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Mar 14, 2010 03:34 PM

Meals for less than $5 in Gaithersburg/Germantown/Rockville area

I just moved to this area and was wondering if there was any restaurants that had meals for less than $5 (no fast food chains) worth mentioning?

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  1. I think the roach coaches at the MVA in Gaithersburg might have something. The hot dog stand outside of Home Depot might work too. Even a small pho at Pho Nam or Pho 75 is $5.65.

    $5 is unreasonably low for a meal in 2010.

    3 Replies
    1. re: reiflame

      I just drove past the MVA. There is construction going on at the MARC station and so there are at least three taqueria roach coaches sitting across from the MVA.

      I wonder if this food is safe / good?

      The US Census results have been published and results for the Gaithersburg / Germantown area show a 149-percent jump in the Hispanic population, 119 percent more Asian/Pacific Islanders and 60 percent more blacks. The population is now 25% hispanic. Seems like the only restaurants in the area that are prospering are the Popuserias.

      1. re: GraydonCarter

        Those taco stands at the Gaithersburg MVA have been there for many years.

        There's a thread around here somewhere - 1 of them is definitely worth going to. But you're also 5 minutes from Taco Bar at the Washingtonian Chevron, which is also worth going to.

        1. re: DanielK

          Having worked in construction for 10 plus years I can say each roach coach is different some are just okay and some are actually good. Think of it this way if they serve terrible food people would stop purchasing it and bring their own lunch.

    2. Right now California Tortilla (a local chain) is having a $5 promotion. There are locations in Rockville, Gaithersburg and Germantown.

      4 Replies
      1. re: small fry

        The OP requested no fast food. Under $5 without fast food is going to be very difficult to find at most places in the area, though, unless a single a la carte item could qualify as a meal.

        1. re: sweth

          Under $5 WITH fast food isn't easy any more.

          1. re: DanielK

            You can't eat anywhere for less than $5.00, not even fast food. You can pack a lunch for that much though.

      2. Ok, I was wrong; I thought of two places you can do it:

        1) Taco Bar at the Washingtonian gas station. $2.35 per taco, and they're really, really good. 2 is pretty filling.

        2) Ba Le in Rockville for Ba Mi - I think they're around $3.00 a sandwhich and one can make a light lunch.

        2 Replies
        1. re: reiflame

          At Taco Bar, I think 3 tacos is a meal, but you need a drink with your 2 tacos - so still over $5.

          And I'd argue that 2 sandwiches at Ba Le is a proper meal, unless you're really not that hungry, or weigh well less than 100 lbs. Even my 10-year-old pixie-sized daughter, who eats like a bird, is still hungry after one bahn mi there.

          This is fun! :-)

          1. re: DanielK

            You could do take out from Taco Bar and drink tap water at home! Two tacos there this morning was a meal for me (and I'm a pretty big eater).

        2. I see that Red Hot and Blue in the Grove Shopping Center on Shady Grove Road in Gaithersburg has a sign outside, advertising $5.00 hamburgers on certain days of the week.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kolomya

            But with tax that's more than $5 - and if you eat in you have to tip, so add a few more.

          2. $5 is pretty difficult, but for lunch sometimes I'll get the banh mi sandwich (I'm partial to the grilled pork) at Saigon Deli, next to the Lotte supermarket in Germantown which is $3.75. I'm just curious, though, where you moved from that you could get meals for under $5. :)

            Pho House
            13073 Wisteria Dr, Germantown, MD 20874

            4 Replies
            1. re: sharonlouk

              Not a traditional restaurant but I use it as one. I go to the Whole Foods - Kentlands salad bar a lot and get an amazing salad with really unusual toppings for under $5. Then I eat it at the nice tables they have - no tip, water from the fountain. :o)

              1. re: stever500

                ^^Really? Every time I get WF salad bar or pasta bar it ends up being like 9 dollars, and I scold myself for not just getting something nice out. Most expensive food bars EVER!

                1. re: beauxgoris

                  Yes, anything with size is easily crossing $5. I always add my dressing later, which probably saves the cost of a whole bottle each time anyway...

                  They tend to wet everything down, which does help freshness but adds mightily to the weight.

                  1. re: beauxgoris

                    Completely agree! You cannot eat for $5.00 at a WF prepared food/salad bar. I think the container alone is $5! I think the OP must have come from somewhere very far away to think they could get a meal for under $5 in this area.