Name your favorite NYC cheap eats

Don’t get this CA born and raised girl started on the crimes against guacamole…(!!)
I can count on one hand and have fingers left over the number of places i will even order guac in nyc. Like they say, if ya want it done right then you gotta do it yourself ;))


I’d have five fingers left over. I never order it as a stand-alone dish (although I don’t avoid it as a component). Not because I think no one makes it correctly, but because it’s so damn easy to make - and cheap, and easy to clean up after - that it seems shameful to pay for it.

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It sounds like we need to form a task force to counter this problem.

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Natural Tofu is still there and I have had only good experiences there, but recent reviews say they are slipping. I hope that’s not the case. There are still few standouts in the neighborhood, although we do love Salt and Fat. I wouldn’t call it cheap, though.

Mayo in guacamole is actually a great trick to enhance mouthfeel when your avocados are less than wonderful (a common occurrence if you live in the cold North). It’s totally unnecessary and undesirable when you have great avocados, though.

4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Mayonnaise and Italy

I totally get what you’re saying, and living in nyc have certainly purchased my share of subpar avocados- but! I don’t make guac unless i have an awesome avocado (CA or mexico Hass).
For not guac worthy avocados i default to a variation of this sauce- usually i add some nutritional yeast in there too- thicker i use as a dip or add an extra splash of water/veg broth and use it as salad dressing or as written for pasta (or a pasta plus raw zucchini noodle combo)

Went back to El Tropical yesterday with friends who live in the area yet had never been. My $6 round metal tin filled to the brim included their amazing rice and beans, stewed saucy vegetables in a tomato based sauce that were that overcooked until amazing texture, and a smaller (i asked for just a little) portion of the stewed okra which i keep trying to like and just kinda don’t, but i suspect that is personal.
My omni friends had the stewed chicken in a tomato sauce which they were very enthusiastic about, the not vegetarian black beans (saucy, contains some sort of pork), yellow rice, and the oxtails which they were also loving.
Their tins were $6.50 and $6. Too much food to finish in one meal!
About a block from the 116th 2/3 or B/C trains


I live in NYC now, but I am from Michigan - if you think we get subpar avocados here, you should see what we got in a small town buried in snow (in the 90s, no less!). That’s where/when I learned the mayo trick and it really works well. It has the added benefit of keeping your guacamole green longer. As long as you don’t use much, you really don’t taste it.

10 posts were split to a new topic: Mayonnaise and Italy

Ligaya Mishan’s list of 10 best cheap eats reviewed in 2015 on NYT:

  1. The Food Sermon
  2. Mr Curry
  3. Plant Love House
  4. Okonomi
  5. Kopitiam
  6. La Morada
  7. Haldi
  8. Izakaya
  9. Patacon Pisao
  10. Crêpes Canaveral
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thank god your post wasnt about mayonnaise

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Crepes Canaveral lost its great chef and is not good anymore, but look out for him to open his own place sometime soon on 6th between A and B, if I remember correctly what the bartender told me.

Bushwick is home to some fantastic taco joints, fueling up for less than $10 is super easy. Around the corner from my apt just off Wilson Ave, I really like Taqueria Sofia for their $3 Al Pastor tacos. They are above average size and come topped with a tangy verde sauce. Chorizo and Bistec are solid too. Formerly known as Los Tres Marias and/or Las Tres Espigas. Takeout business must be strong, there are probably only 4 seats in the place.

The neighborhood fav is definitely Tortilleria Mexicana Tres Hermanos, a charming, poorly lit food counter within a fully functional corn tortilla factory. You pencil down your order on a note card with your name and hand it to the cashier, cash only. The most expensive offering on the menu are the Tortas for $3.50. Get the Chorizo Taco ($2.25), and all Tostadas ($2.50) come topped with avocado but can be a little tricky to eat. 10+ folding tables spill into the factory itself, and if they aren’t on the table, definitely ask for some sauces (they may come in a paper Powerade cup - hah). It’s BYOB, and in the summer they leave their huge garage door open for hipster-watching. Right off the Jefferson L stop.

Different neighborhoods, how do you like Nam Nam vs Ba Xuyên?

Haven’t been there, but I’ll put it on the list of places to check out

What are the places on your list that you are most eager to go to?

In addition to the spots I mentioned above, I would add Wah Fung on the Lower East Side, Taste Good Malaysian and Uncle Zhou, both in Elmhurst.

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Thanks for the bagel tip! Close to my office.

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I wandered into Kopitiam last week…how underwhelming. The odor was rather unappetizing, too…and I’m used to eating street food by open “canals.”

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold