, on a rare mid-week day off. I was in Allston and went to Pho Viet. Yum. It was a whopping $3, but delicious. I expected a small sandwich, not a sub roll. What a deal.

        The mayo gets all melty, the veggies add freshness and crunch, the meat adds substance, and the cilantro the perfect layer of flavor. Crunchy, warm rolls put it over the top. The only down-side was that I didn't realize you had to ask for sriracha. Next time I'll make sure I do. A great deal for $3, and I'm amazed you can get them in Chinatown for even less! Some of the overpriced places around could learn alot from the banh mi.

        1. re: bear

          You can usually order them "hot" with diced chilies, Thai bird or jalapeno at some places. Another fresh veggie as opposed to the sauce. I love sriracha but prefer the chilies on the banh mi's.

          Another great bargain is the $5 brat and beer deal at Jacob Wirth's. Bottle of Harpoon IPA and a nice grilled brat.

          1. re: joestrummer

            Mmmm., the fresh chile sounds great.

            Brat's and beer for $5, that sounds pretty good right now, too, especially since grilling season for us charwood lovers is coming to an end.

            1. re: bear

              Yeah, the chilies are the way to go.
              The brat deal is really a perfect combo for a quick bite and brew.

              Great thread, BTW.

        2. re: finlero

          Can you recommend one or two places (w/ address?) I've been working right near Chinatown for several weeks now and have not yet ventured in. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have only ever eaten there a few times, so I don't know my way around at all...

          1. re: davis_sq_pro

            Mei Sum is at the corner of Beach and Harrison. A board favorite
            I usually go to Saigon Sandwich, as it's more convenient for me. It's on Washington almost at Kneeland.

            1. re: joestrummer

              I agree, Mei Sum would be a good place to start. The women who run the place are pretty friendly, and the sandwiches are great. I like the beef and the tofu a lot; I'm less crazy about the pork.

              1. re: finlero

                Another MeiSum bargain are the shrimp or beef rolls, if they have them.&2.50 for a styrofoam clam-shell full..Much more flavorful than other chei fun(?) I've had...

          2. A couple weeks ago Alcachofa posted looking for a meatball sub. Based on this board, I went to Al's State Street for the $4 (I think) small sub (which is very, very large). For $5.25 or so you can have that with a soda and chips!

            1 Reply
            1. re: lissy

              I believe it's now $4.50 and $5.75, respectively. Still a steal.

              Tacos Lupita does it for me - Taco combo nets three soft tacos and a huge pile of rice and refried beans for ... $7 I think? Maybe $8?

            2. Carolina pulled pork sandwich at Soul Fire on Harvard in Alston (around$5, w/beer $10), hot dog at Bukowski's or Lower Depths ($1 at Lower Depths, that's a grilled dog with a toasted roll), $1 sushi at Shino Express on Newbury.

              I tried the new "Sushi" place by Harvard and Comm Ave in Alston, it also has $1 sushi -- sized like Shino, which I like, but not as good quality I'd say (funny colored uni, though it tasted good, thick-feeling nori on the gunkans, hot pink gari, funky glassware -- though they do have a beer licence and that's a plus).

              1. I would have to say Beef Patties at Pepperpot for $1.50. Empenadas ($1.25) & Papusas ($1.50) at La Papusa Guanaca. Two of my favorites.

                1. Anything at Zalek's in Wakefield. I love the Caprese sandwich for 4.95. (5.95? Nah, 4.95, I think.) Gorgeous, ripe tomatoes, mozzarella, and big, fresh basil leaves with pesto on a huge, soft, braided oblong roll.