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Sep 2, 2008 11:31 PM

Generous serving or buffet daily dining values?


I do not cook and dine out every day. However, I am not rich so I have to dine out at budget, value or buffet restaurants. I generally eat out once daily and gorge myself. Then, I'll eat snacks at home or at work the rest of the day.

Anyways, here are the deals that I've tried and can recomend;
Subways $5 foot long subs.
Outback Steakhouse $10 steak meal with 2 sides and bread.

Here are deals that I have sniffed out but have yet to try. Are these any good?
Applebee's unlimited chicken, shrimp, or ribs $10 to $13?
Red Lobster unlimited shrimp $16?
Best Buffet $15? Is this the price for dinner or lunch?

I like the following but these are too expensive for daily dining;
Tokyo One $16
Osaka $16 ?

Any other recommendations?


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  1. You can do a lot better than Subway or Applebee's.

    Banh Mi at La me is only $2.50 I think. Tacos at Fuel City are really cheap. First Chinese BBQ is pretty cheap & the food is good.

    12 Replies
    1. re: luniz

      Bahn Mi at Taipei Saigon Market are a steal at $1.50....La Me is still my favorite! Also Bahn Mi Ba Hue in Carrollton on the southeast corner of Josey and Belt Line you can get 6 bahn mi for $ five and get one free. It would be tough to finish that many but I suppose there could be a competitive eater out there who could.


      Filling Indian Vegetarian cuisine can be had at Taj Chaat House both in Richardson and Irving. I went on Monday and had a great meal for three for $18.47 with free water. We had Tawa Paneer with Naan (Naan needs help) $6, Vegetable Biryani $4, and the Mooli Paratha like a stuffed tortillas with bean sprouts and radish. We liked the Tawa Paneer the best but all were very good and very well balanced on the flavors. I think you have to have a $10 purchase for a credit card. The dosas are my favorite as they are freshly poured/grilled and enough for 2 people $6 with variety of fillings. You don't need to worry you will rpoabably be the only non-Indian in the place, but there is help from those owner/manager. Everyone is gracious, very friendly and the food very good. There is also some great free soup, 3 or 4 chutneys, several pickles, and fried green Thai chilies (they come out sweet and not quite as fiery).

      El Pollo Regio in Irving (there are multiple locations) is probably the nicest and least busy. It occupies a former Weiner schnitzel location on Belt Line and Pioneer. Whole pollo asado meal with all the fixins (dozen or more corn tortillas, limes, grilled half onions, charro beans, and rice) will set you back about $14 with tax included. You will probably have left overs also.

      West Dallas

      Tipicos (Bachman Lake - NW Hwy and Webb Chapel Ext) you can get out of there for less than $10 for most dishes. They have great cheese enchiladas and great chips and salsa (warm and cold). Refried beans are probably the best in the city as they put bacon grease on top and in them!

      If you are closer to say Webb Chapel and Lombardy further down Lombardy at Brockbank is Taqueria El Paisano....very good tacos (only two meats (Fajita and pastor) and two tortillas (corn and flour))...area can get rough at night but for $1.47 for the most "expensive" taco (flour) it is worth it!

      Also in the same area is Fiesta and Carnival at Webb Chapel and Lombardy. Both are going to have a vendor selling Elotes en Vaso (Corn in a Cup). You can get several hundred variations but choose from butter, mayonesa, sour cream (actually crema), lime juice, and chili powder/seasoned salt. That in itself is a meal...they run about $2 - $3 depending on the vendor.

      Two Guys From Italy on Webb Chapel and Forest is well worth the trip just for a bowl of Minestrone soup that is freshly prepared daily (and is not a canned version). A bowl will set you back $4 with free bread and water this is a cheap meal!

      Taqueria Christina on Webb Chapel and Royal (next to the Minyard) is also a great choice for cheap tacos and daily specials.

      In East Dallas

      Fancy a dozen tamales? The ones from La Popular Tamale House run about $9 - $12 a dozen and always please (even vegetarian ones too). If you can finish a dozen you are better than I am! Columbia at Munger. Their website is down before you make the trip (could be closed?

      Jimmy's on Bryan & Fitzhugh is great for a sandwich...try out the Cuban and Italian Stallion. Say hello to Jeff while you are there....been behind the counter for over 20 years! Relax spend a while and look around the store....get some cheese and the Hot Coppa! Also make sure you snag some of Mama's Meatballs and the Italian Sausage all made in house...great deals on wine too. When you are done there go chat a bit with Tom Spicer at Spiceman 1410 which is about 3 doors down on Fitzhugh...ask at Jimmy's and they will point you!

      Gaston and Fitzhugh has some of the city's best fried chicken at Brothers Chicken. The Kazanas brothers have been cooking up great fried bird since the mid 90's. If you go in you can see some of their family history and with a longtime visitor of Waco I think they copied/mimicked the recipe for the now defunct Leslie's Fried Chicken Shack from Waco. Huge pieces at a steal I think two breasts run about $6?

      This will get you started and I will compile a second list of suburbs, N. Dallas and Oak Cliff recs.

      1. re: LewisvilleHounder

        Thank you very much LewisvilleHounder & Luniz. I forgot all about First Chinese Barbecue. I haven't eaten very much Asian food lately, but I used to live on First Chinese Barbecue! Generally, I'll gorge myself on one restaurant meal a day. Then, for the rest of the day, I'll survive off of snacks at home or work. I'll eat at 5 budget restaurants a week and indulge in two upscale places every week.

        O.K. here is my rotation for next week;

        Monday: Lunch
        First Chinese Barbecue
        3304 Coit Rd # 200, Plano - (972) 758-2988
        Most dishes under $10, authentic Chinese

        Tuesday: Lunch
        Outback Steakhouse
        15180 Addison Rd
        Addison, TX 75001
        (972) 392-0972
        $9.99 sirloin steak with 2 sides and bread meal deal

        Wednesday: Lunch
        $5 for a foot long sub

        Thursday: Lunch
        Bahn Mi Ba Hue
        Carrollton on the SE corner of Josey and Belt Line

        Friday: Lunch
        Pho 2008
        Carrolton on NE corner of Josey & Belt Line
        Pho, less than $8

        Saturday: Dinner
        Mercury Grill
        W side of Preston just S of 635
        Meals over $50

        Sunday: Brunch
        At Ritz-Carlton hotel, 2121 McKinney in Downtown Dallas
        $42 for brunch (app, main, & dessert)

        Any other suggestions?
        Thanks, Guys :-)

        1. re: lillymao

          What part of town are you in? It seems like you do a bunch of driving just to save.

          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

            It takes me $3.50 in gas to go to the Viet places in Carrolton, $1.75 to go to 1st Chinese BBQ in Plano, 80 cents to go to Outback Steakhouse in Addison, $0 to go to Subway, $4 for Mercury Grill, and $7 to go to Fearing's. Calculated at $3.50 per gallon and 16mpg city/20mpg hwy. You're right, I spend too much gas money to "save" money. When gas hit $4 per gallon, I ate only at Subways (across the street from my home). I am saving money to buy an electric car with a set of solar panels to recharge it:
            Estimated total cost = $36,000.00
            I tried riding my bike to carrolton and it took me almost a whole hour. When gas hit $4 per gallon, I was riding my bike everywhere and I didn't go to any 5 star restaurants for 4 painful weeks.

            1. re: lillymao

              The reason I asked was so I can give you more "neighborhood" places than say in Frisco or White Settlement. Again what area are you in? It seems like you are in the N. Dallas/Addison area?

              1. re: LewisvilleHounder


                I live right next to the 190 George Bush & Tollway junction (N Addison, E Carrolton, W Plano) area.

                Thanks again LewisvilleHounder. If you need the 411 on something from me, just let me know.

          2. re: lillymao

            Frankly my dinner at The Mercury Grill was a disappointment...Better places IMO to spend over $50....

          3. re: LewisvilleHounder

            Thanks again LewisvilleHounder. I've never had a Bahn Mi before. I thought it's a Viet noodle dish, but it's actually a sandwich. However, it is much better than a Subway. The meat is in large grilled chunks on a Bahn Mi while Subway has the slices of meat. The veggie fillings are also Viet; cilantro, carrots, and crunchy/sweet Viet pickles. The bread is a foot long french bread. It also has a sweet/soy sauce on the meat. The best part is the price. It only costs $1.17 (buy 2 at 1.75 and get 1 free). I got the Bahn Mi at La Me , 9780 Walnut St, Ste 140, Richardson, TX 75243. If I didn't live so darn far from there, I'd dine there everyday!

            1. re: lillymao

              they also make the best bun bo hue in town, if you're up for eating congealed blood and pig's knuckles :D

              1. re: luniz

                That would be a Vietnamese noodle soup that is spicier than its relative Pho, has thicker rice noodles and hails from the city of Hue which is in the central mountainous region of Vietnam. Like luniz stated it usually comes with most of all the meats common to Pho with pig knuckles and cogealed blood cake also. It is usually what I prefer b/c I can't ever get any pho spicy enough with the addition of the fresh jalapenos and siracha.

                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  especially not when they give ya three measly slices of jalapeno like they do at nam hua. and who wants to turn their soup into sriracha anyway? not me.

                  1. re: luniz

                    You know you can ask for more jalapeno....that is if you get the right person at Nam Hua. Ask for the owners daughter she is very helpful!

        2. I'd rather cook the most simple dinner possible myself than eat at Outback or Applebees. Cheaper, too.

          As far as saving money, is helpful.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sass

            I would agree 100% it just to simple to cook. I can see going out for lunch but just does not make sense to have bad food just to gorge yourself. There are many very simple good dishes that can be made at home with a minimum amount of effort.

          2. there is flavors indian restuarant off of beltline in addison if you like indian food. I went there for lunch on Sunday and it is buffet style. I think it was $13.00. They also have dinner buffet and plates but i'm sure thats more pricey.

            then there is kalachandji's in dallas. thats cheaper but its vegetarian, so if you need meat it may not be good for you. Its a good place to go to for a good dining experience though, its in a palace and all of the food is made by monks there i believe. its pretty peaceful and serene. great place to digest food!

            Flavors Indian Restaurant
            4101 Belt Line Rd, Addison, TX 75001

            Kalachandji's Palace & Restaurant
            5430 Gurley Ave, Dallas, TX 75223

            1. I'm like you, I eat out almost every day.

              Celebration is very reasonable. A home cooked meal in pleasant surroundings including AYCE salad, main, veggies and breads.


              I like both Chipotle and Qdoba for fast and good burritos.

              I don't know if you're near a Cowboy Chicken but it is excellent. Much better than Boston Market or El Pollo Regio.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Scagnetti

                Actually, you do live near a Cowboy Chicken. It's on Park just west of the Tollway. Also Mooyah Burger. And Firehouse Subs, Jimmy Johns Subs, Lennys Subs and Red Brick Pizza, all just on that narrow strip of street.

                Picassos is even closer to you. Dependable eats, especially the pizza.

                Plus, the sweet ladies at Dallas Eats recommend Oliver's Eatery, mere blocks from you.

                Best of all, two bloggers live in your area and blog about it all the time!

                Donna Chen lives mere blocks from you as well. Check out

                My own blog which also covers the area.

                Happy Eating!!!