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Friday, August 15, 2008

Eating for Cheap

posted by on August 15 at 12:05 PM


From this week’s Chow section:

Fact number one: Times is tight. Fact number two: Tight times need not restrict your dining life to tap water and Top Ramen. The proof you hold in your hands—Cheap Eats, a less-than-attractive phrase that sums up a most attractive concept: availing yourself of the life-affirming pleasures of dining out without succumbing to a soul-crushing state of poverty.

Specific delights: Bethany Jean Clement on lower-price offerings at Seattle’s upscale eateries, Lindy West’s tour of duty on the battlegrounds of fast-food dollar menus, Angela Garbes on the International District’s over-the-counter cuisine, Ari Spool’s experiment in keeping herself well-fed on $20 a day, Marti Jonjak’s night-by-night guide to the week’s best happy-hour food deals, and Steven Blum on the cheapest food of all: free food.

And here’s tidbit that got cut for space from Angela’s I.D. food-counter tour, but is definitely worth sharing:

For $2.50, you can buy yourself one of the most wonderful cheap-eats experiences in Seattle: eating elote, roasted sweet corn coated in butter, salty cheese, and chili powder while standing in the parking lot of MacPherson’s Food and Produce (4500 15th Ave S, 762-0115). Besides being able to re-create summer any time you choose (the elote stand is open year-round), you can also take advantage of the unbelievably low prices of produce at this sprawling Beacon Hill market. (On a recent trip, fresh parsley was selling for 79 cents a bunch, organic cherries were $2.99 a pound, and Brussels sprouts an incomprehensible 10 cents (WTF?) a pound.)

Got a thrifty-dining secret to share and/or dispel? Weigh in at The Stranger’s reader-review-powered restaurant guide.

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Free Food and Best Happy Hour Food deals?


Posted by Will in Seattle | August 15, 2008 12:26 PM

Two other places to find that delicious corn on a stick, slathered in goodness: Tony's produce stand on 35th/Barton in West Seattle, and at a small stand just up the street from Loretta's on 14th Ave S. in South Park. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Posted by Explorer | August 15, 2008 12:31 PM

No, stay away from the wonderful MacPherson’s! It is already getting too crowded.

Posted by RJ | August 15, 2008 12:40 PM

$20/day? That's $600 a month! That's not cheap, that's hella expensive. If she had $10 you'd have had a story.

Posted by NaFun | August 15, 2008 1:08 PM

what about just going to the grocery store or farmers market and cooking for yourself with healthy, fresh, and local ingredients that you bargain hunted.

eating out in the midst of a recession / depression is NOT frugal, even if you can do it "cheaply" it is still not a better deal then empowering yourself and your friends/family to cook at home.

Posted by Zach | August 15, 2008 1:15 PM

@5 - shhh - that's my secret ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 15, 2008 1:42 PM

$20? Holy fuck.

I soak my own beans cuz they're cheaper than canned, dammit. Last night as I was kneading bread dough I was thinking about how I had used over $5 worth of ingredients on two loaves (which will be breakfast for almost two weeks) and how that was kinda spendy. If it costs more than $1.20 per pound, I rarely eat it.

$20! Gawd, I'm salivating just thinking about it. I could eat tofu every day! I'd feel like a queen! :D

Posted by violet_dagrinder | August 15, 2008 2:41 PM

Great tip on MacPherson's, though. I live on Beacon Hill, and I never noticed that place before. Dying to check out. Those are some crazy cheap cherries

Posted by violet_dagrinder | August 15, 2008 2:48 PM

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