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Seriously cheap food (pdx)

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I've found myself at least temporarily extraordinarily broke. Yet I can't bring myself to cook for myself three times a day--how would I get anything else done? Where can a food person like me eat genuinely, less-than-five-bucks cheap for the occasional breakfast, lunch, or dinner? I've got the hum bao at the deli in Uwajimaya in Beaverton, but any other oh-so-cheap recommendations would be hugely appreciated.

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  1. What part of town are you in?

    Off the top of my head, I'd recommend you get some banh mi in your system. Heck, at An Xuyen, they've got a buy 3 get a 4th free. I'd also recommend Best Baguette.

    1. I'd also recommend Best Baguette or any of the recently reviewed bhan mi places. Also, burritos from the taco trucks. They're all over town. Some of the ones I like are at Interstate and Killingsworth, 33rd and Division, and PSU at 4th Ave by the Wells Fargo Bank. Pho is another good choice -- Pho Hung at 37th and Powell is good, and I think perhaps a little cheaper than the others -- although I'm not sure.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AlbertaHound

        India Chaat House, the cart at SW 11th/Yamhill, has a lunch special for $5, that will leave you not hungry for dinner.

      2. This past week, I got the Pizza Schmizza 1 slice deal for $4.69; good piece of fresh "Zorba Chicken" pizza (pesto chicken, fresh spinach, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese) and small drink. Also got a great deal at Javaman coffee, which is actually a Russian lunch spot. Having never had Russian food, I told the guy to hook me up with a good deal, whereupon he immediately suggested an off the menu "combo" of a nice big bowl of borscht and a single serving of golubsti (cabbage roll) for only $6.50. Both places are on SW Taylor, near the Hilton.

        1 Reply
        1. re: desertsun

          Schmizza has to be the worst pizza in town, just disgusting. I had an awful taste in my mouth for hours after trying a slice. They sure are brilliant at their marketing though.

        2. I actually kind of like Schmizza for their flavor combos, though that taste you refer to is definitely a super-garlic-under-the-heat-lamps funk that I'm not all that fond of. Bahn Mi is an absolutely excellent suggestion that I need to get on...the only place I've had a bahn mi is the asian market out on east 82nd, and it was damn good. I love the taco truck suggestions...unless it's one I know and love, I'm wary without a strong recommendation. I live downtown, but I'm willing to explore any part of town for great super-cheap food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lpfaf

            Right now my favorite banh mi is the Saigon Bacon Banh Mi at Best Baguette on Powell and 82nd. It isn't healthy in the least bit, but man it's delicious.

          2. This might be a help in the food cart dept.-

            1. http://www.urbandrinks.com/happyhour/...
              Happy hours can be a way to splurge once in awhile. They may charge you $2.50 for a soda but sometimes the $2 burger is worth it depending on where you go. Kelly's Olympian can be a little smokey but I enjoy their $3 eggs, hashbrowns and toast. Tacos from taco trucks and banh mi are probably your best bet. And I like schmizza's pizza too.

              7 Replies
              1. re: duckduck

                I've heard good things about the McCormick's happy hour food, particularly at Jake's. I think they have it during the afteroons and then late night.

                1. re: MichaelG

                  If we're talking happy hour, keep in mind that a lot of places require you to also order booze in order to take advantage of the prices.

                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                    No they don't require that you order booze. I wouldn't think that would be legal. They require that you order a beverage. There is usually a minimum dollar amount and most of them will charge you that minimum amount for a soda.

                    1. re: duckduck

                      That's true, I always see a beverage minimum and assume it's booze but you're right that it doens't have to be. But that does steer the OP away from trying to eat cheap when the soda is $3, even if the burger is $5.

                      1. re: SauceSupreme

                        Except if you check the menu of the place you're going first, the burger may be more like $3 and the soda $2 which for $5 total and add a buck for tip, can be a nice change from carts or take out and fast food kind of options. There are places you can do it on the cheap side. I've found that when things are tight, maybe going some place nice even once a month and having that happy hour burger can lift my spirits when I'm tired of not being able to just go out and eat like I want to.

                        1. re: duckduck

                          The happy hour at the Doug Fir is a good deal. You have to spend 2 dollars on a drink and you get all the food items on the bar menu for 2.50. The salmon chowder is good and the burgers look really good. A bottle of Pabst is 2 dollars.

                  2. re: MichaelG

                    The happy hour burger at McCormick and Schmick's is a great deal.. $2 for a good, rather large burger with a plate of fries. But the beers are around $4. Jake's (Crawfish) has a good deal on fish and chips, but I can't remember the price. Kenny and Zuke's has an awesome pastrami on rye for $5.50 (maybe $6) during their happy hour. It's really good.

                2. I do love some of the happy hours in town...thanks for the reminder on the DF! I always forget which happy hours turn out to be worthwhile and which end up being kind of a ripoff.

                  Kenny & Zuke's has a happy hour? Oh, that's awesome news.