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Greatest Deals in the Bay Area?

In general... not limited to any particular type of food. A few recent ones:

> $2.25 Banh Mi at BC Deli in Downtown Oakland (I really can't understand how they make money!)

> 5 "Natural" (Vegetarian fed, no hormone etc.,) chicken drumsticks for $1.57 at Trader Joe's (made for a great Chicken Chicharron Guiso).... Bless all the people who drive up the price of Breasts... and make drumsticks so cheap!

> The Afghan stand at the Emeryville Public Markets's $8.99... for a perfectly trimmed & tender Lamb Shank with two vegetable dishes + rice + salad.

What are your unbelievable deals?

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  1. The shrimp dumpling noodle soup (can't remember the Chinese name) at Ying Kee Restaurant in Oakland Chinatown. About $5.95 for a huge bowl with about 12 or 15 plump shrimp dumplings, fresh egg noodles, thinly slice chicken garnish and a savory broth.

    1. Pozole (weekend special) at Otaez in Alameda. A "small" bowl is quite generous, and comes with two bean taquitos, fresh-made tortillas and a basket of chips and salsa for $4.95.

      1. What with Chinese lunch specials and walkaway dim sum, taquerias and taco trucks, and banh mi, you could complie an almost endless list.

        I'd include the Chocovic Ocumare and Guaranda chocolate bars at TJ's. An 80g bar of pure Venezuelan criollo or Ecuadoran arriba chocolate for $1.99

        1. Costco hot dog and soda.

          More distinct local fare : Chef Lau's in Oakland Chinatown. Their full dish special is pretty hard to beat at $4.99 (eat in only). The stuff is fresh, cooked to order and most importantly good. For $15 bucks you can feed 4 people and the house soup is served.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ML8000

            Oh, yeah. Shanghai Restaurant in Oakland Chinatown has a 3-for-$15 (plus rice) menu that's pretty darn good.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Just what I was going to say. And their pork joint may look pricey at $9, but it is HUGE. Easily the size of two normal dishes, and tasty too.

              I'd also add the massive 95 cent pork and veggie buns at Shan Dong on 10th. Two would make an ample lunch for anyone.

              I think VH Noodle at the Pacific East Mall in Richmond also offers good value for money. Large and tasty bowls of noodle soup and rice plates in the $5-6 range. Not the lowest price possible, but excellent given the quality of the food.

              If feeding kids, Kang Nam Pho on Telegraph offers HEFTY children's portions of beef or chicken pho at $2.95.

              1. re: lexdevil

                The red-cooked pork joint is usually twice that price at other places, and although Shanghai's isn't the very best I've ever had, I'd give it a solid B. BTW, I got it to go once, and they packed it in one of those big aluminum trays. I grazed off it for several days, and like most braised dishes, it just got better and better.

            2. re: ML8000

              yes... chef lau is a pretty good deal -- lots of choices

            3. Sounds like Oaktown has the only "real deals" in the Bay Area:) Nope. Come on up to Petaluma for the all you can eat buffet lunch at Namaste (Redwood Hwy and North McDowell next to Jerome's Barbecue in the OSH strip mall). A choice of four entrees, rice, naan, fresh salad, fruit, dessert for 8.95. They also have a great chai tea and Mango lassi.

              1. 14.50 three course prix fixe at alamo square seafood. Plus, go on wednesday and there is no corkage.

                1. deals:
                  - Kabana $5 lunch special curries which include fresh naan and cucumber salad
                  (on the south side of University a few doors east of the corner of San Pablo in Berkeley) and
                  - Seoul Gom Tang (nw corner of Telegraph and MacArthur in Oakland), Sura and Koryo lunch specials with usually unlimited panchan appetizers, rice, soup except for Seoul Gom Tang, and entree for $6-$8 (on Telegraph in Oakalnd at 49th St and 44th St, respectively).

                  Had lunch today at Sura, a pollock stew for $7.99, and after eating 12 panchan, soup and rice, couldn't finish the stew and took most of it home.

                  1. Rose International Market in Mountain View. Kubideh (grilled kabob) wrapped in a giant lavash with fresh herbs and onion for $1.95. I add the grilled tomato for an extra 50 cents or so.

                    It's a Middle Eastern Market. They have a grill in the back. You order at the cash register and pick up your food at a little window in back. Everything is chargrilled. You can spot the place by the smoke rising from the back. Soooooo good.

                    Rose International Market
                    1060 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94040

                    1. Thanks for the TJs tip -picked some up already - used meat for DKs Enchiladas estilo Aguascalientes recipe!

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: kare_raisu

                        Did it work out okay? BTW... I should add that Whole Foods also often has good deals on "lesser cuts" from higher quality sources. I have purchased Chuck steaks at $2.99 / lb, Chuck roasts at $1.59 / lb and gotten free bones & scraps!

                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                          It was actually divine - it think the little bit of meat on the leg is much tastier than the thigh - though I liked that too. I poached them with lots of onion garlic peppercorns and bay - let it sit overnight - then shredded. I crisp the meat up in the pan with some diced onion.

                          I keep on asking the meat cutters at WF about suadero - they have no idea! argh!

                          1. re: kare_raisu

                            Do you ever make chicken chicharrones? If not... just remove the skin from the leg, salt... bake in a cookie sheet @ 500F until golden brown (5 minutes or so).

                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                              I need to do this next time! Especially because I usually toss them. Do you eat these straight with salt or in other applications.

                              1. re: kare_raisu

                                You can eat them straight with a little tapatio & lime juice. You can also sauce with a green caldillo... what I did was sprinkle them on my Guiso... almost like tortilla strips.

                      2. The gigantic (and yummy) steamed BBQ pork buns at Wing Lee for 60 cents a piece.

                        Wing Lee Bakery
                        503 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                        1. For a great website about deals in the SF Area, check out http://cheapbastardsf.com/
                          She has a a good book published as well as many good links from her website.

                          1. Down the Peninsula in Mountain View's small-town downtown (latest restaurant count: 94), a seafood restaurant (Cantankerous Fish) re-opened a couple months ago with more space, new large bar, and new chef with strong leaning toward "small plates" (including a whole bar menu of them). Here's the deal: The bar "small plates" ($7-9) discount to $5 each (and draft pints, several, to $3) in so-called "happy hours" so extensive that neighboring residents are increasingly choosing this bar deal for regular meals. Many small plates have been very good IMO -- like the shrimp "ceviche" or the "sliders" (three small hamburgers, differently garnished: beef, lamb, salmon "Reuben," or assorted), and substantial -- they're small meals, good to share, two plates more than enough for most appetites. Result: Classy bar-and-grill dinner with some inspiration for around $15 person or less.

                            Current hours for this deal are all afternoon and evening Sunday/Monday; 4-6PM and after 9PM Thurs-Sat; 4-6PM Tues/Weds.

                            Cantankerous Fish
                            420 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA 94041, USA