The Cheap List (and that’s not a good thing!)

13 12 2006

In my travels I have taken some chances and come across a few really bad places with cheap food. Below, in no particular order, are cheap and bad restaurants that, in my humble opinion, are not worthy of any thing but a smile and a wave (you should always be polite, right?). I’ll update this as time permits or as I have nightmares from previous experiences but today we’ll start with three.


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Hodak’s – St. Louis

10 12 2006

Guess what? Today was the first day I’ve gone out to eat since I started this blog. Amazing. When I was living in San Diego just a few weeks ago we were eating out every couple days.  Not so anymore. However, since starting Dave’s Cheap Eats I’ve become inspired. Inspired not just to eat out but to make every dining experience a “Dave’s Cheap Eat’s” experience. That is great food at a cheap price.

Today we were looking for some comfort food, nothing too fancy, too complex, or too trendy – just down home good food. I found out about a place called Hodak’s in South St. Louis that was famous for Jack Salmon Meal-The Begining Read the rest of this entry »

Dottie’s True Blue Cafe

8 12 2006

San Francisco. A foodies dream. So many cultures, so many great restaurants, and so much money to spend! But that’s not what we do here is it? We don’t spend lots of money on good food. We find excellent restaurants with prices that anyone can afford. With that in mind I headed to a place called Dottie’s True Blue Cafe. It was right down the street from my hotel near Union Square and it had a great right up in my guidebook.

Somehow we missed it on our first pass down Jones St. and ended up deep in the Tenderloin District-not a place for the Read the rest of this entry »

Tortillas To Go

6 12 2006

The roads in Southern New Mexico can be pretty lonely. When Las Cruces, population 82,671, is the big city that doesn’t leave many people for the small towns. My family was recently traveling cross country and found ourselves in need of some evening nourishment in the small town of Alamogordo (here’s your trivia for the day: the English translation would is Read the rest of this entry »

Naan –N– Curry

6 12 2006

My number one rule of travel is to make sure you know at least a couple of decent cheap restaurants wherever you go. If I don’t, I always seem to end up with a bland $15 hamburger. We arrived in San Francisco one foggy morning with a single restaurant recommendation—not very good for a fiveday trip. So on our first night we went exploring around our hotel in the touristy and upscale Union Square and Theater districts. Fortunately, the restaurants keep their doors open and put menus in the window. We found an Indian restaurant right outside our hotel door. When we saw the menu we couldn’t believe it. Here we are, in the middle of $30-an-entrée bistros and bland national chains, and we found a fragrant and fast Pakistani and Indian restaurant. We smelled it from down the block because of a large fan ventilating the place through the front door. Inside we found laminated one-page menus and slightly wrinkled papers touting the specials. This cheaply-modeled restaurant had prices to match. At most Indian restaurants you pay $10 for a little bowl of Aloo Palak or Chana Masala. Here you get those same dishes for only $3.99! Here we were in the middle of one of the most expensive cities in the country eating the cheapest and most flavorful Indian food we’ve ever had,  eaving plenty of extra cash for the rest of our trip.

336 O’Farrell St, San Francisco 94102
Naan-n-Curry on Urbanspoon

Agua Brava Nayarit

6 12 2006

Popotla, Baja California, Mexico

Seafood and Southern California – the two go together like Italian food and The Hill. Unfortunately, the food prices in San Diego are just as outrageous as their housing prices. Even the coastal Mexican towns have been overrun with Gringos and their green cash. However, if you follow the “Scenic Road” (which is Mexican for toll road) 20 miles down the Baja California coast from the U.S. border, there is a little fishing village turned restaurant town where there are still deals to be found.

Poputula is right beside Fox Studios-Baja (where Titanic and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World were filmed), but it is a world away from Hollywood. There are no tourist buses or Americans in condos, simply a large concrete arch over a dirt road. We found a patch of dirt to park the car, attached our Club to the steering wheel, and made our way past a row of restaurants with their owners shouting to us in Spanish and holding up the day’s catch of lobster. Following a little haggling in the vernacular, we found the best deal at Agua Brava Nayarit, and what a deal it was! Six of us bought three lobster dinners with all the fixings (salad, rice & corn, and shrimp) and drinks for $30. That’s right: for the same price you’d pay for a single dinner at Red Lobster, we had an oceanfront feast.

And this wasn’t just a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Okay, so it was just a hole in the wall, but a hole in the wall overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With the sounds of the waves crashing below us and the harmonies of Mariachis serenading locals in the other restaurants, it was a perfect Mexican afternoon.

Low’s International Foods

6 12 2006

Low’s International Food

222 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, HI, 96720 (808)-969-6652

When you live on the West coast a whole new area for vacations becomes available— especially with early summer discounts to Hawaii. We ended up on The Big Island and found our way to Hilo, a small South Seas port town not yet overrun by tourists. In the heart of the slightly worn-around-the-edges downtown is a little restaurant named Low’s International Foods. The entrance to this unassuming restaurant isn’t much more than a rickety screen door. The “waiting area” is filled with used appliances for sale. Inside you are greeted by a towering wall of pictures of everything on the menu—a good thing since most of the items are nfamiliar Hawaiian creations such as Spam sushi. Even better than any of these just-exotic-enough-to-beinteresting-but-not-scary selections are their distinctively sweet Hawaiian sweet rolls in flavors from original to pineapple to guava. Hawaii is famously expensive, but this place won’t break the bank. Our daughter Caroline dove right into a paper basket full of Spam Sushi. Hot, fresh, and tasty, it was a wonderful way to end a long day of travel.