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High/Low Dining - does anyone else do this?

I went to El Quinto Pino last night for one of my favorite snacks, the uni panini. Which is also one of my favorite phrases: three languages including an incorrect plural - whee! Anyway, it was awesome, as usual, but that modestly-sized sandwich ($15), along with half an order of abrigo cheese ($4.50) and a clara ($5) left me still hungry. Unwilling to part with much more of my hard-earned cash (and headed for the theater district anyway), I stopped off at 2 Bros. Pizza for a styrofoam clamshell full of spicy vegetable rice ($1). Problem solved. I think I have a new dining out strategy, maybe.

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  1. a month ago, i had a hotdog from a street vendor after a dinner at JG. is that what you're referring to by high/low dining?

    1 Reply
    1. re: tkm616

      Yes - rounding out an expensive meal with an inexpensive one.

    2. This reminds me of a bf birthday dinner a couple of years ago when after Uncle Nick's he begged (!) for a street hotdog -- needless to say that on that occasion is was less than satisfying ending to what I hope would have been a nice dinner.

      2 Replies
      1. re: olia

        I wouldn't consider Unlce Nick's "High" by any means.

        1. re: chow_gal

          didn't mean to imply that it is high, just that we hoped for a full meal there but had to supplement with a definite low (hot dog)

      2. Had dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Stopped for McDonalds on the way home as we were both still hungry. Not a good feeling after spending all that money.

        1 Reply
        1. re: princeofpork

          So funny...had a VERY long lunch at Blue Hill Stone Barns and we wanted to stop on the way home for a big ice cream.

        2. Reminds me of my dinner @ EMP, followed by a pizza delivery binge. :)


          4 Replies
          1. re: LeahBaila

            How many courses did you have at EMP? Im just curious because Im considering doing the 5 or 11 course menu, and I don't want to leave hungry! :)

            1. re: eviemichael

              Unless you're the type of person who can polish off a porterhouse by him or herself, I don't think you will be hungry after a 5 or 11 course dinner at EMP. They give you tons of stuff before your first course even comes (amuse-bouche, gougeres) and quite a bit of sweet treats after the last course.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                Well, then I guess I'm a big eater. Rarely do I go to a restaurant like EMP, so I'm not used to "tasting" portion sizes. I did the 5-course menu, BTW.


                1. re: LeahBaila

                  Pretty impressive! I do think all the courses and extras do add up after a while, especially considering I have a sweet tooth and have to try every single mignardise they offer (and their selection is huge). : )

          2. An acquaintance took someone to Per Se for their bday for lunch. At around 5 or 6pm, he and I then went to Una Pizza. This should qualify though I am not sure in which order because the triple digits we spent at Una(no wine) might have been a worse value than the 4 figs he spent on lunch. Oh, and I really dug Una. Was the only place in Manhattan I ate pizza until that time. Price was just too much for bloody pizza. Boycotted from that point forward though all moot now.
            Why does anyone eat street dogs? It is not low eating, it just should not happen.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dietndesire

              because street dogs are delicious. the dirty water, which has that hudson river-esque flavor, gives it that extra new york city character that you just can't get from oscar meyer weiners

              1. re: tkm616

                Yep. Last time I had one was after lunch at Roberto Passon - the carbonara I ordered had cream in it, and I simply couldn't eat it (not because I'm a snob about carbonara with cream, but because I can't abide the aroma of warm cream).

            2. A couple of years ago, at Le Bernardin, the food was sublime, but the portions, miniscule.

              We had pizza afterwards.

              4 Replies
              1. re: fm1963

                We did the same thing after one meal at le bernardin- ended up at grays papaya to satisfy our hunger.

                1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                  It's not fine dining unless you leave hungry.

                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                      That must be how the rich stay thin.

                2. I think I only did that once after a meal at Aureole. There were kids dining there and they received some french fries. Somehow that really affected me and I couldn't get it out of my head. I knew I wasn't going to be satisfied until I had some fries that night. So I stopped by at McDonalds on my way home.

                  1. i live in the Lower East Side and here is my list of "low" places that i often hit to push myself over after "high" dining. i think it is worthy of mention that one of many reasons i recommend these places is because they stay open late.
                    number 1 is by far the sophia slice at rosario on orchard & stanton. rosairo is always open until at least 2am and the garlicky sophia is always a delicious treat- $3 other places would include the lentil soup from bereket (the ONLY edible dish there) which is also $3. Crif dog is a good spot to hit late night. one of my favorite low priced top-offs though is a simple fresh bialy from kossar's.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: El Tigre

                      I'm on the LES myself, and appreciate the Rosario's recommendation. I find myself at Rocket Joe's now and again - it wouldn't kill me to branch out a little.

                      1. re: small h

                        another LES staple for these kinds of top-offs is punjabi 1st and 1st

                    2. I did this recently after a dinner with Outstanding in the Field (my dinner was at a community garden on the LES). They had run out of food (some people took too much, or bad distribution of dishes down the table or something) and 5 of us at the table didn't get any of the main course. We (BF and I) went home and made a PB&J (no time to stop for a slice or dog as we were rushing to make a train at GC). Not what we wanted after spending $400 on dinner!

                      I sent Outstanding in the Field a nicely worded letter about it (this is 2 months ago now) and never heard back.

                      1. Japanese food always has that effect on me. Within a few minutes of finishing, I'm always trying to figure out where I'm going to stop on my way home.

                        1. I like doing this with dessert. It is not always completely a high-low, but nonetheless the desserts I pick are generally significantly less pricy than otherwise would have been. My favorite was the dessert truck when it was going full force (high concept but not in price!) but I also like to go for gelato in West Village or a crepe.

                          1. Can I get the panini from El Quinto Pino as takeout?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Negaduck

                              I don't see why not. It's served in a little wax paper sleeve - you could easily just pick it up and run with it.