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Best cheap meal you ever had?

Back in 96b had shut down my business, and drove OPTR for couple of years. Truck Stop are not for big meals, unhealthy food, and there only thing they do is feed you fast. Was in South Saint Paul Minnesota, at 76 Truck Stops for night, and fuel. Hit the restaurant they had sign "THE STEAK" about $7.00, it came with potatoes, salad, and cup of coffee. Stake was giant Rib Eye, and yummy. Order shoes string potatoes, weak and crispy. Everything was great. Then the surprise was waitress said what kind of pie, I said I am full. she said DESSERT is Included, with or without Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. Wonderful meal, never went back there again.:cursing:

Old Hippie

Somewhere between 61 and dead
Is the Court Street Dairy Lunch still there?

Remember back in The Old Days (tm) when we didn't have Google so we'd just sit around and wonder about stuff and talk about that all evening? :)

Yeah, me too.

My Google-Fu is good enough to find some indications that it's still there, with a caveat. They evidently have a presence on MyFacePlaceSpaceBook but I deleted that years ago. The local fish wrapp...I mean, newspaper the Statesman-Journal has a few stories about them but they want to be paid for having written them. Go figure. :rolleyes:

So. It appears that the original Court Street Dairy Lunch, which opened in 1929, closed down back in '21 or '22 due to the last owner having some health and financial problems. From smoke trails in the Internet I deduce that some kind soul reopened the restaurant in late '22 and it may in fact still be open. Further than that I cannot say based on free-access information.

Makes an interesting puzzlement! And hey, diner food. So I'll check it out and see if it's all that and a sack of chips. Be a good excuse to spend a few hours farting around downtown Salem checking out one of my favourite used book stores (The Book Bin) and maybe also hitting Allan Brothers for a semi-sweet Double Beanery and a slice of cake.

Never know what'll turn up! Thanks for the tip. I'll see if I can grab some snaps to share, if it's still there.

Although Singapore is famed for being the most expensive city in the world there are a number of hawker centres, where (usually) old people serve up cheap local fare, mystery meat in brown goo generally but it's about 2 - 3 Sing dollars and at lunch times the places are packed. I don't eat there as it is pretty rubbish food, no aircon and nowhere to sit unless you have 'choped' a seat with a small pack of tissues - it is a thing here.
The ORIGINAL Tommy's.

Beverly and Rampart. Downtown L.A.

Back when it was outside only and building a chili burger was a juggling act that all happened in mid air.


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Old Hippie

Somewhere between 61 and dead
Been a few years since high school for this boy (koff) but I remember Bob's 19-Cent Hamburgers. The business sign was pretty much the entire menu. :) A few years later in university for the first time, and hitting Bob's for a buck's-worth of burgers before attending a dinner party given by friends was de rigeur. The idea was we were all poor, so showing up partially full would insure they'd have some food left over for lunches later after the party.


Old Hippie

Somewhere between 61 and dead
The most consistent, good, inexpensive meal has to be a breakfast at a truck stop restaurant. Bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns, toast, jam, coffee...the works.

Been a few since I meandered out that way but the Boise Stage Stop south of Boise was a real star in that regard. Breakfast served 24/7. I hit there a lot of times on my way between Oregon and South Dakota. A chicken-fried steak on one platter, eggs and fried potatoes and toast on another platter, about forty-eleven different hot sauces to choose from and the waitstaff was well known to reward a smile and a kind word by keeping the coffee coming as long as you'd sit there.

When you're pulling 16-hour days on the road a good meal can keep things sane.


Ad Astra

The Instigator
🤔 Even our staple Waffle House has significantly raised prices... But I recall getting a steak dinner in Halifax once for under $5, and was astonished how good it was. Talking late 90s though.

I had to do some internet research to make sure I was imagining this, but when I lived in Baltimore in 1977 one could get a real hot corned beef sandwich, on good rye bread, lots of places for $1.19 to $1.25. See file:///C:/Users/CHANNI~1.STR/AppData/Local/Temp/MicrosoftEdgeDownloads/d6dcb8ff-1be1-4b0c-b239-0d5a3279ff7e/Retriever_14327.pdf

That was a bargain then, and it would be a bargain now even in adjusted for inflation dollars. The internet tells me $1.25 in 1977 money is $6.48 in 2024 money. A plain hot corned beef sandwich at Attman's in Baltimore is now $12.39.

All of the street food/night market food in Taiwan is a bargain.
As a young man in the late 1980s-early 1990s, I lived in a Latino neighborhood in Chicago . In the streets there used to be Mexican vendors wheeling carts by hand that were marked "Elote." Whenever I was hungry, I would stop one and order an elote, which cost a dollar. This consisted of boiled corn on the cob prepared a certain way. From start to finish, the sequence involved squirting the cob with liquid margarine, spreading a layer of mayonnaise, dousing everything with cayenne pepper, finishing with a heavy sprinking of Parmesan cheese. It was absolutely delicious and a small meal in itself. Even now, when corn on the cob is available, I still make one from time to time.
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