Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Five Buck Chuck

One of the most delicious things about living in Western Queens is that eating cheap never has to mean settling for cheap quality.  From individual dishes to lunch specials and even full dining experiences, this month we round up some of the neighborhood’s most affordable edibles, showing how to fill up your tank without breaking the bank.

Here are ten penny-pinching but appetite-quenching bites worth mentioning for five bucks or less.

25¢ wings – Tuesday nights from 8 p.m. to midnight, some of Astoria’s most popular wings can be ordered any way you like ‘em for just twenty-five cents a piece.  Dillinger’s Pub & Grill, 46-19 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103; (718) 956-5601

$1 caviar – At Kumo Sushi on Northern Boulevard, all of the a la carte sushi is just one dollar, from salmon roe to sea urchin, over thirty pieces of fresh fish and veggies are available for a single buck. Kumo Sushi & Lounge, 47-11 Northern Blvd., Long Island City, NY 11101; (718) 728-9600; www.kumonyc.com

$1.75 – the tamales at De Mole are deliciously steamed in corn husks, available in three different flavors.  Or try the squash blossom quesadilla for $3.50, or any of the $3 tacos; De Mole, 42-20 30th Ave., Astoria, NY 11103; (718) 777-1655; www.demolenyc.com

$2.75 – Like palm-sized pot pies, coxhina de frango y catupiry are tasty egg-shaped golden croquettes stuffed with shredded chicken and creamy cheese.  NY Pao de Queijo, 31-90 30th St., Astoria, NY 11101; (718) 204-1979; www.newyorkpaodequeijo.com

$3.50 – The Completo at San Antonio Bakery arrives on its own little stand, like a pedestal for this famous frank on a homemade bun, topped with sauerkraut, avocado puree, diced tomato, and a zigzag of mayonnaise.  Ask for pebre sauce, too!  San Antonio Bakery 2, 36-20 Astoria Blvd,, Astoria, NY 11103; (718) 777-8733; http://sanantoniobakery.net/                                                                                                                                                                                       

$3.50 – Queens Comfort serves up a delicious version of Elotes Callejero, Mexican street corn on the cob—which is grilled, slathered with mayo, rolled in parmesan, and then drizzled with sriracha.  Queens Comfort, 40-09 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103; (718) 728-2350; www.queenscomfort.com

$3.99 – Woodside’s famed Ottomanelli butcher shop opened a burger and Belgian fry joint just down the street, where $3.99 gets you a single burger with any seasoning folded into the meat (chipotle, caramelized onion, roasted garlic, jalapeno-cheddar, or bacon-cheddar).  If you get the fries ($2.89) add a side of truffle parmesan aioli for 79¢; F. Ottomanelli Burgers & Belgian Frites, 60-15 Woodside Ave., Woodside, NY 11377; (718) 446-7489

$4 – The Bok Choy Blossoms at Seva Indian Cuisine are dipped in a chickpea batter and lightly fried, dusted with mango powder, and served with a citrusy mint dipping sauce.  Seva Indian Cuisine, 30-07 34th St., Astoria, NY 11103; (718) 626-4440; sevaindianrestaurant.com

$4.75 – Euro Delights offers over sixty different crepes ranging from sweet to savory.  There’s something to be said for simplicity, however, like the Hot Feeling crepe for $4.74—a simple paper-thin French pancake draped in sugar, butter, and cinnamon.  Euro Delights, 32-02 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11102; http://eurodelightsastoria.com

$5 – The Long Island City Food Truck Lot is home to many affordable eats loved across the city, like Rickshaw dumplings and Pera Tacos, open weekdays from noon to 3 p.m.  But who can resist a homemade gourmet ice cream sandwich from the Coolhaus truck? Long Island City Food Truck Lot, 43-29 Crescent St, Queens, NY, 11101; check http://www.facebook.com/LICfoodtruckLOT for the weekly schedule of trucks.

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