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early saturday night cheap eats

Hanging with a couple friends I rarely see for an early dinner on Saturday. We're looking for a fun, comfy place to have a great, cheap meal. Thai, Mexican, Italian. One is a vegetarian. EV, WV, LES is preferable. Entrees in the $15ish range. Thanks for your thoughts!

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    1. Hecho en dumbo has a daily happy hour with some special discounted dishes from 5-7, there's a good selection of entrees around $15 and veg options
      http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

      Somtum der for thai- shouldn't be too crowded if you're there early, and plenty of creative vegetarian choices
      http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

      1. Katz's! The sammiches are big enough for two to share.
        The vegetarian can get the chopped liver sammich. I don't think that's meat!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Motosport

          The veggie can get the split pea soup (surprisingly good!) and latkes....

        2. Cafe Gitane, Rubirosa, Bianca, Cafe Habana, Mile End, Westville, Ssam Bar, Cafe Mogador, Motorino, Caracas Arepa Bar

          Not all of these are comfortable, or easy to get into at prime time, but if you're going early, you should be fine. The food is good and cheap.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Barcelonian

            what's your favorite out of this list? rather which one do you think is the best for a group dining?

            my god, Bianca has the prettiest website I've ever seen!

            1. re: Monica

              Depends on the size of your group - you just said it would be a couple of friends.

              For 4 or less, all are ok. For 5 or more, Rubirosa would be your best bet. The others have larger tables but maybe 1 or 2 (max) so if you aren't there early enough, you'll be waiting for the first large party to finish their meal. I love them all for different reasons - it's really hard to pick one.

              Let me also add ippudo - ramen is $15-17 but it's worth every penny (IMHO). If you are there early (!), you should be fine. If you go at prime time, you'll wait 1-2 hours.

              @ttrockwood - the only budget stipulation was entrees around $15 - that's pretty accurate for Ssam bar, no?

              1. re: Barcelonian

                No, you're right- i guess i've never left with a cheap eats bill myself..... The veg options there are really sparse for the OP

            2. re: Barcelonian

              It would be hard for the OP to eat within budget at ssam bar....

            3. Black Tree on Orchard http://blacktreenyc.com/

              Pala on Allen Street http://www.palapizza.com/

              Tiengarden on Allen is vegan and vegetarian. http://tiengarden.com/

              1. Katz's chopped liver is CHICKEN liver...not vegetarian!

                Who goes to Katz's for a tuna or cheese SANDWICH
                [not a sammich]

                2 Replies
                1. re: pbjluver

                  I dunno, i would be pretty happy at Katz with a "ghetto chili fries" -- or an order of baked beans topped over steak fries, with some chopped onions and tomatoes on the side as garnish.

                  Finish the meal with a slice of cheesecake, and I'd be very very happy. Vegetarian, or otherwise.

                  1. re: pbjluver

                    pbjluver: I was joking about the chopped liver. The thought of a vegetarian going to Katz's is comical.
                    French fries and a knish????
                    And it is sammich if you are a certain age and have seen the old Levy's Jewish rye TV commercials.
                    "They make a nice sammich, a nice sammich!"

                  2. Too late for the OP but I would have gone to Saigon Market/Grill. Its Vietnamese but lots of veggie options and its on University and about East 10th. Love that place.

                    1. Where did you end up? And how was it?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Elisa515

                        We wound up at Quartino on Bleecker, and it was ok. The food was under salted to the point of bland, especially the pizza. Too bad, it's a cute little spot.