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Recession Eats!

that are not spam.

Here are mine so far:

1. 1/2 roast chicken, side of rice and beans at El Gran Castillo de Jagua - 7.75

2. Pizza at Di Faras - 4 bucks, byob

3. chicken/veal pelmeni at Cafe Glechnik - 5 bucks. (and their borscht and vareniki...also byob)

4. jerk chicken, rice and peas - from Islands. i get this delivered. its byob but service can be super slow.

5. beef patties from Chrysties - 2 bucks...my friend jamaican friend claims they aren't so authentic but they are convenient for me and yummy.

6. thai from Song -- cheap. decent. 7/8 bucks

7. sushi lunch special from Taro. 8 bucks

8. tibetan at Cafe Tibet on cortelyou - still experimenting with this place but i've enjoyed dumplings/soups. 6 bucks.


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  1. Thanks for the suggestions - I miss the mamey shake at El Gran Castillo de Jagua...

    You might want to also take a look at this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573654

    1. steam table at madina on coney island ave. (indian/pak and yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm): not sure how much but cheap.

      5 Replies
      1. re: redgirl

        finally got take out from madina last night. we ordered

        aloo palak-spinach curry cooked with potatoes (3.99)
        saada bhindi - okra cooked with tomatoes and onions (3.99)
        chicken kadai with green chilies, ginger, and tomatoes and rice and naan (99).

        i also got some dessert (gulab jaman)

        over all we were impressed. our food could have been a bit hotter in terms of temperature but it was rich and flavorful and well spiced. (spinach packed a mean punch and was a bit too spicy for my gf). either way, we will definitely go back. the man behind the counter was also really helpful.

        of course, i prefer my galab jamun fresh and swimming in the hot sweet syrup, but such is one of the drawbacks of going to counter-style place.

        also fyi
        i don't think that anything on the menu is over 8 bucks except the boneless (whole) tilapia ringing in at 11.99 and we have a lot of leftovers for today.

        1. re: oystersallday

          Where exactly on CIA can I find Madina? I've heard tell of it and I'm right by CIA on Church...

            1. re: Bob Martinez

              ooh, that's both an obvious way to answer my question (i.e. I shoulda figured that out myself) and embarrassingly close to my house... thanks!!

              1. re: brooklyndigest

                I just enter the restaurant name and borough (Queens, Brooklyn, etc.) into Google. The location will pop up, sometimes their website, and often links to posts on CH and reviews on Citysearch, Yelp, NY Magazine, etc. I don't think it's ever failed.

      2. Anything from Ghoroa on Hillside Avenue defines recession bites. I am frequently in awe of how cheap stuff I order is. Like, I've had 3 course meals there and I go up and ask how much in Bangla and I'm nearly floored when they say 4 dollars.

        Oh yeah, I've known the people there for about two years so I can't say that everyone will get such low prices.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JFores

          St Germain's in Bay Ridge at 8303 3rd Ave. is offering on a dinner for 2 you get the 2nd entree FREE on Wednesday and Thursday. Nice French food in a quiet atmosphere.

          1. re: citygrrl2000

            is st germain still offering this deal? they took the sign down.

          2. re: JFores

            Ghoroa has been closed both times I went there, which seemed to conform to posted hours. Is there a method?

          3. We moved a couple of Manhattan-related posts to the Manhattan board - they're at:

            1. Indian food in a pouch, Trader Joe's, $2.20 don't foget to hit the free samples in the back.

              El Gran Castillo de Jagua. - Mofungo.

              Dieting, free

              2 Replies
                1. re: Geo8rge

                  I'm a big fan of the $1 ones from Patel Bros. (I forget the brand) - the saag paneer is a bit weird, but the paneer in "red sauce" is quite tasty. (I usually add some homemade paneer as they're a bit stingy on the stuff)

                2. So a $4 slice of pizza is recession eats?? Huh???

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: zemilideias

                      No, it is $4 for something spectacular. Beat that!

                      1. re: NYJewboy

                        yes. i admit that 4 dollars is pricey for pizza but it's still considered cheap eating. and delicious eating at that.
                        plus you get to see "dom" take steaming pizza out of the oven with his hands (!)

                        (thanks for all these recs everyone. )

                    2. I highly recommend the daily soup specials at the cozy and warmly decorated Colombian restaurant Pollos A La Brasa Marion on Roosevelt Ave and 69th Street in Woodside. Splurge and order the large soup of the day, all are great, and costing no more than $7.95 which includes rice, salad and a meat sampling. I actually always take home half my meal! The coffee is to die for. On one recent visit I was treated to a sampling of delicious doughnut-like bunuelos, on the house. The warm and friendly service cannot be beat! The restaurant was recommended to me by my Ecuadorian born brother-in-law who finds the food authentic and reminds him of his dining experiences back home.

                      1. chicken curry roti from Gloria's on Nostrand Avenue (huge serving 7 bucks)
                        doubles from Gloria's on Nostrand Avenue (1.50)

                        1. here is my recipes for tightening pocket style :
                          - buy any kind of roll regular like tuna,sptuna, california, spsalmon at Megumi at 96-05 metro ,forest hills they have 3 rolls for $ 7.50,- amazing price !!! who can beat them?
                          - buy wonton soup,or chicken wing at Chinese food wing wah at Metro ave( 3.25 for 4 pc chicken
                          - buy pizza at woodside ave ( 1.25 /per slice big )
                          eat super cheap,healthy , tight pocket and get enough sleep..even we are at the trouble of DEBT of DEEP ....

                          1. I'm living in Greenpoint and am unemployed.

                            I noticed that Baker's Dozen bagels on Manhattan sells a dozen bagels on Wednesday for $6 - I am thinking I could slice them and freeze them to save a little bit.

                            And Papacito's has tacos for $1.50 at lunch time!

                            Has anyone else found any more deals?

                            1. Not just budget, but to hold you over until the cold blast thaws out: A bag of hot, roasted sweet potatoes for five bucks, available in the H-Mart parking lot, Union Street, Flushing. Haven't had a bag myself yet - I always go for the Taiyaki-like anko fish pastries inside - but they smell great. Reminds me of the street-food scene in Seoul.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Polecat

                                how do they season/spice the sweet potatoes?
                                i am a huge sp fan and live nearby.....

                                1. re: phunkykim

                                  Good question. And, as I always say, there's only one way to find out. Sample a bag - they're 5 bucks.

                                  1. re: Polecat

                                    are you talking about the korean sweet potato, goguma?

                                    i feel like they may be slightly different from the traditional yams/sweet potatoes. as a child, my mom would buy them in bulk from the korean supermarket. they had purple skin and the inside was a dark orange color. she would literally wrap it up in tin foil, stick it in the oven, and then we would eat it like that. i don't believe that she put in any spices/seasoning. the natural sugar would be released from the goguma during the heating, i believe.

                                    don't mark my words, as my mom could've snuck things without telling me. :)

                                    1. re: Linda

                                      I'll have to sample a bag and get back to you. I've only spied the stand, which is right by the entrance to H-Mart in the parking lot, on my way to buy groceries. Since we steam yams at home, I haven't really had reason to buy a bag, and I don't think they sell them singly. But I am curious.

                              2. I highly recommend the lunch specials for $7 includes soup or salad @ El Patron Mexican Grill in Flushing, I was there on Friday with my friends and they have fresh guacamole for $ 5.5, fajitas for $7, salmon, etc. Their Happy Hour specials are amazing!!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: mybaby

                                  very true polecat - i'll let you know when i stop by....
                                  and mybaby.... do you know if el patron's lunch specials & happy hours are every day or just mon-fri? Are their happy hour specials on both food & drink?

                                  1. re: phunkykim

                                    Phunkykim, lunch special is everyday from 11:30 to 3 and Happy hour Mon-Fri 4-7
                                    Sat-Sun 2-6 for happy hour they offer taquitos for $ 1, chicken wings for $ 25c

                                2. In Staten Island, there is a Sunday buffet at an excellent Sri Lankan place (SanRasa) that is $10, but it's all you can eat. I arrived hungry at lunchtime and didn't need dinner that day. It's about a 15 min. walk from the ferry.

                                  I wrote about the specifics toward the end of this thread:


                                  1. There are two Chinese Cafes on Ave U in Booklyn.
                                    One on North side of U between E 17 - one on South side U between
                                    Ocean Ave. and E 19.
                                    They both offer a lunch which includes either chicken, beef ribs, pork ribs,
                                    salted fish, or ground beef. All are served over rice with a large helping of cooked
                                    cabbage and a fried egg.


                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: mike in brooklyn

                                      Wow, $2.75! I usually pay 3.50 at a place on 8th and 64th, not to much veg and definately no egg. I'm going to schlep my daughter with me this weekend and check that out.

                                      1. re: BonnieB.

                                        There a few of these type lunches available on 8th Ave - one I remember
                                        on 8th bet. 57 & 58 . These are the ones that let you choose about 3 or 4
                                        different cooked foods that they put over rice. They usually offer some kind
                                        of fish, meat stew, vegetables. They are actually better than the ones
                                        on Ave. U.
                                        For real recession eats

                                        Forget the restaurants and start COOKING - beans, lentils, tofu lots of vegetables !

                                        1. re: mike in brooklyn

                                          Has anyone tried the relatively new $4.75 rice-and-four place on 9th St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope?

                                          1. re: Pulpio

                                            what is rice-and-four? i am unfamiliar.

                                            1. re: oystersallday

                                              You get your choice of four dishes – meat, fish, tofu, vegetables, etc. – over rice. Or noodles. Plus soup.

                                              1. re: Pulpio

                                                ahh thanks. understood. i will stay clear of the spot you mention.

                                    2. Two more suggestions:

                                      1. Anything at Tacos Matamoros in Sunset Park. BYOB.
                                      2. Share fajitas, a side of guacamole and a pitcher of margaritas at Elora's in Windsor Terrace.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Kitchop

                                        Second Matamoros, get the small tacos....
                                        But closer to my hood, Fast and Fresh Burrito Grill on Hoyt at Atlantic.
                                        Three good, not great soft tacos, whichever type they have that day, $6.
                                        But the real deal is the $2 Bohemia cervezas. 3 tacos, 2 beers, $10-no tax.

                                        1. re: The Vapors

                                          just wanted to thank everyone for these great suggestions. i fell off chowhound for awhile, but i'm back.