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You're About to Die And You Only have $50

One day left to live - where would you eat your last two or three meals in Manhattan and what would you order if you only had (about) $50 to spend for the day?

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  1. $50 worth of sushi and a kirin draft at ushiwakamaru.

    or id walk across the brooklyn bridge and eat a red wattle pork chop and have a glass of rye at vinegar hill house.

    if i have to break it up...double shack burger, fries, and chocolate shack at shake shack...2 squares at artichoke pizza...merguez sandwich at moustache...quattro panino at 'ino...that should be under $50.

    1. Per Se and order the most expensive tasting menu and wines.

      3 Replies
        1. re: Peter Cherches

          With a few hours to live? I'm not even bringing my credit cards. Let Keller's staff figure out what to do with me. Meanwhile I can always call the valet downstairs to hold off on fetching the Ferrari that I rented earlier.

        2. re: RCC

          LOLOLOL yessssssss , Brilliant!!!!

        3. I would go to Masa and order the most expensive omakase they would do for me....hey, I have one day to live, what are they gonna do, have me arrested?

          6 Replies
          1. re: Marge

            Oh, and don't forget to order that $400 botlle of sake.

            1. re: RCC

              Popeye's Cajun Fried Chicken, biscuits, cole slaw
              then a few Baoguettes (medium spicy).

              I do not need a fancy restaurant

              1. re: pbjluver

                I wouldn't go near either, but if somebody could get me the same from Bojangles (none in NY, alas) and some banh mi from ba xuen, that's another matter.


                1. re: Peter Cherches

                  This probably doesn't help you in any way, but there's a Bojangles in Hempstead.

              2. re: RCC

                Sounds like a plan, RCC, take me to your meal at Per Se and then I'll take you to mine at Masa. Then we can die knowing we had the ultimate meals at the mall at Columbus Circle!

                1. re: Marge

                  OK Marge. We'll just have to make sure that our respective last days coincide. I'd hate to be arrested while still having more than a day to live.

            2. I will play along. (i will cheat a bit and ignore tax and be a non-tipper)

              breakfast: croissant from Patisserie Claude $2.50(?)
              breakfast: small coffee from Grumpy $2.50 (the cheapest on the menu)

              lunch: akamaru ramen from Ippudo $14.00, plain slice from Joe's $3.00 (if outer borough was permitted - i will cough up $5 for di fara's), al pastor taco on 116th st. $2.00

              alternative lunch: Il Capitan sandwhich at Alidoro $9.00, fish taco from pinche $4.00, elote from habana $3

              afternoon snack: shot of hot chocolate at City Bakery $2.00

              dinner: nigiri of oo-toro and uni at whichever sushi joint that has the best/freshest that day. $20.
              alternative option: lasagna from Apizz, spaghetti from Malatesta
              dessert: slice of cake from Lady M, $8

              I've clearly gone over the budget, and I failed to squeeze in steak, wine, beer, and couple of glasses of scotch that I would surely want on my last day among other things. I think I need about 3G to stuff myself on my last day..

              1. I'm a dessert freak, so:

                $5 at Kee's for the rose-lychee macaron and a green tea truffle.
                $12 for a coffee caramel dome at the Bar at the Modern
                $10 for the olive oil coppetta at Otto
                $5.50 for the Beaux Arts pastry at Payard (this is kinda cheating cos Payard doesn't have this flavor anymore at the new shop, he stopped making it before the old Payard closed)

                $3.5 - Sicilian slice at Artichoke
                The remainder is a toss up between some Korean fried chicken, a hot pastrami & pitcher of chocolate soda at 2nd Ave Deli, or some really good lobster or crab somewhere. The first two usually make me want to die of feeling full afterward eating anyway.

                5 Replies
                1. re: windycity

                  Thanks a ton for the ideas! I am on a tight budget with just a few days in Manhattan and really want to know what foods are special to people.

                  1. re: kottke

                    Do you have just one day to live....or are you just on a tight budget? Really big difference kottke...

                    1. re: Marge

                      For a foodie, every day could be their last day to eat and live. That's why I always start with dessert :)

                        1. re: windycity

                          Assuming that all chowhounds prefer sweet to any other taste is a horse of a different color!

                          If the point was to actually spend the fifty bucks, as opposed to "call it quits" while getting arraigned for kipping out on a bill, I might as well gulp a bottle of Badia a Coltibuono EVOO along with beefsteak tomatoes, a baguette, burrata, and a mix of salt and black pepper.

                          Or, I'd have a lunch feast in Koreatown and drain an entire bottle of sesame oil, then I'd move on to künefe and kaymak at Güllüoğlu.

                          If there was a 3rd option, I'd follow in the footsteps of the elderly woman in the supermarket scene of Tampopo...but with one slight change. I'd eat the stuff too.


                  2. I am really really (really) into the Spaghetti Aglio Olio w/Pomodoro at 'inoteca these days (garlic, olive oil, crushed tomatoes, pepper flakes, with grated parmesan). It's unbelievably satisfying but simple, and done to perfection every single time. That, along with a glass of red wine and then a few City Bakery chocolate chip cookies, is heaven on earth... and possibly even under the $50 budget!

                    1. Katz's hot pastrami on rye with a little cole slaw, russian dressing heavy on the mustard
                      Nathan's Coney Island Hot dog with sauerkraut, relish heavy on the mustard, fries and a root beer. Sorry I had to go to Brooklyn for this.
                      Junior's strawberry cheese pie, vanilla egg cream and a mile high hot fudge sundae.

                      1. LOVE this thread! Here goes:

                        Buttercup Bakeshop's PB&J cupcake: $2
                        Ali Baba's patatesli-stuffed pide: $12.95
                        The Donut Pub's glazed cake donut stick: $1.65
                        Ah Chihuahua's lunch special of 2 cheese enchiladas, rice & beans: $8.95
                        Joe's Shanghai's pork soup dumplings: $4.65
                        Q'doba's chips & cheese dip: $5.19
                        The Breslin's thrice-cooked chips: $7
                        Corner Bistro's Bistro Burger (would have preferred Luger's, but this is all I can afford at this point): $6.50


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: LeahBaila

                          LeahBaila - if it was the apocalypse, we'd probably run into each other all over the city!

                          In addition to Corner Bistro, Joe's Shanghai, and The Donut Pub, I'd stop by Charles' Pan Fried Chicken for 4 fried chickens and a Coke (despite the precious time I'd lose by traveling up there), Mitali East for Lamb Vindaloo and a Taco at Tehuitzingo. I think I'm broke now. And if I was broke at this point, I'd stick up Madeleine Patisserie for a few macarons.


                        2. chinese food delivered so i could spend the time in bed with a loved one

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: thew

                            very romantic. I'd eat a bag ofchips and hire a "loved one" for the $49

                            1. re: foodwhisperer

                              What kind of "loved one" can you get for $49 these days? You better off hiring the Chinese delivery guy

                          2. Any nudges or updates on this 3.5 years later? 24 hours to eat whatever you want in the city, you get to spend 111 bucks on food (inflation).

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: kottke

                              Don't you already have a new, similar thread? 5 meals for $300 or something?

                              1. re: kathryn

                                Just trying to round up any action I can and thought this thread might be more successful. Maybe I'll just need to scour the old posts for this kind of "Favorite meals" thread.

                            2. I would buy a bottle of Xanax and pop a few w a Bloody Mary (Extra spicy) to ease the journey into Kingdom come.

                              1. I immediately thought Katz's Pastrami sammich on rye, vanilla egg cream and Junior's strawberry cheese pie.
                                On second thought: I'd take my old Brooklyn sweetie Gina out for a lobster dinner. $50 would cover her dinner. I'd watch her eat while I have a cup of coffee.
                                After a lobster dinner Gina was mine for the night!!
                                What a way to go!!

                                1. 2 sandwiches I had at Shopsin's last week. With the 20% tip, it was exactly $50 for my husband and I.
                                  but then if I am dying today, i simply won't tip and spend that money on a slice of mille crepe at Lady M.


                                  I can get salmon sushi and roll combo from Katagiri Japanese supermarket and get a slice of mille crepe from Lady M.

                                  or buy 5 slices of mille crepe from Lady M and buy a pint or two of Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream.

                                  1. I hope it's Summer and I can eat a tomato fresh from the vine in an organic garden . . .

                                    Alternatively, Union Square Greenmarket for me.

                                    I miss Gourmet (Happy Thanksgiving . . .November 2009) but still remember Ruth Reichl's letter from the editor re: the tomato.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                      I'm still thinking seasonal and also like the shaved white truffle over some fresh pasta suggestion posted by another hound.

                                    2. I'd order an assortment of cheese and cured meats from East Village cheese, a bagel with lox from Russ and Daughters, and the spicy lamb cumin noodles from Xi'an Famous Foods.

                                      and a bloody mary (or three) somewhere, but I can't think of anywhere in Manhattan that has a bloody mary that I truly loved.

                                      1. It depends on the season. I would rather die in the fall or winter where I can enjoy some fresh white truffles somewhere. Perhaps Maialino

                                        And whichever place I pick I would park right next to the nearest fire hydrant

                                          1. I know you did not mean it literally. However, you can look up the last meal eaten by Texas death row inmates.

                                            Interestingly, most opted for comfort foods like mac n cheese, pizza, pasta, ice cream, hamburgers and hot dogs or something their mother made for them.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: shoeman

                                              well, I am sure most of those inmates have never had foie gras, truffles, uni and other exotic items in their lives.
                                              I mean, i can't imagine an inmate asking for, I'd like some pasta with shaved white alba truffle on top, make sure the uni is from Santa Barbara, some seared foie gras with balsamic reduction and some hamachi crudo.

                                              1. re: Monica

                                                Only on death row in Manhattan, Paris and Los Angeles

                                                1. re: Monica

                                                  No - But I'm sure they've had steak and lobster.

                                                  Either way your not going to enjoy any last meal. I don't think that foie gras or anything exotic would be on top of anyone's list? However, one last slice of my mother lasagna might hit the spot.

                                                  1. re: shoeman

                                                    Oh no, if i was getting my last meal, I AM getting that seard foie gras.
                                                    I'd love to have my mom's cooking too but if my mother found out that I was on a death row, she'd hang herself first so eating her food isn't going to happen.

                                                  2. re: Monica

                                                    In a weird way this thread made me reconsider our trip to Alba next year for the truffle festival. If I do go and something happens to me it will all be on your head

                                                2. I no longer live in Manhattan so this is a bit tinged with nostalgia, but...

                                                  Falafel at Mamoun's (~ $3)

                                                  Omen in Soho for:
                                                  "Salad of the House" - ~$13
                                                  + pickles $10
                                                  + shiso rice $7

                                                  Cookies from Veniero's' ($3 worth)

                                                  Lemon Italian Ices at Ferrara's (~$5)

                                                  And I believe that still leaves enough left over for a hot dog on the steps of the Met (mustard and sauerkraut)

                                                  1. I'd go somewhere with a killer wine-list, and stiff them on the check. :)

                                                    1 Reply