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Feb 13, 2010 01:23 PM

Truly great cheap eats in Providence RI

Providence, show me whatchoo got! Not okay eats, but great eats. And NOT on Thayer Street. Thanks!

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  1. Wish I could help. But cheap eats Mean Cheap ingredients. Simple as that.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Frank Terranova

      We've had this discussion before. There are other factors involved in the price of a meal other than the ingredients. Some places opt for more expensive:

      Sound system
      Interior decorator/decor
      Wine program
      Employee benefits
      Chef/Sous/Pastry positions
      Employee pay rate

      1. re: Frank Terranova

        to actually address the subject, and not just add snark, my favorite cheap eat is $1 taco tuesday at El Rancho Grande in Providence

        Frank - cheap ingredients arent necessarily bad. Many ethnic restaurants take inexpensive cuts of meat and with lots of love make them delicious. In fact that is how American BBQ started; slaves taking the cuts of eat nobody else would eat and making them great. Try keeping an open mind

        1. re: joe777cool

          Interesting dialog on this subject. As far as the love thing. all the chef's I know all cook from the heart so there is the love thing. It all surrounds itself with food prices and that dirty word Labor. At 35-38% cost it doesnt leave much room for profits Thats the point I should have mentioned first.

          1. re: Frank Terranova

            when I said "love" I meant long cooking periods, heavy seasonings, sauces, different cooking preparations. Any neewbie with a spatula and a grill can cook a $12 filet mignon. Its those people that can turn a $3 hunk of gristle and tendon into something delicious that are worth their salt in my book anyways.

            On a side note, the Pilgrims fed lobsters to their livestock because they thought it wasnt fit for human consumption. Before the 1980's, fisherman couldnt sell a Patagonian toothfish if they may know it by its new name, Chilean Sea Bass, one of the most sought after and expensive fish in the world.

            "Quality" is in the eye of the beholder sometimes.

        2. re: Frank Terranova

          I completely disagree with the above statement.

          Some of the most remarkable meals of my life have been at humble ethnic restaurants that did not charge a ton for their food.

          No foie gras, or caviar for sure, but shore of that excellent ingredients, really fresh, well made, etc. I recently posted a thread on the Boston board where over 100 restaurants that meet that criteria are included.

          1. re: StriperGuy

            Hear, hear. And sniffing such remarkable meals out is the meaning of "Chowhound."

        3. Use the "Search this board" function, giving results like this:

          Cheap Eats, Rhode Island

          Obscenely Cheap in RI?

          Rhode Island Cheap Eats

          1 Reply
          1. re: Gin n Tonic

            and this one....scrumptious under $10 in/around Providence:

          2. We love the Walt's Roast Beef chain in the Providence area - you get sandwiches of juicy roast beef on a buttered grilled roll made to order and lovely fries - crunchy outside, soft inside. About $6.

            2 Replies
            1. re: shoes

              I love Walts too, but I think its a bit pricey for what it is (fast food). My meals generally run $10 (a walts combo and an extra sandwich).

              I also have to say that the sandwiches arent the same since the bbq sauce changed. Kraft changed their "original recipe" to a "new original recipe" that chages completely different, and not in a good way IMHO.

              1. re: shoes

                We like Walt's, but find the Beef Barn in N. Smithfield near Woonsocket ( 1 Greenvile rd) to be the best in the area for a low priced, but quality roast beef sandwich. The small side salad with their French dressing is a nice compliment.

              2. I will take cheap to mean you can get a main under $10.00. Using that criteria and staying within the city limits:

                Red Fez
                Not Just Snacks
                Cactuz on Smith St. for slightly-Americanized burritos and tacos
                Pho Horns for Vietnamese
                La Petite Mange on Weybosset. Hit or miss, but when it hits very solid.
                Hewtins sausage/hot dog truck.
                Don Gallo's on Chalkstone for Mexican.

                For a great grinder - Anthony's Deli on Admiral or Sandwich Hut on North Main.

                1. Luxe Burger Bar. Excellent burger that you design yourself with a side of fries for $6.99. Throw in a drink and you're looking at $10. Or split a plate of chili nachos with a pal for the same price.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dagwood

                    Beef Barn is awesome

                    Crazy Burger has eclectic menu items that are reasobably priced

                    Of course, all the Coney Island and NY systems weiner joints in the state

                    Stanleys Burgers in CF and Providence