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(MSP) Money's tight. Any cheap date suggs?

i'm feeling very broke, but still love food and dining out. anyone have any great restaurant suggestions that are inexpensive?
thanks in advance.

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  1. Vietnamese food. A banh mi sandwich and lemonade at Pho Tau Bay or Jasmine Deli will run about $5 or $6. And you can't beat the atmosphere for romance (I'm serious, but that's just me).

    For fancy Vietnamese food, head to St. Paul's Ngon Restaurant - it's more like $15-$30 per person (depending on what you order and whether you drink wine), but it's fabulous. And even normal people would find the place romantic - the decor is lovely.


    1 Reply
    1. re: AnneInMpls

      We went to Quang last night for a "date." (Do married people have dates, or are they just being lazy when they go out?) We had 1 app, 2 entrees, and 2 drinks for $25.

    2. Bryant Lake Bowl has date night, dinner and bowling (including wine) which is a great deal.
      Do an early date and hit up a great happy hour. Saji-ya, Azia, Pop!!, Senor Wong's all have great deals on food and drinks....and if the date is going well you can retire early :)

      1. Broder's has a great date special, from Sunday through Thursday, after 8 pm. For $26, you get 1/2 bottle of house wine, bread, olives, 2 salads and choice of 2 pasta dishes. The pastas aren't their fanciest, but there's about 5 to choose from. Off the top of my head, I think the choices were: bolognese, mariana, puttanesca, carbonara, and al fredo. You can also upgrade the pastas with $2 sausage, $3 chicken, and $5 shrimp. We went last week and were really pleased with the quality of the food.

        Broders' Southside Pasta Bar
        5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

        1. Have you checked out this thread on the Cheap Fancypants Food challenge?


          1. What sort of budget are we talking about? For example, "I'd prefer to spend no more than ____, including tip." And are you focused on a certain geographical area?

            1. If possible check to see if your favorite restaurants have lunch menus or special. I have a flexible schedule and one of the benefits is I've been having lunch dates with my wife. Not only do you find some great deals at good restaurants and in our case we don't have to deal with baby sitters.

              An example of a "deal" at WA Frost, you can get the Pan Raosted Salmon at lunch for $16, Dinner it's $24.

              At Forepaugh's, during lunch you get the Hanger Steak for $17, Dinner $24. I also recently had their "box lunch" which includes a half sandwich (I had the club Panini, which was great), butternut squash soup, a Waldorf salad, and Carrie's cupcake for $14.

              Another option is to check out Bar Menus, they often have scaled back versions for a fraction of the price. You get a great casual meal in a nice setting.

              Let us know what you find.

              W.A. Frost & Co
              374 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102

              1. thanks everyone. this is great info! we always end up at 3 Squares for happy hour --- $2 pints and 1/2 price apps between 3-6 & 9-12. but these places sound great too. i've been meaning to go to Broders!

                1 Reply
                1. re: sarah.j.morrison

                  How about La Hacienda in the Sibley Plaza on W 7th St. in St. Paul? Great food, cheap prices (probably $10-$15 / diner on average, or maybe less), diverse menu (Mexican, American, Salvadorean, Peruvian, etc.). Get a bean and cheese pupusa there, or carne deshilada (Salvadorean shredded beef). And the sauce that comes with their courtesy nachos is to die for. It's a little bit divey on the outside, but nice on the inside.

                  La Hacienda
                  2467 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55116

                2. went to Bella Sera tonight in Maple Grove for their sunday all-day happy hour. $3 house wines and tap beers and $5 apps. had really good spinach art dip and a caprese salad with a really delicious gorganzola cheese instead of fresh mozz. but the flatbread we had was really terrible. i'm shocked they even served it. it was completely burned. goes to show how much they don't value people who are only there for the discount menu..... shame shame. usually their food is so good!